I can officially say I’ve been on a blind date.
For some of you, I’m sure this is old hat and nothing out of the ordinary. For others, it may be new and a bit intimidating. I fell in the latter category. Let me take a minute to share with you what I learned through the process, starting at the beginning.
One evening I was hanging out at home when my sister-in-law (SIL) called. She was out with some friends and decided it was time to set me up on a date. Hearing a group of people in the background I asked if the guy she was referring to was in the room with her, and of course he was. This made it a bit awkward for me to start grilling her with questions. So instead of overthinking it, I decided to trust my sister’s judgement and told her to pass along my phone number.
Lesson #1: Know Your Source
My SIL knows me very well. She knows my value system and what I’m looking for in a future husband. Before accepting someone’s offer to set you up, make sure you know and trust your source. Quality people normally hang out with quality people, and their friend groups are normally a reflection of who they are as a person.
Proverbs 12:26 says, “The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.”
After she shared my phone number, the guy, who we’ll call Chris, sent me a text. TIP: I’d heard some great advice from a friend (shout out to Laura) who said when going on a blind date an easy way to break the ice is to joke about the fact you’re going on a blind date. It lightened the mood and helped me relax when messaging back and forth.
Lesson #2: Actually Get to Know Each Other
We ended up deciding on a coffee date. I haven’t been the biggest fan of coffee dates, staring across the table at someone I barely know and trying to hold a conversation is a bit daunting. Going for a walk, or doing an activity where you have something to talk about seems more appealing to me. So if that’s where you’re at, I totally understand! However, after this date I realized coffee shop dates can actually be great experiences.
TIP: If you are going on a coffee shop date, you may want to pick a spot that isn’t your normal hangout. That way you can avoid running into people you may know and potentially creating awkward encounters.
Confession time, I never actually stalked Chris online before we met. And I’m glad. Honestly, at this point we were already meeting, and I wanted the opportunity to actually get to know each other in person without a bunch of preconceived notions.
Lesson #3: You Don’t Need to Overthink It
If you tend to overthink things, like me, this is a great time to loop in a couple trusted friends and/or family members who can help you talk you through the details.
Proverbs 13:20 (NIV) says, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”
Going into it, I had three main concerns:
- Should I pay for my coffee? Since Chris initiated going out on a date in his first text, I assumed he would most likely pay. Just in case I came prepared to pick up my tab, but wanted to make sure he had the opportunity.
- Are there any super important questions I should be asking during the date? I talked to a couple of friends to get their opinions on what I should be asking on a first date. Ashley (AMH Director), her husband Joseph, and I had fun putting together a list of potential questions to ask. We had some funny and ridiculous ones, generic questions, and deeper questions about sharing your testimony. I was prepared! Although I only ended up using one question, it was nice knowing I had backups in case the conversation stalled.
- What should I say if he asks me out on a second date while we’re leaving? I’ve heard a lot of people suggest going on a second date. Their reasoning is you’ll both be more comfortable meeting a second time, so you’ll be acting more like yourself and will probably get a better picture of who the other person is. Personally, I don’t like the idea of leading someone on if I don’t necessarily feel a connection or see a relationship developing. Whatever you decide, honesty is always the best policy.
Turns out I didn’t need to overthink it. All of my concerns worked themselves out beautifully at the coffee shop.
Lesson # 4: Make a Friend
The day of the blind date arrived. I got ready in the morning and put my pre-prepared questions in my pocket (just in case). Right away, when I arrived at the coffee shop, he told me that he would be paying for my drink and to go ahead and order. It was that simple, and my first concern was taken care of!
We shared stories from growing up, our interests, where we worked, etc. It was a nice time and a natural conversation. I didn’t even need the list of questions I’d prepared ahead of time. When the date was wrapping up we left the coffee shop, headed to our vehicles, and said our goodbyes. No final conversation about what’s next, just a pleasant exchange wishing each other a good evening.
So, you may ask, what happened next? By not having the “final conversation” after our date wrapped, it gave me time to process everything!
Chris messaged me the next evening, and although we both had a nice time getting to know each other, neither of us had felt a romantic connection. I was so impressed with how his message communicated such genuine respect for me and appreciation for our time together.
This whole experience really had me thinking about the goal of going on a date. What should the goal of going on a blind date be or any first date for that matter?
Even though you’re ultimately trying to find a romantic connection, every date is first and foremost an opportunity to make a friend.
If your focus is friendship, you don’t have to overthink things and flush out all the details. There’s time for that later. Just be yourself and have a conversation. No pressure. No expectations. Especially when you know who set you up, you’ll know you’re most likely spending time with a quality person who’s worth getting to know. Even if the romance isn’t there, in the process you’ll learn more about yourself and what you’re looking for in a future spouse. And potentially build a new friendship too.