Nothing in the history of humankind has something been so widespread yet so dreaded. No one admits liking them, yet just about everyone has been involved with one. They're often the end result of a friend's good intentions (or maybe something much more insidious). They bring fear to the hearts of the brave. Of course, we're talking about blind dates.
If you're like most people, the uncertainty of a blind date conjures up frightening thoughts. What's this person going to look like? Will we like each other enough to actually sit through a meal? Will I be able to go back to that restaurant someday without waiters pointing at me? The element of surprise is often a good thing, but not with unseen dates.
To be fair, the fixture known as the blind date has earned a bad reputation, probably one not completely deserved. There have been rare reports of successful blind dates that have led into lasting relationships. However, the downside to blind dating is extremely heavy. To begin with, most people think that there must be something wrong with the person they’re being set up with. That also brings up the question: what does our mutual friend think of me? Phrases like "she must be a major bowser if she needs to be set up," or "I'd better get somebody to page me 30 minutes into the date, just in case..." come to mind. And if she's rumored to be a good dancer or have a great personality, that's the kiss of death. Still, if almost everyone has been on a blind date at one point or another, does that mean we are all desperate, disfigured introverts?
Even if they're set up out of the best intentions, blind dates often fall flat because the two suckers...um, I mean people, just don't click. Many times, the mutual friend has two single friends, and would just love to see those friends get together. It doesn't matter that one friend is a butcher and the other is a vegetarian. "But they're both nice people, and they look cute together!" Sure, so were Romeo and Juliet, but look how they ended up.
How Men and Women View Blind Dates
Did you ever notice, more times than not, that the well-meaning mutual friend lining up a blind date is a woman? A woman is more inclined to mix and match friends to create potential couples. Here's my proof:
Also, women think that if the two friends hit it off, that couple is a potential double date. A Woman looks forward to double dates with her girlfriends. What could be better than to be with the man she loves, and be with her friends at the same time?
Guys, on the other hand, view double dating as hell on earth. Guys spend extreme amounts of energy and effort to maintain a level of manhood. Nothing can destroy a guy's focus on maintaining his manliness. Not a tear-jerker movie, not the death of a family pet, not even a bullet in the kneecap. "Unhh, it's all right... unhh,... only... a... flesh... wound!!!" Nothing can expose a man's sensitivity, except the woman he loves. She can get him to do things that no man on the face of the earth could, not even the Pope. I’m talking about heinous things like shopping for bath towels, watching Beverly Hills 90210, or eating brunch. Really, when was the last time you saw a bunch of guys eating brunch together? With guys, brunch is Doritos and pizza while watching football. But with a woman, brunch is eggs benedict and momosa. So when two manly men are forced to endure a double date, they're like lost puppies. "Should I reveal my sensitive side in front of another man, or get dumped and become a potential blind date victim?" That's a lose-lose proposition.
There is a more fundamental reason why men don't set up blind dates. That reason is self-interest. If a guy can get a single girl to talk with him, she becomes an instant target for his hot lovin'. And if she's even halfway attractive, you can bet she'll never be introduced to any of his buddies. Even if he strikes out, his friends can't meet her. Every guy thinks his buddies are bigger scumbags than he is, so they should have no chance of scoring either. But if by some fluke, one of the guys actually gets together with her, that would be an unacceptable blow to a guy's ego. That breeds resentment, which weakens the bond that has been nurtured over the years. That weakened bond could lead to a fight, which could end a good friendship, and splinter off a tight-knit bunch of guys. Everyone would feel bad, but since they're guys, no one could admit they felt bad. So is introducing a girl to a guy's buddies worth all that trouble? I think not. So, maybe it's not all about selfishness after all.
So what conclusion can we arrive to with this drivel? Blind dates are set up by women who think two of her most ugly, boring friends would enjoy each other's company. This may not be quite accurate, but from most people's reaction to blind dates, I don't think that I am off by much.
Well, it's time for me to go now. I've got a date with my friend's co-worker. She swears that her co-worker has a wonderful personality and that we'd be perfect for each other...
© 1997 Patrick P. Yeung