The confused musings of a 20-something: Part 1- Blind Dates

Rights ladies and gentlemen, to the former this post is mainly aimed at you but to the latter, please do read on for an insight into the female mind of a 20-something.

This starts from my own experience, I have read many a blog on dating in your 20-somethings, for the most inspiring see here: http://www.readunwritten.com/2014/02/12/good-things-come-to-those-who-wait-why-you-shouldnt-settle-in-your-20s/, in fact I haven’t been on the that blog in awhile, but now it has a whole page dedicated to hundreds of posts on dating, so please immerse yourself in this infinite pool of knowledge if you like…

However, no matter how hard you try to grasp how to date well in your 20’s, it all comes down to learning from personal experience. There is no question about it, you can’t give advice if you haven’t been down that road yourself, nor will you be able to date well until you have had numerous “unsuccessful” dating experiences. *Insert my own love life here*

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First of all, i will start with an honesty disclaimer: the information in this blog post and others following on from it is BRUTALLY HONEST and relates entirely to my own experiences of dating and experiences of my friends (but i will keep them anonymous).

Online (virtual dating) – this is how us millenials now like to meet one another. It might be the well known Tinder (don’t tell me you have not dabbled in it, or even if you have sworn you would never use such a site, I am sure you’ve had a wee look on your friends Tinder to see what this whole craze is about!), or you may have joined new sites like Happn where you may “cross paths” with your future partner, or maybe you are on the super exclusive dating site Luxe, where you have to have an income of £160,000 before you can even sign up.

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This is how dating works now, swipe right, cross paths, charm’s. Problem is, are you really meeting the right kind of guy or the right kind of girl for you? Also take a step back here, ask yourself, what is it i am actually trying to get out of this virtual dating scene, am i looking for a fancy date and then maybe to hook up, or am I looking for a potential partner? Thing is, it’s very rare to be the same guy and girl looking for the same thing, if you are then I categorise you as a success story, and I have quite a few friends now who have had successes with online dating. But unfortunately, this kind of encourages the rest of us to trudge on in hope of finding someone for ourselves. “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past” – ending quote from The Great Gatsby…and we all know what happened to that love story…

I have been on the online dating scene for pretty much a year now, and I guess you can tell I am not blissfully in love. Blind dates just aren’t all they are cracked up to be. If you met someone in a bar or a club, and you fancied them, you might keep giving one another furtive glances, before one of you gives in, goes up to the other and asks would you like to get a drink at the bar? At that point, you have ticked several boxes, yes i fancy that person, he/she has good style, he/she has a nice accent, we are in the same club/bar therefore we probably like the same music and therefore probably have similar friends. You do not realise how many essential boxes you have ticked here! Maybe you might get their number at the end of the night and if all goes well and he/she remembers you in the morning you might go on a date.

Herein lies the problem of online dating. Until you go on your first blind date, you don’t know how the other person speaks, you don’t know whether their picture is the best picture they have ever had of themselves or if that’s genuinely how good looking they are. Essentially, although you might see a picture from their profile and think that looks nice, you don’t actually know if you fancy them, they may be witty, you may have things in common as you chit chat for a week or so before you meet up. But fundamentally when you meet them outside the tube station or at the bar, if you don’t fancy them then you can try as hard as you like, but it probably won’t work out for you. It is tough to say quit while your ahead, but it is very difficult to get out of a *thing* with someone if you’ve been on several dates, because the longer you keep chatting and going to cool bars the more the other person is getting attached. Then when you do eventually break it off, it is not a very nice feeling that you’ve just upset the other person. In the end though you shouldn’t be continuing a *thing* just because you don’t want to upset the other person, life is too short, and you should make every decision according to personal happiness.

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Don’t let this put you off  blind dates though, sometimes they work out really well, you go to a cool bar, you are surprisingly attracted to that person. I guess you will just have to wait and see if he/she messages you back and sounds interested enough for a second date…

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For anyone reading this who wants a bit of advice about blind dates, every single one varies, try and work out the vibe of where you are going and judge what you wear accordingly. Actually quite a nightmare for girls, especially me. Try and talk about things you might have in common, maybe you both like travelling, holidays is always a good place to start, maybe you have mutual friends, did the same degree? In fact definitely ask them what their job or degree is all about because from my experience its actually been pretty interesting to see what other people do and surprisingly people are always interested in my Masters. Maybe I don’t know what I am talking about and Sex and the City says it all..

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Obviously you don’t want to come across slutty but if you can try and be a bit touchy feely on the date, maybe kiss them at the end of it, if it went super well then thats great! I actually think you are taking some of the pressure off by implicitly saying, yes i do fancy you, yes we do have a lot in common, yes there is potential for a future date. The more awkward you are about saying goodbye, the less likely you are going to have a second date. Sorry to be brutally honest, but if you are not comfortable in one another’s company than I think that sends off signals that you might not be compatible. Please remember that anyone you meet up with, has probably been on several blind dates before, they probably have a lot to judge you by, and by coming across awkwardly you are not doing yourself any favours.

My final point about blind dates – try not, please please try not to dissect every little thing about the date or you will end up becoming an Obsessive Compulsive Thinker (OCT). Also do not underestimate that whomever you have just met up with, might have another date lined up next week, or is still chatting to another hopeful on one of these virtual sites. So take that blind date as a way to really show a person your compatibility or incompatibility if you do/don’t want to go on a second date. High energy is so much effort, but keeping it up is essential in keeping the date interesting and the chit chat before or after it!!!!

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Next post – Obessive Compulsive Thinkers dilemma

Let me know your blind date experiences, or maybe you have something interesting to say about my experiences!!