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Date Lab: What do you do when your date is not your type?

By Amanda McGrath,

About the daters ...

BRAG A LITTLE ...

Joshua: I have a great personality, love conversing and talking about everything under the sun, and have a great sense of humor. I have a job, an apartment and a car, which makes me independent, and I’m also ambitious. I’m educated, goal-oriented and family-oriented. And I’d like to think I’m cute with a great smile.

Carter: I’m a wicked-smart Ivy league grad. Former varsity rower. Very caring person. Love to go out and have a great time. I’m an amazing friend.

YOUR TYPE ...

Joshua: Someone who is outgoing with a great personality (not too loud or overbearing). I enjoy an athletic, masculine guy who can show his emotions. Someone who is educated, ambitious and loyal, caring and devoted. I also usually date men
of color (black, mixed).

Carter: Tall, blond, athletic, impulsive, spontaneous, caring, friendly, outgoing, ambitious.

YOUR IDEA OF FUNNY ...

Joshua: Someone who is witty and does not have to try to be funny. Also, someone who isn’t overly perverted when they are humorous.

Carter: Lovingly caustic with a sharp wit and a crazy laugh.

INTERESTS TO SHARE ...

Joshua: I hope to share my interests in politics, sports (especially tennis) and family with my date. I would say passions to travel around the world, hopefully enjoy nonprofit work, human rights advocacy or education.

Carter: I want my date to introduce me to new hobbies/interests/outlooks and passions. But he needs to play some kind of sport.

About the date ...

7:30 p.m., Zaytinya, Chinatown

Carter: I went and worked out before, and then talked to my parents, got some last-minute advice. [They said,] “No matter what, be really nice.” And my dad was like, “You’ll know within the first five minutes whether it’s a match, and then you’ll have to stay there for the next few hours if it’s not.”

Joshua: I was a little nervous. I got there about 10 minutes early because I was so nervous.

Carter: I got there maybe a minute or two late. On Jewish Standard Time, I was perfect.

Joshua: My first impression was that he had a really good smile. Super tall. He was dressed really nicely. It was good to see that, ’cause I like somebody who takes the time to get dressed up.

Carter: I’m a hug kind of person; he clearly was a handshake. But you know, I rolled with the punches.

Joshua: I would probably say that you know if we were walking down a street he wouldn’t be my type, but I was still excited to get to know him and maybe that could change my opinion about it.

Carter: He was very not my type. My ideal date is a hug person and also very outgoing, social, always smiling. He looked a little bit nervous and reserved and quiet. He says he’s a really outgoing person, but that wasn’t the initial impression.

Joshua: We were commiserating over the fact that both of our employers were the ones who got us to apply for it. [At work,] we talk about [Date Lab] every Monday, and my co-worker was like, “Why don’t you try it out? You’re young; you’re new to the area.” I was like, “Okay, it could be fun.”

Carter: My boss actually told me that I should apply. And my parents met on a blind date. So I thought it would be fun to try.

Joshua: He ordered wine; I ordered a cocktail. Since Carter had a better feel for that food, he kind of took the reins in what would be good to order.

Carter: When it came time to order, that’s when I knew this wasn’t [a] perfect match. He’s not very adventurous with food. I was like, Oh, no, this is not the place for a picky eater.

Joshua: I will say he got me to try more food than I thought I would. Props to him for making that happen, because usually no one can do that.

Carter: He had a really good sense of humor. Really sarcastic. Kind of made fun of me just a little bit, but I liked it; it was funny.

Joshua: We’re both really close to our family. He calls his mom and dad often, and I do the same thing with my mom. It was really good to have that kind of connection.

Carter: Most of my friends think I’m really lame for calling my parents [so much], but he does [call], too. So I thought that was sweet.

Joshua: The conversation definitely jumped around to a lot of different topics, because I think we both agreed that we don’t like awkward silence. There was this group of four ladies sitting across from us. He was like, “How do you think they all know each other?” I was like, “I don’t know; that’s such a bizarre question!”

Carter: When there’s a lull, what I do is point out people in the restaurant. He thought they were a bridge club; I thought they were a book club reading something from Oprah. I wanted to go ask them what they were reading.

Joshua: I was like, “Please don’t ask them; that would be embarrassing.”

Carter: That’s totally me — I would be the one to [ask.] I held back for him, though.

Joshua: He’s pretty outgoing in the fact that he made a resolution that anytime his friends asked him to do something crazy, he’ll do it.

Carter: We got into this long conversation about adventures.

Joshua: We were talking about sports. I’m a big sport watcher; he’s not so much. I’m a big 49ers fan. He’s from California; he was like, “Okay, a good California team.”

Carter: I kind of lied and said I don’t watch TV, but, God, I hate watching sports, watching football. I’ll play football with my friends or whatever, but I am not interested in those gladiator-type brawls that you watch on TV while chilling with a beer. I’d rather be out and walking around town. So I don’t watch sports, and then I asked if he cooked, and he was like, “No.” I cook for a ton of people and love having people over. I thought, Yup, batting a thousand here.

Joshua: It’s funny, he was like, “What did you say your type was?”And I was telling him, “Yeah, I put I have a preference for mixed or black men.” He was like, “I don’t really fit that bill.” I was like, “Well, obviously.”

Carter: I think he mentioned that his ideal type is someone named Trey Songz? I’ve never heard of this guy. But apparently he’s a rapper? I’m so far away from a rapper. And my type is tall, blond, Ivy league rower.

Joshua: So physically or appearance-wise, we didn’t really fit each other’s bill. But conversation-wise, it was still really good.

Carter: I would say we did connect a little bit more in the second half, started getting friendlier. He works at a nonprofit, and we talked about criminal justice, which I thought was cool, working with children in juvenile justice programs. I hadn’t met anyone with that particular background; I thought it was really awesome.

Joshua: We got the check. We went over a little bit, but he took care of the balance, which was, like, two bucks.

Carter: I think it was pretty clear that I wasn’t his type, and he wasn’t my type. We were kind of talking past each other, so there was no expectation to go out or do anything afterward.

Joshua: He walked me to the Metro, which was nice. We hugged, and he was like, “Text me when you get home, so I know you got home safe.” Which was sweet.

Carter: He seems like a really wholesome person, a good friend to have. As a human being, I think he’s a fantastic person. I would give him a 5 [out of 5]. But I think I would give the date a 2. We were literally laughing at the end about how different we were, how unconventional the setup was.

Joshua: I would probably give it a 3.5. It was a great conversation, great company, great food. I wouldn’t be opposed to another date. If we do, great; if not, that’s fine, too. He’s definitely a good catch for anybody else. There are no hard feelings either way.

UPDATE: They traded a few texts, but no other contact. Carter says he didn’t save Josh’s number in his phone after that, so a second date seems especially unlikely.

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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