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NOTE: Due to the Covid pandemic, all dates are currently virtual-only. If you’d like to be considered for a virtual date, click here to apply.
Responses have been lightly edited for clarity.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the success of our virtual blind dates thus far. We’ve done two, and both couples opted to meet in person after their initial Zoom chat.
If you’ve followed the series for a while, you know that second dates aren’t always easy to come by, so this feels like an accomplishment.
I was hoping to continue my lucky streak when I paired Tim and Janet.
Janet is 32 and works in local government. She loves going out for drinks and good conversation with friends, meeting new people, listening to podcasts, and hiking. She’s looking for someone who is outgoing, educated, and not a gym rat. She describes herself as someone who “values growth and learning in my career, relationships, and life.”
Then there’s Tim. He’s 37 and works as a delivery manager for a brewery. He loves visiting the lake, hiking, photography, and spending time with friends. He’s looking for someone who is open-minded, positive, and self-confident. He describes himself as “a goofball trapped in a gentleman’s body.”
Here’s how it went:
Have you done any virtual dating since the pandemic started?
Janet: I’ve FaceTimed people before meeting them, but I’ve never done a blind date before. It’s also never been an “official” date, so this was definitely a new experience.
Tim: I’m not a vet by any means or anything, but I can say I’ve done it once before. I knew the person ahead of time, so I shot for the stars and asked her, but that was it.
In the before times, how did you typically meet your dates?
Janet: I would use the apps a little bit, but they can be pretty overwhelming. I’m not great at checking them. And it’s just different trying to get to know someone while simultaneously paying attention to other people. I get so frustrated with it. So most of the time I’d say I’d meet them through mutual friends.
Tim: Typically on dating apps. I predominantly use Hinge and Bumble.
[Related Agenda story: We asked for your dating app horror stories. Here are your 18 best (worst?) stories]
How did you feel leading up to this virtual blind date?
Janet: I guess the weirdest part was just the overall protocol. Like, throughout all of this, people are publishing pieces on “the ten rules of Zoom” and the first one is always not to eat, so I guess I was trying to navigate that. It’s instilled in my brain that I’m not going to be eating on Zoom. But that actually made it more interesting. It ended up not being awkward, but I had to get to the point where I was like, “Oh, it’s whatever.”
Tim: I hadn’t done a blind date in a while, so I guess that was a factor. Also the video factor. You can see them, but you’re not in person, so it’s harder to pick up on the little things. I also think I was most nervous about eating in front of her and, you know, making sure you’re not making a lot of noise or anything. She was very gracious about that though. You’re not normally eating on Zoom calls, but when you’re both doing it it’s less awkward.
Was the concept of a virtual date more, less, or equally as appealing as meeting in person?
Janet: I’ve come to like it. I didn’t think I would. I don’t FaceTime a lot, so I thought I’d hate it. But it’s a good chance to get to talk to someone without being stuck in a restaurant. You can hang up whenever you want. There are definitely some perks. I’ve talked to a couple of other friends about virtual dating and they were saying it’s actually a great thing to be doing right now because there aren’t a lot of ways to go out and meet new people, so people are really using the apps. There are more people on there than have ever been. It’s a great way to meet someone without worrying about expectations or stupid things, like trying to find a parking spot.
Tim: It was less appealing, but I understand the risks of Covid and want to be respectful of that.
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your conversation?
Janet: It was good! He was easy to talk to. I tend to talk a lot, and he seemed very receptive to me. We actually only talked for an hour because I had to go to an emergency work meeting, so I felt bad about having to cut it short. Because of that, I’d say like an 8, but mostly just because I had to cut it short. Obviously that wasn’t his fault, but we talked about meeting up in person.
Tim: I would say an eight or nine. It was really free-flowing. She’s super easy to talk to. We were cracking each other up. It didn’t feel like there was any pressure to it. Actually, she may have mentioned this to you, but we realized we matched on Hinge beforehand. After we were done, I texted her and was like, “I don’t know if you’re holding out or if you don’t remember but…” and I sent her a screenshot. She was like, “Oh my God, that’s so funny!” To me, that’s a testament to Charlotte being a little big city.
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your chemistry?
Janet: So the funny thing is we realized that we’d actually matched on Hinge recently, but didn’t really have a conversation there. The fact that we “met” before, which I didn’t realize at first, says something. I definitely thought he was cute, maybe I’d say like an 8.5, if I can give half points. I do feel like if we had longer to talk that number would have increased.
Tim: I would say like an eight. We were both smiling a lot. She had to go because she had an emergency work meeting. It was cool to see she’s passionate about her job. She said she felt bad about that, but I was like, “It’s all good.”
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the date overall?
Janet: I’d probably say an eight. Again, it’s harder to tell because I cut it short. There was only so much we could talk about until I had to run out, but I’ll say that it felt like it went quickly. An hour with someone you don’t get along with, that feels like a long time. But this felt like it went super quickly.
Tim: I would say an eight again. I’ll keep using that same number. One of the dates you put together recently stood out to me, when she said, “You’re probably not going to have 10s. It’s not going to be perfect.” But yeah, the setting and everything was super easy. You made it easy for us.
So how did you leave it? Would you like to meet in person?
Janet: Yes. Yeah, I’ve already told him I feel like I cheated the system. We owe it to the Agenda! (laughs). He’s going out of town so we haven’t made set plans yet, but we exchanged numbers.
Tim: Yeah, definitely. We talked about that. It’s like, “Why not?” if there’s some type of chemistry.
[Related Agenda guide: 17 most romantic restaurants in Charlotte]
Any tips for someone who’s considering going on a virtual date?
Janet: So I had a good experience with it, but I could see how it might be weird for some people. We didn’t end up using the icebreakers you sent, but I could see how those would be helpful. We didn’t end up needing them though. I’ve actually played card games on virtual dates before, so I think stuff like that can be helpful.
Tim: My advice is to try to make it as “normal” as you can. Leading up to it, I did my “normal” first date rituals. I showered, I got ready, I wasn’t just, like, sitting in my boxers with a nice shirt on top. I tried to treat it like I was going out in public. I got in the mindset that it was like a video interview. Try to rise to the occasion, because I think that mindset sets you up for success.
PARTICIPATE: Want the chance to get matched? Tell us about yourself in quick Agenda Blind Date Survey. Then the Agenda plays matchmaker by sending couples out on virtual blind dates. To see past installments of the series, click here.