blind date etiquette

I have been on a lot of first dates in my life, many of which were with people I had not yet met prior. Whether it was with people I had met through the Internet or through friends, I have experienced several instances of a romantic (or, at least, a semi-romantic) situation that went awry because the person lacked etiquette. Much of this can be avoided with normal dating rules, but when it comes to hanging out with someone you’ve never met in-person, or perhaps never even seen an image of, there are specific frustrations that can arise.

The honest reason I am writing this brief guide: a week or so ago, my friend and I went out to meet this guy for brunch whom she has been seeing. The idea: she would bring me, he would bring his friend, and we would be this adorable little foursome of mimosa-guzzling goodness. Or, at the very least, we’d all have some polite conversation over pancakes and hash browns.

Prior to us venturing out to meet them, the fellow my friend is seeing texted her about my future blind date guy, stating that he “likes small brunettes.” I instantaneously knew that I was not going to be what he is looking for. I’m not trying to insult myself, but I am 5’7″ and 160 pounds. I’m just not all that small, which is fine with me, but I felt overcome with a sense of dread. I already have this unyielding fear that the way I look disappoints the people around me; I really didn’t want another experience to serve as evidence of this theory.

Sure enough, when she and I walked through the doors, my date looked me up and down (rather deliberately, which was a bit unsettling), muttered his name in my direction and went back to playing with his phone. He refused to stand up, despite his friend doing so to greet us. He didn’t make eye contact with me a single time during the rest of the meal, simply ignored everything I said and didn’t direct any of his speech at me. It was uncomfortable, and by the end, he was begging his friend to leave, rolling his eyes the entire time.

I don’t feel sorry for myself or particularly bad about how I look as a result, but it was really frustrating and a tad embarrassing. Overall, it just wasn’t a really pleasant experience. So, I’m writing this because I feel like reminding people how to act on a blind date is important. The basics, at least, as obviously you should be yourself as long as “being yourself” doesn’t translate to “being a douchebag.” Group dates, blind dates, speed dating, e-dating, whatever…there is etiquette involved. Abide by it, por favor!

Photo: Chintatown[ITPGallery]