Date Lab: She’s ready to prove that everyone is interesting


April 3, 2011

About the Daters

Your type …

Elisabeth: Tall men with swimmer shoulders. I like men who aren’t afraid to join in on adventures or silliness.

Jim: Athletic and enjoys exercise. I’d hope that she loves to try new restaurants. I pretty much require that she be intelligent but not pretentious. Pretentious is pretty much the single characteristic that will always be a deal-breaker.

How you’re not D.C. ...

Elisabeth: My idea of success has nothing to do with who I meet or work for or how much my suit cost. I measure my success by the ways in which my work and choices positively impact the lives of others.

Jim: At heart, I’m still a Maine boy. I’m extremely competitive and outspoken when I need to be, but I’m a naturally quiet guy. I grew up on the ocean, and I miss going on long runs and bike rides along the coast.

Brag a little ...

Elisabeth: I am fun, and I’m not afraid to try new things. I find romance in things like holding the door or picking a bouquet of dandelions. I think I am a good listener and level-headed.

Jim: While I can be a little shy in big groups of strangers, my friends tell me that I’m the wittiest and funniest person they know. I like to think that I’m a fairly intelligent person. Also, I’m tall enough that girls can wear heels with me, which I’m told is a plus.

The Date: 7:30 p.m., Melting Pot, Dupont Circle

Jim: I got there about 7:20. I sat at the bar.

Elisabeth: I walked downstairs to the hostess desk. She said: “Did you want to take a sneak peek at your date? He’s already here.” I said, “Nope, I’m just going to dive into this.” She walked me over.

Jim: [Elisabeth] was tall and absolutely gorgeous. It definitely took a lot of pressure off — I know that sounds kind of shallow. I’d be interested in talking to her if I saw her in a crowded room.

Elisabeth: This is a little bit superficial — I went, Oh, he’s cute. I’m pretty tall. I didn’t want to show up and be towering, so I just wore little kitten heels. He was taller than me when I was wearing those, which is good. I said something silly like, “Blind date, huh?” Something dumb. That made him laugh.

Jim: There was no awkwardness at all except for first five seconds. We were talking during the walk to the table.

Elisabeth: He was a little bit shy at first. He said something like, “I don’t know if I’m going to have that much to talk about; my life is not that exciting.” I said, “I refuse to believe that — everybody is interesting.” I think that put him at ease a little bit. I got a glass of wine. He stuck with water. He was terrible at the cheese fondue.

Jim: Every time I dipped it, I dragged cheese across the table. She taught me how to twist the cheese in just the right way to get it to fall off. The first hour, we were getting to know each other; after that, I felt like I had known her for a while. We had lots of shared interests. She swam in high school and competes now, and I swam in high school and college.

Elisabeth: Both of us interned [on Capitol Hill] for someone from each of our states. We were both here during the big health-care debates.

Jim: [During that time,] a lot of people were leaving messages from our office with her [senator’s] office. I joked that I was personally sorry — that it was my fault that she had to deal with all of it.

Elisabeth: I realized he was only out of college for a year or so [and] is younger than me, which is atypical of dates I usually go on. For the entrees, one of the choices [was made with] red wine. He knows I enjoy red wine and said, “I think that is the style of cooking you would like.” It was nice of him to pay attention to what I liked.

Jim: We were there for so long, after we laid the “getting to know you” groundwork, we started talking about things that were more personal. There was some flirting going on. We were making each other laugh, which is kind of the highest level of flirting.

Elisabeth: There was a little bit of chemistry. It was very subtle attempts at flirting — not things where sparks are flying everywhere. When we looked at the menu together, I would scoot over in the booth so our arms were touching. But nothing overt.

Jim: It had been almost four hours. She mentioned she had swim practice at 5 [the next morning]. We had agreed to exchange information, but we didn’t until we got outside.

Elisabeth: He asked me for my number. He said something about finding me on Facebook. I guess that’s a sign of how the dating game has changed. I gave him a peck, and I turned around to get in the cab, and he said, “You’re not going to hug me?” So I gave him a hug. After no contact for the most part during dinner, I didn’t see that coming. I was blindsided by a hug.

Jim: I did friend her on my phone [on the way home]. I would [rate the date] a 5 [out of 5]. It was an ideal first date. There was nothing too serious, but it was very nice.

Elisabeth: It was a 4. It was better than average, [but] it wasn’t awesome, like when you leave and you’re like, Yes! There wasn’t as large of a spark as normally there would be, but he was just as kind as someone I would have chosen to go out with.

UPDATE: The two have been texting, but Elisabeth has been out of town, which means no second date yet.

Think baseball games are romantic? We’re looking for you. Apply now at datelab.washpost.com. Find out what else we’re up to at facebook.com/datelabor follow us on Twitter @datelab.

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