Date Lab: To mustache or not to mustache?

Courtesy of the daters

About the daters ...

Brag a little ...

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Kevin: I am funny. I have this weird charm about me. I am not sure what it is, but in my experience it has hooked women. I am a reasonably intelligent guy, and I do my best to make people smile all the time. I stay fit playing football, baseball and working out a few times a week. Girls have always told me I am cute, though my male friends say
I am ugly. I think that is pretty standard.

Maureen: I’m in communications for a reason. I’m outgoing, spunky, fun to be around, can have a good time doing pretty much anything.

Dream date ...

Kevin She would be a marine biologist who doubled as a photojournalist. We would sail around the world in her boat, going from port to port, seeing everything we could while she did freelance work for National Geographic.

Maureen Someone who could get me into every Green Bay Packers game, but also can put on a tux for a benefit gala.

Interests to share ...

Kevin: I am still trying to hold onto my youth and play sports and be active, so being a jock is a plus. Enjoying nature, camping and hiking. Going to see live music. I am also a huge movie nut.
I also need somebody who appreciates museums.

Maureen: Sports, hiking, volunteering, food, current events.

Your type ...

Kevin: Looks are important, but I do need intelligence. I really like a girl who can put me in my place and can hold my attention with good conversation.
I usually go for girls between 5-foot-3 and 5-foot-7. I am drawn to an athletic type of body. Great legs knock me out, and what man can say he doesn’t like big breasts?

Maureen: Attractive, smart, taller than me, willing to make my friends his own, comes from a similar background.

About the date ...

7:30 p.m., Boulevard Woodgrill, Clarendon

Maureen: Blind dates are already nerve-racking enough. I hate being late. I got there five minutes early.

Kevin: The women on my team at work were more excited about it than me, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t excited — I just think that’s a men and women thing. I was five minutes late, and I felt kind of bad. I told the hostess, “I’m already late. That’s not a good start, is it?” She said, “Just apologize right away,” and I did. Maureen was cool with it. We shook hands and said hello. She was pretty, a very attractive woman.

Maureen: When he showed up I thought, He’s cute, maybe not someone I would normally go for physically, but that’s not something I really focus on. I could just tell he was gregarious and outgoing and had this great smile. Right off the bat, he started asking me questions, trying to get to know me.

Kevin: We both work in communications, so that made it very easy to talk to her. I feel like people working in our field end up hanging out or dating because there’s something about the way we interact, the way we see the world, there’s a gregariousness there.

Maureen: We ordered drinks and sat there for an hour before we ordered our dinner. He was more on the chatty side, and that’s a good thing on a first date. We talked about just about everything: families, schools, jobs, what led us to apply to Date Lab.

Kevin:I’d gone on vacation a couple of weekends ago and shaved so I had a mustache. It looked so ridiculous and goofy that I kept it. I had a debate about whether I should shave it off before Date Lab. The majority of the people I asked wanted me to keep it, but I didn’t want to be too silly on a first date. When I told her about it and she had a good chuckle, she said something like, “This is such a ridiculous thing, being set up on a date by a newspaper. Why not have a ridiculous mustache?” [Editor’s note: Chime in on the mustache debate here.]

Maureen: The more we talked, the more we discovered we had in common that The Post probably didn’t realize. He used to be a sportswriter, and I’m really into sports. We’re both one of four kids, and our family dynamics sounded similar.

Kevin: I’m from around here, and turns out she grew up in the area. She went to a small college in Virginia; I went to a small college in Maryland. We ordered some appetizers, and she got the crab dip. She told me her grandfather made sure all his kids learned to pick crabs. I told her I liked her grandfather!

Maureen: There were never any awkward pauses. He’s so outgoing that there never was really a turndown in the momentum. It was a friendship vibe more than anything, but it is a first date, and a first date under unusual circumstances, so you have to take that into consideration.

Kevin: I’m not someone who needs that spark on the first date in order to want to see someone again.

Maureen: I used to be a person who had to have that spark, but I’ve come to realize that you have to be patient. I think that realization has come with experience. It’s not always going to be love at first sight, and that’s okay. Sometimes it takes some time to see a spark, so you have to just give it a chance to show itself. We left around 10:15. We gave one another a hug, and he got my phone number.

Kevin: As I was walking home, I started thinking about the rating. Should I be critical? I don’t want to be critical, because I had a good time. I go on enough first dates to know what a good first date is and what a bad one is. I would give it a 4 out of 5. I enjoyed talking to her. I would enjoy going out with her again.

Maureen: I’d give it 3.7. It was a good date; we’ll see what happens. I’m not someone who takes risks, and this was my wild and crazy thing to do, and it went well. I would definitely go out with him again to see if there’s more of a connection.

UPDATE: They met up for dinner in Pentagon City a few days later and traded texts afterward. “There was less of a connection” after the second date, Kevin says, but added that they might get together once he returns from vacation. “The door’s open to it.”

As for the mustache? We showed Maureen a picture and asked what she thought. “I’m definitely glad he didn’t show up with one, although I’d hope I would have been able to look past it!” she told us. “I’m just not a big fan of facial hair!”

POLL: Do you think Kevin should have kept his mustache? See a “before” photo and vote.

PHOTOS: The area’s most romantic places

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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