By now, you've heard all the horror stories about blind dating: Your date will end being way older than you, they're former convicts, or worse, you'll get kidnapped. It's time to put these misconceptions aside and get a grip, because if you haven't been on a blind date yet, chances are, if you're single, you're going to go on one at some point.
"Blind dates are extremely common and if you're not going on them you're missing out on fun opportunities to meet someone new," says author and dating expert Tracey Steinberg, who is based in New York City.
Essentially, a blind date is a date when you're meeting someone for the first time, generally without contacting them beforehand. Blind dates could be set up by a close friend, a family member, a matchmaking service or an online dating site.
Often, you may be set up for a blind date when you're not necessarily looking to date. If someone you know says they have someone you may like (or have the potential to like), go in with an open mind, Steinberg says. And if you really want to meet someone new, tell your friends and family what you're looking for instead of waiting for them to come to you.
And like any date, blind dates are about exploring your options and not giving up on love if one goes wrong.
"As a general rule, the more people you meet, the better the chances are that you'll meet someone special," Steinberg says.
Here are 11 things Steinberg says you should consider before going on your first blind date. Have any rules to share? Let us know in the comments below: