If you randomly survey singles about the very worst parts of being single, you will inevitably hear, “I’m sick of being setup on blind dates.” When I was single, I went on several blind dates before I eventually met my wife. My heart was always somewhere between hope and skepticism as I prepared for those dates.

Over time, the more blind dates I went on, I learned to relax and let these dates be what they were supposed to be: a chance to connect with someone I don’t know yet. As I learned to take the pressure out of blind dates, I actually started to enjoy them (whether they led to a relationship or not). I believe blind dates are still a great way to meet your future spouse.

Here are a few ways to help make your next blind date a great one.

1. Get Set Up By Friends And Family

Give your close friends and family permission to make thoughtful suggestions about who you should consider meeting. They know you and care about you. Trust them to offer some good suggestions.

2. Keep An Open Mind

If people set you up and you quickly refuse them all, be honest about your reasons. Are you really giving this a fair shot? You’ve kept an open mind about online dating, so why not blind dating, too?

3. Do Your Best To Relax

One of the things that can ruin budding relationships quickly is being overly uptight. Relax! You don’t have to figure this out in the first three minutes (or even the first three dates). Meeting someone you don’t know for coffee or dinner can be fun, even if things don’t go anywhere. If things do work out, you will have an excellent story for teaching your future children about the mysterious sovereignty of God.

4. Keep Initial Conversations Light

In college, we referred to the over-share as vomit-dating. Gross mental picture, I know. But resist the urge to tell your blind date about all your deepest, darkest secrets. Trust me, they really don’t care about that lingering medical condition or your recurring dream about scary clowns. Focus on lighter topics to start out.

5. Have Some Questions At The Ready

One of the easiest ways to keep your initial conversation free of awkwardness is to have a few good questions ready. Ask them about their hobbies, their family and things they like to do in their free time. Don’t ask them about personal quirks, medical history, preferred parenting styles or personal views on Calvinism. Trust me – it’s way too much for a first date.

6. Don’t Talk About Exes (Yours Or Theirs)

Past relationships don’t make great fodder for first dates. Again, this might seem obvious, but it happens. Nothing makes people more uncomfortable than reminding them others have been where they are – others you now avoid.

7. Hope For The Best, Prepare For The Worst

It can be exciting to meet someone for the first time. Manage your expectations and resist the urge to scroll through all their Facebook pictures, imagining what your future children will look like. That’s just creepy and will make your date run for the hills.

8. Keep Bad Dates Under Wraps

If your blind date goes terribly (and some will), resist the urge to roast him or her publicly. Sure, everyone loves a good blind date story. Some of them are hilarious, but try to keep them anonymous. Don’t scare off future dates with your blind date debacles.

9. Give It Time

Don’t expect to have it all figured out immediately. Often, a relationship takes time to develop. You don’t have to make an all-or-nothing decision right away. Guys, ask if you can call her sometime and get her number. Girls, give him your number if you want. Let time help confirm your feelings. Sometimes, your first impressions won’t tell the whole story.

10. Be Honest

Don’t promise you’ll call if you don’t plan to, and don’t say you’d like to go out again if you really don’t. Just be honest. Hopefully, neither of you are emotionally invested yet. Being hopeful is one thing, but letting your general happiness and contentment rise and fall with a person you just met is another.

We won’t all have to go on a blind date to meet our future spouse, but I think we shouldn’t discount it as a fun way to meet new people. So, relax and don’t get too worked up. Be yourself and have fun!

You may also be interested in 4 Important Questions To Ask On Every First Date

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