My first blind date was a lunch date with a man named JT. It was a weekday. I left the office a little early to make sure I arrived on time. I debated that morning whether my heels were the best choice since I didn’t know how tall JT was. (I’m always nervous I’ll be taller than my date.)
We were introduced by a mutual friend I trusted, so I went to lunch with an open mind. There was a handsome man standing at the entrance of the restaurant, looking out over the crowd. When our eyes met, he smiled, pointed at me, and said, “Are you Carrie?”
I was delighted. He was handsome, still taller than me with my heels on, and I’d find out over the course of the next hour he was also intelligent, driven, and grounded. We shared the typical first-date highlight reel, but there was a bit more humor because we already knew we had similar friends and common interests.
He hugged me after lunch, and I left feeling excited. I didn’t typically enjoy first dates, so I was surprised by how much fun I had. The most shocking thing about my blind date was how I felt the following days: I was happier, lighter, and felt more feminine than I had before.
JT and I met several more times. We ended up becoming better friends but never romantically involved. It took me a while to realize that it was the thought of our mutual friend that increased my mood. A friend of ours thought so highly of us both that she went out of her way to introduce us, hoping we’d form something meaningful.
For the first time, dating had increased my self-confidence rather than tearing it apart.
And JT wasn’t the only man I was set up with by a mutual friend. Paul and I were set up by my Pilates instructor. She also turned out to be Paul’s ex (which I didn’t realize when I agreed to go out with Paul).
Paul and I were introduced because of the complementary qualities we possessed. Biking was his thing and Pilates was mine. We were both close to our families. We both volunteered. We were both educated and open to new experiences. We ended up dating for nearly a year.
Don't get me wrong, I've had some uncomfortable experiences on blind dates.
One man showed me a gun he was carrying in his pocket. I hadn't asked to see it. Another just stared at me for the first 20 minutes or so. A third man walked out when he learned I was a writer because he was afraid I'd end up writing about him one day. Guess what...