He gives The Post props, but they go only so far


(Photograph courtesy daters)
May 16, 2013

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.”

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