Date Lab: Their shirts match, but do their personalities?


(PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY DATERS)
August 22, 2013

Geoffrey is “Minnesota nice” and looking for a cute, slightly nerdy guy who can match his dry sense of humor and romantic streak. Eric is a bona fide local looking for a guy who pairs smart political conversation with a creative streak. We sent them to Jaleo (and no, we didn’t tell them what to wear).

Eric: I got ready for the date. I thought, This is going to be published, and if I wear something bad, people will leave mean comments. I ironed a dress shirt and wore white shorts.

Geoffrey:We were basically wearing the same shirt, so we have the same taste in clothing. We thought it was sort of funny that we both thought a purple gingham shirt was a good choice.

Eric: He did seem pretty young, that was sort of the first impression. It’s about a five-year age difference. Which, in your 20s, is actually a more significant age difference than what it seems.


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Geoffrey: One of the first things I thought was, The Washington Post knows my type very well. It’s adorkable: cute but dorky at the same time.

Eric: I sort of have this ideological opposition to small plates and tapas, because it makes it so complicated to cobble together a meal. You have to choose what plates. Will it be enough? Can’t we just have a real meal? It was a little bit of an awkward time, because we were so focused on the menu we weren’t talking much.

Geoffrey: He does freelance cocktail reviews, so I let him be the one to order drinks. He’s a grad student, and he just switched jobs recently, so we talked about work. He’s definitely motivated, which is very appealing.

Eric: I think he’s very easy to get along with. He definitely seems approachable. He seemed a little bit — maybe not exactly shy, but a little bit more on the reserved side.

Geoffrey:He’s part of his civic association for his neighborhood, which was pretty cool. It was kind of a surprise to meet someone who actually cares about hyperlocal politics.

Eric: A lot of people who live here don’t really care about local politics. So that was a positive thing.

Geoffrey: I definitely thought that we were hitting it off.

Eric: I tried to be very friendly and open, and I could tell he was definitely charmed by me. Not that I want to toot my own horn here, but he was almost explicit, like, “I think Date Lab made a good match!” It was after a few drinks, so maybe he was letting down his guard.

Geoffrey: We left there — it must have been around 10?

Eric: We went to this bar called JR’s. Is it a good idea to go to a gay bar on a date? It’s almost like ... too many distractions.

Geoffrey: We were definitely physically closer at JR’s, which is a pretty packed bar, and no longer sitting across the table. There was less of the superficial “Oh, what do you do?” stuff, but actually getting to know him.

Eric: Then we went up the street to Dupont Italian Kitchen. We both like Manhattans, which was a nice coincidence. We were really talking more about our personal lives. I think that was the better part of the date.

Geoffrey: We got to national politics at that point. I usually try to avoid getting to that point, because as a gay Republican, it’s not always the “in” thing to say. But there was no issue on that at all. The way the date ended, we did have a goodnight kiss. That, to me, was a sign of some interest, at least.

Eric: I did give him my phone number, and he’s sent me a bunch of text messages. I’m willing to go on at least one more and then decide whether to make it into something else.

RATE THE DATE

Eric: Maybe a 3.5 [out of 5.] It was good, but it wasn’t, like, a really great date.

Geoffrey: I’d say 4 to 4.5 — there were some awkward pauses and things like that, but overall it was very good.

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UPDATE: Eric and Geoffrey met up for a drink at Number Nine in Logan Circle, followed by coffee at Bar di Bari. “It felt more natural the second time,” Geoffrey says.
But though they parted on friendly terms,
it looks as if that will be the end of it. “I felt more comfortable around him, but I didn’t feel interested enough for another date,” Eric says.

Curious?

Tell us what past Washington Post story or person in the news you want us to update. E-mail trents@washpost.com or call 202-334-4208.

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