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Dinner with Cupid

Blind date: ‘I am a devout Christian and he is an atheist. Classic!’

Can these two daters overcome the ultimate deal breaker?

Eli Prescott and Jael Witney.
Eli Prescott and Jael Witney.

ELI PRESCOTT: 22 / cashier

His perfect mate: She would work as a US president

His interests: Attending political rallies and protests

JAEL WHITNEY: 22 / AI business development

Last things she read: A collection of essays by the Polish philosopher Leszek Kolakowski called Is God Happy?

Her perfect mate: Just got back from his stint in the Peace Corps



Eli I put on a button-down shirt that I would usually wear to job interviews. I didn’t go out of my way to look perfect, out of fear that it would be inauthentic to do so.


Jael I picked outfit pieces with interesting back stories (e.g., my dress I got in Italy). I felt intrigued about what kind of person I would meet.

Eli I was there first. She popped up right next to me. She was beautiful in exactly the type of ways I am most attracted to. An indescribable element of cheer almost vibrated off of her body.

Jael [He was] cuter than I expected. Eyes are the most important feature, and his were lively and kind.


Eli She was excited to dive right in. She had the idea of having us guess certain things about each other, such as whether or not we had siblings, and that worked as a very good icebreaker.

Jael He has a very interesting back story — partially grew up in Spain, eventually wants to go to law school to be a prosecutor. He’s whip-smart and driven. We talked about all the things you aren’t “supposed to” talk about on a first date — religion, politics, health, etc. I am a devout Christian and he is an atheist. Classic!

Eli Me being an atheist was a significant deal breaker to her, a Christian from Kansas. Despite that, she stayed and engaged in the opportunity to get to know me, and I think we are both better for it. She had questions about my atheist beliefs; I had questions about her Christianity. We were engaged in conversation despite being on opposite sides of the subject.


Jael He had a humble strength of personality that came out as the night went on, which I liked. I felt very comfortable around him, like I didn’t have to prove myself.

Eli I ordered chicken parmesan; she ordered gluten-free pasta.

Jael I loved the quaint North End vibes and that we were directly across from the Paul Revere statue.


Eli It felt like the conversation never stopped, moved at lightning speed, and if we had been able to stop time, we would have continued talking for weeks before getting bored. For a situation where I didn’t meet her nonnegotiable criteria, this could not have possibly gone better.

Jael I brought up the religious differences as a sign of long-term incompatibility. He acknowledged that but was very persuasive [that] we should still continue seeing each other. I was definitely attracted by the fact he wouldn’t let me friend-zone him.

Eli When we had to finally part ways, I was so unwilling to let that be the end that I texted her almost immediately.

Jael I was glad he didn’t initiate anything. I strongly dislike these kinds of moves on a first date.


Eli Definitely. I have every intention of making sure this experience doesn’t end here.


Jael We agreed to see where it goes.


Eli / A

Jael / A+

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