Date Lab: What happens when your dating patterns change


(Courtesy of the daters)
About the daters ...
Dating life as a TV show ...

Martina: Is she straight? Is she gay? Who can keep up with the revolving door of men/women? On this week’s episode, she decides to take the 44-year-old Portuguese man as her date to a family dinner, with her 55-year-old father. Good times.

Jenn: It’s like “How I Met Your Mother” except with a hot gay chick.

Interests to share ...

Martina: Love of literature and appreciation of the natural world. BEER KNOWLEDGE IS UBER SEXY, major points.

Jenn: Hanging out, going to sporting events, etc.

Your idea of funny ...

Martina: Witty banter.

Jenn: Dry humor, wildly inappropriate.

Brag a little ...

Martina: I am really fun and pretty cute (or at least my mom thinks so).

Jenn: I know how to have a good time.

Your type ...

Martina: I always date people who are math/finance/econ/engineering/physics-focused because I am so in the clouds they usually complement me well. Must be intelligent; I need to learn something from the person I am with. Sidenote: I have great sex with Leos but tend to avoid them because they are [expletive] nuts (much like me).

Jenn: Really pretty chicks. No manly looking ladies, sorry.

About the date ...

7:30 p.m., America Eats Tavern, Chinatown

Martina: I was feeling a little nervous. I wasn’t really expecting to be set up with a woman. I filled out that survey about a year ago. I have dated women before and am not opposed to it, but I guess I was a little surprised.

Jenn: I got there five or 10 minutes early. I waited about 10 minutes for Martina to show up. She’s not my usual type, so I was a little worried. I’m kinda fratty and a little preppy; I usually go for preppier girls, and she didn’t seem to be very preppy. But we sat down and started talking pretty quickly.

Martina: My immediate gut reaction was that she was cute, but whenever I did date women I dated more masculine, butchy women. I also thought she was much older than me. When I found out she was younger, I was kinda surprised. I thought she was beautiful, but I wasn’t attracted to her.

Jenn: I don’t date bisexual girls, and I guess that’s what she is. It just doesn’t make sense to me. To be honest, I kinda just wrote the whole thing off.

Martina: I’m very good at reading people, and she’s very difficult to read. Not a lot of facial gestures, not very talkative. I’m very much an extrovert, and if I can’t see a reaction on somebody’s face, I’m not sure what my next move is. So I pretty much ordered too many cocktails and got drunk and made a [fool] of myself.

Jenn: I’m not typically a quiet person, but I was quiet last night. She did most of the talking. And that’s fine, but she seemed to bring attention to our table a little more than I’m accustomed to.

Martina: She ordered a beer. I really loved DC Brau. I was pleasantly surprised, so we started talking about beer. That was a common interest of ours. I felt bad, because I kept having to step outside and check work e-mails and chain-smoke cigarettes because I was nervous.

Jenn: The food was fantastic. I got shrimp etouffee for my appetizer. Then, for my entree, I got the braised short ribs. It was really good. She got the peanut butter and jelly with foie gras and then some kind of beet dish.

Martina: Everything José Andrés makes is delicious. But I totally turned her off by saying I want him to be my future baby daddy. I’m pretty hyperactive and excited all the time. She was very calm and balanced, which generally is a good thing in a mate for me, but I don’t learn that until later on. I was trying to get our waiter to take pictures with us. I was trying to get her to stand up and look at the demonstrations of food they were doing at Minibar. She was like, “No, no, we can’t do that.”

Jenn: We were there for a while. It takes a while for the food to come out, so we ordered more drinks.

Martina: We did get to the fact that we both like outdoors. I am a big kayaker. She likes kayaking and hiking and camping. In that way I’m like, “Well, let’s just be friends and go hiking.” I told her I’d be down to go out again when I don’t feel like I’d be on display in The Post.

Jenn: We exchanged numbers, but I’m not really interested in seeing her again. We made friends with the waiter, and they were trying to get us to go out after, but my roommate came and picked me up.

Martina: We left around 10 p.m. I walked her out, gave her a hug and put her in the back seat of the car. She texted me a couple times that night. But then my phone died, so the conversation stopped. I texted her the next morning. She said it was really nice meeting me, but we’re probably really not compatible, which is, I have to say, the truth. I think I’m a lot to handle. If you changed the word “date” to “free meal,” I would rate it a 5 [out of 5]. But as a date, I would give it a 1.5.

Jenn: It was like a 2. The food was really good, and they had a really good beer list, so I can’t give it a 1. My friends got a good laugh out of it.

UPDATE: Unsurprisingly, these two haven’t been in touch. “I’m not really a lesbian, so that kinda puts a damper on romance,” Martina explains. “I had a phase that I accidentally fell into that happened to coincide with the time I was filling out that survey more than a year ago.” No biggie, Jenn says: “I honestly wasn’t expecting to meet my future wife.” We’d like to try again — if you think you’re the guy for Martina or the woman for Jenn, e-mail us at datelab@washpost.com.. Better yet, fill out an application here.

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.

Ellen McCarthy is a feature writer for Style.
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