So I first read about CrazyBlindDate.com in the San Francisco Thrillist newsletter and I thought, “Wow, this sounds like a palm sweatingly fun adventure.” Unfortunately, it was only happening in a few select cities and Los Angeles was not one of them. A few weeks later I heard that they were trying it in new cities including L.A. I was kind of on the fence about doing it but my friend (who also signed up) convinced me that anyone who would sign up for this kind of thing had to be fun, or at least interesting, like ourselves.
The registration process begins with logging into, or signing up for, an OKCupid.com account and filling in a profile for CrazyBlindDate. I supplied them with some basic information like my name, age, gender, height, body type, ethnicity. Then answered few open ended questions like what I look like, “things I’m good at talking about” and what I expect from a date. You have to upload a picture but they blur it so potential dates can only really see that you aren’t invisible. After you meet they reveal the photo to your date, you know, in case you got too drunk to remember what your date looked like at the beginning of the night.
Once my information was all set they got into the whole deal of setting up a date. The site asked if I would like to go on a single or double date. At first I asked some friends to do the double date thing with me, you know so I can talk to them later about how great or awful our dates were. Since you can sign up for more than one potential date at a time I also signed up for a single as well, I thought it would be good chance for me to work on my game. I was able to specify what days and times I would be available for a rendez-vous, the site allows you to give your availability a week at time. It’s all very clinical but they try to make it fun with little quips and exclamation marks! There was another page or two of forms asking more open ended questions as well as areas of L.A. that you’d be willing to trek to. When you’re done with that all you just sit and wait.
It was a long while (about 4 days) before I finally got an email from CBD saying they had found a potential date for me. I’m guessing the user base started out pretty small since the site was so new, or new to L.A. at least. I didn’t get any potential dates matches for the double date I had signed up for. I logged into my account, took a look at his profile and choose one of the five options CBD gave of where we should meet up.
I was nervous going into it and I figured the best way to go about it was to not have any expectations and just treat it as a 30 minute conversation with a stranger (CBD recommends keeping date lengths at around 30 minutes). I wasn’t expecting to find someone actually dateable, partly because I like to think I’d probably never date someone who would sign up for a dating site. Irony! I was a little worried that I might have to sit there for another 20 minutes if I found him annoying or insulting in the first 10 minutes. Since I was worried about being late, I ended up getting there an 30 minutes early and sent a text to the CBD texting number which relays messages back and forth allowing me to talk to my date without having to exchange any kind of information. Even though I had tried not to expect anything, he wasn’t what I was expecting. He was indeed everything he had said in his profile, I think I just put the facts together differently in my head.
We actually got along pretty well and having a conversation was much easier than I had imagined it would be. Maybe it was the luck of the draw or maybe the CBD matchmaking robot actually works but we seemed to have quite a bit in common so far as interests go. We ended up talking for way past 30 minutes. It had been almost an hour and a half before we finally decided to call it a night. The ending was a little awkward when he asked if I wanted to exchange contact information. I remember the site saying that we could determine that afterwards during the follow-up. After your date you are supposed to log back in and rate how the date went. This helps the matchmaker robot find better dates for you in the future and positive reviews for you will mean you are considered for more potential dates.
It wasn’t a particularly good or bad experience, and I’ll probably do it again just to meet people and maybe collect some interesting first date stories. I think someone would have to go on a lot of crazy blind dates if he or she was looking for something more substantial, but you never know.