How does Chem 101 work? Charlotteans fill out this 37-question Agenda Chem 101 Survey about their make-or-breaks, their ideal types and their perfect dates. Then the Agenda plays matchmaker by sending couples out on blind dates. Below are the results.
Welcome to Blind Date, the Agenda’s blind date series.
This is the latest in a multi-part series in which I match single Charlotteans of all ages.
Applicants sent me a few details on things like their views on politics, religion and marriage and trusted me to send them on a true blind date.
Those selected don’t know anything about their date except the essentials – name, age and one thing that I thought would make them a good match. They don’t even get to see a picture.
After sifting through over 1,100 applicants, I set aside several pairs and, based on their survey answers, set up a date I thought they’d enjoy.
Next up: Katie and Jonathan.
Katie is a consultant in her late twenties living in South End whose best friend describes her as “fun-loving, adventurous, loyal, athletic, blunt, hardworking and independent.” Her favorite things to do in the city include anything with her friends, patios or rooftops and being outside.
Jonathan, who is in his mid-thirties, works in healthcare and has been in Charlotte for just a couple of months. So far, he’s found that his favorite things to do here include exploring Charlotte’s ever-expanding brewery scene and meeting new people. His best friend would say he’s “kindhearted and a great listener.”
I matched the two of them because you have the same taste in music and books, both value traveling, have the same views on the best and worst parts of Charlotte and seem to be driven in their careers. When it comes to first dates, they both mentioned appreciating having an activity, and what’s better than an activity with food sprinkled in?
We sent them to Savor 7th, 7th Street Market’s annual fall fundraising event, filled with food, drinks and live entertainment. Here’s how it went.
How do you feel about the dating scene in Charlotte? And if you’re in it, how are you meeting people?
Katie: I wouldn’t say I’m dating much, and I don’t know if it’s Charlotte or just me being out in the wrong places, but I feel like everywhere I go, it’s either fresh babies right out of college or married couples or people in relationships. There just don’t seem to be a lot of single people in their late twenties around, but I’ve very much enjoyed being single. I think it’s fun and I’m just not dying to be in a relationship like some people start to… not that I’m saying that I won’t ever happen to me. I’m just not there yet.
In my extended group of friends, I’m literally the only single female and there are maybe one or two single guys. Everyone that’s in a relationship in that group has met someone organically, so I’m kind of holding on to that hope that I’ll meet my person that way even in this day and age, when everything is on social media and dating apps. I haven’t dabbled much in the apps at all.
Jonathan: I feel like Charlotte gets a bad rap for its dating scene. Everywhere you go, everyone says the dating scene is bad. I think it’s kind of dependent upon what your expectations are. When it comes to cool people and fun things to do with those people on dates, I think Charlotte’s been good so far, but I don’t know if everyone agrees with me.
I’ve been using the apps, but I wouldn’t say I’m super serious about it. It’s more a fun way to explore the city and meet people at the same time, but I’d also be open to it if I met someone special.
How did you feel leading up to the date?
Katie: Shockingly, I was not nervous. I’ve read all the articles and some people say they’re not nervous, and I’m always like, ‘That is such B.S. You definitely have to be nervous going into this stuff,’ but shockingly, I wasn’t. I think it’s because it’s truly blind and you don’t know anything about them, so there’s nothing to overthink or stress about, which was nice. The most stressful part of it was picking out an outfit three days in advance.
It was really funny because, no joke, the day before I got the e-mail from you saying I was selected, I was telling my friends that I was disappointed I was never selected since I thought it would be fun.
Jonathan: I wasn’t nervous. The only part that I was kind of nervous about, and we joked about this on the date, was that we had to pick what we were going to wear three days in advance. As for the date itself? At work, I see people every single day that I’ve never met before, so it’s pretty easy for me to talk to someone that I’ve never met. I don’t know if I’ve never had a bad first blind date, but I guess this is my first true blind date.
What was your first impression?
Katie: The first thing that went through my head was, ‘Holy shit, this guy brought flowers for me?’ Of course, it was not an ‘oh shit’ in a bad way, it just caught me off guard and I was 1,000% not expecting that. I wasn’t nervous at all until that moment. Right off the bat, I’m like, ‘This guy is super nice, he’s obviously very thoughtful, such a gentleman, so kind’ and I freaked out for the 10 seconds it took me to walk from the Uber to him because I am not a Southern belle and I was instantly overthinking things. Like, ‘Katie, you should’ve had one less drink before you came here’ because I’d been at a bar because the Clemson game was on that night. I was like, ‘You have to watch your language, you have to just dial yourself back a little bit here.’ But thankfully, that only lasted 10 seconds.
Right off the bat, he seemed like a very thoughtful guy that was going to make sure I was comfortable and having a good time.
Jonathan: I had a floral shirt, but also picked up some flowers on the way there so it’d be pretty obvious who I was. We both just kind of knew right away that ‘Oh, that’s who we’re meeting.’ She looked very nice and ready for the date. She seemed excited and it was just kind of a fun way to start things off.
Because it was a blind date, I came in trying to withhold any initial impressions just because I didn’t know anything. I had it in my head that this was probably someone I was going to get along with based on what you’d shared about our similar interests, and that was totally true.
Did you guys get along?
Katie: I knew there was an age difference going into it, so I was interested to see if that was going to play a role in the date at all, like if we’d have enough in common to talk about. It ended up being a seven-year age gap, which doesn’t have to be a big deal, but it certainly can be, since you can be in totally different places in your lives when you’re in your twenties versus thirties. We ended up having a lot more in common than I thought we’d have, which was a pleasant surprise.
He’s someone I never would have met or gotten to know if it wasn’t for doing this blind date, since he’s a freaking cardiologist. It’s so interesting to hear about his job, experiences and stories, because he’s lived all over the country based on his decade of schooling. He was very, very easy to talk to and genuinely seemed interested in everything I had to say. He was very nice and I think, now that I think about it, his friend described him as thoughtful and a good listener, which, 10 out of 10, is a very accurate description.
Jonathan: Yeah, very well. Conversation was very easy. There weren’t any awkward pauses and it didn’t have that ‘first date interview’ feeling. Conversation flowed well, we were joking and had funny stories to tell each other, so it was fun.
When we were leaving the Market, age came up and she mentioned she was 28 and I told her she was 35. I asked if that was a problem, but she said her limit was 35. We kind of laughed and agreed that age doesn’t really matter if you find someone that you get along with.
How did you leave it?
Katie: We stayed at Savor 7th until it closed, then ended up going to La Belle Helene for a drink after that, and we ended up talking for five hours. It ended up being around midnight when we wrapped things up and I was going out to meet up with my friends because Clemson won that night. I could’ve 1,000% read the situation wrong, but I think he wanted to keep the night going, but I didn’t invite him out with me. We hugged, exchanged numbers and I hopped in an Uber.
I genuinely think he is an awesome human and I have nothing bad to say about him – and he has so many great qualities – but I didn’t feel the spark or chemistry to want to pursue anything. I feel bad and I might give it one more date, but I don’t really see it going anywhere.
Jonathan: We left and walked to La Belle Helene for a drink, where we stayed for probably 2 hours or so. Again, the conversation was great, there weren’t any pauses and it was just a good time. It was fun because there were a lot of people out and it was a lively night.
I kind of feel like chemistry, for me, can’t be felt on a first date. It’s something that evolves over time, but in terms of having similar personalities and a mutual understanding that developed pretty quickly, I’d say yes, there was chemistry.
We traded numbers. She’s traveling to Boston, I think, in a couple of days and will be there for a while, but we’ve been texting and I think the plan is that when she gets back, we’ll see how it goes. I’d go out with her again.
What rating would you give the date? Let’s do it on a one to five scale.
Katie: Overall, I’d give it a five because even though there wasn’t chemistry on my side, I really did enjoy him, getting to know him and the whole experience.
Jonathan: I’d say it was a five. I really enjoyed it, there was no time it was awkward and I wished it was over. The food was great and she was fun. All in all, it was a great date.
Update: Though they spoke about getting together after Katie’s trip to Boston, they haven’t kept in touch.
Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.