Date Lab: In which Carolyn Hax helps us choose a date


(Courtesy of the daters)
March 1, 2013

When John’s Date Lab application arrived, we felt confident our database held a match. But to narrow the field, we turned to Post advice columnist Carolyn Hax. We gave Carolyn seven choices, and she selected Megan.

Said Carolyn: “John seems to have come to a point in his life where he’s through trying other people’s ways of doing things, and he’s set on his own: his running, his rice chips, his church, his dog. I wanted to find a match for him who had settled in as well, in ways compatible with John’s — particularly fitness and spirituality — but also someone who would bring some flexibility. Megan seemed to have that quality, since teaching kindergarten and being close to her twin suggest an adaptable nature. Also catching my eye: They both settled near NoVa night-life spots versus downtown ones. I just hope that if they ever get stranded together on a desert island, John won’t get on her case about the Cheez-Its.”

7:30 p.m., The Portofino, Arlington

John: This is going to sound like a cop-out, but I didn’t really have an immediate first impression. I [didn’t] want to make a judgment right away. She’s very attractive, very appealing.

Megan: I could totally tell he was my type, because I really like athletic-looking people. So my first impression was like, Oh, this is a good start.


John: We found out pretty soon that we had some interesting things in common. She’s run several marathons. I’ve run
a few. We enjoy stand-up comedy.
We both have a dog that we love.

Megan: I was like, “I have lots of pictures; let me show you.” Not to be that girl, but I really love my dog and it really seemed like it was the same for him.

John: We each got our own appetizer and our own entree. No wine. I think she would have had wine with dinner, but when I told her I try to avoid drinking and driving at all, she opted not to drink.

Megan: [It’s] kind of funny, because I’ve really only been out with guys who like to drink, and I was pleasantly surprised that he didn’t want to. I really liked that.

John:There was a lot of laughing. I think we spent a lot of time talking about her teaching, about the school that she works at. I could see that she has passion for her job and that she really cared for her students.

Megan: He was really easy to talk to, and we had very similar opinions about things. I definitely think politically he’s more conservative than I am. But we were respectful of how each of us felt.

John: [Megan] was very friendly and nice. I know I’m going to get in trouble for saying this, but my experience dating is there are a lot of attractive women, but there are not that many that are nice. So it was nice to meet someone who is [both].

Megan: I thought there was [flirting].
I guess I tried to flirt! I hope he was, too. At one point I spilled something on my shirt, and I was so upset, like, “Great, I look like a total idiot.” But he was like, “That’s okay; you still look really nice.”

John: I kind of know when women aren’t interested because they’re very distant. This was sort of the opposite, where there was no distance.

Megan:Nothing seemed that forced to me. He walked me to my car, which I thought was a really gentlemanly thing to do. I think in this day and age there is a lack of chivalry, and I still really like when guys hold doors and walk me to my car.

John: I gave her a hug and got her phone number. I told her my philosophy about needing a second date to really know if there’s a connection, and she agreed.

Rate the date

Megan: I’d [rate the date] a 4 [out
of 5]. I’d definitely go out again.

John: I give the date a 4. She’s certainly worth pursuing a second date, if only to see if there’s actual chemistry when we’re not under the microscope of Date Lab.

Carolyn Hax: I KNEW it. Okay, I didn’t except on paper, but I had a hunch. Coolness.

UPDATE: Megan says she texted John twice and got a slow response, which she read as disinterest. John says he called and left a message and got no response, so he gave up. Maybe we need Carolyn to mediate?

Want to be in Date Lab?
Sign up or nominate a friend.
Reach us at datelab@washpost.com or on Twitter @datelab or Facebook.

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