Date Lab: Two 23-year-old ‘old souls’ find they have a lot in common


Alex Kelso, 23, operations coordinator for Uber, and Emily Willhoft, 23, nonprofit event coordinator (Photograph courtesy of daters/Courtesy of Alex and Emily)
March 14, 2014

His dream girl is an outdoorsy, independent brunette who is close to faith and family. She’s looking for an athletic blond with “understated confidence” who sees humor in any situation. We sent them to Taberna del Alabardero downtown to see if these “old souls” might find a new romance.

Alex: I sat down, and she was there, like, 30 seconds later. We hugged, said hi, and jumped right into conversation.

Emily: I wasn’t nervous, and he didn’t seem nervous, either, so that was good.

Alex: I just thought she was genuinely cute, genuinely nice, had beautiful eyes. Very nice teeth — I don’t know why I picked that out about her.

Emily: I thought he was cute. I typically go for blond s. He seemed a little artsier than I would typically go for. I usually go for sportier-types, so I wasn’t sure how that was going to play out. But once I started talking to him, [I found] he’s not as artsy as I initially pegged him to be. He’s adventurous: He biked across the country, which I’ve always wanted to do.

(PHOTOGRAPHS OF POPE FRANCIS BY GABRIEL BOUYS/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE VIA GETTY IMAGES; JENNIFER LAWRENCE BY PAUL BUCK/EPA; FROM LEFT, KIM KARDASHIAN, KHLOE KARDASHIAN AND KOURTNEY KARDASHIAN IN 2009 BY MATT SAYLES/ASSOCIATED PRESS; “TRAILER PARK BOYS,” STARRING, FROM LEFT, ROBB WELLS, MIKE SMITH AND JOHN PAUL TREMBLAY BY TOPSAIL ENTERTAINMENT LTD; JEFF PROBST IN 2008 OF “SURVIVOR” BY MONTY BRINTON/CBS)

Alex: I do enjoy bike touring and exploring new scenery under the power of two legs. I thought it was really cool that she does triathlons.

Emily: We both feel like we’re old souls. I always tell people I’m an 85-year-old living in a 23-year-old’s body. He felt the same way. I like going to bed early and enjoy reading and drinking tea.

Alex: We joked about both liking waking up early … being a little more mature, a little more okay not going out or doing what a typical 23-year-old does. She likes her quiet time. That’s something I can relate with, something I find difficult living in the city.

Emily: I’m a “stay-in extrovert.” I feel like when I’m out with a group of people, I am extroverted and friendly, [but I like] being within the comfort of my own home.

Alex: She’s very laid-back. She works hard and cares about social issues. Completely different from other dates I’ve been on, because she was so similar to me and my interests.

Emily: He seems grounded, has a good head on his shoulders and makes good decisions. I feel like he’s the type of person who, in a more relaxed setting, would open up more.

Alex: We were just kind of laughing the whole night — not rolling on the floor laughing, but continual laughing.

Emily: I feel like I’m goofy and have a weird sense of humor. Maybe it takes a while once you get to know him, but he seemed kind of serious and not as goofy as I am.

Alex: Toward the end of the night, religion and politics came up. We were talking about our families, our upbringing and where we came from. My mother is very Catholic, so that had a strong influence on my life [and] was something that was important to me that I wanted to talk about with her. [And] it was cool to kind of share the same [political] views as her.

Emily: The conversation just sort of drifted there. I don’t really keep up with politics or anything, so it was funny we started talking about it, but it was no big deal.

Alex: We talked for 31 / 2 hours, and then I looked at my watch, and it was 11 o’clock. I was like, “Oh, my gosh!” We joked about how we were old people and it was past our bedtime. She doesn’t live very far from the restaurant, so I walked her home.

Emily: We hugged, but we didn’t exchange numbers. I was sort of surprised about that. He knows my last name, so he can find me if he wants. There weren’t fireworks or anything, but it was a good time.

RATE THE DATE

Alex: 4.3. I thought she was a really pretty girl and very genuine, but I didn’t feel any immediate, romantic connection. That being said, I don’t think romance happens overnight, and I’d definitely be interested in seeing her again.

Emily: I would say a 4 — by no means a bad date, but I’ve been on better ones. He didn’t do anything wrong, it wasn’t awkward, just because of lack of chemistry. I’m more of an instant spark type of person. [But] I had a good time.

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UPDATE: Since they hadn’t swapped contact info, it was all silence ... until Date Lab got in touch for this update a couple of weeks later. Then Alex tracked down Emily via Facebook, and, as of press time, they had plans to go for a weekend bike ride.

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