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HELENA TOUHEY: 31 / freelance journalist

Her interests: Travel, the arts, live music

Her perfect mate: Is culturally aware, and can engage in thoughtful conversation

JUSTIN BLOOMBERG: 27 / teacher’s aide

What makes him a catch: He’s authentic, playful, and open-minded

His interests: He writes and records music, more to express his soul than to get views or likes



Helena I put thought into what I was wearing, but ultimately wore what I’d wear on a number of occasions: all black, with accessories.


Justin I dressed nicer than usual, but didn’t want to give the false impression I was normally a sharp dresser. She was dressed in all black like the servers, so there was a moment I wasn’t entirely sure.

Helena He was tall. Not really my type. But sweet. He offered a hug instead of a handshake, which threw me.

Justin She was very cute. When she told me she didn’t do anything to her hair and it just naturally falls like that, I was rather surprised.


Helena We talked about travel, work, and what we do when we’re not working. He was in the Army National Guard and works with kids with autism. He’s in a “prog rock” band, and writes a lot of music. He considers himself a poet.

Justin She’s traveled even more than I have. She’s a journalist and is trying to write more for herself.

Helena We shared an appreciation for writing, although in different ways. I like to muse in unlined journals, he writes song lyrics in Google Docs.

Justin The food was perfection. My scallops were delicious, and the tiramisu the best I’ve ever had.


Helena I ordered pan-seared halibut. We shared a bottle of red wine.

Justin I tried asking about past dates to see what she looks for or what dating her might be like, but she didn’t have much to say about that.

Helena He asked if I had romance on extended travels a few years ago, which led me to share that I had traveled to reconnect with myself, not to find romance. One of my realizations after the date, and having not been “on the scene” recently, is: How much do I want to share with people? Is a few hours of dinner conversation enough to earn personal revelation and insight? I’m still thinking about this.

Justin She seems like a lovely lady. Maybe we only scratched the surface, but I didn’t feel a spark.


Helena After two hours, I hit my wall. He alluded to having a second date, or my coming to one of his shows, and I really had no desire to do either. That’s not to say I wasn’t having fun — there was just no romantic attraction. We parted ways on the sidewalk. It was a little awkward.

Justin I playfully asked if I should go for the kiss. She smiled and gave me a coy “maybe next date.” She’s probably just being polite, but you never know.

Helena That was a definite no on my part. He asked if he could walk me to my car (a personal pet peeve) and I said that wasn’t necessary.


Justin She’d mentioned she sees live music from time to time, so maybe I’ll see her at one of my shows.


Helena If I crossed paths with him again, I’d definitely hug and ask what he’s been up to. I don’t want to go on a second date, though.

Justin I don’t think we’ll go on another date.


Helena / B+

Justin / B+