Date Lab ... then what? Catching up with some of our memorable couples.

July 28, 2011

You read about our five year anniversary. And after more than 4,000 applications and over 250 matches, here’s a look at some of our memorable couples ... and what happened next.

Becky Strauss and Yuri Barovsky

April 17, 2011 (Taking Washington nerdiness to a new level)

He liked that she was reading The Atlantic when he walked in. She liked his blond hair and blue eyes. They skipped the small talk and dove right into a discussion about international politics and economic policy. They gave the date high marks and said they’d meet up again when Strauss, then finishing grad school in Boston, returned to Washington. We were disappointed when we contacted her a few months later — the two hadn’t attempted to connect. “I should probably give him a call,” Strauss told us. True to her word, she reached out to Barovsky the next day. The two made plans to get together later that week.

Amber Webb and Eric Rohleder

Oct. 24, 2010 (She doesn’t like to kiss and tell, but ... )

So, they kissed. You got that. From there, things turned serious. They dated for about five months before going their separate ways.

Krystal Robinson and Jerry Braddock Jr.

Sept. 12, 2010 (He’s got a bad-boy past. Is that a good thing?)

They shared calamari and a slew of interests and he had an edge she found attractive. They ended the night with high marks — he gave it a 4.7; she gave it a 4.5 — and followed up with “fun, flirty” texting, she says. There was even a second date. Then, nothing. “Her personality was amazing,” Jerry says, but “the connection just wasn’t there.” Krystal agrees: “It just kind of fizzled away.”

Amy Schultz and Jason Harris

May 9, 2010 (Does he pass the grandma test? )

The two congressional staffers connected over work, sailing and public service. But while Schultz reported “definite chemistry” on that first date, after a few more, “it was kind of mutual that we lost interest,” she reports. Three months later the two found themselves on the same 12-person delegation sent to Taiwan. Awkward? “It was fine,” she says. “We were cordial to each other.”

Heather Wetzel and Marc Soloman

Nov. 15, 2009 (Can hot nerds dance their way into each other’s hearts?)

In her post-date interview Wetzel said: “we seemed to be coming from the same page from the start.” Soloman said: “we were laughing the entire time.” They followed up dinner with a little salsa dancing and vowed to get together again soon. Which they did. But then, “I think in some ways we were almost too alike,” Wetzel explains. Today, they’re Facebook friends and both are in long-term relationships.

Kevin Alstrup and Ashley Danchuk

Nov. 8, 2009 (It took, oh, three pitchers of liquid courage)

They snarked, laughed, chatted and downed a fair amount of sangria. And then, before the check even hit the table, “we just started making out,” Danchuk reported. More kissing followed, and before too long there was a second date and frequent texting. But, alas, the texting stopped. “I was kind of surprised that we didn’t go on a third date,” Danchuk says. Alstrup says he had “some stuff going on in my life then. It wasn’t really about her.”

Kareem Spain and Sherwin Pagtakhan

Aug. 2, 2009 (Would you stick around if your date was an hour late?)

Her tardiness could have been a date-killer, but the two proved chemistry could overcome a shaky start (Spain noted the “very flirty kind of sexual innuendo conversation”). The two dated “for about a month” says Pagtakhan, but then, “we just sort of grew apart.” Pagtakhan says his Date Lab experience “gave me the courage to do Match.com.” It was there he met his fiancee; they plan a March 2012 wedding.

Julie Hykes and Scott Hoeflich

May 24, 2009 (They’re looking for something serious. Could this be a start?)

The communications manager and the Capitol Hill chief of staff hit it off, but after five dates, Hykes says Hoeflich disappeared. He declined to comment for this story, but Hykes says that when she finally reached him after about a six-week silence, he said work craziness (his then-boss Arlen Specter had just switched political parties) made it a bad time for a relationship. “I think out of respect, he could have told me six weeks earlier,” she says, but adds, “There are no hard feelings.”

Yvonne Pover and Sandy Murdock

Nov. 23, 2008 (This aviation lawyer is eager to connect. Will his moves fly?)

He started off with roses and ended with a kiss. They followed up with a trip to a vineyard and several dinner dates. “He’s a really nice man, and we had lots in common,” Pover says. In the end though, “there just wasn’t chemistry on my part,” she says. Murdock concurs but notes the two are still Facebook friends.

Terry Turner and Kristin Robinson

Aug. 17, 2008 (The date we’ve all been waiting for)

He called her “gorgeous” and a “great kisser.” She said “the potential is definitely there.” They followed up with a string of dates but soon slipped into the friend zone. Fresh off a divorce, Turner says, “I don’t know if I was just really ready to find anyone yet or not.” After the article ran, he found himself the object of attention for women in their 40s on online dating sites. “I actually had to change my [online dating] profile for two or three weeks to, ‘Yes, I am the guy in Date Lab,’ ” he says. Turner and Robinson are still friends, and both are now in serious relationships.

Christopher Dum and Stephanie Villaflor

July 20, 2008 (He’s moving, but was that really the problem?)

From the start, these two admitted there was no attraction. “I don’t usually date Asian guys,” Villaflor explained. Dum said he’d really only dated white girls. There weren’t fireworks on the date, but there certainly were on the comment boards. “Apparently, people thought we were totally racist,” says Dum, who was shocked by the outrage. Villaflor, too, was stunned. “I think there were some people who were overly sensitive about it.” The two did connect post-date, mostly to chat about the article, before Dum left town for good. Today, he’s in a relationship; she’s single.

Ally Gold and Ilan Fulop

June 22, 2008 (Two sarcastic idealists get a late, but great, start)

Long story short: Traffic made her late but she found him “so handsome;” he called her “really pretty,” and the date took off from there. They snarked, and played – their photos include on of Fulop “fake proposing” to Gold — and gave the night a perfect 5. And after all that, the two never reconnected. She headed off to London while he found himself focusing on a new relationship with someone else. Gold is now engaged and set to wed in early August; Fulop is single and up for another go at Date Lab. (Any takers?)

Alana Hurley and Lauren Martella

Nov. 11, 2007 (Will comic books and tattoos bring these two gals together?)

They bonded over body art and reading material, and followed up with a few dates. But Hurley says her school and work schedule, and an overseas trip, made getting together hard. “We just lost touch with each other,” Hurley says. “I feel bad, because it wasn’t like I ever called and said, ‘I’m sorry, I’m just really busy.’ ” Martella says she figured Hurley wasn’t interested and suspects the timing “made the match a little unworkable.”

Dan Kaufman and Robert Falk

Dec. 10, 2006 (This triathlete loves a challenge. How about a quick-witted entrepreneur?)

Okay, okay, so the Ironman and the entrepreneur didn’t have a lot in common. They still managed to get in a few good laughs – and some high-spirited photos – before acknowledging “a friend vibe.” The two connected as pals a few times and still see each out and about socially. Kaufman tried Date Lab again a few months later but still no romance. He’s single, but undaunted in dating. “I maintain a healthy optimism that I’ll meet someone,” he says.

Date Lab editors Amanda McGrath and Christina Breda Antoniades can be reached at datelab@washpost.com. Join them, along with Date Lab couple Megan McKnight and Grant Schafer, for a live chat Thursday at 1 p.m. ET.

Check out the full anniversary story, photos from past dates and of daters mentioned in this story, and our by-the-numbers breakdown ..

Single? If you’re in the Washington area, fill out our application and let us find you a match. Plus, follow us on , and .. And indulge your Date Lab additction in our archive..

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