I’ve always frowned upon the concept of blind dates – at least when you’ve met a guy in a bar you sort of have an idea if you fancy them and get on. And the same goes for internet dating – their picture has caught your eye and you’ve had a chance to assess his height, if he’s a smoker and if he can spell correctly.
So when some friends of mine told me they had found me the ‘perfect guy’ I brushed it off. Did they really know my type? What if I didn’t like the look of him – would I hurt their feelings? Would I have to let them down gently, as well as him, if the first date was disastrous?
None of my blind dates have ever been that bad – but I've heard enough horror stories. The one that didn’t even bother to show up, the guy who bored my friend stupid about his ex girlfriend and the guy who was so far from my mates type she thought they chose him for a joke. And then there’s the rejection – before and after the date. When the matchmaker shows them your picture and apparently it’s a no go, when your friend says ‘actually I better not set you up – he’s a bit fussy’, or your date acts fine on the night only to forget you exist after you leave his company.
A friend of mine had a pretty disastrous blind date. She’d met him online only to realise that his profile had forgotten to reveal one small minor detail…..that he was the most boring guy she would ever meet. And once she got past the fact that he was 30 and still living with his parents, she wondered why she had given up a perfectly good night to spend it with Mr Boring Geeky Guy. So she did the only thing she could – she faked an illness! And after her golden globe winning performance, he left and she quickly threw on her dancing shoes and had one of the best girlie nights she’d had in a long time! Who needs men eh?!
And then there’s the guy I dated who had actually been on Blind Date, you know with Cilla and everything. Apart from him boasting about this and thinking he was famous because he had been the ‘picker’, it made me wonder how far my luck would stretch if I had ever got on it. Would I be date number three who went home empty handed and dribbling over the guy who rejected me? Or the one who picked date number one because of our shared interest in Matt Damon and musicals – only to find out the real reason he went on the show - a free holiday and a chance flirt with some Spanish boys?
But of course there are the exceptions. Some people have gone on to meet the love of their lives after an ever so kind friend set them up. I bet Gary Linekar got more than he bargained for when he turned up to meet Danielle Bux on their first date. He probably couldn’t thank his friend enough for setting him up on a blind date with her - and at least she gets free crisps for the rest of her life!
So when I turned up to the date I ‘tried’ not to have any expectations. I’d seen his facebook profile and a few emails had gone back and forth, but he was still virtually a stranger. So I was pleasantly surprised when I turned up to meet him - he wasn’t a loser with a chain smoking habit and neither did he bore me stupid about his Lego collection. In fact, he was pretty damn cute.
And he seemed pretty normal too. No other weird hobbies. No puffing on cigarettes on the way to the next pub. He wasn’t abnormally tall and seemed quite good at making sure the evening didn’t go from ‘good date’ material to potential ‘yep I see a blog in that – but not in a good way’ material. So it was just down to me to f**k it up really.
But I didn’t. Well only if you count how drunk I got and the amount of times I told him it was my birthday soon. But that’s just a normal date, right? And as the night progressed I realised we actually had stuff in common too, we made each other laugh, there were no awkward silences and he even let me share his crisps – what a gentleman!
The conclusion? Maybe I should let my friends pick all my dates in the future – especially when they obviously know my type more than I do.