Dinner With Cupid

Scientific method

Will these daters bond over biology?

James Neiswender and Margaret Mayo.

James Neiswender and Margaret Mayo.


Graduate student


WHAT MAKES HIM A CATCH? I have a great career outlook as a scientist studying cancer biology.

HIS HOBBIES Playing a pickup game of Frisbee or soccer

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Manufacturing technician

HER HOBBIES I am very interested in science.


HER IDEAL MATE He would be a leading cancer researcher.



JAMES It had been a long time since I had been on a date.

MARGARET We were both early.

JAMES I arrived about 10 minutes early and she was already there. . . . The hostess showed me to our table and we shook hands.

MARGARET He seemed a little nervous.

JAMES She seemed very ready for the date but not exactly relaxed.


MARGARET He was tall, had light hair, and was well dressed.

JAMES She was thin, very pretty, and had beautiful eyes.

MARGARET I was doing my best to be friendly in hopes of making him more at ease.

JAMES We talked a little about our careers and where we’re from.

MARGARET We talked about our mutual interest in science and how much we liked Italian food.

JAMES We had quite a few shared interests, [and] the food was great.

MARGARET We talked a lot about his research and our overseas experiences. . . . We are both interested in scientific research and both spent two years in a Third World country.

JAMES We both play ultimate Frisbee. We had a lot in common.

MARGARET I felt very comfortable.

JAMES It got less comfortable as the date went on. She just didn’t seem to enjoy herself.

MARGARET The more I learned about the things we had in common, the more I appreciated that.

JAMES She seemed rather serious and wasn’t laughing or smiling much.

MARGARET I thought he was interesting. . . . After awhile, I got a sense that he wasn’t too into me.

JAMES It was strange to be on a date with a beautiful woman I had so much in common with but absolutely no chemistry with. Something about our personalities didn’t mesh well.


MARGARET I would have been up for continuing.

JAMES When our waiter offered dessert, I looked over to see her reaction and she was clearly done.

MARGARET He seemed like he wanted to get home, so I didn’t suggest anything else.

JAMES We said, “It was nice to meet you.”

MARGARET We went our separate ways.





JAMES Probably not, but I think we could be friends.

MARGARET I enjoyed talking to him, but he didn’t seem all that into me. — Compiled by Katy Rushlau

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