Recently, I found out blind dates are still a thing in this era. Disclaimer: In Real Life is a platform for everyday people to share their experiences and voices. All articles are personal stories and does not necessarily echo In Real Life\u2019s sentiments. Over coffee one day, my close friend Syukri confided in me, \u201cI\u2019ve been going on blind dates for the past few months.\u201d Syukri is 26, has fair skin and dark eyes. He wears hair dyed ash silver that makes him look like an anime character. He is the oldest of 6 siblings, and is described as a "family guy".\u00a0 I\u2019ve known him as one of the kindest friends among his group, and is definitely a ride or die partner in a relationship. Hearing him say he has started going for blind dates surprised me. \u201cSeriously? I never thought that blind dates were still a thing \u2014 how does it work?\u201d I asked curiously. \u201cA blind date is basically when one\u2019s parents set you up on a date with a colleague or client's children,\u201d he said, smiling in embarrassment. How every blind date starts Each blind date starts with his parents and the girl\u2019s parents meeting up at the arranged location to introduce their children to each other. After that, the two people will continue their date alone while getting to know each other.\u00a0 One of his recent dates was with a young woman named Siti, at a cafe near his house in KL. It was one of his most awkward dates, as she was only 19 years old, which made it a 7-year age gap.\u00a0 \u201cI remember thinking she was way too young to get married. I don\u2019t understand why her parents would want their daughter to get married this soon,\u201d he said, scratching his head. Throughout the date, Siti kept starting conversations that seemed tailor-made for his interests. \u201cIt was totally scripted,\u201d he said, cringing. \u201cShe brought up stories related to cars, food and gaming, which was oddly specific. When I asked her what her other interests were, she said car modification and gaming,\u201d he shared. \u201cI thought, this sounds good....way too good to be true.\u201d\u00a0 Syukri guessed that she would have probably have had a conversation with the other girls that he had gone on blind dates with. Hence, she knew quite a fair bit about him. Either that, or she is just really good at reading people.\u00a0 After an hour, he started feeling really uncomfortable and had lost interest in the date. It felt like she wasn\u2019t herself and he couldn't really get to know the real her.\u00a0 So he made up an excuse to leave the date. "But she didn't take the hint! Instead, she gave reasons to keep me from leaving by suggesting other places that she would like to continue the date with. This made me feel even more uncomfortable," he shared. In the end, she finally gave up when he told her he had an emergency and he really needed to leave, but he could see the disappointment in her eyes.\u00a0 Since then, she continued texting Syukri after the date, but he did not reply to her as he did not want to give her hope.\u00a0 Each girl knows all the other girls that Syukri has gone on a blind date with\u00a0 Since 2013, Syukri has rejected many girls. In his own words, he said, "I am not proud of it and I have some regrets for doing so."\u00a0 Up till now, he has gone on over 10 blind dates, with 10 different girls.\u00a0 \u201cIt\u2019s super awkward if it does not work out,\u201d Syukri shifts uncomfortably, \u201cbecause I will eventually have to meet these girls at family or corporate events.\u201d \u201cWhen I walk into these events, I feel weird having to to say \u201cHi!\u201d to all of them while they talk about their dates among each other.\u201d Not only are they friends of his family, they\u2019re all friends with each other. To escalate the pressure, the girls will try to compete among each other to win his heart.\u00a0 One time, he went on a date, and she had told him conversationally that she actually knew the girl that he went out with the day before. She then asked him, point-blank: \u201cHow did it go?\u201d\u00a0 You can imagine the sweat running off his pores. Not knowing how to respond, instead he told her, \u201cIt went... well.\u201d How is that not weird, right?\u00a0 Syukri\u2019s parents have doubled their efforts His parents are very disappointed at this point, but they still did not give up. By the time I write this, they\u2019ve already started setting him up on another date at his home due to CMCO. \u201cI said no!\u201d Syukri said. \u201cI felt like it was too weird for me to meet a stranger at my home.\u201d\u00a0 One of the reasons behind his fear of dating is because it brings back the past. He still remembers the look on his ex-girlfriend's face when he broke it off with her, and all the sadness it has caused him. "The thought of getting close to someone that I am unsure of scares me," he admitted quietly.\u00a0 At this point, he feels, his parents are desperate for him to find a girl to get married as soon as possible. I asked him why his parents are so desperate for him to get married. \u201cTill today, the reason why my parents set me up on these blind dates remains a mystery. My mom used to be really strict back in the day and would always tell me I can\u2019t have a girlfriend until I have a stable income. To my surprise, she now gives in and is even encouraging me to get a girlfriend.\u201d\u00a0 Does Syukri want to get married himself? \u201cI think my parents mean well, but at the end of the day, I\u2019m looking for a real connection that careful preparation, setting up and blind dates cannot replace.\u201d I looked at him, this kind, charming, young guy, and wondered what would be the personality of the princess that he will sweep off her feet? \u201cHonestly, I\u2019m just looking for someone who has a strong heart and most importantly someone who just gets me. I have my own flaws as I\u2019m quite bad tempered and egoistic. I'm sure most girls would be turned off by this. So it\u2019s hard to get someone that is able to get through this with me, but I\u2019ve been trying my best to change over the last few months," he said candidly. As we sat there together in companionable silence, I realised I would never want to be set up on a blind date, ever. For one thing, I don\u2019t think my parents know the type of guy I\u2019m interested in. And for another, the pool of candidates are restricted to sons of their friends \u2014 meaning I probably already know most of their candidates.\u00a0 Finally, I asked him what his life plans are. \u201cOf course I want a relationship, but at the same time I think I\u2019m better off alone. I tend to overthink a lot. I have a lot of doubts about whether I am good enough to be in one just yet," Syukri mused. "At the moment, I\u2019ll just go along with these dates that my parents set me up on. And if I really do find someone I click with, why not?\u201d He grinned. Would you mind if your parents set you up on a blind date or are you against it? Let us know in the comments!