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Dinner with Cupid

Blind date: ‘She began the conversation by rattling off 10 questions’

Will live music provide the right atmosphere for these daters?

Victor Bunaev and Natalie Shellito.
Victor Bunaev and Natalie Shellito.

VICTOR BUNAEV: 33 / tax manager

What makes him a catch: Great smile, contagious laugh, and he can cook

On a desert island, he couldn’t live without: Memes

NATALIE SHELLITO: 29 / gerontology consultant

Her interests: Tennis, travel, teaching yoga to seniors

Her perfect mate: Has the ability to make her laugh



Victor I had a drink at the jazz bar around the corner and sent a pic of my outfit to my best friend.

Natalie I had a business meeting before the date, so I didn’t have much time to prepare. I spiced it up with some eyeliner.


Victor I was seated first. Natalie walked over and introduced herself.

Natalie The woman at the host stand said, “He seems very nice and has a beautiful suit on.” He stood up when I came to the table. Victor and I shook hands and had a brief hug.

Victor I thought she was tall and gorgeous, with stunning eyes that also have a kindness behind them that put me at ease.

Natalie He’s good looking, with a nice smile.


Victor She began the conversation by rattling off 10 questions, which I thought was cute. I was thankful because I wanted to do the same. I knew this was going to go well.

Natalie I love first dates because there are so many questions you can ask. Victor moved with his family to Connecticut from Siberia when he was 6. It was amazing to hear his story and learn about his culture.

Victor She’s way smarter than me and wants to do well in the world and leave a positive impact. We spoke about where we’re from, me from Russia and her from Kansas. We spoke about various foods we like, especially Kansas BBQ and Russian ethnic food.


Natalie He ordered a Manhattan and I drank red wine. I had shrimp and grits. The food was great. The jazz music was fantastic as well.

Victor We split crab cakes for an app, then I had the salmon. What stood out was the live band playing, which really helped our atmosphere.

Natalie We are both a little older and comfortable being single. Obviously, we are both looking to date someone, but it has to be the right person and timing. He and I are both happy where we are in our lives. We are both active, and like traveling and experiencing new things, and he seems to have a great relationship with his family.

Victor We lean the same way in how we think the world should be. Our conversation never had a lull and we took turns talking at length. I have a good feel for people’s energy and hers shined.

Natalie It was a great date, so I didn’t want to go home early.


Victor After dinner we went to [the wine bar] SRV around the corner. It was her idea, which I was thrilled to hear. I kinda didn’t want the night to end.

Natalie I like sitting at the bar as opposed to a table, because it provides the opportunity to be physically closer to the person. I did feel badly though because he had to catch an hour-long train home.

Victor We hugged goodbye then I had to sprint to catch the train, but made sure she didn’t see that part.


Natalie He took my number so we could stay in touch. We hugged and did the cheeks touching kiss thing.


Victor I think there will be, we exchanged numbers.

Natalie He asked if we could go out again and I said of course.


Victor / A+

Natalie / A

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