THE BLIND DATE CHALLENGE- BDC redux: Where are they now?

It's always fun to read about blind dates– the good, the bad, and the ugly. But did you ever wonder what happens after the date? Does anyone actually go out a second time, or are they just being nice when they give each other high marks? Matchmaker checked in with some of the couples who said they'd consider a second date to see if sparks continued to fly, or if the romance never got off the ground.

JOSH AND SOPHIE

October 9, 2003

When Matchmaker set up 26-year-old surgery resident Josh* with 27-year-old grad student Sophie*, early signs were positive. Both are smart, well-traveled and educated. In addition, each is Jewish and had expressed a preference for someone who shared their religious background. Following dinner at Southern Culture, the duo headed to Orbit for a few games of billiards. As '80s music played, the flirting heated up, and a second date seemed a definite

Sophie: Josh* and I went out four or five times. Then, we both were busy and out of town a lot with the holidays, and things sort of fizzled. Chalk it up to that mysterious, unpredictable, inchoate thing called chemistry. It was a good experience and a lot of fun, but alas, did not result in a love connection.

Josh: Did not respond

KATE AND PETER

October 23, 2003

Adorable, adventurous Kate, a 20-year-old UVA undergrad, swept into the Hook's office last fall, saying she was ready to take the Challenge. Peter, a 24-year-old grad student nominated by his female friends, who said he was "hot," seemed a good fit. The two had a wintery date– ice skating and then treats at the Mudhouse. After a "nice little kiss," they seemed likely to meet again...

Kate: Hmmmmmm... well, we continued to date for two months, and then it fizzled. We're keeping it friendly, though.

Peter: Kate and I dated for about two months or so, but we stopped dating [back in February]. We're still friends. Kate and I had a lot of fun together; she's a really warm, genuine person. I just think we look for different things in relationships, and we're at different points in our lives. She will definitely make the right guy extremely happy, though.

JOANIE AND MATT

January 8, 2004

He was a 27-year-old lawyer, new to town and trying to meet people. She was a 24-year-old Hook ad rep who wanted to try out the Challenge. They went to Vivace for dinner, but the date stretched on into the wee hours at South Street Brewery. Both were definite about a second date. So what happened?

Joanie: Matt and I went out a few more times, but only as friends. We still see each other occasionally, but I think we both agreed that we're better suited as friends. Since then, I've met someone I'm seeing seriously, but I still see Matt once in a while.

Matt: Did not respond

JACOB AND GRACE

January 22, 2004

Both 39-year-old professors (though at different schools), Jacob and Grace seemed to have much in common: Both are liberal and athletic, and both have two young kids. They met at Fuel on the corner of Ninth and Market streets for dinner, but somehow managed to make post-dinner visits of each of their homes. Jacob, who had just moved to Charlottesville, said he'd go out again. Grace said she saw it more as a friendship– but does that ever really happen?

Jacob: You know, it was really a pretty major moment in my new life. It was the first date that I'd been on in 15 years, the first blind date ever. I'd been in town, alone, for about two weeks. I was feeling a bit lost, truth be told. It gave me just the little kick I needed to get out there, the confidence that I could set out on this new trip and not be totally terrified, that in fact it wasn't going to be all that bad.

And yes, Grace has become a good pal, and I've met a lot of people through her. If I were to sum it all up, it helped me realize that it's not about wolves and sheep (a thinly veiled metaphor, I realize), but about possibilities, about connections. Simple, but damn, so important.

Grace: I like Jacob very much, and we've become good friends. He was new to Charlottesville when I met him, and he teaches at JMU so he doesn't know the UVA crowd. I've been here a while, so I've tried to introduce him to interesting people here. I even set him up with a friend of mine. He's moving again soon, and I hope we'll stay in touch.

BILL AND JUDY

February 5, 2004

Forty-nine-year-old accountant Bill met 52-year-old animal lover and running coach Judy for dinner at Zocalo on the Downtown Mall, and they seemed to have a warm rapport. Would they go out again? Matchmaker asked. "Yes," they both answered. But did they?

Bill: Since my date with Judy, we went out one other time, to a UVA men's basketball game. I was busy with work until last Thursday, April 15.

Judy: Did not respond

DRAKE AND MELINDA

March 4, 2004

Melinda*, a single mom and teacher, said she had a hard time getting out to meet new people, so Matchmaker set to work. When Drake*, a 41-year-old lawyer and education expert, walked into the Hook office one day on unrelated business, Matchmaker couldn't resist the temptation to set the two up. In no time, they were out for dinner at Blue Bird Café. His comments about her "deep, beautiful sapphire eyes," combined with her admission about end-of-date smooching left Matchmaker convinced these two hadn't seen the last of each other.

Melinda: Since our first date, we have seen each other about once a week. I'm a little unclear on his perspective, but I have had a great time getting to know him. He is cuter every time I see him, and I really admire that he's a great dad.

Drake: We've seen each other quite a bit. I enjoy getting to know her. We have lots of fun together.

ERIN AND STEPHEN

April 1, 2004

For Erin and Stephen's blind date, the Ivy Inn pulled out all the stops, serving what the couple called a "spectacular" eight-course meal specially prepared for their visit. When asked if they would see each other again, Erin, a 25-year-old med student, and Stephen a 27-year-old answer had some surprising news: "We already have." Did love blossom?

Stephen: We saw each other the week after the date at my Barhoppers play (which was interesting since it was about a blind date with a medical student), but we haven't seen each other since then. Entirely my fault. I got caught up in thesis and other work and haven't called.

Erin: The BDC article described the date accurately. We had a great time and seemed to hit it off. The Sunday (after the Friday date) I went to Orbit with a girlfriend and saw his Barhopper show. Stephen came up and said hello at the end of the evening, said he was glad we came. He was busy that night, but wanted to hang out, and said he'd call Monday or Tuesday. I never heard from him again.

A week later, I sent him an email saying I'd be available such and such days if he still wanted to hang out. I had hoped we'd see more of each other, and, perhaps naively, assumed that Stephen was being sincere in his words and actions. Anyway, after the article came out, I sent him another email just asking if something had changed in his life or mind to explain not having heard from him. I was still somewhat confused and hoping for an explanation if nothing else. Now a month has passed since the whole ordeal, and I'm just writing it off as a strange episode.

From friendship to romance to the old no-call trick, it seems you never know what'll happen after the date. But isn't that what makes it so interesting? For your chance at the BDC, contact

challenge@readthehook.com

*Name has been changed.