Date Lab: When being the short guy isn’t a stigma
By Stephen Lowman,
About the daters ...
Happiest when ...
Devon: When my worries are at a minimum. Or when I’m with my friends and family. Or when I’m uninhibitedly exploring someplace new. Or when I’m knee-deep in art in any medium.
Dominic: When I can look at my schedule for the weekend and see it full of things to do with my friends in D.C. Or when I travel to a new city and find a great dive bar. Or when Democrats win elections. Or when my plane touches down after a lot of turbulence.
Worst date ever …
Devon: Never had a bad one.
Dominic: I went out with a guy who wouldn’t stop checking his BlackBerry because “the senator might e-mail [him] at any moment.”
Your type …
Devon: I like college-educated, worldly, open-minded, optimistic types who love to philosophize, theorize and question, who stand between 5-7 and 5-10, have dark hair, light eyes and are height-weight proportional. A quick-witted indie- or alterna-nerd who likes a lot of good music is always hot. They also have to know how to have a good time when the going’s good (if you know what I’m saying).
Dominic: In a bar, I’ll go for the short, 5-6 guy every time. My friends think I’m crazy. I don’t have a racial or ethnic preference, but I won’t date a Republican. That’s a non-starter. I want to be with someone who believes in the ideals I do. He doesn’t have to be involved in politics directly, but if he can’t name the speaker of the House and tell me what Nancy Pelosi is doing these days, our time together is likely over after the first date. And he should probably be 23-29 years old or so.
About the date ...
7:30 p.m., Local 16, U Street
Dominic: I would not say that I’m a great first dater; I usually get pretty nervous. I called my mother on the walk over to steel my nerves. [The hostess] was like, “Okay, your date is at the bar.” I’m sure there was a look of fear on my face, because then she goes, “Or I can seat you at the table, and we can bring him over.” I was like, “That would be great.”
Devon: He was a complete stranger, which was fantastic. The D.C. gay scene isn’t terribly large. I was worried the date would be with someone I knew or knew me through someone else. The first impression was really good. I liked his style. I liked that he has a beard. We jumped right into conversation.
Dominic: Devon is a cute, nice guy. I’m sure I’m in the minority here, but yeah, I like shorter guys.
Devon: He filled out the Date Lab questionnaire at the beginning of July, and it was just a week before [Date Lab] contacted him. I completed it in May of 2010. It took 14 months to find me a match!
Dominic: I would say we were at the restaurant an hour and half before we ordered dinner. You’re trying to have your first drink, you’re trying to relax, you’re trying to get to know the person — and looking at the menu is a bridge too far.
Devon: We had drinks and ordered some light apps. We talked about how we like D.C., how we both live in Columbia Heights, how we don’t like people who don’t like Columbia Heights.
Dominic: Apparently, every month he and a friend host a gay dance party on Sunday afternoons at Local 16. He knew everyone there. Things really loosened up. He became this very laid-back, fun, humorous, big-personality type. At one point he was like, “I don’t mean to be conceited, but I have a great laugh and I just love to laugh.” I thought I was doing well, because he was laughing a lot.
Devon : We both have similar taste in music. We talked about a Robyn versus Kylie [Minogue] versus Janet [Jackson] dance party happening [the upcoming] weekend. He was like, “It’s definitely about Robyn and Janet.” And I was like, “You cannot forget Kylie.” She’s been around longer than both of them!
Dominic : He said, “Kylie clearly wins.” I told him that Kylie is fine, but she’s just not in the same world as Robyn and Janet.
Devon: It was a cute fight. I liked how funny and sarcastic he was. We actually had two bottles of champagne. And we had a couple drinks prior to those two bottles. I had pizza with meat on it. He’s a vegetarian ... but he has no qualms with people who eat meat. He’s not that kind of vegetarian.
Dominic: Once we were sufficiently loosened up — it was probably 11 o’clock at this point — our waitress got us up and started taking action shots with the camera. There was playful conversation, and physically, I think, we became closer. I think there might have been a kiss somewhere in here.
Devon: I don’t recall a kiss at Local 16. Maybe he wanted it, but it didn’t happen! We decided to get another drink at someplace close by. We went to Marvin.
Dominic: We each got a beer. I think I was slowing down, because he turned to me and said: “You look tired. Do you want to go home?” We left and hopped on the Circulator.
Devon: We sat next to each other on the bus, our bodies kind of touching. We were definitely drunk and tired. It was after midnight. We got off at Columbia Heights, and he walked me to my house. We exchanged numbers. Then we had a little kiss, a peck on the lips. Then I kind of grabbed his chin and kissed him a little harder. He has nice lips.
Dominic: I think it was a nice ending to the date. I give [it] a 4.5 or 5 [out of 5]. I would totally go out with him again. Long term, who knows?
Devon: I would say it was 4.95. Even [the next morning], I was thinking, That was a really good date. It was worth the 14-month wait!
Update: The two went back to U Street for a second date at Tabaq Bistro. “The conversation was flowing as with the last time, but the little something extra just wasn’t there,” Dominic told us. Devon agreed, saying that “there were less sparks than on the first date.” We give them points for trying, though.
Nominate a friend for Date Lab! Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @datelab or Facebook and tells us why he or she is a gredat catch.