Pure Sex, Pure Love

The Catholic Guide to Blind Dates

It only has to work once.

That’s what I told myself after every bad date in my 20s.

If we fell head over heels in love with everyone we met for coffee or dinner, we’d get ourselves into heaps of trouble. Being picky (up to a point) is a good thing. And this means that there are going to be some terrible dates.

Which is why I’ve always thought it’s interesting that blind dates—when your friend, coworker, family member or random neighbor down the block sets you up with someone you’ve never met before—strike such fear in our hearts. (And BustedHalo readers had a lot to say on this topic!)

But let’s be brutally honest: Your success rate hasn’t been all that stellar, otherwise you wouldn’t be available for a blind date, so doesn’t it make sense to give it a try?

I’m pro blind dates. Even if they are terrible, they make for a great story. Your expectations are usually so low that you can be pleasantly surprised pretty easily. And honestly, the last person you chose to date yourself—you remember, the one you agreed to have coffee with after shouting pleasantries over the thump of music at a club?—looked nothing like you thought they would when you saw them in daylight, did they?

Plus, there’s an element of faith in the blind date. You have faith in your friend who organized this date for you. You have faith that God will guide you to your vocation in life. You have faith that you can talk to a potted plant for an hour if you have to, so you’ll get through it somehow.

And BustedHalo readers are ready for this leap of faith: 86% of respondents to our recent online Blind Date questionnaire said they’d be willing to go out with someone they’d never met before—and more than half say they’ve been set up on a blind date already.

Before your next blind dates, keep this in mind:

1. Say Yes to Blind Dates. If a friend or family member offers to set you up with someone they know, accept the offer. Setting up a blind date takes time and energy, so be thankful that they are thinking of you. If it doesn’t work out, so be it. But maybe you’ll make a new friend. God helps those who help themselves—get out there!

“86% of the respondents to our recent online Blind Date questionnaire said they’d be willing to go out with someone they’d never met before.”

2. No Snap Judgments: Some 39% of BustedHalo respondents said they’d insist on seeing a photo before agreeing to go out on a blind date. While there’s nothing wrong with curiosity, don’t judge your date based on the photo that his aunt keeps in her wallet, or that her sister has laminated in her glove compartment. Chances are it’s an old photo, and doesn’t do justice. (As a side note: Be skeptical of people who send you photos of themselves in bathing suits. What are they trying to prove?)

3. Ask the important questions. Among BustedHalo respondents, 52% said they’d ask about the person’s religious background before going out on a blind date. You know what your priorities are. It’s fair to be up front about that from the very beginning.

4. It takes two to make a thing go right: A popular misconception is that women are more likely than men to agree to go on blind dates. Indeed, 77% of BustedHalo respondents said they thought blind dates were for girls. But, um, who are these girls going out on dates with? While women may be more likely to play matchmaker and cupid, both men and women have to play along to make the blind date happen.

5. Think positively. The worst blind dates can make the best stories for brunch the next day with you friends. Plus, you’ll learn what you’re not looking for.

6. Hit it off—but not literally! Set up by a mutual friend, Gayle, 36, had a great start to her date when the gentleman sweetly handed her a rose. She asked him to follow her to a nearby parking spot where they could leave their cars before heading out. “While I was waiting to turn right on red, a car made a flying left turn in front of me,” Gayle told me. “I hit the brakes, but my date did not. He rear-ended my little Corsica with his pick-up truck. There was $4000 worth of damage to the trunk, but thankfully he had insurance. We spoke one more time, but oddly enough, never went out again.”

7. Sometimes it works. “I owe my existence to a blind date,” says Lindsay, 27. Her mother, Amy, and father, James, met at an LSU home football game, when a Amy’s friend asked her to entertain James who was home on leave from basic training in the military. “It shouldn’t have gone as well as it did,” Lindsay says, because Amy’s parents were going to the game as well, and James had to push Amy’s father’s wheelchair all over the ramps of the stadium. The two had barely any time alone together, yet the next day, Amy knew that this was the man she wanted to marry. Love stories can blossom, even from the oddest of blind dates!

Remember, it only has to work once.