I sent a contact request to a man in my town and he responded by suggesting we meet: ‘On Friday, in front of the town hall. How do we recognise each other? Surprise!’ That was all he wrote - he didn’t even give me his name. I thought it was tricky of him to make that suggestion without revealing even a minimum of information about himself. What’s more, I didn’t like the idea of someone having the opportunity to size me up and then to just disappear off without even introducing himself. I am thinking about bringing the contact to an end. What do you think about it?” Maureen (37), project manager
It might be going a bit far to describe his suggestion as ‘tricky’, since he is meeting you in a public place and he’s not really committing you to very much. We made an online survey of 675 members (344 women and 331 men) to see what they thought of such an upfront suggestion.
34.7% of men thought it was a great idea, as against 17% of women 21.5% of men and 14% of women would only go if clear ways of recognising each other were agreed 18.7% of men and 31.7% of women might go if they were “feeling particularly adventurous”.
25% of men and 37% of women did not find the invitation attractive: half of those men and two thirds of the women would request further emails or a phone call with the other person. The rest wouldn’t meet up without first exchanging photos, but only 1% of men and 1% women would break off contact immediately.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained
One in three men would not hesitate to go on a date of this kind, which explains, Maureen, why the man in question is quite comfortable with the idea - either because he likes blind dates or because he simply wants to find out whether it might work. Like a lot of men (though there are exceptions), he doesn’t seem so keen on writing, at least to start with. That being said, only one is six women thinks unreservedly that a blind date of this kind is a good idea. So, what should you do? If you immediately think badly of him and assume that the date will be a disaster, then you are depriving yourself of an opportunity. After all, there is always the risk that a date won’t work, no matter how it’s arranged. Think of it this way: this man has made a suggestion, and you can influence how things progress from here on in. If you want, you can always say no at a later stage to get yourself off the hook.
Take the matter in hand
Send a message to the man and say to him that you’d really like to know more about him and would like to know how you can recognise each other. Try and find a compromise that is agreeable to both of you. After a couple of emails you might even want to agree to his suggestion. And, if he does want to check you out anonymously, is that really so bad? Remember, that he also risks missing an opportunity if it doesn’t work for you. Don’t take a passive role in this. After all, if you go on the date, you also have the chance to see what you think about him ‘from cold’ and to decide how you would like things to go.