The Blind Date Guide to Dating

Frank Thompson

St. Martin's Griffin

Dating Do’s and Don’ts … Blind Date-Style

DO … bring a quarter, or, in some metropolitan areas, thirty-five cents, to make an emergency escape call. Or a cell phone. Or walkie-talkies.
DON’T … use the cell phone to call other friends while on your blind date.
DO … wear underwear.
DON’T … wear it on the outside of your clothing.
DO … read the newspaper the day of your date to make sure you’re up on current events.
DON’T … regale your date with the recent adventures of “Funky Winker-beam.”
DO … have confidence and smile.
DON’T … grin like a maniac, stroke your date’s hair and say, “um … purty hair …”
DO … bring breath mints.
DON’T … bring beef jerky.
DO … talk about a variety of subjects.
DON’T … keep bringing the conversation back to the time you traveled with a freak show.
DO … pay attention to the signals.
DON’T … lick your date’s nose without being invited to.
DO … be honest.
DON’T … be too honest.
DO … meet your date at the venue rather than at home.
DON’T … forget where you told your date to meet you.
DO … share a soothing beverage.
DON’T … get blitzed.
DO … tell interesting stories about your past.
DON’T … tell bitter and embarrassing stories about your ex.
DO … have great conversation at dinner.
DON’T … talk with your mouth full. Or, about your mouth being full.
DO … order interesting appetizers.
DON’T … order anything with raw onions or garlic.
DO … show interest in your date’s stories.
DON’T … doze off in the middle of one.
DO … ask interested questions about your date’s job.
DON’T … ask how much your date earns.

Dating has changed a lot over the years. In the fifties, a keen date would be nothing more than a soda pop at the local soda shop, a hand-in-hand walk through the small town square and, perhaps, sex in the bushes. In the sixties, you might “groove” to the otherworldly sounds of Jimi Hendrix or Dinah Shore and just allow your inner oneness to connect with someone else’s inner otherness and while your spiritual beings were astroplaning, your physical bodies could go bomb the post office.
In the seventies and eighties, as far as I can tell, people didn’t date. But starting in 1999, when Blind Date went on the air, the practice came back into fashion—with a vengeance!
But by then, times had changed. For one thing, it wasn’t the fifties or sixties anymore, except possibly in Mississippi. The dating scene of the New Millennium is a whole new futuristic world of cyberspace, singles bars, and, of course, deadly robots bent on world domination.
One of the things that changed is the life expectancy of a single person. According to some book I checked, people are remaining single longer than ever before in history, except possibly in prehistoric times when there were no justices of the peace. In the period just around World War II, for example, people would often be married by the age of twelve and dead by the time they got to Omaha Beach. Whereas in 2001, some people don’t even bother to get married at all. And not just celebrities, but boring ordinary people, too. Statistics say that something like 75 percent of women age 20–24 and 80 percent of men of the same age have never been married. And some of them aren’t likely to be. Statistics also claim that over 4 percent of adults have really big, ugly knees, but that isn’t really relevant to this topic.
What does all this mean? It means that the dating scene is more competitive than ever before. And that more people are looking at dating as just a fun way to spend some free time as opposed to a way to select a life mate.
Just as there are more single people out there, so are there more busy people. Even finding the time to go on dates to find Mr./Ms./Other Right is virtually impossible, except for the jobless who are usually too depressed to date.
The dating pool, like a roiling tank of lawyers, is a place of such frenzied ferocity, in fact, that it might seem way too scary to dive into it, especially if you ate less than half an hour before going in. That’s why we have complied this helpful list of do’s and don’ts, Blind Date–style. We hope that by observing, step by step, what many of the show’s couples have gone through, you can map out a plan of your own. After all, these people were on television which, by definition, means that they know more than you.
On the following pages, you will learn techniques for greeting your date; engaging in entertaining and enlightening conversation while driving to your first location; finding amusing and sometimes exhausting activities; enjoying a conversation at dinner, preferably without slurping; intimate conversation; and what to do, in addition to puckering, when it comes time for the goodnight kiss.
These rules don’t apply only to blind dates. They should work—or not—for any one-on-one dating situation. And, our lawyers want to add, there are no guarantees attached. Maybe what got one couple to the hot tub will land you alone in a shower stall with nothing to comfort you but soap-on-a-rope. Not our fault. Don’t blame us. The dating world is a landscape fraught, if that’s the word I’m looking for, with danger, intrigue, and way too much coffee. The whole experience can be a little nerve-wracking. Heck, it can be downright terrifying. But you have to admit, it beats the alternative.
THE BLIND DATE GUIDE TO DATING. Copyright © 2001 by Universal