About the daters ...
Nick: Connecting with people comes pretty naturally to me, I’m open-minded and have diverse interests, and I’m a pretty smart guy. I like to think I’m pretty adventurous, too. I’ve biked across the country, was just a few jumps away from my skydiving certification (long story), and I’m a certified advanced open-water scuba diver.
Lisa: I’m sharp, I make people laugh, and I haven’t broken any mirrors just by looking into them lately. I’m a pretty good listener and fairly laid-back. I also know where to find $1 beer in the city, so, there is always that.
Nick: Independent and outgoing but doesn’t need to be the center of attention. Open-mindedness and empathy are two qualities I really value.
Lisa: On the thin/skinny side, usually tall, but anyone taller than me is fine. I also tend to date young-looking guys, I’m told. Personality-wise, I don’t like the guy who has captured the whole room’s attention with a story so much as I like the guy who mutters something hilarious under his breath. I like masculine but not macho. Above all,
I like nice guys.
Nick: Baseball, biking (not competitively), reading, astronomy.
Lisa: I like a good mix of nights in and nights out, and have met my fair share of D.C. guys who are horrified by the idea queuing up Netflix. Someone who likes to read and eat good food.
About the date ...
7:30 p.m., Corduroy, downtown
Lisa: I was nervous. I think I was worried I would say something unsavory or something awkward would happen. But as I got closer to it, it wasn’t anything that I was freaking out about. I grew up in South Florida, so seasonal weather dressing is something that I’m still a little clueless about. I wore brown boots and a blue sweater dress. I went to the restaurant and went in about 7:25. They told me I was the first one there and escorted me to the little booth in the back.
Nick: I was excited. I got there maybe at, like, two minutes after 7:30. The hostess led me back to our table.
Lisa: I saw the waiter first, and he said, “Right this way,” and then Nick stepped out. My first impression was I did think he was attractive. He was certainly someone that, if I was walking to the Metro, I’d go, Oh, that guy’s cute. It was an added bonus that the person I’m going on a date with is attractive.
Nick: She had nice dark hair, definitely very attractive. We did, like, a handshake to say hello and started talking. I think we were both a little bit nervous. She had never done a blind date, either, so that was the first point of conversation.
Lisa: At first the conversation was not stilted, but [we were] a little bit looking at each other like, What are we supposed to do? But I think we picked up a rapport pretty quickly.
Nick: I think we’re both sort of in the same point in life; we both have jobs that we like, but they’re clearly not going to be our careers. It was nice to talk to somebody about that. We both like dogs and animals, and we both like baseball, so we actually had a decent amount in common. We talked for a little bit, but then we got around to looking at the menu.
Lisa: I tried the antelope, because it was something I would never get in any other context. And I had this really good chestnut puree. I didn’t finish either one of my courses — not because the food wasn’t good but — because we were sort of talking and answering questions, and we ran out of time.
Nick: She did seem to have a sharp sense of humor, similar to mine. It was one of the things I liked about her. She had a quick wit and wasn’t afraid to be funny and go out there a little bit, so that was definitely appealing.
Lisa: I think we were laughing a lot. I think it was definitely a good personality match. It’s hard to tell if a conversation is flirty or not, [but] I think there were times where it felt
a bit flirty.
Nick:I think there was definitely some flirting on both sides. Every once in a while you meet someone that it’s obvious that you hit it off, and it wasn’t that way, but it’s not necessarily a terrible thing. I plan on calling her again.
Lisa:First dates are hard, because it’s about getting to know each other and making sure you’re not crazy or something, but I thought he was attractive, and I really enjoyed spending time with him. So even if he didn’t feel a romantic attraction, I’d be happy to hang out as friends. But, yeah, I’d be happy to go out on another date.
Nick: The waiter described this chocolate cake that was great, so we decided to split that. We paid the bill. It was a little bit over the $125 [Date Lab limit], so I covered the rest.
Lisa: Usually on dates I do split the bill, but I thought it was a classy move. I think we left the restaurant around 11. I didn’t realize it was so late. He lives super close to the restaurant, so almost immediately when we got outside he was like, “So, we’ll just exchange numbers,” and I was like, “Yeah, if you want to.” He said he would like to do it again. I’m not sure that that’s just something everybody says at the end of Date lab.
Nick:We hugged and said goodbye. We didn’t talk about getting together again. I didn’t want to bring it up. [But] I kind of felt like we were on the same page. I think we both had a really good time and would like to hang out again.
Lisa: I’ve heard that you’re supposed to underrate [the date] just so that you’re not the jerk who is way ahead. But I’ll just be honest, because I’m not very good at being coy. I would [rate the date] a 4.5 [out of 5].
Nick: I think I’d like to [rate the date] not quite a 4 — like a 3.75. It was a very pleasant evening. We enjoyed each other’s company.
UPDATE: Nick and Lisa met up for dinner in Dupont a few nights later and, as of press time, were working on Date No. 3.