Date Lab: She teaches German. He’s a researcher who can speak it. Gute, ja?


(Photograph courtesy daters)
November 7, 2013

A foreign-language teacher and a historical researcher meet for dinner at Evo Bistro in McLean, but will this date be all academic?

Maura: I was a little worried The Post would have two men or a mouse or a chimpanzee make the choice, because they’ve been tweaking [Date Lab] lately. I was relieved that there was nothing real bizarre happening. The hostess brought me over to the table, and I went for the handshake, but I’m also a hugger, so I had to do that. He seemed a little bit more comfortable with the handshake than the hug.

Kevin: Honestly, I’m a little stiff sometimes when I first meet somebody, but she was pretty calm and easygoing. She just really seemed really friendly. We just jumped off into chatting.

Maura: It was great. They have taps of about 10 reds and 10 whites, and you can look at the bottles and then decide if you want just a taste or three ounces or a full glass. Just by looking at bottles of wine and talking a little bit we could already learn that we were interested in languages and different cultures. Plus we got out of our seats. I can be a nervous talker and, as a foreign-language speaker, wave my hands around and things like that, so it was good to get up move.

Kevin: I guess Maura likes to talk, and I do, too, so that helps a lot. The mood, I guess, was right from the start — just very chatty. She’s a German teacher in a language-immersion program, and she’s also lived abroad. She lived in Belgium and, I think, in Germany. So she sort of has the knowledge junkie kind of feel to her, which I really like, because I’m a knowledge junkie, too.

Maura: He is a very intellectual, very well-read person, informed about world events, history. He was translating a book right now from German, and so when he learned I was a German teacher [he] just started explaining what he was writing about in excellent, high-level German. Very impressive.

Kevin: I just like the fact that she had had experience living overseas. I have also. I’ve lived in the Middle East for short periods of time, so it was just nice to be with somebody who has that in common.

Maura: One of the things that I really liked about him, which was refreshingly unusual for people that I’ve dated, was that he spent a lot of time overseas in war-torn areas or areas with really deep conflicts and spent a lot of his own resources, time and money trying to learn about the people and promote peace and communication.

Kevin: We both grew up Catholic, but I think we both now go to different types of churches. Those types of beliefs are basically everything to me. They are the most important thing in my entire life. I would call myself an evangelical, although with an asterisk. I’m a lot more politically liberal than most evangelicals.

Maura: Neither of us is Catholic any longer, but I’m not certain we attend the same kind of churches. But I tend to see more similarities rather than the differences.

Kevin: She’s also definitely a foodie, which is a plus. I think again part of that, for both of us, seemed like it stemmed from our time living overseas.

Maura: He doesn’t strike me as someone who is real light, not a lot of hilarity. I felt like we had lots in common and lots to talk about, but, when we went to take some of our pictures, we took some by the little wine bar. We were going back to our seats, and I had sat in a chair and he had sat on a bench, and I was like, “Oh, we should sit on the bench.” So I sat on the bench, and then he sat in my chair. It was almost like he didn’t want to sit on the bench next to me or something, or maybe he was being shy.

Kevin: I guess on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being frosty and 10 being really chummy, I’d say we were probably like a 5 or a 6. There were a few pictures where we were kind of verging on the silly. I didn’t get the cold partially standoffish feel that I get from a lot of people in Washington.

Maura: We probably stayed three, maybe even 31 / 2 and didn’t even scratch the surface. We didn’t really talk about dating history and stuff like that.

Kevin: We actually closed the place down. We stayed long past the time everybody else left. We were standing outside the front door of the restaurant. We talked and talked and talked and talked and talked about going out a second time, and we hugged and went to our respective cars.

Maura: It gives another opportunity to get past some of the nervousness. Certainly one evening hasn’t revealed everything.

Rate the date

Kevin: 3.5 or 4. One of the really important things to me is one’s spiritual beliefs. I want to talk more about it and see kind of where she’s at as far as those things go. I want to be careful to not let things get too far down the road before having that important conversation.

Maura: 3.5 I think that The Post did a great job looking at interests. The whole spark and love connection I don’t think was there, but I wouldn’t mind kind of giving it another chance and seeing how it is in a different setting.

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UPDATE: After a few technical difficulties and a lost number, the two finally connected to set up plans for date No. 2. They settled on seeing “Gravity” in 3-D. “I’m looking forward to it,” says Maura. “Our conversation was fairly easy on the phone, and it seems like we’re going into it with a friend vibe, which is probably wise.”

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