Jonathan Mills, 29, an Air Force communications specialist (on right), and Kevin Walling, 28, a political consultant and candidate, bond over policy, and Manhattans, at Iron Gate near Dupont Circle.
Kevin: I thought it would be fun. It’s just kind of the quintessential D.C. young person thing to do.
Jonathan: I didn’t really know what to expect. I assumed that The Post would do a pretty good job of matching us up.
Kevin: The hostess was all kind of giggly when I told them I was here. They brought me over to the bar where he was seated, and we kind of hit it off from there. He had great hair. And a really sweet smile.
Jonathan:He’s an attractive guy, so I was relieved.
Kevin: We had a drink at the bar, and then they brought us to our table. We got seated, [and] we talked more about family and holidays and traveling and kind of got to deeper conversations.
Jonathan: My first impression of him was that he is successful, he’s comfortable, he’s articulate, he was there to have a good overall time.
Kevin: He’s definitely very smart, very engaging, very ambitious and is just an all-around good guy.
Jonathan: As the drinks started flowing, the conversation shifted to more serious topics.
Kevin: We had a couple Manhattans, which we found out was both of our favorite drinks. The conversation was more free-flowing after that.
Jonathan: He does not like eating the cherries in his Manhattan. That was surprising. That’s why you order a Manhattan — for the cherry. Let’s be real.
Kevin: It’s so funny when you put two random people together, but there was never like a lull in the conversation.
Jonathan: I don’t know how I do this, but it seems like every time I start to drink, I start to get more serious and more passionate. So we went down the rabbit hole of public policy and education in Maryland for 20 minutes.
Kevin: It ranged from a whole bunch of different topics, from his time serving in the military to all his different assignments to my background in policy. And I’m actually running for office in Maryland, so we talked a lot about the campaign.
Jonathan:He has a heart for public service, which is very important because it seems like a lot of people, especially in Washington, are in it for different reasons.
Kevin: He spent a lot of time growing up in Mississippi, but did not seem at all from the South. His dad was a Baptist minister, so we talked a lot about faith, because I at one point wanted to be a Catholic priest in the Navy.
Jonathan:I looked at the table behind us, and this couple was sitting there watching us. And the woman asks us if we were on a Date Lab, and we said yeah, and she said, “Oh, I applied for that two years ago, and I haven’t heard back from that.” And we said, “Well, why don’t you just join ours?” So we sat at the table next to them and took some pictures with them.
Kevin: I made the mistake of forwarding the initial [Date Lab] e-mail to friends with the logistical information, so I was half-worried that multiple people were going to show up at the restaurant, but they didn’t.
Jonathan: I’m pretty big into hookah. I was deployed overseas a couple years ago, and some of those local customs kind of rubbed off on me. I enjoy doing that, and I suggested we go out.
Kevin: It was good. It was more romantic, because we were seated next to one another and the lights were dim and Frank Sinatra was playing.
Jonathan: We walked outside, we did the whole kiss-on-the-cheek thing, and I gave him my number.
Kevin:He’s going to the West Indies for 10 days for work, which is crazy, and we had a conversation about getting together when he gets back.
RATE THE DATE
Jonathan: 5. It was so much fun; it was so easy. I’m sure we’ll be meeting up again; at least I hope so.
Kevin: 5. It’s totally five stars. He’s a great, great guy, and it exceeded all expectations. It seemed like we had a connection. Around the third Manhattan I was like, This is kind of legit.
UPDATE: Despite going out of town for 10 days, Jonathan kept in touch with Kevin, and the two have plans to meet up. “I feel really great about it. He’s a fantastic guy,” said Kevin, who said the plans will probably include drinks. Manhattan, anyone?
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