THE BLIND DATE CHALLENGE- Chemical reaction: It takes more than molecules

The background

When Joshua,* a UVA fourth-year majoring in biology and chemical engineering, signed up for the BDC last December, Matchmaker knew she had her work cut out for her.

Not that Josh isn't a catch. Really, who wouldn't want to date someone whose life's ambitions include winning a Nobel Peace Prize and saving the world? But considering Josh's undying love for his neuroscience research, Matchmaker felt she had to find him someone who could keep up in a brainy conversation.

It took a few months to find the type of girl Matchmaker had in mind, but here's hoping that third-year bio whiz Meghan was worth the wait...

*names have been changed

The date

Meghan and Josh met up for dinner at Bashir's on the Downtown Mall.

Did you do anything out of the ordinary before the date, to plan for it?

Meghan: No.

Josh: Well, I got a haircut, which I don't normally do before dates.

What did you wear?

Meghan: Jeans with slouchy black boots over them, a hot pink longer top, a military-inspired jacket, and a black pashmina. Also big earrings.

Josh: A French blue shirt, an orange tie, black belt, and tan khakis.

Were you first or second to arrive?

Meghan: Second.

Were you nervous?

Meghan: I'm always a bit nervous before blind dates.

Josh: I started to get a little edgy. I couldn't figure out where to put my hands.

When did you calm down?

Meghan: As soon as I walked into the restaurant.

Josh: I felt better when I realized we were so involved in our conversation that the waitress had to come back twice before we were ready to order.

First impression:

Meghan: He was well-dressed and seemed polite.

Josh: Cute, well-dressed, although she had these crazy high-heeled cowboy boots. I mean, I generally don't notice women's shoes, but these were exceptional. Not that they looked bad, I had just never seen anything like them before.

Would you say this person was your type?

Meghan: I don't really have a type.

Josh: I don't really have a type; a good person is a good person.

How did you like their style?

Meghan: I liked the fact that he was dressed nicely.

Josh: For the most part I liked it, though I'd have to say she's more adventurous than I am.

At Bashir's

Had you been to the restaurant before?

Meghan: No.

Josh: Nope, but one of my professors had recommended it.

Did you order drinks?

Meghan: No.

Josh: Just water. I want to be a liver surgeon; it'd be a little weird if I drank a lot.

What did you have to eat?

Meghan: We both had an entrée, but no appetizers or dessert.

Did you share meals?

Josh: We ordered the same thing, so it'd be a little weird if we had.

How was the food?

Meghan: Our meals were on one big plate with many small samplings of food around it. The hummus was great.

Josh: I liked it a lot. Each part was very well done.

How was the service in the restaurant?

Meghan: Great.

Josh: Amazing. My glass of water never went below half-full.

How was the conversation?

Meghan: Really good. There weren't any awkward silences.

Josh: Excellent. We really had very little time when we weren't talking. I felt like it was kind of strained at some points but not a lot– maybe 20 minutes total.

What did you talk about?

Meghan: What we are studying in school, what we want to do when we graduate, the different places we have lived.

Josh: Everything. Why we both hate pre-meds, scientific research, travel.

Did you have a lot in common?

Meghan: Yes, we're both on the medical track in school, and we've both lived in India.

What did you find out that was interesting about this person?

Meghan: He's an expert skier.

Josh: I was born in India, yet she has lived there longer than I have.

What was your date's best characteristic?

Meghan: He's very charismatic and easy to talk to.

Josh: There was no one thing that stood out. I guess she was pleasant all-around.

Was there anything you really disliked?

Meghan: The only thing was that he talked a lot about his science research, and sometimes it's nice to talk about things other than school, work, etc.

Josh: No, I don't think so.

Did your date do anything that impressed you?

Josh: I was impressed that she lived in India longer than I had. Also, her parents' jobs were pretty cool (teacher and CIA agent).

Any awkward moments?

Josh: At one point, not all the food in my fork got in my mouth. It was momentarily awkward, at least for me. She didn't seem to care that much.

Was there "chemistry" between you?

Meghan: Not that I recall.

Josh: As someone with a minor in chemistry, you really need more molecules to have any reaction. In other words, it wasn't the "love at first sight" kind of chemistry, but we got along well.

We'll take your word for it, Josh...–MM

How did dinner end?

Meghan: We went outside and walked down the Downtown Mall because a friend of mine was picking me up, and he was headed to West Main café to meet up with people.

Josh: We finished everything on our plates. This is a weird question.

That was a weird response!

A hug? A kiss?

Meghan: A hug.

What was the VERY end like?

Josh: I asked her if she wanted to do this again, and she said, "Yeah sure."

Did you have fun?

Meghan: Yes.

Josh: Yes.

Did you make plans for a second date?

Meghan: No.

Josh: We decided it would be a good idea, but we didn't pick a place or time.

Overall experience?

Meghan: It was really fun. It was nice to meet someone new and hang out with him over a nice dinner and with good conversation.


An enjoyable two hours.

On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the date?

Meghan: 7

Josh: 8