About the daters ...
YOUR TYPE ...
Ben: Intelligent, sophisticated, witty, ambitious women. I generally go for thin, petite women with active lifestyles.
Anh: I like smart, tall, well-traveled, funny men. I’m not the romantic type and would rather have a guy tease me all the time than write me love poems.
BEST DATE EVER ...
Ben: Last summer I went walking around the national Mall and the monuments. Our last stop was the Washington Monument, and it was getting dark. We laid on benches still warm from the sun and watched bats eat bugs swarming in the spotlights.
Anh: A spring moonlit walk around the monuments. No tourists around, and the monuments look so pretty at night. We spent hours walking and had really great conversations.
WORST DATE EVER ...
Ben: After a first date, the girl invited me over for late-night food. When we got to her apartment, I discovered that the young woman lets her dogs [poop] all over the house and cleans it up “when she feels like it.” I told her I didn’t feel well and had to go home. Oh, and I got a parking ticket.
Anh: Being stood up by a guy I didn’t even feel a connection with. Our first date was awful because I realized we had nothing in common. I gave him another chance, because I was shallow and found him physically attractive. I accepted his request for a second date, and the punk stood me up.
7:30 p.m., Delhi Club, Clarendon
Ben: Date Lab called me and said, “We’re going to send you out on a date next week,” and I was like, “Great.” So I come home, and I tell my roommate: “You’ll never believe this. Four years ago I submitted this Date Lab thing, and I heard back from them today.” She goes, “No way. Me, too!” And I’m like, “Do you think they set us up together?” We e-mailed the editor, and she goes, “Oops!” You all have really good matchmaking qualities. She’s a great girl. She went to law school with me. Hypothetically, yes, [I would go on a date with her], but I’m living with her, so I can’t. It’s off-limits.
(Editor’s note: After reluctantly accepting that we couldn’t set Ben up with his roommate, Date Lab came up with another suitable subject for our ongoing experiment: Anh Tu Nguyen).
Anh: I just started a new job, so it’s been pretty crazy-busy so far. Toward the end of the day I was thinking about the date. I wasn’t too nervous. I wore a little black dress; it’s one of my favorite dresses. I look good in it! I got there maybe five minutes before we were scheduled to meet.
Ben: I ended up being two or three minutes late. I recognized [Anh] as a Vietnamese name, and I came in, and there’s the primo table with an Asian girl sitting at it, and I figured this must be my date. I just went for it and introduced myself. She was really cute. She was wearing a really nice dress. She had a warm smile.
Anh: I thought he was well put-together; he was well dressed. I wouldn’t say attractive, but he was nice-looking. He didn’t seem too nervous; he seemed very cool and collected. He told me [about first being set up with his roommate]. I was thinking, “What are the odds?” We were going back and forth. We talked about what we did over the holidays, got into our hobbies, what we like to do. I’m a big runner; he was telling me he likes to play sports. I think just running seemed very boring to him, which I can understand, but I enjoy it, ’cause I just get this runner’s high.