Date Lab: Did staying polite make for a pleasant evening -- or stifle the possibility of connecting?
7:30 P.M., THE LIBERTY TAVERN, ARLINGTON
Jen: John was there when I got to the restaurant. The staff said that they had already put him at the bar; [the manager] led me over and tapped on his shoulder. John's clean-cut, which is my type. And he had a very inviting smile.
John: Jen is very attractive. I could tell she definitely works out, and she looked like she's in good shape. She had an extremely pretty face. We ended up sitting at the bar just chatting away. She just ran the Army Ten-Miler. I told her I had signed up but wasn't able to run; I had surgery for a herniated disk a couple months ago. It turns out she's a doctor.
Jen: He seemed nice and laid-back. I generally feel romantically attracted to guys who are really sharp-witted, almost a little bit of a mean streak. [So] I tried to start the teasing early. The restaurant had made us these cocktails; I said, "Oh, it's pink -- think you can drink that?" Trying to get him to jab back. John just said, "I'm sure it's good." He was a good conversationalist, [though]. I got the sense he likes to talk to people. After maybe half an hour, the manager had to come over to say, "You guys, come on, we're supposed to have dinner here." He took us upstairs to our table.
John: We definitely got more and more comfortable with each other as the night went on. She's really fun, easy to talk to, smart, well-educated. But I don't know that there was any romantic spark. I don't know that there was any one [reason]. There were points during the night that kind of add up: She mentioned she has cats; I'm deathly allergic. She's agnostic; I'm from a very devout Catholic family. And I said something along the lines of I didn't envision myself living with somebody before marrying them, and she didn't really respond.
Jen: I don't think I could marry someone whom I hadn't lived with, [but] I certainly didn't say, "Are you crazy?" I was feeling friendship-y towards him. I wasn't as quippy as I normally would have been. I said, "Uh-huh, yeah," and we moved on. There was a bit of an uncomfortable moment when he was talking about his parents wanting him to settle down. He was sort of commiserating with me, "Look at how many of our friends' marriages are already ending in divorce!" And I was thinking, "Yeah, that's exactly what happened to me." But I didn't want to bring it up because he was stating his position as, "We both made the right decision to wait." It would have been a little weird for me to be like, "Actually, I was married."
John: I was surprised [to find out later that she'd been divorced]. I had no clue. But I can understand where she wouldn't want to bring it up. It might have brought the conversation to a halt.
Jen: He still lives with a roommate; he always has. I'm more used to dating guys who are like 40 and paying their mortgage. I'm looking for someone who has been in a more committed relationship. We left the restaurant around 10:30 p.m. I offered to drive him home.
John: We exchanged numbers at a stoplight, and when she dropped me off, we gave each other a hug. I'd probably give the date a 4 [out of 5]. We both had a good time, [but] we could be at different places.
Jen: I'd give it a 4. It was easy for us to engage each other in conversation, and we're both like, "I'd definitely be open to hanging out again." But when it comes down to it, people are busy, and when there's not a romantic love connection, it's not likely that we're gonna be like, "Let's check out that art festival."
Interviews by Lisa Bonos
UPDATE: They e-mailed a few times, but, indeed, there have been no art festivals for these two.