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Their Essential Interest in Common Was Each Other

  • June 14, 2021

On paper, Emily Capilouto and Dr. James Harb didn’t seem to have much in common when they connected through the dating app Bumble in 2018 and agreed to meet for a first date in Birmingham, Ala., where both lived.

But they did have lots of dentists in their family trees.

Ms. Capilouto, 33, whose parents both have degrees in dental medicine, planned to lean on that conversational crutch. But Dr. Harb, 32, who was then in his final year of dental school and has a father who is also a dentist, said he’d rather not talk about dentistry. He proposed a gambit of his own: red wine.

She nixed that topic with equal deftness.

“I have an allergy,” Ms. Capilouto said. “It makes my nose bleed. So both of our plans went out the window and we started talking about our other interests instead.”

And as they talked, it emerged that she comes from a Sephardic Jewish family while his is Palestinian and Melkite Greek Catholic. She is an only child and he is one of five. She graduated from Boston University, and he from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, home of the Crimson Tide. But they did have graduate school in common: she received a degree in public health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he was then completing a degree in dental medicine.

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