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The Daily Tar Heel

Students Search for Love on Blind Date

The Daily Tar Heel matched up two eligible students: Julia McKibbin, a junior business major from Maryland, and Steve Moore, a senior business major from Connecticut. The DTH arranged the date and the details of the couple's evening; both dinner at the East End Oyster and Martini Bar and tickets to a CHiPs show were donated.

Neither had ever been on a blind date, but that did not deter them from agreeing to meet for dinner and a campus comedy show on a recent Friday night.

The club field hockey player and Tar Heel Voices singer took a chance on finding love this Valentine's Day season -- both are single and said they would be interested in finding a significant other.

"I've never had a problem asking girls out," Moore said.

"But I am a senior and looking for a serious girlfriend. I'm not into the whole meeting at a frat party and hooking up thing."

McKibbin said she wasn't sure what to expect on the date, but when Moore arrived to pick her up at her apartment, she felt comfortable.

"It was a relief," she said. "He was cute, and he seemed like my type."

East End Oyster and Martini Bar was bustling with Friday night diners and drinkers when the couple arrived about 6:30 p.m.

During their meal, McKibbin and Moore chatted about shared experiences and interests, such as traveling, skiing and stints as camp counselors.

"We had a lot in common," McKibbin said.

"We're both in the business school and like a lot of the same things -- it was good. But the whole thing was a little awkward."

Both McKibbin and Moore said they found the constant clicking of the camera from the DTH photographer trailing them on their date a little unnerving.

"With the photographer just 3 feet away, we didn't want to eat," McKibbin said.

Moore said acting natural under scrutiny is tougher than it looks on television dating shows.

"We didn't understand how the people on 'Dismissed' do it -- we didn't even want to take a bite the whole time," he said.

Although some claim that oysters are a love-inspiring food, Moore said the mood stayed pretty friendly. "I think the basic vibe was we both thought we were nice people, but there was no chemistry," Moore said.

"There wasn't any point when we were gazing into each other's eyes."

After dinner, McKibbin and Moore went to the CHiPs comedy show in 100 Hamilton Hall.

Moore said he and McKibbin were asked to stand up between segments of the show and wave to the audience.

"Before the last skit started, we thought we had made it out OK," Moore said. "But then they announced that we were in the audience and on a blind date and asked us to give a suggestion for the last skit."

By the end of the show, the couple was ready to call it a night. "He drove me home and walked me to the door, and that was it," McKibbin said.

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Moore also said he thought it was best to end on a high note.

"I thought about going for coffee, but we just decided to head home," Moore said.

So how successful was the DTH at helping Cupid aim his arrows this Valentine's Day?

"She was a very nice girl, but as far as having a spark, I didn't feel like that was there," Moore said.

McKibbin said she enjoyed the evening and wouldn't be opposed to going out with Moore again -- although she would prefer that it be without a photographer hanging over their shoulders at every turn.

"It was a positive experience; I'd let it happen again," she said. "But I'll be out of town for Valentine's Day."

With no love match this time around, McKibbin will continue playing the field, and Moore will keep singing solo.

"I'm definitely glad I had the experience," Moore said.

"But I just think the best romance stems from friendship, and a blind date just doesn't allow for that."

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.

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