Two divorcees, each seeking great conversation. She loves to laugh and says she’s “kind” and “kinda cute.” He says he’s “almost always” happy and looking for a woman whose theme song might be Ne-Yo’s “Miss Independent.” They meet at Laporta’s in Old Town Alexandria, but then there’s a twist.
Edward: I actually sat in the parking area for a few minutes, because I was early and also because I wanted to see if I could spy on my potential date when she came through! It wasn’t exactly obvious, but I was able to sort of spy her as she was going in.
Gwen:They seated me, and then maybe about five minutes later he got there. He came in, and he had roses, so that immediately made me smile.
Edward: She had a really pretty smile, very nice teeth. She was very appreciative [about the flowers].
Gwen: I don’t have a type per se, but he’s a very handsome guy.
Edward: She’s very attractive; she presented very well. She has a few extra pounds, but they’re actually in places I like, so that was not a big negative. We [talked about] our respective occupations and what we enjoy doing for fun. Both of us belong to and regularly attend Baptist churches; she’s attended my current church.
Gwen: We talked about our children; we both have 21-year-olds. We talked about family. He talked about his ex-wife, and I talked about my ex. He asked me a lot of questions, but at the same time he gave me an opportunity to do the same. And not just questions [for the sake of] asking me questions, but interested in my answers.
Edward: We’re grown-ups; we’re a little more mature than at least some of those I’ve seen in the Date Lab. So at least on my part [there was] not a whole lot of nervousness. I’m pretty laid-back and kind of take things as they come.
Gwen: [He’s] very laid-back. He doesn’t seem like he gets overly excited. Not a “jump up and down” type guy. He gave me a lot of compliments. It was a really nice date. [But] we didn’t laugh a lot. And I love to laugh and cut up. He just seemed like he’s more serious.
Edward: She communicated to me that she was planning on moving out of the area soon.
Gwen: I decided just a couple of weeks ago that I’m going to be going back to North Carolina. The majority of it is personal stuff as far as my family and some things that are going on right now. I talked to my mom [after Date Lab contacted me], trying to figure out if I was still going to do the date. My new philosophy in the last six months or so ... is to stay in the moment. Instead of trying to say, “Well, I’m not going to do this, because this might happen,” it’s just, go with the flow and stay in the present. And that’s what I decided. Because you just never know!
Edward: [The news] kind of changed the dynamics of the conversation and the evening for me.
Gwen: He seemed a little disappointed. He was trying to figure out why I changed my mind. He was really interested in if my decision was firm. So we talked about that a lot.
Edward: There could have been chemistry, but [the] issue of leaving the area soon put a damper on that for me. There was less interest on my part to determining if there could be more than just this one meeting. She indicated she had an early start the next morning, so we ended the date at the restaurant at about 9:45.
RATE THE DATE
Gwen: He wanted to walk me to my car. We talked for a few minutes [and] had a nice hug, and then I got in and he saw me off. [I’d rate the date] a 3 [out of 5]. Because while he was a nice guy, I didn’t come home like, Oh, I need to wake my sister up! Oh, I need to call my mom! I still think he may be a really good friend, and then you never know what will come of that.
Edward: I would rate the date a 3 to 3.5 on the scale of 5. Gwen is attractive, with a great smile. [But] once Gwen mentioned she was leaving the area to return to North Carolina, the prospects for a romantic connection were greatly diminished.
For stories, features such as Gene Weingarten, @Work Advice and more, visit WP Magazine.
Follow the Magazine on Twitter.
Like us on Facebook.
E-mail us at email@example.com.
Update: The two have traded e-mails. Says Gwen: “We’re planning to meet before I leave, and I do look forward to that.”
Tell us what past Washington Post story or person in the news you want us to update. E-mail or call 202-334-4208.