Each week in The Hook-Up, we set up single readers of The Grid and send them on blind dates around Toronto. Here’s what Houng and Kyle had to say about their date at The Beacher Café.
Houng is a 23-year-old marketing-agency intern who lives in Liberty Village. She says, “I’m really observant, and have a great memory, and I laugh at everything, especially myself.” She loves going to Jays games and “staying in and just lazing on the couch” but says she’s indecisive: “I’m usually so down for anything that I can’t even choose.” Houng is looking for someone who “appreciates the arts and creativity” and is open-minded.
Kyle is a 26-year-old software developer who lives in “Little Italy/Little Portugal.” He says his style is “bus cas” and that he is “spontaneous, outgoing, loyal, indecisive, and shy.” Kyle likes to swim, exercise and read, and recently went to Burning Man. He wants to date someone who is “spontaneous, ambitious, and outgoing.” He says, “I’m a traveller with an outsider perspective on Toronto. I love new experiences, and constantly seek out new places and connections.”
Houng on Kyle
“I saw a man sitting alone by the window and had a strong hunch he was my date. I didn’t get a great look at him, but I thought to myself, ‘I’m not disappointed.’ I liked his style and how he had a slightly older look to him. He was much taller than me, which I like.
“Kyle mentioned he was from Winnipeg. Even though I’ve been in Toronto for a while, I just had to tell him that I was also born in the ‘Paris of Canada,’ in Ron Burgundy’s words. I [feel] this strange excitement whenever Winnipeg is mentioned. We had a great chat about The ‘Peg and [shared] random references and encounters related the city.
“Kyle is very well-travelled, which I admire. Hearing about his travels made me jealous! For me, the most memorable part of the conversation was learning about [Kyle’s trip to] Burning Man and ‘video-game-turned-fire’ art. What I liked most is that we got to know each other through stories and experiences, rather than just listing off our hobbies. Kyle seems really intellectual and cultured, with experiences that you don’t hear [about] from the average person.
“I took pride in telling him about my drunk-karaoke song choices—most recently: ‘Ignition (Remix)’—and he seemed really entertained, and laughed really hard. That made me feel like the date was going well.
“Kyle started to talk about how much he enjoyed deep conversation. He asked me where I saw myself in five years; I thought that sounded like an interview question and asked what other ‘deep conversations’ we could have. We decided to push the boundaries and talk about things that aren’t normally shared openly on a date. Once we had that type of conversation, I felt the mood change. I don’t think I’ve had a first date where I felt completely comfortable bringing up things I normally wouldn’t. He even said something along the lines of ‘I think it’s awesome you’re bringing this up.’ We both have the same outlook on this kind of thing, and we agreed that people shouldn’t take life too seriously.
“Towards the end of the date, Kyle asked me if I would like to see him again, even if it was just to hang out. As an over-thinker, I usually think about how the situation could play out before it happens; my mind goes, ‘Will he ask? When will he ask? What will I say?’ The answer came naturally and fast: I said, ‘Totally!’ I couldn’t believe almost three hours had gone by. That was a great sign. I could see it going either way—the friendly route or the romantic route. I’m interested in seeing where this could go.”
HOUNG RATES THE DATE (OUT OF 10):
Kyle’s manners: 9
Kyle’s sense of humour: 9
Kyle’s hair: 8
Kyle on Houng
“My first impression of Houng was that she was stylish. She looked put-together without looking overly made up. [I liked] that she was very open to conversation. We both recently moved here, and have spent the last few months partying it up in the Big Smoke. We talked about our favourite bars—Poetry Jazz Café for me; Get Well for her. We had similar experiences [in] taking a leap of faith coming to Toronto. I left my life behind in Winnipeg—it turns out we were both born there—while she came from Oshawa, with her family having doubts about her moving to the big city. It has worked out really well in both of our cases.
“After the requisite conversation about the basics, we decided to shift to everything you’re not supposed to talk about on a first date: bad dates, ill-advised flings, and a few topics that won’t be gracing this fine bastion of journalism. It was refreshing to have such an open and honest conversation with someone I had just met. We agreed that people take the dos and don’ts of dating too seriously. While our conversation was definitely not typical [to have with] someone you’ve known for only a couple of hours, it lacked the intimacy of really connecting with another person.
“I really liked the fact Houng doesn’t take life too seriously and is quick to laugh about the awkward moments. I think it’s what drew us both to the blind-date experience, and it was awesome that she was also gung-ho about it.
“We talked about a huge range of things, and we’re both pretty open people, but I couldn’t see us together. Houng and I are just at different places in our lives, and while she has been to some exotic places, she seems perfectly happy with her life today. I realize that finding someone to jump on a plane [with me] tomorrow is not realistic, but being able to picture them alongside me in my adventures is. Probably not the stuff first dates are made of, but I suppose I need to see whispers of that from the get-go. I seem to be attracted to the firecracker types lately.
“Houng is a great girl. While there wasn’t any ‘chemistry’ between us, I feel like I made a new friend. I’d like to see her again, and maybe hear her famous karaoke singing. I asked if she’d like to hang out again, and she quickly agreed. We exchanged numbers and parted ways.”
KYLE RATES THE DATE (OUT OF 10):
Huong’s style: 9
Huong’s sense of humour: 10
Huong’s hair: 8
Special thanks to The Beacher Café, 2162 Queen St E., 416-699-3874. Like Facebook.com/TheBeacherCafe.
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