Terri Orbuch is a psychologist, Oakland University professor, and research professor at The University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research. She is also the host of The Love Doctor radio program on VoiceAmerica. Her Love Doctor Relationship Segments are aired weekly on Fox TV-Detroit.

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The Love Doctor

by Dr. Terri Orbuch, The Love Doctor

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Many people wrongly believe that getting fixed up on a blind date is the equivalent of throwing in the towel and screaming, “All right already, I’ll do it... I’m desperate!”

Single people are used to hearing friends and family say, “You should meet so-and-so.” Although it’s possible that they may be uncomfortable with the fact that you’re presently unattached, their true motivation is usually to see you happy.

Blind dates are not for the desperate. The reality is that blind dates can be really good ways to meet someone who is compatible with you.

I’ve studied married couples and their relationship patterns for many years. You might be surprised to learn that when married people are asked how they met, the most common answer is, “We were fixed up.”

In one recent study, 46 percent of people in a committed partnership or marriage met through mutual friends and family. Those are fantastic odds!

Blind dates aren’t always successful. They also can be extremely nerve-wracking because you’re both walking into a meeting... well, blind.

Here are my 5 simple tips for making blind dates easier.

1. Take control.
Don’t let others push you into something you don’t want to do. Feel free to say NO. You're not obligated to go on a date, because your mother's boss wants to fix you up with her son. Also, be involved in the planning. Don't let others set the time and place for you. Minimize unknown elements of the date as much as possible. Create a time, place, and situation that will make you feel comfortable.

2. Choose the right place to meet.
A movie is not a good first date choice, nor is a loud rock concert. A restaurant date or even something like miniature golf can be good. The idea is for you and your date to talk, observe and interact.

3. Keep it short.
Whatever activity you choose to do, keep it under two hours. A meal is a good choice for a blind date because it has a beginning, a middle and an end. When the check comes, your date is over. If it seems too brief, make another date.

4. Don't let the "fixer upper" go on the date with you.
If you allow the matchmaker to join you on your blind date, it creates too much pressure and awkwardness. Your matchmaker will be observing the two of you closely to see if you're "hitting it off." If you want to bring her or him along for the initial introduction, fine. But agree ahead of time that after 10 minutes he or she will duck out.

5. Arrive with an open and positive mind.
Remember that many people mistakenly believe that blind dates are for the desperate. Show up with the attitude that this date is an opportunity to meet someone you might not have otherwise met. Even if you don't have romantic chemistry, you may have found a potential friend.

Dr. Terri Orbuch (Ph.D.), aka “The Love Doctor,” is a psychologist, Oakland University professor, and research professor at The University of Michigan. She is also the host of The Love Doctor Talk Radio Program on the VoiceAmerica network. Her Love Doctor Relationship Segments are aired weekly on Fox TV-Detroit. For more information, check out www.drterrithelovedoctor.com.

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