Blind double date
July 11, 2013 8:06 AM   Subscribe

Without really meaning to, my girlfriend and I got ourselves into the position of setting up two people who don't know each other on a double date. What can we do to make it as un-weird as possible?

They each seem to have a lot of the characteristics that the other finds attractive, both physically and mentally. We suggested to the woman that we should introduce her to the man sometime, but figured it would just happen organically. She sort of pushed it, and now here we are all going out for dinner together.

My girlfriend and I are really shy people. And we're starting to feel really weird about being social enablers for two people who are frankly much more socially adept than we are. To put it bluntly, we're feeling out of our depth.

It's at a super casual place, which seems good. What can we do or say to help this go well? What should we not do or say? Treat us like idiots, which we kind of are.

posted by anonymous to Human Relations (16 answers total)
Keep it in perspective. You're going out to dinner with some friends. If they hit it off, great! If not, you all still get dinner with friendly people.
posted by cranberry_nut at 8:09 AM on July 11, 2013 [22 favorites]

The best way for this to go well is to not treat it like a double date at all. You will be four people sitting down to dinner; just go with that. You say they're more socially adept than you? Awesome! Then they'll be fine; socially adept people are usually pretty comfortable with driving conversation, making sure the topic isn't excluding people inappropriately, etc.

Just show up, have fun, have dinner, and maybe try to avoid super-heavy depressing topics. Frankly, if anything, a small group context can be a great "zeroth date" because if they don't instantly think the other is the greatest thing ever, it's easier to just have a good time and either get to know the other person, or gracefully bow out, without as much awkwardness as a one-on-one date can be.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:11 AM on July 11, 2013 [3 favorites]

You're not going on a blind double date, you are going out with two friends of yours. If they end up hitting it off great, but this is about having a nice evening that evening for ALL four of you.

I also think if there is any pressure, it is on the girl who pressed y'all into a speedy introduction.

What is the worst that could happen? You have a crappy evening. Big deal.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:16 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Just treat it as a four-person hangout. If they're socially adept then they will meet, figure out whether they like each other or not, and they'll take it from there. You don't need to facilitate anything beyond getting them into the same room.

A warning, though: If this friend of yours is pushing you to arrange an introduction then she may be building this up in her head and you need to set some ground rules and expectations with her ("We're going to get the two of you at the same table and the rest is up to you"). I say this because I found myself in your position once, the two parties didn't hit it off as well as the guy had been hoping for and I later found out that he kind of blamed me for that. Just a small caveat.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 8:16 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Stop fretting. You're all going to grab a beer and nachos, that's it.

If they're socially adept, the conversation will flow easily and effortlessly. Don't worry so much.

Just have a nice evening out.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:19 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Agreed with above. Make it about having dinnerwith friends, not about the set up. Behave no differently than you would at any other normal social gathering. Keep stuff like "So Suzy here loves art. Tom, tell Suzy about your art collection!!" out of the conversation, don't try to guide it towards pointing out reasons why they are well suited. If they are a good match they will see be able to sort it out for themselves.

If you are REALLY concerned than invite a fifth person. I really don't think that should be necessary though. Everyone involved is presumably an adult. This is all very normal stuff.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 8:22 AM on July 11, 2013

If it helps, go watch When Harry Met Sally and pay particular attention to the double date when Harry tries to fix up his friend (Bruno Kirby) with Sally and Sally tries to fix up her friend (Carrie Fisher) with Harry.

If nothing else, this will make it clear that you have no power to determine whether these two are going to hit it off or not. And thus, it's not your responsibility. You've already done all that you can do by putting them in the same place. It's now out of your hands, so just have a nice evening and don't worry about what happens with them. That's up to them.
posted by Naberius at 8:23 AM on July 11, 2013

My girlfriend and I are really shy people.

Does your shyness make you incapable of going out to dinner with other people? If so, please elaborate so we can give you more advice.

Otherwise, if getting dinner at a casual restaurant with people you know is normal behavior for you two, then I would advise just treating it like one of those outings.
posted by deanc at 8:24 AM on July 11, 2013

Just go to dinner and have fun. I'm assuming that everyone there will know at least one other person, right? So you'll have something to talk about.

Frankly, I think this context is a nice way to be set up, and it sounds like a fun evening for everyone even if these two people don't hit it off romantically.
posted by Sara C. at 8:28 AM on July 11, 2013

Just go have dinner with your friends and stop over thinking it.

BTW, I met my wife on a blind date.
posted by COD at 8:33 AM on July 11, 2013 [3 favorites]

Do not accompany them to the bathroom, unless you are explicitly asked to. The evening may be going much better than expected.
posted by Sophont at 8:44 AM on July 11, 2013 [4 favorites]

Yes, you've 'enabled' this situation, but, at a certain point, everyone is responsible for their own happiness. Whether or not they hit it off, by accepting the situation, they have accepted that responsibility.

(After my mom broke up with her first college boyfriend, she went on a blind double date set up by her sister and her sister's new husband. Both couples have been married 40+ years.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:51 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

My parents met under similar circumstances, except that instead of a casual dinner thing they went on a blind double date canoe trip with some couple friends.

Apparently they spent the entire time yelling at each other that the other one was canoeing wrong.

They just had their 36th anniversary.

The couple who organized the setup got divorced years ago.

So don't fret about this. You've done all you need to do. Just go, treat it like any other get together with friends, and let the chips fall where they may.
posted by phunniemee at 9:15 AM on July 11, 2013 [3 favorites]

Your part is done. It's not a double date, you're meeting up with two friends who don't know each other yet, so don't worry about trying to make them like each other or whatever - that would be weird.
If they seem to be hitting it off and either one mentions going out somewhere else after dinner and the other one jumps in and enthusiastically agrees, you make an excuse to go home or go do something else and let those two go off and do whatever.
posted by KAS at 10:00 AM on July 11, 2013

You know both these people. It's not your job to make sure things go well or aren't weird. You'll be fine if you talk with her as you normally would, with to him as you normally would. I think it's better to say, "Kristen, how's your garden doing?" rather than, "Joe, Kristen likes to grow her own vegetables." Also say things about yourself. If you don't have much going on, mention something that you'd like to do. They will pick up the conversation and bring up new topics, too.

To make you feel more calm, you can think of some topics before you go. To get you started, think about what kinds of things you talked about the last time you conversed with either of them.
posted by wryly at 10:03 AM on July 11, 2013

Act kind of like how you'd act if you were at a work lunch. Just have some nice chatter. Especially if these people are somewhat more outgoing than you, they will probably lead/take over the conversation. When it's uncomfortable is when the "blind" participants are the shyer ones.
posted by gjc at 7:28 PM on July 11, 2013

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