If you’ve been single for more than a year, chances are you’ve been the target of a well-meaning set-up. Three years ago, after ten months of singleness, I was having a sleepover with some of my best friends and midnight found us sprawled across the bed talking about boys. Duh.
“Hannah, Cory Davis would be perfect for you!” In the midst of braiding hair and eating M&M’s, I looked over at the iPhone waving enthusiastically in front of my face with Cory’s Facebook profile picture pulled up on the screen. He was definitely a fine specimen of a man.
“But seriously, if I set you up on a date will you go?” Cue laughter. I had never been on a blind date before and pictured coming home to entertain my roommates with stories of what was sure to be one of the most awkward experiences of my life.
But then I thought, why not? We all start as strangers.
What I learned on my first and last blind date is that God is infinitely creative and provides good gifts for His children in the strangest of ways. Always, He promises hope and a future beyond our wildest dreams. But sometimes love is hard. Really hard. It’s in these times that we have to let go of anxiety and past heartache and believe that even the blindest of blind dates can be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
So based on my personal experience, here are five thoughts on how to
survive thrive on a blind date:
Pick The Right Matchmaker
I was confident that I could go out with Cory and come back in one piece because I trusted the mutual friends who introduced us. Anyone can be a matchmaker, but the best suggestions will likely come from someone who knows your taste fairly well and shares your core values.
Be Clear About What You’re Looking For
I’m not talking about blondes versus brunettes versus redheads. In our culture a huge emphasis is placed on physical attraction, but I know many happy couples whose chemistry developed over time. True beauty is defined by so much more than outward appearance.
No man or woman can live up to a perfect standard and if that’s what you’re looking for, you will be disappointed. That being said, it’s important to have healthy, realistic expectations and know your “deal breakers” in advance.
If your energy is directed towards growing in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, you will naturally be drawn to people who exhibit those same qualities.
Some people say going on a blind date with an established couple is a major DON’T because it causes comparison. It’s weird if the couple on the other side of the booth is having a snuggle fest while you and your date stare down at your stuffed portobello mushrooms.
If you’ve chosen the right matchmaker, however, this situation is easily avoided. I found that having more people on the date helped me feel less pressured. Hanging out with a couple that loved each other and loved both of us made Cory and I more at ease and ultimately more true to ourselves. After all, if we had talked or acted differently from our normal selves we never would have heard the end of it from our friends.
Don’t Make Decisions Based on First Impressions
Have you ever been nervous meeting someone new? Had a bad day at work or even just a bad hair day? Well, so has your date. Just because you don’t click with someone on every level right away, doesn’t mean you’re not right for each other.
If you share the most important beliefs in common and some aspects of your date’s personality are appealing, that’s reason enough to go out again. I distinctly remember Cory telling me at some point during our first date that I was “oozing with sarcasm.” Thankfully he thought this was a charming characteristic and I laughed at his comment rather than being offended. I mean, it’s kind of true.
Send a text. Give a call. Drop an email. Unless your date was a total dud. In which case, be honest and don’t give false hope.
The day after our blind date, Cory texted me: “For the sake of spontaneity and a beautiful day, would you like to go hiking this afternoon?” We had spent the previous evening
flirting talking and laughing for hours, but it was on our second date that we first shared our testimonies and established a bond.
New beginnings are vulnerable. The most important thing you can do is pray for God’s guidance in your decisions.
I’ve learned never to put limits on His ability to work in my life. Three years after a nerve-wracking dinner, I’m married to my blind date. He’s my best friend, the one who completes me, the one I struggle and prevail with and the one I can’t imagine life without.
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear…”//1 John 4:18