For modern singles, there are three primary sources of stress: work, finances, and dating app profiles. It takes multiple drafts to answer Hinge‘s prompts with a reply that is as witty as it is genuine. It takes a deep dive into your camera roll to find six Bumble-worthy photos that show you’re attractive, social, oh, and normal. You want to project your best self out there into the dating app abyss, and you expect your potential matches to do the same. But what if we didn’t have to do any of this? That is: What if we went back to blind dating? With the advent of social media, especially dating apps and websites, the old-fashion set-up has been largely relegated to being the punchline in early-2000s sitcoms and movies. But believe it or not, blind dates might be the answer to your dating woes. Rachel Wright, a therapeutic relationship coach and the co-founder of Wright Wellness Center, let us in on some of the upsides of the increasingly elusive blind date.

Couple at a bar

1. It allows for actual first impressions. It’s impossible to avoid formulating some opinions about a person you’ve been texting, DMing, or calling. “[On a blind date], the first impression you get of this person is truly a first impression — not how they come off on text messages or phone calls,” Wright says. Digital exchanges aren’t always representative of the person’s disposition — c’mon, ever heard of the dreaded “bad texter?”

2. It’s straightforward. Too busy to navigate dating apps and force small talk at singles happy hours? Blind dating could your solution: All it takes is a few free hours and a mutual friend who likes playing matchmaker. “You don’t have to do anything to prepare for a blind date in terms of finding the person or interacting with them to lead up to meeting in person,” Wright says. “You just know, ‘I’m meeting so-and-so at this place at this time,’ and you can focus on the moment.”

3. It doesn’t prioritize appearance. If you’re typically into blonds, all it takes is a red-headed ‘do and a quick glance to make you swipe left. But on a blind date, it’s likely you’d be paired up with a person who isn’t your ideal “type,” per se. But Wright says that’s not a bad thing: “Due to the fact that you didn’t ‘pick’ them before the date, you might get to meet someone and enjoy the company of someone who you might not otherwise ‘pick.'” And, if you click, then fantastic, because what ultimately matters most is that your personalities complement each other.

4. It can lead to new friendships. There’s a reason social dating apps are popping up specifically for platonic relationships (think Bumble BFF, Tinder Social, etc.) — and that’s because no one uses dating apps for that purpose. “When we’re looking online or at dating apps, we’re looking through the lens of sexual and romantic attraction,” Wright says. But blind dating can alleviate some of that pressure and recast expectations. “When you’re set up on a blind date, even if they’re not a good romantic fit, you could meet a new friend.” And who doesn’t need more friends?

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