Datelab: When is a kiss just a kiss?


July 31, 2013

She’s kind, considerate and willing to go with the flow. He’s sweet and starting fresh after leaving the West Coast behind. Will their personalities and active hobbies connect them? To find out, we sent them to dinner at Rasoi Indian Kitchen in Washington.

Lynn: I didn’t really have expectations. I was just hoping that it wasn’t someone that I knew.

Jeff: I immediately thought, Wow, she’s super pretty and cute. She went for the handshake. I thought, Okay, a hug would have been better, but a handshake will do.

Lynn:He was taller than me, dark hair fit. He looked really friendly; he’s attractive. He seemed happy.


(PHOTOGRAPHS OF WATER, ANIMALS AND TOYS BY BIGSTOCK; MOLLY RINGWALD OF “THE BREAKFAST CLUB” BY ASSOCIATED PRESS; HUGH GRANT IN “LOVE ACTUALLY” BY PETER MOUNTAIN/UNIVERSAL STUDIOS)

Jeff: We talked a lot about sports, the area, how we’re sort of both transitioning in our careers. I was in a PhD program at UC-Berkeley and dropped out and moved back here. So we talked about my transition from grad school to what I’m doing now, which is baking bread, temporarily.

Lynn: He’s camped and hiked; I love hiking, too, but I haven’t really camped in the wilderness. I found out he’s done three marathons. I didn’t pick up running until after college, but I did the Cherry Blossom 10-miler last year. He’s like, “That’s pretty long!” I was like, “That’s nothing compared to a marathon!” I Yelp — not as consistently now. [But] he’s, like, an elite Yelper. He’s just done everything that I’ve done, but to the next level. Which is intriguing; I need that type of personality; I thrive off of that.

Jeff: I am a big Yelper. I like to write reviews on places — I don’t think anyone actually reads them, but it’s fun for me to make contributions.

Lynn: People who I’ve dated before, the expertise has been more in the liberal arts or politics, and he came from a strong math and science background. I haven’t studied what he’s studied, so his expertise is something that I would have no idea about. We got into talking about carbon emissions, and I was like … I do care about the environment, save the Earth, but no, I don’t have an app that tells me today’s carbon emissions.
We had a laugh about it.

Jeff: I know she’s pretty sarcastic.
I was laughing at a lot of the stuff she said. I don’t think I’m that funny — usually when I’m funny it comes off as being a jerk. I found her very smart, funny and outgoing and very nice.
I think there was some flirting.

Lynn: [The conversation was] definitely more lighthearted than serious. I don’t think that he was really trying to hit on me; I don’t think that’s the type of person he is. I think he’s a really genuine person who wants to get to know you. He’s really caring, he just gave off that vibe — what’s the opposite of arrogant? Just, like, a good person.

Jeff: She also asked me about my former girlfriend. She asked: Was it a clean breakup? Why did you break up? I felt really comfortable with her, so I was happy to tell her whatever she wanted to know. But it would have been better to hold off asking me that.

Lynn: We talked for maybe a little bit over two hours. He saw me to my car. We hugged at the end.

Jeff:I went for the kiss, and she evaded it. So I went with the thing where we each kiss each other on the cheek. I was content with that.

Lynn: Not that I don’t kiss on the first date, but I wasn’t feeling it at the moment. I just kissed him on the side. I hope he wasn’t disappointed, but
I was like, I think that’s fine.

RATE THE DATE

Jeff: I’ll rate the date 5 out of 5. I had
a lot of fun.

Lynn: I would say between a 3.5 to a 4? I feel like a 3 is if you met someone at a bar and had a good conversation but you didn’t ask for their number, just someone friendly and chatting. And then up to 4 is like, Okay, I would actually be fine with this person meeting some of my friends if we go
out together.

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UPDATE: It’s ... awkward. They’ve texted a bit, but Jeff says his attempts to arrange a second date have been unsuccessful. “I’m interested in seeing Lynn again, but she’s not interested, so it is clearly my loss,” he says. Lynn clarifies that holidays and work have kept her out of town since the date — but adds that she doesn’t want to give him false hope.

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