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‘Let’s face it: a date is a job-interview that lasts all night.’
Jerry Seinfeld

Blind dates are usually the result of the machinations of an eager matchmaker. They should be approached with caution and realism – the hit rate is often low because a third party is trying to direct cupid’s arrow.
It is wise to gather some advance information. Utilise social networking sites, and quiz the matchmaker – this will provide useful background material and plenty of conversation for the date. You must establish contact with your date beforehand to make arrangements – email is a convenient (and suitably anonymous) method of communication. Drinks are a more flexible option than dinner; the evening can be as short or as long as desired. You must also establish a way of recognising each other: for example, it could be decided that both of you will be carrying or reading a copy of the same newspaper.
If the match proves to be disastrous, excuses shouldn’t be made too soon (you should stick around for two drinks) – spare a thought for the matchmaker, who will be waiting to hear about the progress of both parties with some anxiety.
Send an email within a few days, letting the other party down gently. Don’t berate the matchmaker for their bad judgement, or feel insulted by their recommendation.
If the evening works out well, exchange numbers, send a text message the following day (or within two days) and plan more dates. The matchmaker also deserves a bottle of something to say thank you.

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