Friendly? Check. Foodies? Check.
Our daters head to Teaism in Dupont Circle to see what else they have in common.
Fatima:He was already upstairs when I got there. It was a little warm up there; we were both sweating a little bit.
Eugene:She was extraordinarily friendly and absolutely beautiful.
Fatima: He was a very friendly guy, a nice smile, very genuine. I’ve been to Teaism before, and he hasn’t, so I made a few food suggestions, and that’s when he told me he was really into food.
Eugene: The thing about food is that it’s a way to get to know people or a culture. It’s something that’s shared between all different communities.
Fatima: He got an Indian dish, and I got a Thai dish. We talked about cooking a lot. I’m really into cooking easy things. He’s taken cooking classes — Taiwanese classes and Indian cooking classes. Although I like that kind of food, I’m just not into making complex things.
Eugene: I think she described herself as being very much a planner. I think that’s an admirable trait. A big-picture plan but not worrying about the details: That’s my approach in life.
Fatima: He made the connection for why The Post may have put us together. He thought it was from him being in Peace Corps, and I travel a lot for my work internationally and grew up internationally. And for me, when I found out what he does — he’s an infectious disease physician — [it fit,] because I was really into academic types, people who are creative and useful.
Eugene:She works for a very small consulting firm that evaluates development work. When I was a Peace Corps volunteer, one of the things I struggled with was trying to measure success levels or how effective we were in our project. I think that might be a similar trait or commonality, in the sense that we’re both interested in doing some sort of development or community-building.
Fatima: Sometimes I feel like, if someone’s really smart or successful, they’re heavy on one end and lack in other areas. But he’s pretty well-rounded. He plays the piano and other instruments. He’s really interesting and into a lot of cool things: He has a kayak; he likes hiking and biking. He has little bit of everything.
Eugene:My comfort level, it was as if I was speaking to a friend. It was sort of a freewheeling conversation. I hope it wasn’t that she was just being nice.
Fatima: It was pretty casual and friendly. [But] we weren’t flirtatious at all. I don’t think there’s anything that was unattractive about him, that I thought would make us incompatible. It was more maybe [a lack of] immediate attraction.
Eugene: I think there’s some element [of chemistry]. I’d say from my end of things that she was very interesting.
Fatima: Teaism closes at 10, and we were pretty much the last ones there. He suggested going somewhere else. So we got some gelato and sat outside and talked for a while, too. It was a really beautiful night; I enjoyed it.
If you walked by you’d never have guessed we just met that night.
Eugene: I had to work, and I got the sense she had some appointments to keep in the morning.
Fatima: We exchanged numbers; I gave him my e-mail. We talked about doing a picnic later.
Eugene: We walked in the same direction for a little bit. We kissed each other good night and parted ways.
Fatima: As I was walking home he texted me saying he had a great night, and I replied the same. It was great to meet him. I’d be down to hang out again.
RATE THE DATE
Fatima:We had a lot to talk about, and it was never uncomfortable. So I would say it was a 3 [out of 5].
Eugene: Let’s say 4.5. I think [Date Lab] has a good sense of who I am [and] matched me well with someone who shares similar interests, so props to The Washington Post.
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UPDATE: Eugene and Fatima texted a few times after the date. But when he proposed a second date, she declined. “ I didn’t really feel a connection with him, so I ended up telling him just that,” Fatima explains. “He sent me a nice text back saying that he appreciated my honesty. In the end, we shared the same sentiment that we enjoyed getting to know each other.”