The Blind Date series is proudly presented by Ruth’s Chris Steak House, the official sponsors of date night.
How does it work? Charlotteans fill out this 37-question Agenda Blind Date Survey about their make-or-breaks, their ideal types and their ideal 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: Victoria and Matt, both 25 and working in finance.
Victoria was described by her best friend as athletic, adventurous and carefree in a single sentence that “nailed it” while Matt also described himself as adventurous, laidback and fun.
They both enjoy active dates and getting out of their comfort zone and mentioned their love for the Whitewater Center multiple times in their applications, which, with Tuck Fest coming up, meant we could do just one thing: Send them, activity passes and terrace access in hand, to the Whitewater Center for day two of the weekend-long festival.
Here’s how their date – which ended up lasting over seven hours – went.
How do you feel about the dating scene in Charlotte? And if you’re in it, how are you meeting people?
Victoria: That’s a good question. I haven’t been on a lot of dates in Charlotte. It’s a tough question. I feel like I’m super picky – like, Matt wasn’t super tall, and that didn’t bother me, which surprised me. I don’t want to say it’s always a dealbreaker, but I’m generally attracted to men who are very tall. I’ve been this way my entire life, and I mean, I’m 5’7″, I throw on a pair of heels and I’m 5’10”.
To actually go on a date with someone, the most important thing is their personality. Do I feel comfortable around them? Do I feel awkward? If I feel awkward and uncomfortable, I’m not really going to want to continue that.
I’ve done Tinder, and I don’t like Tinder. I feel like I never meet any good guys. I literally don’t think I ever meet anyone good on Tinder. I’ve been told to try Bumble, but every time I swipe through Bumble, I find that I’ve swiped through in like five minutes and there’s no one left. Even my friend, she said the exact same thing, but she met her boyfriend on Bumble, who, coincidentally was my roommate.
It’s a casual thing. I’d say I go on a date once a month, or once every two months. Probably once every two months, that’s a better way to say it. Two months. Who am I kidding?
I’ve lived here my whole life, and literally, like, I feel like we’re all connected in some sort of way. It doesn’t put me off because then, you know, if someone knows them, it’s kind of like a reference, like, “Oh, that person’s a good person.”
But you also always have people coming and going. There’s always someone new in town. I don’t think I’ve ever been on a date with a true Charlotte native. I mean, outside of high school, I don’t think I have that I can think of. I’ve met people who have lived here a long time, but they weren’t originally from Charlotte. We’re a rare breed, but I always seem to meet them. I think the law of attraction kicks in and we always meet each other.
I feel like a lot of men either aren’t ready to commit – I mean, I’m not ready to commit either, so I’m not really one to talk.
Matt: I don’t date much, not really. I’ve only been here about 10 months, so I’d say yes, I’m mostly focused on my career, but I’m also not a huge fan of the dating app world. But I am excited about a new app by a guy in Charlotte, where they organize the date for you, just because I don’t have the time to be talking to like, 20 girls at once and then trying to schedule dates with all of them. Some people just spend hours and hours and just never meet the people in person. That’s a big part of it.
I’ve met a lot of people through my work, number one, and through my church, number two. I’ve met probably 1,000 people in Charlotte since I’ve been here, which isn’t that long. But we host events through my work for a ton of people, and then I have a great community at my church and we’re always hanging out in groups, which has been awesome.
It’s the same for meeting people for dates. It’s a little bit harder for sure, but I actually prefer having the date organized and agreeing to it online. It’s less intimidating for both sides, because both sides know exactly what they want, whereas in person, it could go either way.
Dating isn’t my favorite thing to do, but in general, there’s a lot of nice people here. It’s been alright, I’d say. I’d agree that it’s really small. I think it’s good and bad, in a way that if you’re seeing the same people over and over, you’re not being exposed to new people, but from a community aspect, I love it. I see my friends in the grocery store and everywhere else, but on the dating side, it’s probably a little bit different.
I think the heavy drinking in the dating scene is a Charlotte-specific problem. Like, I love going to breweries and stuff, but that’s not the only thing I want to do. I think it’s Charlotte-specific because I’ve lived other places, and there are so many bars and breweries here, that that’s the only thing anyone does. That’s why I loved going to the Whitewater Center – we were doing things. I’d rather talk to somebody while I’m doing things.
How did you feel leading up to the date? Were you ever nervous or hesitant, or was there ever a moment you had second thoughts about letting a total stranger send you on a date with another total stranger?
Victoria: Yes, I was so apprehensive. Once I got to the Whitewater Center, I was like, “Oh my God, what am I doing? Why did I do this?” Then, seven and a half hours later – world’s longest date – I was like, “Oh, this is a lot of fun!”
Matt: I was only nervous in the beginning. I think I was more nervous than she was, for sure, just because I’ve never really been on a blind date before. I’d trust very few people to put me on a blind date, so props to you.
What was your first impression?
Victoria: Actually, it was really awkward. I was going down the stairs to run to the restroom really quick and he was about to go up the stairs to meet me and he was like, “Oh, you’re Victoria!” because I was really easy to spot in hot pink, and he was like, “Hi, I’m Matt,” and I was like, “Hi, I’m really sorry, I’m just getting ready to run to the restroom really quick,” and I darted into the bathroom. I kind of enjoyed that, it gave me an additional five minutes to kind of get my thoughts together and everything and to breathe.
I didn’t really get a good look at him at first because I was too busy thinking, “Oh my God, what am I doing here?” Is it weird to say that I thought he got cuter throughout the day? He got cuter throughout the day. I didn’t think, initially, he was that cute, but he got cuter throughout the day. I think it had to do with his personality.
Matt: Well, she actually surprised me because I got there probably 15 minutes early, so I went down to the river area just to walk around and wait until 12. Of course I ran into one of my friends there randomly, so we talked for five minutes or so, and I was just kind of standing on the stairs and I turn around and see a girl in a long-sleeved pink shirt with a blue bag and instantly I was like, “That must be her.” I just introduced myself immediately because I thought it’d be more awkward if we passed each other and went back to her.
I thought she was pretty, and she seemed really interesting at first. Well, the whole time. Strike that out. Take that back. I meant the whole time [laughs].
With so much to do at Tuck Fest, how did you choose? Which activities did you end up doing?
Victoria: The good thing was that we were decisive and had the same ideas when it came to what we wanted to do. Our first activity was kayaking, which we decided to do instead of standup paddleboarding, and I’m not that good at kayaking. I’m better at standup paddleboarding, but we thought, “Okay, if we end up falling in, we’ll be really wet. But if we do kayaking, we won’t really get wet.” Theoretically.
We were completely wrong, and we were soaked. Our pants were soaked because there were holes in our kayaks, which is a little uncomfortable after we got out of the kayaks. I was really bad at kayaking, and the wind was blowing, and the current was really strong, so I hope I didn’t make a fool of myself. I hope.
We were finished with that by 1:30 and we went to sit on the rocks because they were warm and they helped dry off our clothes. We watched people come by on the rapids and then went to the terrace, where we got to be outside and have a really nice view. And their guacamole was delicious.
We hung out there for a while, then decided to do the ziplining. I think we decided to do that earlier, but I’d never ziplined and I was so nervous, thinking, “Oh my God, I can’t believe I’m about to do this.” So I ended up jumping, and I highly recommend it to anyone now. It was worth the jump.
I asked him if he wanted to do anything else, but a seven and a half hour date was a long time.
Matt: We decided to go to the paddleboard and kayak area, so we went down there and did kayaking for a while. Both of us were not prepared because neither of us brought a towel and there were holes in the bottom of the kayaks, which I didn’t imagine would be true – I don’t know why – but they’re designed to be open. That kind of made the bottom half of our bodies get soaked, since we kayaked for maybe an hour.
It was great. It went really well. It was awesome. We saw some turtles and went for a while and talked the whole time. We kept hitting each other’s boats because it’s hard to yell across the river to talk. We just hung out and kind of asked each other the standard questions of where we’re from, what are our favorite music and hobbies and that.
After that, we sat on some rocks by the river and watched stuff and dried off for a while and went to the zip line.
Did you guys get along? What’d you like about each other, and what was the vibe? Was there chemistry?
Victoria: We definitely got along. He told me he was originally from California before his family moved to Wilmington, North Carolina, and he told me that he grew up on a farm and that his family produced grapes and oranges, and they would turn the grapes into raisins. I’ve never met anyone who was basically a raisin farmer! I was like, “Hold on. You’re telling me I’m on a date with a boy who grew up on a raisin farm?” He was like, “Yes, essentially.”
I can’t believe I didn’t tell my friends that, because that’s hilarious to me. I mean, it’s awesome, but it’s funny.
We got a little bit tired though, a little bit mentally exhausted, but we ended up staying and having drinks and dinner later, which perked us back up. We sat for, like, two hours on the terrace, listening to music and talking. We discussed our favorite bands, our favorite and least favorite vegetables. We also watched some of the sports, like the standup paddleboarding and the rafting and zip lining, too. I wouldn’t say there were too many awkward pauses. He kept the conversation going pretty well.
I’m not sure if, at the end of the day, if I was actually interested in him or saw him as more of a really cool friend. Like I said, I’m really picky. It takes a lot for me to actually like a boy. I mean, it takes a lot. I can’t really remember the last time I really liked a boy. I think it’s been two years since I really, really liked one.
Matt: We have a ton in common. I thought it was hilarious that her friends described her and I described myself almost identically. We both work in finance, so that was big and that was cool. The only complete opposite was that I have four siblings and she’s an only child, so that’s a big difference, but we like the same music, TV shows, doing the same things around Charlotte. We had a ton in common.
We were a little bit tired toward the end, at dinner and after, so conversation was probably more chill than when we first met. We ended up having to wait about an hour until dinner started, but it was totally fine. We just kind of chilled and talked, but it was cool though, because we were watching the activities while we were sitting up there, so that was fun. We had fun watching the competitions going on, like the paddle boarding and kayaking through the whitewater.
We were with each other for so long that I felt like it was dates one through three almost. I felt like we talked about almost everything, just from movies to books to concerts to siblings to families to jobs.
I think there was chemistry. I think our general personalities seemed pretty similar, which was cool, and we had a lot in common, so I’m excited to hang out with her and invite her to more stuff with my friends.
How did you leave it?
Victoria: He did ask for my number, so I would be open to a second date. We have exchanged a few text messages, like our funny tan lines, because we forgot to put on sunscreen before we did the kayaking and put it on afterward, and I think we should’ve done that before. He was more burnt than I was because he’s got stronger German genes.
Matt: After we ate and walked back, I asked her for her number and texted her, and we’ve texted a couple of times since then. I texted her a picture of my watch sunburn, because I burned quicker than her. I’d definitely go on another date with her.
What rating would you give the date? Let’s do it on a one to five scale.
Victoria: I didn’t text much during the date, and my friends were like, “It’s been five hours, where is she?” That was a good sign. I didn’t want to text and wasn’t into my phone.
We both like the Whitewater Center, so definitely give that a five. I’d give the date a four and a half. I don’t know – I guess I don’t want to give it a perfect five. Overall, it was actually a really good date. It was my third date with a boy named Matt in six months and I have to say, it was definitely the best. I told him that.
Matt: I got to hang out with a pretty girl at the Whitewater Center for a long time, so I’d definitely say five out of five.
Update: The two have kept in touch and have already had a second date at The Summit Room, which Victoria said “went really well.”
Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity. Feature image via Facebook.
Single and want to participate in Blind Date? Here’s the Agenda Blind Date dating survey. Fill it out for a chance to be selected.