Date Lab: He likes her ... but is she really being herself?

Courtesy of the daters

About the daters ...

Brag a little ...

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Justin: I’m very loyal. I’m just as happy staying home, cuddling up on the couch and watching a movie as I am going out to a bar or going out kayaking for that matter! I love listening to people tell me about themselves, and I love to learn new things.

Alexandra: I’m smart, attractive, easy-going and fun to be around. I can spark a conversation with anyone and don’t need material things to make me happy.

Your type ...

Justin: Petite but not stick-thin. Loves learning new things about anything in particular. She has a very defined, unwavering sense of her convictions. She’s not afraid to show her nerdy side and is not ashamed of the things she enjoys. Also, curves on a woman are always attractive.

Alexandra: Tall guys, with any color hair/skin. I like fit guys who take care of themselves, but I don’t care about their fashion taste.

Interests to share ...

Justin: Love of learning, similar taste in movies and music, also enjoys some of the more nerdy stuff like “Star Wars,” comic books, but isn’t stuck in the past with those things.

Alexandra: I like to go out and do things outdoors (hiking, rock climbing, boating), but I also enjoy staying inside and watching a good movie. I love all types of food and have a passion for trying new things. I’m a really optimistic person.

How you hope s/he’s different ...

Justin She’s more outgoing, doing stuff like karaoke/dancing — that way she can grab me and stick me up on stage or the dance floor!

Alexandra I am very outgoing and talkative. Sometimes it is good to date someone a little tuned down so that we balance each other out!

About the date ...

7:30 p.m., Bibiana Osteria-Enoteca, downtown

Justin: I got to the restaurant probably a few minutes before 7:30. They took me right to the table.

Alexandra: The hostess took me back to Justin. My first impression was probably that he looked like a really nice guy and had a really great smile. He wasn’t immediately the type of guy I would usually go for, but I was excited because I always like to meet people.

Justin: I stood up, and we had a handshake. She seemed very energetic and very happy, and she was very beautiful. The energy that she brought helped get rid of the nerves that I had brought into the place.

Alexandra: There was really never a lull in the conversation. We just talked and kept talking. He didn’t really seem to want to order an appetizer or a drink at the beginning. He said he [doesn’t drink much.] I felt a little bit awkward at that point; I drink socially, so I did want a glass of wine. He ended up wanting one because [it was a] special occasion.

Justin: It was part of the experience of being in the restaurant. In college I had my times where I drank, but not anymore. A beer or two here and there.

Alexandra: We had one glass over the whole course of the night. I would have liked to have two glasses of wine, but I felt uncomfortable asking for another one. He didn’t seem to be interested in any of the appetizers on the menu, and I didn’t want to push it. Dinner was really delicious — he got the ravioli, and I got the special [rigatoni]. He didn’t want to get dessert, so I didn’t want to get dessert either. I felt uncomfortable getting an appetizer or dessert if he wasn’t into it.

Justin: I talked about being an archaeologist and working outside and experiencing history hands-on. She was really enthusiastic about my career, and I could see a little spark in her.

Alexandra: I was really interested in learning more about [his work.] He doesn’t have cable or Internet. I watch a lot of TV, and I’m on the Internet a lot, so I felt a little bit bad about that. He was in theater in high school, and I was [too], so we talked about favorite performances.

Justin: We both really enjoyed [theater], and we felt it made us more outgoing. She played Elizabeth in “Pride and Prejudice”; I played Algernon in “The Importance of Being Earnest.”

Alexandra: We laughed a lot, which was good. It seemed to me that he was having a good time. I hope that he was . I feel like I’m kind of a flirty person in my mannerisms, [so] it’s possible that I came off as flirty, but I definitely didn’t get any flirty vibes back from him.

Justin: I’m not good at the whole flirting thing; I wasn’t initiating anything. We talked about music at one point, and she said that she didn’t have good exposure with a lot of types of music. I mentioned, well, I’m your guy to expose you to different music, because her iPod only has two or three hundred songs on it, and I've got ... 8,500 and counting.

Alexandra: I was impressed by his taste in music. I mentioned that I was a Backstreet Boys fan. He thought it was funny that I admitted that.

Justin: She asked me if I had to have one last meal, what would it be? And I said Life Cereal. She was surprised. She was joking that she’d buy a box of cereal and take a picture to send it in to Date Lab. Cereal really has been there my entire life, it’s my go-to for comfort food.

Alexandra: We just kept laughing about it, and it came up a bunch of times across the date. It was funny to us at the time.

Justin: It felt like it was a very good dynamic, as far as we both were enthusiastic and enjoyed each other’s company. I tend to be a little tense, but once it wore off, I definitely thought there was a connection there.

Alexandra: It was kind of awkward taking the pictures. I think I was a little bit more playful with that, but he didn’t really seem to want to take pictures, and I didn’t want to be like, “Oh, take my picture!” or something like that.

Justin: We didn’t get out of the restaurant till about 11. There was only one other couple left in the restaurant, and she told me she has a phobia of getting locked in places. I thought that was pretty cute.

Alexandra: He thought that was funny. He wanted to stay and be the last ones, but I was like “Absolutely not; I really have anxiety about that.” We went outside. I got the impression that he wanted to keep talking, but we were kind of just, like, standing outside, and you could tell it was just time to go.

Justin: She gave me her number, and I texted her when I got home to make sure she got home safe and didn’t get locked in the Metro station. I would wholeheartedly give [the date] a 5 [out of 5]. It was a great experience; she was a lot of fun, really smart, and she was beautiful. I’d definitely like to go out and see her again.

Alexandra: I would probably give it a 3. It was a good experience, I just didn’t feel any chemistry toward him. I don’t want to give it any higher than a 3 because I feel like 4’s are for people that you could see yourself dating. I would totally hang out with him as a friend.

UPDATE: The two have been trading occasional texts in the weeks that followed their date. Justin tells us he’s still interested in getting together for a more casual date, but Alexandra cites a busy work schedule and says any meeting would just be “as friends.”

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