Date Lab: Will his boyish charm put him at a disadvantage?


(Courtesy of the daters)
March 22, 2012
About the daters ...
Your type ...

Cooper: Athletic, brunette, short hair (but not a deal breaker), someone with things to say and definitely her own opinion.

Dana: I don’t have a “look,” but I do need a guy who has at least a bachelor’s degree, takes care of his health/is athletic and isn’t significantly shorter than me when I’m in heels and doesn’t wear a smaller size pant than me. I can’t stand anyone who takes themselves too seriously. Major muscles, being super into cars and having a goatee definitely do not win points with me.

Desert-island DVDs ...

Cooper: 500 Days of Summer,” “Waiting for Guffman,” “Mean Girls.”

Dana: The Departed,” “Best in Show,” “Election” (honorable mention for “Monsters, Inc.”).

Desert-island foods ...

Cooper: Goat cheese, ciabatta bread, cherry tomatoes.


(Courtesy of the daters)

Dana: Good pecorino cheese, good bread and good olives in oil.

Interests to share ...

Cooper: An interest in good movies, bad reality TV shows, politics and sports. Someone willing to get out of the city to check out new places.

Dana: Shared respect for athleticism, health and intellect; some familiarity with law wouldn’t be bad; strong interest in travel and sports; CANNOT be a picky eater and must like wine.

About the date...

7:30 p.m., Tuscana West, downtown

Cooper: I got there just a few minutes before she did. When I first saw her, I immediately thought she was very, very pretty — a match there for sure.

Dana:He was boyish — and I mean that in the nicest way. He’s definitely cute, has a cute baby face. And he’s a gentleman. His mama raised him right.

Cooper: We sat down and ordered a bottle of wine. She was a lot more knowledgeable about wine than me, so really, she ordered the bottle.

Dana: It’s not like a lot of people my age know a lot about wine, so I don’t want to sound like that’s a deal breaker or that I am a wine snob. [But] if I’m the one picking out the wine on a date, that’s not usually a good sign. The kind of man I want to date would either know enough about wine to pick something, or alternatively, and equally as acceptable, would never resign himself and just hand over the wine list to his date. [But] this wasn’t really that big of a sticking point to me.

Cooper: The thing I was most worried about was a night of awkward pauses and really strained conversation. But those worries disappeared. The conversation the entire night had a natural flow.

Dana: He was perfectly nice, and the conversation was so good. There was never an awkward pause. It was nice to be around another Southerner. We also find the same things funny — both of us are big Tina Fey fans.

Cooper: I really like someone who takes risks and experiences new things without hesitation. I appreciate someone who gets out, [who is] more well-rounded. We both can talk politics and hold our own. She’s a bit center-left, and I’m a bit center-right, but neither of us are ideologues, and we really tried to delay the politics topics as long as we could so we won’t be that typical D.C.-er. She is a very strong-willed, independent kind of girl. That’s attractive. I hate when girls are constantly deferring to guys.

Dana: We had a nice dinner. It’s just that I felt much older. I’ve dated a lot of older guys recently, so it was a bit of departure. I’ve learned that I am not very patient with the sort of relationship/dating games that younger guys are prone to, [such as] only conversing via text; not taking me out on an actual date; being mean because he thinks “nice guys finish last” or, worse, being way too nice/spineless. It’s not so much an age thing as a maturity and confidence thing.

Cooper: We closed the restaurant we were talking so much. Both of us were having a good time. She said, “Let’s go to this bar,” and I said, “That’s exactly what I was thinking.” We walked to the Sofitel bar and had another drink there. It was hard to tell if there was flirting, but it did feel like more than just a friendly night out. But it is hard to tell.

Dana:I don’t want to say we didn’t click, but I didn’t feel any major sparks. Cooper was adorable and sweet. He was really so nice.

Cooper: I walked her to the cab. We hugged and said goodbye. I sent her a text last night to make sure she got home safely. And we texted this morning. I’d give the date a 4.5 out of 5 — a great time with prospects for the future. I would like to go out again.

Dana: I’d rate the date a 3.75. He was great to talk to, and we did not run out of things to talk about. And see, that’s why I want to go out with him again. The last time I went out with someone who I thought would grow on me, it didn’t work; I don’t think it’s fair for anyone to just keep going out because you want to be nice. [But] I really did have a great time on our date, and I’d go out with him again, as I think the blind-date context can be a game-changer.

UPDATE: “I would have gone on another date with him, but I never heard from him again!” says Dana. Cooper explains that “it didn’t really seem like anything was going to come of it, unfortunately.”

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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