Date Lab: Lots of talking, but did it lead anywhere?


Tiffany Williams, 27, curatorial assistant, and Gregory Lam-nang, 29, bank teller. (Photograph courtesy of daters)
February 27

She’s usually the quiet one — is she willing to switch roles to draw out this shy guy? A three-hour dinner at Casa Luca downtown must mean yes, right?

Gregory: She was quite pretty. I was, like, maybe I should have dressed even better, because she was even more elegant. I was just blown away.

Tiffany: I thought he was very cute. I wanted to break the ice because he seemed very shy.

Gregory: I was afraid she would see me from the entrance and then leave.


(PHOTOGRAPHS OF JERRY SEINFELD, LEFT, OF “SEINFELD” IN 1998 BY COLUMBIA/TRISTAR TELEVISION DISTRIBUTION/ASSOCIATED PRESS; ANDREW LINCOLN OF “THE WALKING DEAD” BY GENE PAGE/AMC; SNACKS BY BIGSTOCK; DIANE KRUGER, LEFT, OF “WICKER PARK” IN 2005 BY SEAN GALLUP/GETTY IMAGES; AUDREY TAUTOU OF “AMÉLIE” IN 2001 BY JONATHAN ALCORN/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE; WHOOPI GOLDBERG IN 2007 BY STEVE FENN/ABC/REUTERS; JACK NICHOLSON IN 2008 BY FRANCOIS DURAND/GETTY IMAGES)

Tiffany: I could tell he had some sort of accent, but I couldn’t place it because he’s Italian Chinese American. I couldn’t figure out what it was until he told me.

Gregory: I studied art. I come from Florence, the Renaissance city, but I end up in the U.S. and work at a bank. Life is unpredictable. I told her it’s not what I want to do, but for the moment I couldn’t find anything else.

Tiffany: He went to school for illustration and graphic design. I went to school for art history. We have similarities in that we both like to attend museums.

Gregory: There was an exhibit I went to see that she wanted to see. And there was one that she saw that I wanted to go see.

Tiffany: I wouldn’t say we had the same taste in movies or books, but we were kind of familiar with what the other person liked. He is very, very into movies. He was suggesting a couple that he thought I would like, which I appreciated. They were French films.

Gregory: From what I understood … she doesn’t have things she is passionate about. I thought she was more like an easygoing person when she said that.

Tiffany: There were pauses sometimes. It wasn’t just a free flow of thoughts and ideas. I don’t know if that was because he was nervous or quiet.

Gregory: We didn’t have any awkward moments. We just talked. Throughout the night I got a kind of feeling of what her personality was.

Tiffany: I felt like I had to draw him out — especially in the beginning. Among my group of friends I’m the quiet one. Going out with someone where they are quiet, it’s just different. The conversation was good; I’m not complaining.

Gregory: I think in general we have some kind of connection, because we talked for two hours and a half. We must have some kind of connection. Plus, before we left for the night she told me she had a good time.

Tiffany: We both had to get to work early [the next day]. We left around 10:15.

Gregory: She had this app where she called a taxi.

Tiffany: My Uber cab got there really early. The cabbie called me, and we had to go outside. We were trying to say goodbye. That made it rushed and maybe a little awkward.

Gregory: I think she [asked for] my phone number right before she hopped in the taxi. We hugged each other. Then when I was walking I was like, Oh, I don’t have her phone number. What if she’s been nice the whole night just because she didn’t want to be rude, and she didn’t really like me, and she’ll never call me? But when I got to my Metro station, she texted me. I was like, Oh, I think it went good then.

Tiffany: Knowing that the date that you’re going on is going to be written about in the paper could make people clam up a little bit. For that reason, I wouldn’t hold that against anyone. Maybe if it was the same on the second date it would be an issue. I’ve dated people who are the opposite of shy, and those weren’t always the best situations. I appreciate someone who can be thoughtful and humble and respectful, and listen, and [be] present in the moment.

Rate the date

Gregory: Maybe 5 [out of 5]. Because nothing went wrong — everything went smoothly. Hopefully we’ll see each other again.

Tiffany: Maybe a 3 or 3.5. I have no idea how he feels. I didn’t get any sort of read — that’s how reserved he was. I left feeling like he was very sweet and a very nice guy and that I might go out again.

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UPDATE: The couple went to a movie on a second date, and though Gregory contacted Tiffany for a third date, they have no plans to go out again.

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