Date Lab

Sunday, January 20, 2008

7:30 p.m., Rice, Logan Circle

Bob: I drove to the restaurant, and a server took me over to a table where Michael was already sitting. In the gay world, everybody knows everybody. He looked familiar. I've seen him around. He's attractive, but [he has] this whole aura [of] your basic white guy. I go for a more ethnic or foreign look.

Michael: He was a nice-looking guy, a little bit bigger than me, which is what I tend to like. He's not drop-dead gorgeous, but most people aren't -- and that's a good thing in my book. We started talking about Date Lab and how it just seemed worth a shot. Bob: He did most of the talking. I let him go. He had lots of different stories about his dating life. Sometimes more than I wanted to know -- a little bit too much information.

Michael: My stories were about relationships, just complicated relationships. What led us down that path was that we know somebody in common; that person was actually involved with somebody that I was involved with. It was like, "You know John? Yeah, I know John, too, but this is why." I'm generally not very shy about things.

Bob: We didn't laugh much. [We didn't have] much in common. He works in IT -- it's not anything that I connect with at all. He was giving off vibes of being uncomfortable with his appearance, saying that he wasn't comfortable with his haircut, that he felt he was overweight.

Michael: He cleaned his plate, and I didn't, and he made some comment. I just said I haven't hit the gym as much lately, and so I'm watching what I'm eating. On a physical level, I got the impression that I was not for him. He was talking about someone he dated in the past who was bigger and more built than I am, and he really seemed to like that. I was like, Hmm, that doesn't sound like me.

Bob: There were these four really hot young women sitting next to us. We [talked] about our last girlfriends and how, regardless of how totally hot they were, there was absolutely no click for either of us. We were engaging [the women]. We asked them to take pictures.

Michael: That [the women] had become part of the conversation, that's a sign that something wasn't clicking with he and I. He made a comment that sometimes you know right away when it's just not there. I almost said, "So, how are things going?" But, at that point, I thought I had a pretty good idea.

Bob: He ordered some green tea ice cream; I ordered coconut. It was a little after 10. I can only sit for so long before I just get ants in my pants, and that was about the time. We got outside, and [he walked me a block]. Then we gave a little bit of an air hug and said goodnight. I would have to give [the date] a 3 [out of 5]. It was a nice dinner date, easy conversation, [but I] never felt a spark. I didn't find there was enough repartee.

Michael: Overall, I enjoyed the time that we spent together. But, as a romantic date, it's probably a 1, and that's fine. That's what dating is about. Most people aren't [for you].

Interviews by Christina Breda Antoniades

UPDATE: If they bumped into each other, "I'd recognize him and say, 'Hey,' " says Michael. But so far, no contact.

WANT DATE LAB TO SET YOU UP? Go to for details.

© 2008 The Washington Post Company