Date Lab: She was trying to keep an open mind, until he said ...


(Courtesy of the daters)

About the daters ...

Dating historyas a TV show ...

Cherie: A black Carrie Bradshaw living in D.C. minus Mr. Big, plus two adorable dogs. Happy hours and dog parks. Flats while I walk and change into (cute but affordable) heels when I get where I’m going. I actually cook, so there are no sweaters in my oven.

David: After a long time out of the “game,” David is shocked to see how dating has advanced. He tries to acclimate to today’s rapidly paced (I guess) world of dating, but suffers from a series of comedic mishaps and misadventures.

Happiest when ...

Cherie: I’m with my dogs or on the beach with a cocktail and an umbrella.

David: When the sun is shining and I’m either on my motorcycle or on the tennis court. Or on the beach with my best friend.


(Courtesy of the daters)
Your type ...

Cherie: Tall, athletic, definitely a conversationalist. A guy who is just as comfortable at a Nats game as he is networking at a company event. Outgoing and genuinely nice. Must love dogs as much as I do.

David: Physical attraction has to be there. Someone who can talk politics and Kardashians without taking a breath. Knowledge of sports isn’t a must but would be nice. Lover of music ... all music

About the date ...

7:30 p.m., Marvin, U Street NW

David: I’m two years out of a divorce. I’ve been on a couple dates, but I was definitely nervous. I got there probably about 20 minutes beforehand. Every person that walks by, I was imagining, “Is this Cherie? Is this Cherie?” So when she did walk in I was very pleasantly surprised. She’s a very, very attractive woman.

Cherie: I was there on time. The hostess said, “Oh, are you with Date Lab? He’s here. Let me take you to him.” Physically, I know immediately if I’m going to click with someone. He was tall, so that was good. He was handsome. But I’m a very all-or-nothing person, so an instant physical attraction was not there. He’s not an unattractive man, but he just doesn’t do it for me.

David: When she opened her mouth, my level of attraction ramped up 10 times. Cherie is brilliant. The first two or three minutes were the kind of casual conversation that you have with a stranger, but we fell into a flow almost immediately. She’s just very knowledgeable about any topic under the sun. During our discussion, we found that we had so much in common, from our respective [professional] fields and family makeup to the sports that we like.

Cherie: The conversation was good. I was very excited when he said he has two dogs, ’cause I have two dogs. If someone told me they had an issue with dogs or said they didn’t like dogs, I wouldn’t date them.

David: We probably talked about 30 minutes or so before we ordered our appetizer, shrimp and grits. It was comfortable, fun, easy.

Cherie: We were talking about [nightclubs] we would go to out in D.C. back in the day. He mentioned that now his priorities have changed. He said, “Oh, I have three boys.” And I said, “What?” It was just a lot for me. I prefer not to date men who have children. Depending on the guy, I am open to make an exception. But when you have three kids and they’re [under 5], would you really want to have more kids? And I want to have kids. It was definitely a turning point in the date. Because even though there wasn’t that instant physical reaction, I was wanting to give it a chance. He’s a very nice guy. We had a fantastic conversation.

David: Having children is something that I am sure plays a major factor in dating, and, yes, it has been an issue. My last relationship, albeit brief, ended primarily because of my commitment to my boys. I know not everyone is cool with my situation, and that’s fine.

Cherie: I got the scallops. He got the monkfish. And then we got dessert. I found it a little odd that when we were taking the photos, basically we were just standing next to each other. He didn’t come closer or put his arm around me. He seemed just very stiff.

David: I tried to be friendly but not cross any lines. I was raised in the South, and I consider myself a Southern gentleman. I had probably one of the best nights of my life. I hate to use this cliche, but it is absolutely true: When I looked at my watch, it was 7:33 when Cherie walked into Marvin. The next time I looked at my watch, it was 11:30. I gave her my business card, but she didn’t have one, so she took one of mine and wrote down all her info.

Cherie: So then we walked to the Metro, and his train came and we said good-bye. And again, there was no hug. There was no handshake. He just said, “Good-bye and I‘ll give you a call,” and got on the Metro. It did feel awkward to me, though during the date, he told me what a great time he had and he told me he thought I was stunningly beautiful.

David: I called her after I got off the train to make sure she got home safely and left a message. I actually e-mailed her, too. She responded, and we’ve been e-mailing since. We have plans to get together. I would give it a 4.25 [out of 5]. I have to deduct [a little] because she’s half French — I think that’s a law.

Cherie: I’d give it a 4. He was a nice guy. We did have a lot of things in common, and we had really good conversation. He didn’t do anything wrong — and I have been on plenty of blind dates where it’s just horrible. But the fact that he has three little children is a big deal for me. I don’t have a problem with happy hours or a lunch here or there, but I will make sure that he understands that it’s probably not going to be more than friends.

UPDATE: Cherie and David met up for a bite the following week, but she told him she couldn’t date a man with three small children. “It’s huge for me,” she says. “I can’t deal with it.”

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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