Date Lab: A Joseph Gordon-Levitt comparison is a good start


(Courtesy of the daters)
April 19, 2012
About the daters ...
First thing peoplenotice in your home ...

Steve: Ridiculously large TV. As an individual who lives in a studio, a
60-inch TV is relatively out of place.

Molly: Rubber duck collection. At this point, I don’t even seek them out; they come to me.

People you’d want withyou on a desert island ...

Steve: David McCullough (amazing historian; I could listen to him for hours), Adam Sandler (funny man!), Scarlett Johansson (do I really need
to elaborate?).

Molly: My best ladies, an engineer
to build me something to get off this island, Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Brag a little ...

Steve: I’m a law student who has a good head on his shoulders. I strongly believe that chivalry is not dead (note this is VERY different from paternalism) and know how to treat a lady. I am also exceedingly modest!

Molly: Smart and sassy. Easy conversationalist. Was once given
the superlative “most fun” at my job.

Interests to share ...

Steve: Positive outlook on life in general! I’d hope she would like to travel [and] was interested in learning to do new things and open to experimenting in general!

Molly: Good books, great movies,
pop culture, not sports.

About the date ...

7:30 p.m., Cafe Luna, Dupont Circle

Steve: I got there 15 minutes early. I was sitting with my back to the door; I probably should’ve faced the door, but in some ways it helped calm my nerves.

Molly: I went inside and only saw a couple of people. I was pretty sure it was him but didn’t want it to be awkward, so I said something to the waiter and he said, “Oh, your date’s right here.”

Steve: She was shorter than me, which is a good thing. She was cute, very well dressed; she carried herself with a smile. She seemed a little nervous.

Molly: He looked a little bit nervous as well, but he had a big smile. It was definitely a good first impression. In the [Date Lab questionnaire] I remember referencing Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I was pretty much expecting someone like that: a sweet, down-to-earth guy. Steve definitely fit that bill. He reached out to shake hands with me, I was kind of like, “Let’s surrender to the fact that it’s an awkward situation and let’s just hug it out.”

Steve:I don’t know why I went for the handshake, because I’m a very friendly guy. [The hug] was the right way to start the date. She looked at the table, and she was like, “How would you feel about sitting outside? It’s so nice.” I said, “That is a great idea,” and so we actually got up and sat outside in this nook.

Molly:I didn’t want to be too insistent. I thought, I’m going to be high-maintenance if the first thing I say when I walk in is “I don’t want to sit at this table.” But he was easygoing and nice about it. We were able to sit outside and enjoy the beautiful night.

Steve: We split a bottle of wine, and we ordered it probably in the first 10 minutes.

Molly: We dove into the conversation right away. Within the first couple minutes, we touched on the subject that we were both from the [Washington] area. Pretty much right after that, he asked, “What do you do?” which to me is so typically D.C. It’s always the first or second question people ask you. That was my impression of Steve overall. When you think of a typical D.C. guy, that is like Steve to a T: the way he dresses, the stuff he was talking about, his interests.

Steve: We ordered the entrees. She told me she was a vegetarian. I have dated one or two girls in past who have been [vegetarian]. It’s not that it’s an issue specifically, but it’s not one of those things that I’m excited about, unfortunately. It would be a complication.

Molly: He mentioned he was at American University law . One of the reasons he chose it was because it’s not that cutthroat competitiveness that you get at those top-tier law schools. It was much more camaraderie and community. I remember thinking it’s great that that was important to him and one of his values. He is focusing on tax law and was joking about how everyone always thinks it’s boring.

Steve: I didn’t communicate my interest well. I was a little nervous.
My mind is going in, like, six different directions as I’m communicating tax law. She said, “You’re not selling me.” I said, “I’m not selling me right now.”

Molly: We talked about sports a fair amount. He said he was a big Nationals fan and a big Redskins fan.

Steve: She is not really a sports fan except for hockey. We are both Caps fans.

Molly: I told him I am big hippie liberal, super-leftist, pacifist; but when I go to hockey game, I want to see a fight. I am rooting for someone to take the helmet off and go to it.

Steve: We didn’t really talk about movies or music. Thinking back, it’s kind of funny, considering pop culture is relatively important.

Molly: I do remember at one point, he said that he loves Adam Sandler movies. That was the first time in the conversation a little bit of warning bell went off in the back of my head. Just because that is really not my taste at all. I like subtle, quirky, punny rather than really over-the-top or gross-out humor.

Steve: She definitely talked more than I did. At one point she laughed, “I feel like I’m talking your ear off.”

Molly: He was like, “No, it’s great, I’ve enjoyed listening to what you’re talking about.” He handled that gracefully instead of making me feel bad for being a blabbermouth.

Steve: I felt a little bit of red flag when I asked her how old she was. She told me 26 and asked how old I was. I’m 24. The same age as her younger brother. Something just told me it was probably something she was not happy about.

Molly: I was kind of surprised. Since I’ve been in D.C., I’ve dated more younger guys than I ever have before. But I’m not sure it’s a trend I particularly like and want to continue.

Molly:He was a little hard to read. I definitely thought that our body language was positive. It was not like he was reaching across the table and touching my hand, but it’s a first date, so it’s hard to tell. I think we went until 10:45 or 11. At that point I said, “I’m really sorry to do this, but I’m going to be a Debbie Downer and go home and crash.”

Steve: There was definitely some flirting going on. There was definitely some chemistry.

Steve: We were outside from the place, and I said, “This is fun. Can I get your number?”

Molly: I said, “Of course,” and gave him my number. We hugged again, and we went our own separate ways.

Steve: [I would rate the date] a 4 or 4.5 [out of 5]. I’ll be perfectly honest, I would have been happy to go somewhere else [after the restaurant]. For the next date ... probably meet for a drink or meet for dinner somewhere.

Molly: I would say a 3.5. He and I had a good time, but I don’t think there was explosive chemistry or anything like that. I think he’ll definitely get in touch with me and ask to hang out again. My policy on this stuff is to be really straightforward. I would tell him I had a good time and I’m glad we hung out and I’d be down to hang out again if he wanted to go to dinner or get drinks,but that it was not as much of a romantic situation for me.

UPDATE: They’ve traded texts, but a second date isn’t on the table. “I don’t think there was really a strong enough connection on either side,” Steve says.

Nominate a friend for Date Lab! Reach us at datelab@washpost.com or on Twitter @datelab or Facebook and tell us why he or she is a great catch.

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