Date Lab: Why you should listen to your mother


(Courtesy of the daters)
March 3, 2012
About the daters ...
Brag a little ...

Hanna: I’m a woman who knows where I want to be in life. I like trying new things and experiences. I’m open to adventures. I enjoy sports (football/baseball/basketball). I love cooking and I’m good at it.

Philip: I’m in shape and love exercising. I’m confident, caring and perceptive.
I know how to push people’s buttons, and I doubt anyone has ever called me boring.

Your type ...

Hanna: Guys who can keep up with me physically and can hold a decent conversation that isn’t work-related.

Philip: White, blond/brunette girl-next-door type. Put-together, knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to get it. Not shy around my friends/family, outgoing, active, into sports and new experiences.

Your idea of funny ...

Hanna: Witty and slightly sarcastic.
I’m not looking for someone to tell me cheesy jokes.


(Courtesy of the daters)

Philip: Witty, sarcastic ... able to give it and take it. Not afraid to call people out.

Interests to share ...

Hanna: Sports, outdoor hobbies (kayaking, canoeing, jet-skiing, white-water rafting, NO CAMPING), cooking.

Philip: Sports/athletics, love of traveling and new experiences, good food with good people.

About the date ...

7:30 p.m., Paolo’s Ristorante, Georgetown

Hanna: I got there first and was seated. The hostess brought Philip over a few minutes later. At first I thought he was cute, but he’s not my normal type at all. My normal type is a lot more muscular. But then I heard my mother’s voice in my head: “Your normal type hasn’t worked out for you, so what does that say?”

Philip: I was pleased [when I saw her]. She seemed very friendly and attractive. She had a great smile and she’s fit. She stood up and went for the handshake, but I told her we had to hug. She was fine with that and told me later that she’s normally a hugger.

Hanna: It took us a few minutes to figure out what we wanted to order, cocktail-wise. I was really nervous and made some smart[-aleck] comment when we were looking at the menu. I don’t remember what it was, but we both laughed and that broke the ice.

Philip: We talked about the usual things before ordering an appetizer. We asked the waitress for some recommendations. She recommended the calamari and the eggplant. Hanna said since she makes eggplant she would like the calamari. We started talking about cooking. She’s more of a recipe person, and I’m more of a look-at-what’s-in-the-fridge-and-throw-it-together person. We have a lot of opposite ways of looking at things. I think that’s good. It’s better than dating yourself in female form.

Hanna: He definitely is more of a spontaneous person. I like to have a plan. For me that [difference] is good. I need someone to remind me the day doesn’t have to be planned and do something random. We talked about our families. I’m very close with mine. My family and I are a little extreme. I talk to them every night.

Philip: I’m very close with my family, but we have very different relationships. She’s still her parents’ little girl. They worried about her being on a blind date and wanted to call her when she got home. Don’t get me wrong. She’s not pampered. She does her own stuff, but she still has that relationship. Mine don’t worry about me in that same way.

Hanna: I had looked at the menu beforehand and so I had an idea of what I want to eat. He made a little fun of me about it. Then he took forever to decide. I teased him about that. He took it in stride. When the food came, he took this picture of me taking a bite of shrimp. I said, “Thanks for taking a picture of me shoveling food into my mouth.” He teased me. It was the way he said it and tone of his voice. It was startling to hear my family’s sense of humor in someone else. That was the point I thought, This could go somewhere.

Philip: Basically the whole night was making fun of each other. She tooted her own horn a little bit, talking about school. She was a straight-A, straight-edge student. I was more of a rebel student. I called her out on it. She took it and dished it back, which was refreshing.

Hanna: As the night went on, the jokes and teasing got a lot more flirty.

Philip: We were talking about first impressions. She told me she doesn’t put a lot of faith in the first impression; I’m big on them. She asked me what my first impression of her was. I told her I had all these concerns about doing Date Lab, but when I saw her I knew I had made the right decision.

Hanna: I had planned on leaving by 10 because I have to be to work by 6, but it It was close to 11. Our waitress brought the bill. We went a little over the [Date Lab limit of] $125. I offered to take care of it, but he said no.

Philip: [Early on] we figured out we live across the street from each other. I teased her and said if she felt safe, I’d walk her home.

Hanna: The cobblestone in Georgetown is tough, and I had three-inch heels on. I stumbled, and he caught me and said, “You’re going to keep your arm here.” We walked home with my arm tucked into his elbow. It was really cute. We got to my apartment, and we were hesitating right outside the door. He asked me if I had a good time.

Philip: She stuck out her hand and said, “Phone, please.” I gave her my phone, she put her number in it and called herself from it. I will definitely call her. I gave her a hug and said goodbye. I sort of have a policy to not kiss on the first date. I like to have something lingering still, to let things marinate over a few days.

Hanna: I actually wasn’t expecting a kiss. I kind of feel the same way. It gave me the impression that he liked hanging out with me and wasn’t trying to rush it along. I had a good feeling that we were on the same page. He texted me to say he had had a great time. I texted him in the morning, and we’ve been writing back and forth.

Philip: I would give [the date] a 4.5 [out of 5]. It was easy and fun, and I had a great time.

Hanna: I’d give the date a 4. I wish we had gone out on a night when I could have stayed out later. I didn’t want it to end. Other than that, I would have given it a 5.

UPDATE: Did they let it linger too long? Despite some texting back and forth, incompatible schedules have foiled attempts at a second date. “I feel like if you don’t follow up on that first date quickly, that initial thing goes away,” Hanna says. “I’m still up for it, but it doesn’t look like our schedules are going to match up anytime soon.”

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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