Aaron and Eileen met on the Rotunda steps at 12:15 p.m. on Friday. Eileen: A few of my friends have gone on Love Connection dates and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Plus, I’m calling this semester my “Eat Pray Love” semester, except instead of traveling the world to find myself, I just want to try casual dating. Aaron: My friend Andy recently did Love Connection, so I thought I might as well try it. Eileen: Every single Love Connection date I’ve read about was described as a “friend vibe,” so realistically, I didn’t expect much to come out of it. However, my sister kept joking that my date would turn out to be my soulmate, and the romantic in me held onto the tiniest glimmer of hope that maybe she’d be right. Aaron: I have never even been on a date and especially, not on a blind date. I was not nervous though. Eileen: I was running late, as per usual, so I was speed-walking to the Rotunda in the rain carrying a pizza for us to eat … Anyway, I’m speed-walking like the wind to the Rotunda steps, cheese pizza in hand, when I see this guy sort of timidly walking up the steps about 15 paces ahead of me. … I took a guess and called out his name. He turned around and I introduced myself. We shook hands — upon reflection I’m wondering if my hands were greasy from carrying the pizza. Aaron, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry for my possibly greasy hands. Aaron: Naturally I was expecting a first-year, and she looked a lot older than a first-year so I thought that was pretty interesting. I knew she'd have more to talk about since she was a third-year though. Eileen: We decided to walk to Newcomb to eat [the pizza] and talk. My original plan was to eat it on the Rotunda or Lawn, but the rain put a damper on that. Aaron: I felt like we both talked an equal amount. I felt like she was carrying the questions. Like I said in my application, I'm not very good at holding conversation. Eileen: It wasn’t a bad conversation once we found a topic we could talk about, but there were a lot of weird pauses. We both admitted to being pretty weak conversationalists. … I definitely did more of the prompting and question-asking. Aaron: We … have a lot of mutual friends. She did band for a couple of years, although she's not doing it this year. We actually had two mutual friends come up to us and talk for a while. Also, we both just like to watch a lot of TV. Eileen: We are both big “Game of Thrones” fans. We talked about a few different fan theories. Aaron: In my application I put that my one deal breaker was [a person who likes] ranch. What'd she bring with the pizza? A lot of ranch. So I got a real kick out of that. It was something we could talk about. She said she didn't know a lot of people that didn't like ranch. Eileen: Like any respectable human being, I brought ranch to go along with our pizza. When I offered him a cup of it, he started laughing. At first I got nervous that he was lactose-intolerant or vegan and wouldn’t be able to eat the pizza and ranch, but then he explained that he had two deal breakers — smokers and people who like ranch. I just laughed it off and said “more for me.” But seriously — who doesn’t like ranch? Aaron: I felt like [the conversation] was pretty friendly. I honestly never had done any flirting so I just kind of went with it and got to know her. Eileen: I didn’t think it was flirty. I’m not smooth by any means, and from what I picked up, he wasn’t trying to woo me with his charms either. Definitely a casual friend vibe. Aaron: After one of our mutual friends showed up, we were talking and she said she had to leave. Eileen: We sort of got wrapped up talking to him until it was time for me to go to my meeting. I said goodbye and headed out. I think the two of them may have stayed a little longer to talk. I paid for the meal — and the deal-breaking cups of ranch. Aaron: I give it a 7.5. It wasn't what I was expecting but it was not bad at all, really enjoyable. Eileen: I would give the date a 4 out of 10. I didn’t feel any romantic connection, and the conversation felt forced at times. … It’s always nice to meet new people though, so I’d say it was an hour well-spent. I’m proud of myself for trying something new and exploring another outlet for casual dating.