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Romance - 5 Tips To Ensure You Both Have A Great Time
by Kaushik Das

So you’re going on a blind date. Few dating scenarios are as nerve wracking, and you’ve probably heard lots of horror stories about miserable blind dates. Your blind date doesn’t have to be a disaster, though, if you follow a few simple suggestions to help it be more successful.

Prepare Yourself

Communication experts say that we commonly form an impression of someone new within the first four minutes of meeting them. The first impression you make will set the stage for the entire blind date so prepare in advance to make a good one. Choose clothes that are appropriate for the date, not too revealing or strange. Get a fresh haircut, trim your fingernails, and shine your shoes if needed. On the day of date itself, allow plenty of time to get ready and allow extra travel time to wherever the two of you are meeting.

Where To Go And What To Do

Plan the date for a neutral location, preferably one where there will be a number of other people. When you don’t know the other person it’s not safe to meet in private, plus if you’re in a fairly active location it’s easier to disengage yourself from the date if necessary.

Most dating experts recommend that a blind date not be centered on a meal. If the date isn’t going well and you’re having dinner, you have to stick it out longer than if you’re meeting for coffee. There’s also the cost factor to consider. If either person is investing a lot of money in the date activity that puts more intense pressure on both people.

The First Meeting

Arrive a little early, make sure you’re neatly dressed, and step forward with a polite greeting and hand shake. Remember to smile and be friendly, even if you feel nervous. If you’re a man, open doors, hang up her coat, and pull out her chair if you’re sitting down. If you’re a woman and your date does these things for you, say thank you and enjoy being treated with good manners.

Making Conversation

Getting the conversation started and keeping it going is important to the success of your date. Remember those experts who said a first impression is formed in less than four minutes? They also tell us that communication is based on much more than just words. In fact, when you’re talking with your date the words you use only account for 7% of the total communication occurring. Your tone of voice accounts for 38% of your message and body language accounts for the remaining 55%.

Ending The Date

When the date comes to an end, thank the other person and say something general like “I enjoyed meeting you.” If things went really well then you can indicate if you’d like to date him or her again. If things didn’t go so well then don’t say you’ll call, or that maybe you could get together again sometime. This will create a false impression in the other person and simply avoids the truth.

If you don’t want to see the other person again, it’s okay to say so politely. Saying something like “I think we don’t have a lot in common” is much kinder than saying “I’ll call you” and then not calling. Always be kind, though, and make every effort to spare his or her feelings as much as possible.

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-- August Direct Answers
     from Wayne and Tamara

Direct Answers appears in newspapers on six continents.

-- Direct Answers by Wayne and Tamara

From Jamie:

"In college I met this guy. He wasn't the smoothest of fellows. He started out as a bit of a jerk, but it was kind of cute. We began to spend more and more time together.

Truthfully, it started out as a physical relationship and ultimately turned into something powerful. We fell hard for one another. We shared our inner thoughts and deepest desires. The chemistry we had was one to be envied.

For the next two years we were inseparable. It was magic. Unfortunately I had to leave school and so did he. We were not from the same town, so there was that dreaded distance. We communicated by phone or by letter. We tried to see one another whenever we were able.

Sadly, the distance was too much for him to bear so he broke it off with me. Needless to say I was devastated. I felt I had lost someone to death. At the time we broke up I was only 20. I am now a 41-year-old woman who still thinks about what we shared.

The other night I woke up from a very vivid dream of him telling me we were always meant to find our way back to each other and our love will never die. He has been heavy on my mind ever since.

He is married with children, and I have no desire to impede on him and his family. When we first reconnected, we talked every day. That was several years ago, but his wife wasn't too thrilled, especially since she's the one he got with after we broke up.

I recently saw him at my work. He gave me a big hug, we chitchatted a bit and parted ways. He still gives me butterflies and I still love him dearly. After all, he was my first love and no one has measured up since. I need some resolution."

Wayne & Tamara's Answer:

"Jamie, you have to examine this with a more grown-up eye and understand why it has such a hold on you, because this memory is not making your life better. It's trapping you in a failed first romance.

You want to hold this man to words he said when he was 20, 20 years ago. You act like those words mean more than "he is married with children."

You were the end-all and be-all for each other in a closed environment, but once you left that environment it was over. You both left school and went home like minor children. Where were your plans to be together? Where were the plans to stay together, like grownups would?

This was like a cruise ship romance, a vacation flame, except it lasted two years.

Why are you dwelling in the past? Because you are not happy. Dwelling in the past does two things. It fails to make the present better, and it stops you from making the present better. You are spending time thinking about a married man with children instead of focusing on where you are right now and where your life is going.

Attribute the power of this relationship to something. First love, first sex, first escape from parental control, going off to college. College can be the most intoxicating period in life. You get to have adult experience while holding to the safety net of a child. Young people can soar confidently, knowing below them is the security of their home and family.

But if it wasn't right then, because it didn't hold you together, it isn't right now. It was two years in your life two decades ago. Much of what happened has changed in your recollection, and the negatives forgotten. It might work today only if both of you were forlorn.

If you want a better life now, free yourself from the past by examining it with your grownup eyes."

Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached at

Send letters to: Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield, MO 65801
or email:

Read an interview with Wayne and Tamara at: