For Valentine’s Day, The Advocate’s writers decided to ignore our own lackluster love lives and play matchmaker to see if two Corvallis strangers could make a connection without the help of online dating or matched profiles.
Kate is a 23 year-old civil engineering graduate student who loves to salsa. Dan is an adventurous 25 year-old pursuing a degree in construction management. Can these budding builders engineer a great first date?
Do you have a type of person you typically date or are attracted to?
Kate: Authenticity is important. I typically date people who have the same interests as me.
Dan: Not particularly. Obviously if they are fit and active there is an immediate attraction. I personally like to see a small quirk to their physical appearance; it is usually something that adds an adorable nature, like freckles, or blinking a lot, or things along that line.
When was your last date? How did it go?
Kate: My last date was a few weeks ago. It was fun for me, but it did not end well. I was under the impression that we were just hanging out as friends or on a casual date, but he had different ideas.
Dan: It is very difficult to fit in free time during school for a good date night, so they are few and far between during classes. My last date went well, but nothing came of it because I left to come back to Corvallis very soon after it.
Do you have a pre-date routine?
Kate: I am not sure if I have one. I thought about what I am going to wear yesterday. I wasn’t sure if I should wear a dress or jeans.
Dan: Nope. Wing it, and act like yourself. It’s the best way to approach in my eyes.
Did you talk to your friends before this date?
Kate: Yes, I did. I told them about the process, because it was something new and interesting. They did not say much, because I told them that this is a casual/light thing. I am sure we will have more to discuss after the date.
Dan: Not really. I did bring up the fact that I was going on a date on Thursday with some friends, but other than that, I really didn’t have any other information to go off of.
The Advocate staff admits to lurking in the shadows at Aqua’s bar when the duo first met. Both were well dressed and smart looking. They seemed to laugh easily and body language was open and engaged: No texting, arms crossed or looking out the window for this couple. It could have been the blue tint of the aquarium they were sitting next to, but it seemed like these two were glowing while they sat and chatted.
What was your first impression of your date?
Kate: He was very polite and gentle. I noticed that I have seen him before, but I couldn’t remember where.
Dan: Definitely not disappointed in any manner. She was pretty, and honestly not what I was expecting. It was definitely a pleasant surprise. I thought she would be rather quiet at first, but she was very good at holding a conversation.
How did conversation flow?
Kate: We were talking constantly back and forth. I think we had a good flow going the entire time.
Dan: Usually on a date, I will ask a lot of questions and listen, while adding in a little of my own experiences, but this date was far more balanced. She questioned just as much as she answered, and I would like to believe we both got a very strong feel for each other’s personalities.
Any awkward moments?
Kate: When Dan said he would walk me home, I said “I hope you do not have a ski mask in your pocket.” It was supposed to be funny, but it probably was a bit too much of silly me on the first date.
Dan: Not really. I have a hard time recognizing awkward moments, it seems more amusing and fun to me when something is awkward, not necessarily odd and out of place.
Any awesome moments?
Kate: We realized that we both are part of the same department (civil and construction engineering), we have a ton of mutual friends and we have even met before at the climbing gym. What a small world!
Dan: When we were looking at drinks, she scanned through the drink menu…and then asked for a beer. Huge points for that one in my eyes. A woman that can easily drink a beer displays a whole different type of attractiveness beyond the physical. Personally I believe it shows a relaxed side to a person.
How did the date end?
Kate: Dan suggested that we go get a drink at my favorite bar in town at the end of the dinner and I thought that was a great idea. We went and each had another drink and he walked me home. So, it went well. I think.
Dan: We left [Aqua] and went to [Les Caves] after dinner for a couple more drinks and dessert. The waffle dessert is AMAZING!!!
Would you go out with her/him again?
Kate: Maybe, we talked about doing various things together during the dinner: rock climbing, salsa dancing and some other things. I thought that he was very sweet and gentle. I had a great time. So, we will see what happens.
Dan: I would say yes, but at this point it is more about getting to know her outside of a dating scenario, and more in a social environment. She seemed like a lot of fun. Definitely seems like someone I could actually hang out with.
by Bridget Egan