Blind Girl Dates

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I’ve lived somewhat of a nomadic existence for the past few years, moving to various cities (and countries) with my job at Elizabeth Arden, from New York to Geneva, and now completing my master’s degree in Boston.

One of the hardest parts about picking up your life and moving to a new place is leaving family and friends behind. You can live in the most beautiful city in the world but it’s never as much fun if you don’t have anyone to share the experience with. While technology has made it easier to keep in touch, there’s no replacement for pure human interaction.

Whether it’s de-compressing after work with a glass of wine, catching up over coffee, or adventuring around town on the weekend, having a support system is all part of a healthy work-life balance.

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Making new girlfriends is not nearly as easy as it used to be. In Kindergarten you could share your Dunkaroo snack pack and be swapping friendship bracelets by recess. As an adult, most people already have an established group of pals. It’s a bit more nerve-wracking to approach someone that you’ve never met before. I guess there’s always tinder but for some reason I’m still weary of meeting strangers via an app (also not sure platonic friendships is exactly what it’s used for these days).

Instead, I’ve been set-up the old fashioned way – on what I like to call “blind girl dates!”

When I moved to Boston, the first thing people from back home said to me was, “oh I know someone who lives there! You should meet them.” Then they proceeded to CC both of us in an introductory e-mail. Something along the lines of:

“Hi, my friend Louise just moved to the city and I think you would hit it off. I’ll let you two take it from here.”

Then the ball is in your court to keep up the e-mail banter and ask this person out on a girl date. At some point you’ll exchange numbers and arrange a time and place to meet. Having a mutual friend makes me feel a bit more comfortable about blindly showing up to meet a complete stranger. Knowing that someone has vouched for me, as well as them, eases my nerves slightly (and there’s someone to blame if it goes array…just kidding!)

As with any first date, drinks or coffee is always a safe bet. You don’t have to sit awkwardly through an entire meal and there’s something to hold and stir (I never know what to do with my hands).

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I first met Kim on a blind girl date. We were set up by a mutual friend from Canada and decided to grab drinks at Belly Wine Bar in Cambridge.

I got a little lost trying to find it (it’s below The Blue Room, very confusing for a newbie!) so I warned her that I’d be a few minutes late.

The room was darkly lit with romantic mood lighting. I scanned for a girl sitting alone that vaguely resembled the grainy, side-view of her face I’d crept twenty minutes earlier on Facebook. (Our technological world is very strange but how else was I supposed to recognize her?)

I saw someone that fit the bill so I cautiously opened with: “Hi, are you Kim?”
(not wanting to be embarrassed if it wasn’t her and also not wanting to pretend like we clearly hadn’t crept each other online beforehand).

Lucky for me it was and we immediately hit it off. The conversation flowed naturally and we ordered a bottle of wine and a cheese plate to share (my kinda girl!)

We’ve become great friends and since then have met up on multiple girl dates, including cocktails and sushi at Sip, a Lauryn Hill concert at The Wilbur and taking in a Red Sox vs. Blue Jays game at Fenway.

I now strongly believe in allowing yourself to take a blind leap of friendship faith.

Itinerary for a “Girl Day Date” in Boston

– Meet at Blackbird Doughnuts for a cup of coffee and doughnut to go (dark chocolate and raspberry is my favorite!)

– Walk to Boston Common & Public Garden (10 mins)

– Peruse the shelves at Brattle Book Shop (outdoor bookstore) across from Boston Common

– Take a Swan Boat ride ($3.50) around the Lagoon in the Public Garden

– Head down Boylston St. and check out the Boston Public Library (the outdoor courtyard looks like you’ve stepped into a European palace)

– Walk back up Newbury St. for some window shopping and if you’re looking to re-fuel, stop at The Thinking Cup for some Stumptown cold brew (my favorite Portland import), a gourmet grilled cheese, quinoa salad or a macaroon

– If you’re still having fun chatting, head over to Beacon Hill to check out the cobblestones and Acorn St (the most photographed street in America)

– Once your feet are tired from walking and your veins depleted of caffeine, plan to meet up again for drinks soon!

Louise shares her Boston experiences as a newcomer, including her experience on “Blind Girl Dates”. Check out all of Louise’s posts here – and be sure to catch up with her on her blog (we are obsessed with her travel section), and on Twitter and Instagram.

Photo credit: Louise Johnson

 

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