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The Blind Date Guide to Dating

The Blind Date Guide to Dating

by Frank Thompson

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Love watching car wrecks but don't want to be in one? Then you will love The Blind Date Guide to Dating. It's the book that covers everything you ever wanted to know about love, dating, and the hottest show on television today.

The Making of Blind Date--Learn all about the show, from how to get on it to the editing process to the writing of all your favorite


Love watching car wrecks but don't want to be in one? Then you will love The Blind Date Guide to Dating. It's the book that covers everything you ever wanted to know about love, dating, and the hottest show on television today.

The Making of Blind Date--Learn all about the show, from how to get on it to the editing process to the writing of all your favorite characters, such as Therapist Joe, Sarcastic Sid, Dr. Date, and Mr. Mean

Sexiest Hot Tub Moments--Get a behind-the-scenes look at the favorite destination of all the crazy blind-daters, plus etiquette tips for when it's your turn. Hint: Make sure the bubbles are not your own

What You Didn't See--Because the dates don't stop when the cameras turn off, we will show you the material that was just too hot for the networks.

Hot Dating Tips--Great tips on how not to be as clueless but definitely have as much fun as the wild blind-daters.

Therapist Joe--That's right, he is a real person, and in his special sections, he answers all the questions you wanted to know, and some that you didn't about relationships, from the one-night stand to tying the knot.

The Best and Worst of Blind Date--From love connections to blind date meltdowns, all the crazy Blind Date moments that you can't look away from and can't believe happened.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"Although other traditions from [the 18th century], like public whippings and witch burnings, have virtually died out... the cruel spectacle of the blind date lives on," asserts Thompson, a writer for the real-life TV show Blind Date. This book is partly an accompaniment to the show and partly a jokey guidebook, filled with silly dos and don'ts culled from the experiences of those who've been on the show. The hodge-podge account will appeal only to the (perhaps few) viewers who want to spend the extra bucks. (Nov. 1) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Love is nothing but a cruel joke that reduces strong human beings to quivering piles of jelly, and no TV show captures this process better than the syndicated Blind Date." —Entertainment Weekly

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
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Read an Excerpt

The Blind Date

Guide to Dating

By Frank Thompson

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2001 Universal Studios Publishing Rights
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4299-8175-0


Dating Do's and Don'ts ... Blind Date-Style

DO ... bring a quarter, or, in some metropolitan areas, thirty-five cents, to make an emergency escape call. Or a cell phone. Or walkie-talkies.

DON'T ... use the cell phone to call other friends while on your blind date.

DO ... wear underwear.

DON'T ... wear it on the outside of your clothing.

DO ... read the newspaper the day of your date to make sure you're up on current events.

DON'T ... regale your date with the recent adventures of "Funky Winker-beam."

DO ... have confidence and smile.

DON'T ... grin like a maniac, stroke your date's hair and say, "um ... purty hair ..."

DO ... bring breath mints.

DON'T ... bring beef jerky.

DO ... talk about a variety of subjects.

DON'T ... keep bringing the conversation back to the time you traveled with a freak show.

DO ... pay attention to the signals.

DON'T ... lick your date's nose without being invited to.

DO ... be honest.

DON'T ... be too honest.

DO ... meet your date at the venue rather than at home.

DON'T ... forget where you told your date to meet you.

DO ... share a soothing beverage.

DON'T ... get blitzed.

DO ... tell interesting stories about your past.

DON'T ... tell bitter and embarrassing stories about your ex.

DO ... have great conversation at dinner.

DON'T ... talk with your mouth full. Or, about your mouth being full.

DO ... order interesting appetizers.

DON'T ... order anything with raw onions or garlic.

DO ... show interest in your date's stories.

DON'T ... doze off in the middle of one.

DO ... ask interested questions about your date's job.

DON'T ... ask how much your date earns.

Dating has changed a lot over the years. In the fifties, a keen date would be nothing more than a soda pop at the local soda shop, a hand-in-hand walk through the small town square and, perhaps, sex in the bushes. In the sixties, you might "groove" to the otherworldly sounds of Jimi Hendrix or Dinah Shore and just allow your inner oneness to connect with someone else's inner otherness and while your spiritual beings were astroplaning, your physical bodies could go bomb the post office.

In the seventies and eighties, as far as I can tell, people didn't date. But starting in 1999, when Blind Date went on the air, the practice came back into fashion — with a vengeance!

But by then, times had changed. For one thing, it wasn't the fifties or sixties anymore, except possibly in Mississippi. The dating scene of the New Millennium is a whole new futuristic world of cyberspace, singles bars, and, of course, deadly robots bent on world domination.

One of the things that changed is the life expectancy of a single person. According to some book I checked, people are remaining single longer than ever before in history, except possibly in prehistoric times when there were no justices of the peace. In the period just around World War II, for example, people would often be married by the age of twelve and dead by the time they got to Omaha Beach. Whereas in 2001, some people don't even bother to get married at all. And not just celebrities, but boring ordinary people, too. Statistics say that something like 75 percent of women age 20–24 and 80 percent of men of the same age have never been married. And some of them aren't likely to be. Statistics also claim that over 4 percent of adults have really big, ugly knees, but that isn't really relevant to this topic.

What does all this mean? It means that the dating scene is more competitive than ever before. And that more people are looking at dating as just a fun way to spend some free time as opposed to a way to select a life mate.

Just as there are more single people out there, so are there more busy people. Even finding the time to go on dates to find Mr./Ms./Other Right is virtually impossible, except for the jobless who are usually too depressed to date.

The dating pool, like a roiling tank of lawyers, is a place of such frenzied ferocity, in fact, that it might seem way too scary to dive into it, especially if you ate less than half an hour before going in. That's why we have complied this helpful list of do's and don'ts, Blind Date–style. We hope that by observing, step by step, what many of the show's couples have gone through, you can map out a plan of your own. After all, these people were on television which, by definition, means that they know more than you.

On the following pages, you will learn techniques for greeting your date; engaging in entertaining and enlightening conversation while driving to your first location; finding amusing and sometimes exhausting activities; enjoying a conversation at dinner, preferably without slurping; intimate conversation; and what to do, in addition to puckering, when it comes time for the goodnight kiss.

These rules don't apply only to blind dates. They should work — or not — for any one-on-one dating situation. And, our lawyers want to add, there are no guarantees attached. Maybe what got one couple to the hot tub will land you alone in a shower stall with nothing to comfort you but soap-on-a-rope. Not our fault. Don't blame us. The dating world is a landscape fraught, if that's the word I'm looking for, with danger, intrigue, and way too much coffee. The whole experience can be a little nerve-wracking. Heck, it can be downright terrifying. But you have to admit, it beats the alternative.

Meet and Greet

DO ... greet your date with a cheery smile.

DON'T ... mutter darkly to yourself and lick your lips.

DO ... introduce yourself with a fun fact.

DON'T ... immediately describe in detail that hard-to-heal festering sore on the back of your knee.

DO ... offer a gift of flowers or candy.

DON'T ... try to pass off your old parking tickets as "Novelty Love Cards."

DO ... share some exciting ideas of where you might go on your date.

DON'T ... suggest any activity that takes place in your crawlspace.

It is often said by those who say such things, "You never get a second chance to make a good first impression." Although incredible advances in scientific research into the space-time continuum may one day prove this to be false, for the time being, this is a good thing to remember on a date. A blind date is something like a job interview — if you don't put your best foot forward at the beginning, there won't be any kind of payoff at the end, to say nothing of worker's benefits.

Of course, it's up to you to decide exactly which foot is your best. But it's always preferable to do a little preparation for that first moment when your date opens the door and drinks you in with his or her eyes.

Let's begin with the traditional favorite first date gift: flowers.

There are very few of us who wouldn't benefit from a little more color and beauty and from a more pleasant aroma. Of course, there are ways to accomplish these things over the long haul, but for a short-term result, flowers will help a great deal. As the poet Park Benjamin wrote, "Flowers are Love's truest language." But flowers also help you pave the road to love — they're the foundation of the good first impression. Sure, flowers are a cliché. But like other clichés — like, oh, "it ain't so much the heat as the humidity," for instance — they also ring pretty darn true. And if you have a face that's reminiscent of some of Earth's lower life forms or a figure that might serve as a tire advertisement, flowers can provide a nifty, if temporary, bit of camouflage.

There is an almost infinite variety of flowers and ways you can present them, and since you're making that all-important first impression, it would behoove you to give that presentation some serious thought. The lucky singles who have appeared on Blind Date have tried several variations on the floral theme — with varying degrees of success. If you find a technique that seems suitable for you, it might be a good idea to cross-reference the couple who used it elsewhere in this book. If they also show up in the "Dates From Hell" listings, you might want to go another way. But if they end up in the "Love Connections" or among the "Sexiest" dates, then maybe their first impression did its work.

Rob made a little treasure hunt out of his gift of flowers. When Constance came to his door, he led her to a huge display of teddy bears and gave her one. Then he read a little poem that directed her to another teddy bear — behind which was a bouquet. It took her forever to find the correct bear — even though its name was both in the poem and sewn in large letters across its stomach — but she was very pleased by the flowers nonetheless.

And so were the recipients of lovely bouquets of flowers in the dates of Vanessa and Jay, Kevin and Tania, Laura and Michael, Alyssa and Cameron, Jennifer and Tony, Heather and J.C., Jennifer and Keith, and Cheri and Brian, and many others. However, Shawn apparently misread the directions in the manual of love and brought Sarah ... flour. Get it? He's a kidder.

Some people, finding an entire bouquet of flowers too ostentatious or expensive, choose the simpler alternative of presenting their dates with a single rosebud. This is the way Neils introduced himself to Elissa and the offering Jason made to Trish. And, turnabout being fair play, Kristen brought just one rose when she met her date, Matt.

Eric, being of a thrifty nature, actually picked flowers in Kelly's yard as they were walking to the car. It's probably never a good idea to present your date with weeds in the first moments after you've met. But a gift of flowers can sometimes bring something unexpected. Yulia was so pleased with the flowers that Jason gave her that she shared something personal with him right away — she showed him the fetish cage that stands ominously in her living room. And the memory of that dark iron contraption continued to fascinate him for the remainder of the evening.

Of course, a more imaginative dater can think of another gift besides flowers, or flour — one that will tell your date a little something about yourself. Sometimes, though, that gift can tell your date something about you that you didn't intend, as when Rockabilly Joe presented his date Olivia with two ugly kewpie dolls, or when Pete presented Charlene with, for some reason, a giftwrapped can of Spam; at the end of the date, possibly inspired by his relentless jokes and even more relentless sweating, the can of Spam ended up in Charlene's garbage. That was very sad, as a more responsible place would have been the recycling bin.

El gave a T-shirt to Correnna. Maybe that could be construed as a romantic gift — until you noticed that the T-shirt bore the name of El's company. And that he urged her to put it on immediately and wear it throughout the date. He never actually asked her to make sure the logo was always pointed toward the Blind Date cameras. But it was implied. Once she put it on and they were driving along to their first activity, El said brightly, "I really appreciate it when a woman is well dressed."

In Atlanta, Jason was less commercial and more to the point when he offered Carmelle flowers and a book of erotic black poetry. However, since it turned out that Carmelle was celibate, with no intention of changing her status, the little volume of verse wasn't quite as effective as it might otherwise have been.

Kathleen, perhaps having heard that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, offered Mark a batch of homemade cookies.

Kevin decided to make his first impression both sophisticated and childish. He galloped up to Nancy's house on a stick horse, holding a bottle of champagne. She responded, "You're such a nut!" which was, apparently, precisely what Kevin wanted to hear. And then she added hopefully, "Are you a stallion?" which is probably just what he didn't want to hear. But actually, these two hit it off very well and Nancy later admitted the horse had been "an awesome gift."

Timothy was not quite as romantic-minded as Jason nor as imaginative as Kevin; he brought his date Deana a Gators hat. But Vinny started things off on a hopeful note when he offered Angel a homemade fortune cookie with a message reading, "You will have fun with a redhead." The cookie was good, but the fortune turned out to be faulty. These two pretty much hated each other from the word go.

And Matt apparently wanted to leave Jessica a gift of a, well, different nature. As soon as he got to her door, he asked to use her bathroom.

Of course, there is a school of thought that avoids the idea of gift-giving altogether, choosing to start the date with a hearty laugh. For some reason, on Blind Date, this almost always manifests itself in that most hallowed of comedy props: fake teeth. When Christine met Steven she had her front teeth blacked out. He said, with a not altogether delighted tone in his voice, "Oh, a comedian."

Kevin wore a huge fake afro when he introduced himself to Gigi. And Chris put in huge false teeth, messed up his hair, and introduced himself to Renae as if he were a deranged hillbilly. At first sight, she said, "Oh my god," and went running down the hall. After Chris reverted to his everyday appearance, Renae was extremely relieved. She said, "You scared my."

And fake teeth proved to be the introduction prop of choice for Katelin and Mark, Angel and Aaron, Rachel and Jeff, and Aaron and Nina. At least that last date ended up in the Jacuzzi, so maybe it was one of those cases where the fake teeth really did work.

When Shari came to Kyle's door, he pretended not to be himself. Yes, it's comedy, folks! And you can see where their date wound up by checking out "Dates from Hell!".

Some people find that they want to start things off by introducing their blind date to family, friends, or pets. This can work out well if it's important to show your new friend what a stable and sociable person you are. If, however, you introduce him or her to each of your thirty-eight cats, you might not be getting things started on the right foot.

When Melinda came to Adam's door, he introduced her to a roomful of his friends. She said, "It's like Melrose Place in here." When Janice met Denver she introduced him to her entire family — all women. Leland apparently wanted Marciela to know just what kind of a party guy he was, so he arranged for her to pick him up at his frat house, where his brothers hooted and hollered like, well, frat guys. And Jackie also lived in a frat house — the only female in a house with thirteen men. Todd was introduced around and seemed a little intimidated by the situation. And, as it turned out, the way they got along on the date pretty much assured that he was not going to become roomie number fourteen.

Christina, a single mom, also introduced D.P. to her entire family, including her baby daughter. This might have been a touching moment of bonding and familial warmth, except that D.P. had chosen to wear a "Who's Your Daddy?" T-shirt.

But, of course, there's family and there's family. For many single folk in the big city, pets are just like members of the family except that they are marginally more likely to drink out of the toilet. Jesselynn wanted Adam to meet her little Chihuahua and complained that she wanted to bring him along on the date. However, it didn't look like it was going to work out. Adam was, understandably, crushed.

But Misty did indeed bring her dog Tucker along on her date with Jerry. In fact, the dog became a vital part of the date's activities. They took him to get a bath, then surprised him with a treat from the doggie bakery. Misty told Jerry, "I like dogs more than I like people," which he had no trouble believing. The trouble was, Jerry soon fell under Tucker's spell as well. By the end of the date Misty was saying, "I think you like the dog better than you like me." And that seemed to be pretty accurate.

Theresa also brought her dog along on her date with Dillon, to no better results. And Joe introduced Maura to his three dalmatians, which he called "my kids." They took the kids along for part of the date, romping with them in the dog park. And when Stefanie met Patrick, her dogs escaped from her apartment. He dutifully helped her round them up. Which should have bought him some brownie points for a few minutes later when he neglected to open her car door for her — but she never forgave him for his horrible, unspeakable rudeness.

And Christy introduced Robert to pets that could actually talk back — her macaws.

The first visual impression is important, of course, but the first conversational exchange also helps set the tone for the rest of the date. For instance, Peter's first words to Alana were, "Long time no see." She had to agree.

In those opening moments, it's best to dwell on something positive. When Domenica met Paul she summoned up the most sincere compliment she could think of at the moment: "I'm glad you don't have big ears. I hate big ears."

In the car, Karolyn admitted that this was her first blind date ever. Scott gallantly replied, "Oh my god, you must be desperate!" which is a good clue as to why the date ended with a weak salute and a tepid handshake.

Brian took one look at Sharyon and said the words that every woman longs to hear: "At least you're cute."

And it's always good to be able to return a compliment graciously. When David met Elizabeth, Miss Toronto, he said with obvious relief, "You're cute, I'm happy." She was offended by this and replied — and she wasn't kidding — "Can I say you're not cute? I'm not happy."

Not that your first words have to be compliments or idle pleasantries. In a scene that seemed kind of appropriate, since the date took place in New York City, Joe broke the ice with Diana by informing her that someone had just died in her apartment building.

Courtesy is always a plus, as well. And if your date isn't courteous, you might consider busting him or her on it immediately. Really. You'll find that almost everyone appreciates being corrected or criticized by a virtual stranger. When Philip neglected to open the car door for Rocki, she let him know right away that she wasn't used to being treated in this brutal manner: "I'm not a modern day girl. Chivalry!" Needless to say, that kind of warmth permeated the entire date.

However, of all the ways to make a good first impression, it would be hard to top the way Laurie chose to introduce herself to Mike. Walking to his door, she unbuttoned her shirt completely so that his first view of her included what guys generally regard as a sight for sore eyes. Sure, it's probably not the way your parents met, but it really seemed to do the trick. These two got along very well for the rest of their date. Very well indeed.

But when all is said and done, the most important thing is to start out your date with a sense of optimism. As John and Pamela were leaving her apartment building, they passed two women in the hallway. John said to them, "Wish me luck, ladies." One of the women asked, "Are you getting married?" John replied, "Well, maybe." As it turns out, John and Pamela didn't get married. But his statement wasn't really made out of turn. You might take many things along with you on your blind date, but the most important one is a sense of hope.


Excerpted from The Blind Date by Frank Thompson. Copyright © 2001 Universal Studios Publishing Rights. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Frank Thompson is one of the producers of Blind Date and has written seventeen books along with numerous articles for The San Francisco Chronicle, The Miami Herald, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The San Antonio Express, and The Boston Globe. He has also written, directed, produced, and appeared in a number of documentary films. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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