7:30 P.M., IRON GATE, DUPONT CIRCLE
Justin: I showed up a few minutes early. As I was walking up to the restaurant, there was a girl standing outside. I thought, I bet that's her. [She] was kind of average-looking, a little frumpy. [Inside] they sat [me] at a really nice secluded table at the back.
Carolyn: I got there five to 10 minutes early. The [host] walked me back to the table. [Justin] was kind of hidden.
Justin: I was expecting the girl from outside, so when Carolyn came around the corner I was surprised at how good-looking she was. She's a very pretty girl -- very bright-eyed, and she had a big smile on her face. She's definitely my type.
Carolyn: I could tell he was my type right off the bat. He has curly hair -- I noticed [that] first -- and he's pretty tall. I had a good first impression. He got up, and we shook hands. Then we sat down.
Justin: We discussed what we would order, wine-wise, and I discovered she used to live in France, which was cool because I studied French in high school and now in college. That was a pretty big connection. It probably took us 20 minutes before we decided to order anything because we were chatting it up.
Carolyn: I think we realized pretty early on that there was plenty to talk about. We both had an interest in music [and] travel.
Justin: We finished [the appetizer] before we even ordered our entrees. That's when I found out she's a vegetarian. I am far from that, [but] it's not that big of a deal. She's not the type of vegetarian that gets mad at you if you eat meat.
Carolyn: I told him, "Order whatever you want; don't feel bad." We discussed a lot of different subjects. I wouldn't say it ever got serious, but we talked about issues -- Israel and Obama and our political views -- that had some depth to them. He seemed like a good person, pretty easygoing.
Justin: I was definitely attracted to her. [There was] maybe a little flirting -- nothing too over-the-top. I smiled a lot.
Carolyn: I was not overtly flirting. But we had a good vibe. There was some attraction there.
Justin: We ordered dessert and finished off a bottle of wine. I wasn't quite ready to go home after dinner, and we were having a good time. [So] we went across the street to the Topaz bar.
Carolyn: [It was] between 9:30 and 10. It seemed like a natural progression to continue the conversation. [But] Metro closes kind of early on a weekday, and I was exhausted from work, so we just had one drink and then walked to the Metro. We hugged, and he got my phone number.
Justin: I texted her later that night. I said, "Thanks, I had a great time," and I told her I'd call her later this week for happy hour. I'd [rate the date] a 4 or 4.5 [out of 5].
Carolyn: I would [rate it] between a 4 and 4.5. I'd be happy to hang out.
Interviews by Christina Breda Antoniades
UPDATE: Happy hour didn't work out, but the two did go to a Capitals game together. "We had lots of fun," Carolyn says. A bonus: "I'm a huge ice hockey fan now."
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