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Miami … Merged: ‘We both didn’t want to leave yet’

Laura and Bronwynn had their first date at Oxford Sushi King.
Laura and Bronwynn had their first date at Oxford Sushi King.

In a world of romance novels, reality TV shows and love songs, expectations about college romance are high – only to be met with the dissonance of piles of homework, hook-up culture and Brick Street.

“Miami … Merged” was created out of this imbalance as a chance for Miami University students to meet new people and experience what Oxford has to offer, without the stress of asking someone out or the confusion of dating apps.

Two couples were matched up out of a pool of applicants based on simple questions such as majors, hobbies and interests, to more in-depth prompts like ideal types, if they like to talk during movies and who is willing to kill bugs. Read about the other dates here.

The two dates took place between Laura and Bronwynn and Olivia and Cole. Their love stories may not be long, but each gained different lessons from this experience.

The participants

Laura, a sophomore primary education major, did her research on “Miami … Merged” before applying. After reading the previous years’ coverage of “Miami … Merged,” as well as the inspiration for the column, The Washington Post’s “DateLab,” Laura took the plunge and applied to participate.

“I thought it was so cute!” she said. “I thought I would be more nervous. I told my friends I signed up for this and they thought I was insane.”

She was especially excited about the prospect of shaking things up by trying something new.

“I haven’t been in a long-term relationship while I’ve been in college,” Laura said. “I’ve just been keeping it open so it’s kind of like a new experience for me.”

Photo by Sarah Frosch | The Miami Student

At their blind date, Bronwynn ordered miso soup and a kimbap roll and Laura got dumplings.

When asked about her ideal type, Laura emphasized that she was looking for a relationship focused on communication and trust.

“Someone who’s nice, someone who I can just kinda hang out with and there isn’t a lot of pressure,” she said, later adding, “I like humor and just having fun together.”

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Bronwynn, a junior public health and computer science double major, saw the application for “Miami … Merged” on Instagram and was intrigued by its similarity to popular dating shows such as “Love is Blind.” While she didn’t initially think she would apply, she later changed her mind.

“I had just talked to a random lady, and she was like ‘Don’t be afraid to try new things!’ and so I was like, this is a sign,” Brownynn said.

Bronwynn said that after a conversation with her brother about dating culture, she realized her ideal type is someone whose personality is a balanced foil to her own.

“I think I’m looking for someone who fills in the gaps of what personality traits I’m missing,” she said. “I’m a little goofy, so someone a little more serious, and I usually tend to think about things super deeply for a long time, so it would be cool if I had a partner who was able to give me their opinions [immediately].”

The date

Browynn and Laura were set to have their blind date at Oxford Sushi King at 3:30 p.m. However, Bronwynn was late, arriving closer to 3:50.

“I think that actually made me less nervous,” Laura said. “[It was] kind of a show of imperfection because I was like, okay, it kind of takes the stress [of a first date] down a little bit.”

Bronwynn, a frequent visitor of Sushi King, ordered miso soup and a kimbap roll. Laura chose to order appetizers as her entree, opting for gyoza and smoked dumplings.

After an hour of easy conversation, the participants noted they both opted for tote bags as their purse of choice. They decided to give each other “tote tours,” sharing what was in their bags. For Laura, there was a deck of tarot cards and a bag of rocks, and both participants had “grannie candies” in their bags, which they exchanged.

“I think that kind of gave me a sense of her,” Laura said. “[Based on] what we carry around with us.”

Bronwynn said one of the things she liked most about Laura was her eyes.

“I would be hesitant to make eye contact because her eyes were really intense in a good way,” Bronwynn said. “She was also just really nice and I think we had the same sense of humor.”

Photo by Sarah Frosch | The Miami Student
After their Sushi King date, Laura and Bronwynn traveled down the street to TOUS les JOURS.

After the portion of the date planned for “Miami … Merged” ended, Laura and Bronwynn decided to head to Tous Les Jours, a Korean-French fusion café, after Laura mentioned that she had never been.

After that, the pair sat in Uptown Memorial Park to continue getting to know each other.

“I think we both didn’t want to leave yet,” Bronwynn said.

“Honestly, we just talked about everything … and [it] was all interesting,” Bronwynn said.

The date lasted around two hours. At the date’s end, Bronwynn drove Laura to her car, which was parked by McGuffey Hall, where they hugged goodbye.

“I thought she was really cute,” Laura said, “she was wearing a cute outfit, and we matched each other’s vibes.”

Both participants said they would be interested in going on a second date. They even made tentative plans to go to Kings Island.

“I kept saying [in my application] I want someone who is a good foil to my personality, and I think she pretty much is,” Bronwynn said.

Participants rate the date:

Laura: 7/10

Bronwynn: 9.2/10