1. Throw out any and all expectations. The fastest way to kill a blind date is to walk in expecting Bradley Cooper and then feel nothing but disappointment when it’s someone other than Bradley Cooper (and I guarantee it will be). Even if you had an amazing, two-hour phone conversation and his online profile was custom written for you, do not expect Mr. Perfect. No one can live up to that. To make sure you don’t build up the date in your mind too much, stay busy beforehand. Also, I don’t mean you should have low expectations (“He’s going to suck”)—just have no expectations. Quick! Think about something else.
2. Wear something you love. Sometimes I’m just happy to put on my fancy high heels. On my last blind date, I was excited to be dressed up, and I arrived in a good mood. (It didn’t hurt that three different guys checked me out before I’d even hailed a cab outside my building. I think we forget that dates are about feeling attractive, not just, “Will I be attracted?”)
3. Open your mind. You can’t know everything about a person up front, so don’t be quick to judge. Remember: chemistry can grow; people will grow on you when you get to know them; and some people are nervous on dates. As long as you’re not a total misanthrope, you’re capable of enjoying almost any human being—you just have to keep an open mind.
4. Don’t complain. Stay positive and keep things light. If he complains, change the subject.
5. Watch the alcohol. The Millionaire Matchmaker’s Patti Stanger says not to drink more than two cocktails because you need clarity. I agree about the clarity; you don’t want to sober up after a month and realize you’re not attracted to the guy. However, two drinks isn’t much, especially if it’s a long date. Depending on your tolerance, who’s driving, and whether or not you eat, I think it’s okay to have three or four.
6. Leave your insecurities at home. If I sense a guy is not interested in me, I don’t focus on that fact (it won’t help anybody). Just try to find out what does make him smile (Your jokes? Talking baseball?). (P.S. Why worry he’ll be too good-looking and won’t think you’re cute? Super hot people never go on blind dates.)
7. Try something new or weird. Last weekend, I tried frog legs on one date and kumquat grappa on another. When two people share a novel experience, it bonds them.
8. Find the funny. Laughter is the best medicine for a crappy date. What’s humorous about your surroundings? If the guy has the sense of humor of a wet mop, take notes and laugh later with your friends.
9. Learn more. If you don’t care to learn anything about this guy, what can you learn from him? Can you get some investment advice? Industry gossip? Maybe he can fix the settings on your camera.
10. Get up and do something. If the guy is repulsive, uninteresting, and/or extremely unintelligent, try not to sit and stare. You’ll fixate on whatever it is that’s bugging you. Get up and get him involved in an activity you enjoy no matter what—pick out songs on the jukebox, play pool, order ice cream, take a walk, or place bets on the teams playing on the bar’s TV. If you’re at dinner, well…chew fast.
If you forget everything else, just remember to have zero expectations and an open mind. I always have a good time when I’m on a date with no expectations. (No Expectations in one good-looking guy, haha!) A bottle of wine never hurts, either.