Date Lab: On a date with a rare species: The kickballer who doesn’t drink


(Courtesy of the daters)
About the daters ...
Desert-island DVDs ...

Stephen: “Top Gun,” “Young Blood” and “Gladiator”

Erica: “Good Will Hunting,” “Captain Ron” and “The Mighty Ducks”

When it comes to drinking ...

Stephen: I drink socially.

Erica: I don’t drink, but I typically hang out with and date social drinkers.

Dating history as TV show ...

Stephen: It would be on hiatus or a bad pilot that gets canceled after one or two episodes.


(Courtesy of the daters)

Erica: Outgoing kickball team captain goes out on the town with her gang of alcohol-and-thrill-seeking friends in hopes to have a great time. They see live bands, karaoke, watch some hockey, and Erica even dates some guys on the way. They aren’t consistent and not enough for her, but she keeps hoping there will be something good around the corner.

Brag a little ...

Stephen: I am a genuinely good guy. I have a great sense of humor. I can talk about anything. I am also very domestic.

Erica: I’m confident in who I am. I am a loyal friend with a big sense of humor who is very open and friendly.

Dream date ...

Stephen: Rachel from “Friends.”

Erica: I like the idea of dating someone who works for the community in some way or another. I feel like I know so many people who don’t like their jobs and do not feel like their jobs have a purpose. I want to meet someone who really likes their job.

About the date ...

7:30 p.m., Liberty Tavern, Clarendon

Stephen: I’ve never been on a blind date before — not totally blind like this. I got there about 10 minutes early. I went to the host and told him I was with The Post, then he took me upstairs to sit down and [Erica] showed up, like, two seconds later.

Erica: I feel like I’ve done it all at this point, as far as dating. I haven’t been nervous before a date in a while. I was going in with absolutely no idea. ... He seemed to be dressed nice. He had a button-up shirt and jeans. He has a very good-looking face. Very cute. I was somewhat attracted to him, but I didn’t feel an initial spark.

Stephen: She was very pretty. She had really nice blue eyes. I was definitely attracted to her right away. When I first met her, we shook hands.

Erica: Usually I would hug a person, but he was already sitting down. Conversation flowed really easily with us. We ended up having a lot of things in common we could talk about. The second he said “Washington Capitals,” I was like, “This is exactly why they put us together.” ‘Cause I’m a big Caps fan.

Stephen: We ordered drinks. I had a beer and she had a Red Bull. I was like, Okay, I didn’t expect that. And then she said she didn’t drink. At first I was taken aback by it, just because I go out and I’m social and that kind of stuff. [But] it doesn’t hinder her socially at all. We go to the same bars. So initially it was a concern, but it was wiped out very quickly.

Erica: It’s just a personal decision. I’m captain of my social-drinking kickball team. I’m a really good designated driver. I don’t write down whether I drink or don’t drink in online dating, because I don’t want people to draw conclusions. I’ve never really dated anyone who doesn’t drink. ... We both very much dislike the Pittsburgh Penguins, so we were able to bond over that. And how we don’t mind looking ridiculous. He mentioned one of his friends dressed up like Santa and he had to sit on his lap, and I mentioned how I went to a really tacky Christmas sweater bar crawl. It was a fun conversation.

Stephen: We got a mussels appetizer and then for an entree we got a pizza.

Erica: I live by spicy food. Right away he was like, “We can order whatever pizza, but I don’t usually do spicy,” and I was like, Oooh. All right.

Stephen: I definitely thought she was flirting with me, and I was trying to flirt back. But I try to be a little bit conservative on a first date.

Erica: I’m an energetic person so sometimes it comes off as flirting, but I don’t think there was a lot of it, no. That’s kind of what I’m debating. Usually I go on first dates and I know right away if I really like the person and want to hang out with them again. And with him, I really got along with him well, and we had a lot in common, and I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing him again but it wasn’t a lot of flirting, I don’t think. I kinda like someone with more of an aggressive personality, maybe. He’s more laid-back, I guess, than what I’m used to.

Stephen: I said, “Are you off tomorrow? And she said, “No, I have class.” Then we kinda wrapped it up. ... I figured she got up early for school.

Erica: He ...wanted to do something after. But it didn’t fit with my sched- ule. By 10, I’m ready to wind down.

Stephen: She asked me [for my number] 15 minutes before we left, which was good. I was going to do it anyway, but I was glad she did it. It took the pressure off of me.

Erica: My car was a block away, so he walked me to my car. We gave a hug and I think maybe a kiss on the cheek, too. We text messaged a little bit. He made sure I got home, which was really nice. I by no means would consider it a bad date at all. We got along very well. We had a lot to talk about. I’m just not sure there was chemistry there. But I think I would definitely hang out with him once more to see. I’d give it a 3.75 [out of 5].

Stephen: We’ll go 4.5. I liked her. She was just upbeat and positive and had a good attitude about stuff. If things don’t work out in a romantic sense, I think we could be pretty good friends because we have so much stuff in common.

UPDATE: The two texted several times after their date and met up during halftime intermission at a Capitals game they were both attending a week later. But Erica says after hanging out again, they’re in the friend zone. “He’s a really nice guy and we have a lot in common, but the chemistry wasn’t really there,” she 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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