THE BLIND DATE CHALLENGE- Time limit: Moving plans damper date

The background

"I'm pretty open in terms of whom I'd like to meet," wrote in Leah*, a 27-year-old graduate student.

Those words are music to Matchmaker's ears, since a good attitude almost always results in a better date (take note, future challengers!).

She continued, "I'm looking for someone a little older, professional, with no kids."

Well, maybe Leah's not as undemanding as Matchmaker initially believed, but that's what she's here for, to match someone's description of his or her dream mate to a real life person; in this case, Bryan*.

A little older? Bryan's friends informed Matchmaker he's in his mid-30s.

Professional? In addition to teaching high school, Bryan is an allegedly "amazing" photographer.

No kids? No problem. Bryan has never been hitched and has no children, although, his friends wrote, "He loves shooting weddings– won't you please help him find a bride so we can photograph his sometime soon?"

Matchmaker can't make any guarantees about marital bliss, but if there's one thing she's learned in this business, it's never to say never...

*names have been changed

The date

Leah and Bryan met for dinner at South Street Brewery near the Downtown Mall.

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

Leah: I drank a beer.

Bryan: No. I did think about what I was going to wear. My friends I teach with all had ideas for me.

What did you wear?

Leah: White shirt, gray pants. Hmm, sounds kind of boring now.

Bryan: I went with the standard: blue shirt and khakis.

Were you first or second to arrive?

Leah: Second.

Bryan: I figured it was best for me not to be late so she wouldn't have to wait.

What did you do while waiting?

Bryan: Glanced at the menu and decided what kind of wine to drink.

Were you nervous or excited?

Leah: Excited to meet someone new, but not nervous.

Bryan: I was a little bit nervous because I didn't know what to expect. This was literally my first blind date.

When did you calm down?

Bryan: After we began talking.

First impression:

Leah: That he wasn't really my type physically, but seemed like a nice, normal-looking person.

Bryan: Leah is a beautiful person!

Would you say this person was your type?

Leah: Not really.

Bryan: Yes. We share a lot in common.

How did you like their style?

Leah: It seemed like he put effort into his appearance. Well done.

Bryan: I liked it a lot. She was well-dressed and obviously well-educated.

At South Street

Had you been to the restaurant before?

Leah: To drink, never to eat.

Bryan: Many times!

Did you order drinks?

Bryan: Yes. She ordered a beer, and I ordered a glass of wine.

What did you have to eat?

Leah: We shared a chicken tostada for an appetizer, which was great.

Bryan: For entrees, she had salmon, and I had chicken sate.

How was the food?

Leah: It was great. I didn't know the food was so good!

Bryan: I really enjoyed the food. I didn't eat all of it, but only because we were talking so much.

Did you share meals? Sample each other's dinners?

Leah: I tried his food– very tasty.

Bryan: I'm not much of a fish person, but her salmon wasn't bad.

How was the service?

Leah: Good. The waitress was attentive without hovering.

Bryan: Excellent. The waitress let us sit there and talk; she didn't interrupt a lot. The staff at South Street has always been very nice to me when I've eaten there.

How was the conversation?

Leah: Great! We talked nonstop for three hours.

Bryan: Great! Both of us like to talk and hang out, so we felt comfortable talking a lot.

What did you talk about?

Leah: Travels, teaching, our families, living in Charlottesville, photography, religion, etc.

Bryan: Everything from how we would rate each other in the Hook to our traveling experiences. We share the same lust for adventure!

Did you have a lot in common?

Leah: I think so. We certainly had a lot to talk about.

Bryan: I felt like we did. She seems like she is the type of person who would try anything and has a fairly adventurous side, but not over the top. I'm like that as well. I love to travel, experience new cultures, and photograph my adventures.

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

Leah: All his travels. He had a lot of great stories but was really modest about everything he's done.

Bryan: Many things, including her career in psychology and her travels.

What was your date's best characteristic?

Leah: He seems to be doing something he loves and really seems to enjoy life in spite of being busy.

Bryan: She's a beautiful person, but that only goes so far. I really enjoyed talking with her. It sounds cheesy, but she's a really easy person to have a conversation with.

What was the most memorable moment of the date?

Bryan: Maybe when I spilled my water all over the table. We had just finished talking about what we would put for the "something out of the ordinary" question, and I said, "No one has spilled a drink or anything." Guess who tipped over his water 10 minutes later.

Was there anything you really disliked?

Leah: Nope!

Bryan: All good from my end.

Did your date do anything that impressed you?

Leah: He's planning a prom!

Bryan: She impressed me in a lot of ways. She's very articulate, funny, and she has a great zest for life!

Was there "chemistry" between you? Interesting body language?

Leah: Is good conversation chemistry? If so, then yes, although I don't think there was chemistry in a va-va-voom! sort of way.

Bryan: I'm not sure there was any chemistry simply because when the date started, she very quickly mentioned she was moving to California. So I assumed she wasn't looking for a relationship a few months before she was moving across the country.

Did anything out of the ordinary happen?

Leah: He spilled some water. (I was glad he did, so I'd have an answer to this question!)

How did dinner end?

Leah: We put our forks down and got the check. Pretty standard.

Bryan: She had work to finish, and I had to teach the next day, so we decided to wrap things up and head home.

Did you decide to go somewhere afterwards?

Leah: No, it was already sort of late, and we both had some work to do (How dorky does that sound?)

Bryan: We didn't, just because of the time.

What was the VERY end like?

Bryan: We walked out to the parking lot and said goodbye.

Leah: Oh, if only I had something scandalous to report. There was some walking, there was some talking...

Did you walk each other to the car?

Leah: Partway.

Bryan: We were close to her car, but not right up to it.

A hug? A kiss?

Leah: We agreed to say that there was a handshake.

Bryan: Neither. I never kiss on the first date.

Did you have fun?

Leah: Sure! A free, tasty meal and some good conversation– pretty darn good for a Monday night!

Bryan: A wonderful time!

Did you make plans for a second date?

Leah: We talked about going hiking.

Bryan: We exchanged phone numbers and might get together sometime– no definite plans.

Overall experience?

Leah: A nice time. It definitely exceeded my expectations. Since I'm moving pretty soon, I didn't really go into it thinking that something long-term would happen.

Bryan: I would like to take this time to publicly thank Leah for a great evening!

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

Leah: 8

Bryan: 10!