The Stanford Dating Experiment: Round 2

Jan. 30, 2016, 7:55 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The Dating Experiment staff are sorry about the hiatus. We want to reassure you that this is not a one-off thing! So, without further ado, let’s see what happened with our second date.

Terry and Shaun impressed us with some pretty creative and funny responses, and we thought they’d really hit it off. Our compatibility metrics agreed, and so we sent them to La Strada in Palo Alto for the series’ second installment. Here’s how it went.

Terry: I definitely made an effort to not wear sweats, which took a lot for me. I prepped, I had an outfit planned. I said I wasn’t going to go super formal, but I at least wanted to look good. Just sitting at dinner with my friends, I actually ate a little bit so I wasn’t super hungry for the date because I don’t want to sit there and devour all the food in front of him.

Shaun: I don’t think any of my friends even know I went on this. I think they’ll find it really funny. I don’t think they think I’m the type of person who would do something like this.

Terry: Usually you do the whole Facebook stalking routine and then you ask all of your friends who are mutual with them, “What is he like?” Not being able to do that was pretty interesting and caused a lot of internal suffering.

I think also the risk of not knowing is pretty exciting, and even the anticipation kind of made me exhausted. It was super cool to be like, “Wow, I have to get ready to impress this person. I have no idea who I’m trying to impress.”

Shaun: I was a bit nervous that I wasn’t going to get along with whoever I was put with, but Terry was super nice and he was a very warm and friendly guy. That made it very easy.

Terry: My Lyft driver just got stuck in traffic and I ended up getting there right at 7, so I just zoomed into the restaurant, asked the lady for the seat, and then as I sat down, I saw him outside pacing. I was like, “Damn it, I should have went up to him and said hi.”

Shaun: I was like, “I have a habit of starting off with dessert,” so we went to get the ice cream first and it ended up being so good that we ended up spending the entire 40 dollars on five plates of ice cream. That’s what we did the whole time.

Terry: We just kept getting it, and I had the vanilla portion and he had the chocolate portion, which worked out pretty well.

Shaun: The waiter never really asked questions but he did give us some weird looks by our fourth and fifth plates of ice cream.

Terry: It was very natural, which was surprising, especially for a blind date — I thought there were going to be a lot of awkward silences but we didn’t really encounter that. That was nice.

We landed on the topic of dating at Stanford, so how that fueled why we did this, especially within the gay community, and the scene of dating is a) really hard at Stanford and b) specifically hard in the gay community for whatever reason.

Shaun: Being gay, it’s really hard to meet a lot of people [at Stanford] and the whole hook-up culture within a queer setting, just because there’s not a very large number of queer people. It’s always hard to go and meet someone and find people to go on dates with just because there’s not that many.

Terry: At one point, we talked about past dates, which is always, you’re unsure if you should bring it up, but I felt like given the circumstances, we definitely wanted to talk about it.

We were talking about how this was so much better.

Shaun: I think the waiter thought we were really weird, but who cares? When you know that you were on a good date is when everyone around you thinks you’re weird but you two enjoy the date.

Terry: I think [for a while] we were trying to figure out what [our reason for being matched] was or what that was supposed to be, and then I think I abandoned that — instead of searching for something, I was just kind of getting to know him as a person.

Shaun: The coolest thing about doing this was I finally got to meet another guy who’s willing to eat five plates of ice cream with me.

Terry: We walked to his bike, we hugged good night, he asked for my number, and that was it, really. We’ve been texting on and off. Nothing too serious. I don’t really know where it’s going to go, but we’ll see.

As for Shaun, I don’t really know. We’ve been texting back and forth pretty briefly. I’ve been sick, so I haven’t really been doing much lately.

Shaun: I don’t know if I want to rate it on a 1-10 scale but I will give it a five-star rating. One star for each plate of ice cream we had.

Terry: I feel like out of 10, it was definitely, like, I would say like 9 or 9.5. It wasn’t a perfect date — there were definitely lulls and part of that was just me just sitting there reading my menu being like “Shit, what do I say?” But it went super well. Like I said, best date that I’ve had by far, not only on campus but even in high school. I think conversation flowed really well. He’s a really nice guy.

I feel like [dating] went from something that I hadn’t really thought about — now I realize it’s there. I know that you guys have gotten a ton of applicants, and I feel like that says something in the factor of I think people are interested in dating and not just what is currently happening on campus.

Keep an eye out for our next installment of The Stanford Dating Experiment! You can still sign up to be a part of the experiment here — it’s not too late!

The Stanford Dating Experiment is run by Sam Girvin, Nitish Kulkarni and Do-Hyoung Park, who are editors at The Daily. Many other Daily staffers collaborate with us to find good matches.

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