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    Dinner with Cupid

    Blind date: ‘I was convinced I was being stood up’

    Will he be impressed by his date’s Southern charm and parking karma?

    Nico Karon and Roja Garimella.

    NICO KARON: 29 / security command center operator

    What makes him a catch: Friends would choose him to team up with during a zombie apocalypse

    His interests: Camping, fishing, hiking in the woods

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    ROJA GARIMELLA: 23 / medical student

    When she is happiest: Doing something adventurous and maybe just a little dangerous

    Her perfect mate: Cares about making the world a better place

    7 P.M. GROTTO, BEACON HILL

    SEPARATE LANES

    Nico I had a quick pep talk from friends and did push-ups to get the nerves out.

    Roja Despite being a Southern gal not known for my driving skills, I found a tight parking spot across from the restaurant and parallel parked in one try. So, I felt pretty awesome going in.

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    Nico I arrived and was seated. It turned out that the restaurant sat us at separate tables. It took about 25 minutes for the mistake to be figured out.

    Roja I was convinced I was being stood up. We found each other after I spent 15 minutes awkwardly scrolling down to the end of my LinkedIn feed.

    Nico I thanked my lucky stars when Roja came to my table. She was tall, with dark hair, a pretty face, and a slender build.

    Roja First thing I noticed was that he was really tall. One point for Nico.

    SHIFTING GEARS

    Nico After a few laughs about the seating mishap, we spoke about our career paths. Roja spoke about grad school while I talked about trying to get on a police or fire department. I learned my date had grown up in North Carolina in a semi-rural setting. She didn’t even have to parallel park during her driving test.

    Roja We talked about things like siblings, hometowns, hobbies, and travel recommendations.

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    Nico I ordered spinach and Bolognese, and banana bread pudding for dessert. The food was excellent. The handmade pasta really stood out.

    Roja I ordered salad, risotto, and the most delicious chocolate cake.

    Nico It felt like I was talking to someone I had known for ages. She seemed genuine. It may have been her Southern charm; she was very warm and none of the conversation felt forced. We were pleasantly surprised how well Cupid did matching us.

    Roja We both love to be outdoors, explore new things, and neither of us is afraid of a little adrenaline. Anyone who talks about how much they love dogs gets another point in my book.

    OVERDRIVE

    Nico We had a similar outlook on life. We shared the idea that it’s OK when things don’t go as planned — those moments build character and help you learn more about yourself.

    Roja I had only been out with people with similar backgrounds and closer in age, so I wasn’t sure how much we’d have in common. But I was pleasantly surprised.

    Nico We had both made arrangements to meet friends after. I followed my sister’s advice to say farewell with a hug. Next time I’m going with my gut instead!

    Roja He was a gentleman all night, and continued as such, walking me to my car.

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    SECOND DATE?

    Nico Yes. I’m looking forward to getting to know her more.

    Roja Hope to see him again, but probably not romantically. We’re at different places with our goals and figuring out who we are. He’s looking to buy a house and start his real adult life, and I have another five to 10 years of school. I think we could be great friends.

    POST-MORTEM

    Nico / A

    Roja / B+

    Go on a blind date. We’ll pick up the tab. Fill out an application at bostonglobe.com/cupid. Follow us on Twitter @dinnerwithcupid.