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See No Evil: Blind Date To-Do's

Posted by Karyn Polewaczyk  April 12, 2013 04:40 PM

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7634454642_b402b0c45a_z.jpg(Photo credit: Flickr.com/JLBraga)

The “blind date”: does such a thing exist anymore? With the advent of online dating (and the subsequent profiles that breakdown users’ likes and dislikes into neat, compartmentalized quadrants)—not to mention Facebook, Twitter and that black hole otherwise known as Google—there’s no limit to how much dirt we can dredge up about a potential partner before even meeting them face-to-face. And, still, blind dates tend to be the most nerve-wracking kind of dates, because even the most cooly-worded introductory email can’t predict real-life chemistry.

But that's the nature of the beast; and as the saying goes, you can't win if you don't play. Before you head out with your next match, be (s)he from a dot com or with a friend-of-a-friend, consider some of these blind date "To-Do's," all of which keep the pressure at a minimum and offer an easy exit strategy if you're finding your signals are more mixed than steady.

Grab a drink
The obvious choice. Whether you call it a bar, tavern or local watering hole, an establishment designed for drinking seems to be the du jour starting point for dates of all kinds, be it blind or third, since a cocktail can help take the edge off and ease conversation. I like casual places like Lucky’s Lounge—which is dark, cavernous, and a bit loud—since it alleviates the pressure that more intimate spaces can present, and it has a food menu should you choose to nosh while swapping high school horror stories. But if close quarters are more your thing, you can’t go wrong with Silvertone, which has not only a divine (and reasonably priced) cocktail list—I’m partial to the rye-laced Tibetano—but a killer Mac & Cheese that can be ordered with or without an extra fork.

Get cultural
We Bostonians are lucky to have such an array of cultural options at our fingertips—there’s literally something to see or do any day (or night) of the week, making it easy to integrate romance into our right-brained repertoires. I’ve had good experiences at the ICA, which offers free admission past 5 PM on Thursday nights (I'm especially psyched to check out the newly-launched Barry McGee exhibit), plus an array of light bites and wine at its Water Café. Likewise, the MFA offers a unique twist on tradition with MFA First Fridays (next rendition: May 3), which turns the Shapiro Courtyard into something reminiscent of a sophisticated lounge with live music, a cash bar, and, oh yeah—art. Plus, if the conversation gets awkward, it’s not rude to stay silent and simply admire the scene.

Get moving
Bowling is a great way to see if your date takes himself (or herself) too seriously—because, come on, those shoes? Taking a gamble on attraction doesn’t have to break the bank, either: candlepin, skee ball and billiards all run between $7 and $14 per game at Kings; or, combine another favorite American pastime—pizza—with your score at the Flatbread Company in Davis Square. If your date hasn’t, er, struck out by now, you might also consider moseying on toward a dance floor: two of my favorites include the Middlesex Lounge and Good Life, both of which cater to adult crowds without harboring notorious nightclub atmospheres.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About this blog

Karyn Polewaczyk lives and writes in Boston, and believes that heading out into that good night, like any adventure, begins with the first step. Let's Go Out is a conversation about dating and nightlife in our notoriously chilly city, with first-hand tips from the trenches. Karyn's writing, which focuses largely on women's lifestyle topics, has appeared in the Weekly Dig, Jezebel, xoJane, Northshore Magazine and More.com, among others. Follow her on Twitter at @KarynPolewaczyk.

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