LIFE

I Tried Letting My Mom Set Me Up On Blind Dates, And I’m Now Thankful For Dating Apps

by Olivia Jakiel
Olivia Jakiel is an experienced editor and writer residing in the magical and enchanting land of North Hollywood, CA. She enjoys baking, cooking, and long walks to the wine cellar with her dog, and also consumes rotisserie chicken at an extremely alarming rate. Bylines on HelloGiggles, MSN, Yahoo, Obsev, and more.

In an age where digital rules all, it can be hard to feel like you’re not always connected to your phone.

Think about it: Pretty much everything you need is accessible to you through a tiny screen that fits in your pocket. You can buy a plane ticket to Thailand, you can send money to your cousin for her high school graduation at the last minute (thanks, Venmo!), you can even go window shopping for men and women to potentially date — it’s wild. And with the number of dating apps that have popped up over the years, it can be really easy to get into the habit of creating profile after profile, talking to people who seem like they’re gonna be a good match, then going on a first date that crashes and burns — then doing it all over again.

I’ll be honest here: I’ve been around the block with dating apps, and I’ve started to wonder if it’s me or if it’s the selection of people on these apps. After all, I think I’m great, and I think I know the kind of guy I’d like to end up with. However, my track record says otherwise; as do all the family holidays and gatherings I’ve shown up to completely solo over the past five years.

What’s a girl to do?

Ask mom to help, duh.

Atinooch Jungwiwattanaporn for RockYou

So instead of letting Tinder’s and Bumble’s dumb algorithms try and match me up with my ~perfect guy~ I figured, why not have my mom — the one person who probably knows what’s best for me better than I do — pick my potential suitors, just this once?

 

Atinooch Jungwiwattanaporn for RockYou

What do you wear on a blind date? I don’t know, I’ve never been on one until now! You can’t go wrong with a Canadian tuxedo in my book, so I stuck with a simple denim-on-denim look, deemed it “chic enough,” and rolled with it.

Courtesy of LittleThings Author

I felt a little awkward as I walked up to the cute little French place where we’d decided to get a mid-workday glass of wine, not knowing whom I was going to meet. At least with dating apps, you get to do a mini (OK, probably major) FBI-like investigation before you actually agree to meet in person, so you kind of know what you’re going into.

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Look how sneaky I am! He didn’t even notice I took this! (Eventually, I told him, and he was cool with it.)

Courtesy of LittleThings Author

After a short introduction, we headed inside and picked up an assortment of macarons (who doesn’t love those little things?), ordered some wine from the happy hour menu, and settled into our outdoor table, which was nestled among the old, gorgeous buildings of downtown Los Angeles.

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After cheers-ing to our minidate, we settled into the basics and talked about things like work, hobbies, interests — typical first date stuff. The difference this time around was that I hadn’t come prepared with a plethora of information about my potential suitor via the internet, as I normally would.

 

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(This is the question I ask myself if I’m debating anything involving vino.)

Overall, the date was short and sweet, and Bachelor No. 1 was quite nice and genuine, but honestly, this whole “my mom setting me up on dates” thing might be a little too much pressure for me.

Atinooch Jungwiwattanaporn for RockYou

In real life, as opposed to “my mom has executive control over my love life” life, I would never schedule multiple dates on the same day. However, in this case, I thought it was acceptable, so I head into date No. 2 wearing the exact same outfit I wore to No. 1.

I briefly debated whether I should run home and change for Bachelor No. 2, but my gut told me to stay Canadian tuxedo strong, so I did. At the end of the workday, I headed to a library-themed bar not too far from my office (convenient, at least) and waited for my date.

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The bar is tucked away in a little nook next to a Mexican restaurant I decided I’d like to check out — on a second date, perhaps? — and I walked by it at first pass.

That’s when my anxiety kicked into overdrive. What if he’s in there and saw me? Do I look like a doofus? Oh wait, there’s no way he’s already in there unless he’s more anxious than I am — I’m 30 minutes early.

Atinooch Jungwiwattanaporn for RockYou

When I say that it is dark in this place, I mean, it is dark. Like, nothing-will-pick-up-on-your-camera, there-could-be-a-person-right-in-front-of-you-and-you-wouldn’t-know-it dark. Between the comfy couches and the quiet, library-themed atmosphere, I’m not sure whether I should order a drink while I wait for my date or take a nap.

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From the first text, it seemed we had similar senses of humor, at least. I had let mystery man No. 2 know what I was wearing so he’d be able to spot me. I was really hoping he would show up in double denim and we would be one, big, happy double-denim couple. Alas, that was not the case, but we ended up talking over drinks for about an hour and a half. From my dating experience, I consider that not too shabby!

Atinooch Jungwiwattanaporn for RockYou

If I’m being completely honest, I hardly ever go out — I’m kind of a homebody. When I do, it’s not on dates — it’s to bars with my guy friends, and I end up playing wing woman for them all night. Which is totally fine by me, because as I’ve found out, getting to know people is EXHAUSTING.

But I am committed to this experiment, so I’m heading to date No. 3 with an open mind — and an empty stomach.

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It turns out that my mom is doling out fashion advice along with dating guidance. OK, fine, mom, I’ll go along — but only because I’m obsessed with the top you’re talking about. (Also, thanks for buying it for me. You’re the best.)

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I know how to take selfies, I swear. However, my pup was being extra clingy before I left (he seemed to be as skeptical of this dating experiment as I was), so I had to squeeze in some last-minute snuggles before I jetted off to my last date.

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First of all, how beautiful is this beverage? My mom had directed me to a place just a few miles from my house that had fantastic reviews on Yelp. The brunch menu was right up my alley, but I was getting impatient waiting for Bachelor No. 3, who was running late. I finally called my mom to ask if she was sure she sent me to the right place and gave me the right time — she was acting a little strange, to be honest, and was beating around the bush with the details.

The woman can’t keep a secret to save her life, so after about seven seconds of my prying, she confessed to her little scheme.

“No one is coming to meet you,” she said. “I wanted you to take a little time for yourself and take yourself on a date, because you deserve a nice brunch, and it’s also important to remember to take care of yourself.”

I’m not crying. You’re crying.

Atinooch Jungwiwattanaporn for RockYou

What I’ve learned from this blind date experiment is pretty simple. While my mom doesn’t necessarily know exactly what I want and need when it comes to finding a potential life partner, she does know that it’s important to treat yourself kindly and open yourself up to new experiences — because if you aren’t willing to at least try something once, you’re kind of living life on the sidelines. And even if the game itself is exhausting, at least you’re in it.