7:30 P.M., STRAITS OF MALAYA, DUPONT CIRCLE
Jared: I got ready a little ahead of schedule. I wanted to make sure I had time for parking. I got there at about 7:25. The waiter took me to a table.
Chinwe: I was studying right up until the last minute, and then as I was getting ready, I got really nervous. I did my makeup, but it was horrible, so I did it again. And I did my hair, like, three times. I ended up being really late getting out of the house.
Jared: By about 7:35, I started getting a little antsy, so I started tweeting about it. I think the first one was, "She's officially late." Then the next was like, "Am I getting punked?" Fifteen minutes passed, and I really started getting upset that I was getting stood up.
Chinwe: Parking was horrible. I got [to the restaurant] around 7:55. I was thankful that Jared was still there.
Jared: They brought her to the table. It was worth the wait. She was really, really pretty. She's tall and has a great complexion, and her hair looked nice.
Chinwe: When I saw him I thought, He looks just like my roommate. That wasn't necessarily a good thing. He wasn't ugly, but you wouldn't stare at him longingly if you didn't know him. I went over, and he shook my hand, which kind of threw me off a little because I was going in for a hug. I apologized for being so late. He was gracious.
Jared: I had occupied myself by reading the menu, so we checked out some options . She asked me what I did for work, and I talked to her about my school, and then I asked her. She's a med student. I was extremely impressed.
Chinwe: I don't think I put this on my application, but I always thought that I'd marry a teacher. I was really impressed with what he does and his aspirations. We ordered an appetizer and entrees. I had been reading the [Date Lab] archives, and everyone had said it took half an hour to look at the menu, so I mentally timed how long it took. It was closer to, like, five or 10 minutes. I guess we weren't as fluid as other couples.
Jared: We talked about the food and whether we like cooking. We bonded over bad TV, like the various "Real Housewives" shows that I have been known to watch on occasion.
Chinwe: There were definitely things we had in common: both having worked in low-income neighborhoods, both having worked with Spanish-speaking populations, working with teens. [But] I think I knew after I saw him that it wasn't going to work.
Jared: There were times when [the conversation] flowed, but there were also a handful of pauses. I'm interested in getting someone in health care's opinion on what's going on with the health-care debate, but she didn't want to talk about it. It was kind of awkward to recover from that.
Chinwe: There were moments where it was fun and definitely places where I was, like, I totally connect with that, but I just didn't want to start talking about it. Whenever there was a pause I hummed to myself, AWK-ward. I don't know if he heard.
Jared: I didn't hear that. I probably would have laughed. It's hard to say personality-wise whether we would get along. It felt like we were on the cusp of chemistry the whole night. But I would have to go on a second date to be sure.
Chinwe: The one test that I always do is if I can look into your eyes and think about how it would be to look into your eyes over a romantic candle-lighted dinner. But at one point, he was looking at me, and I was, like, No, I don't want to look into your eyes. So we didn't pass the test.
Jared: She wrapped things up. She told the waiter that we were done. I could have talked a little more. She could have been not interested or maybe interested and reserved. I just couldn't tell. We left at around 9:45. I walked her to her car. Then I gave her one of my cards and told her that if she wanted to hang out again to go ahead and give me a call.
Chinwe: If he had said, "Let me have your number and let's go out," I would have done it. He seemed cool to hang out with. But I think because it's up to me and only up to me, I'm probably not going to make the effort.
Jared: I'd [rate the date] 3.5 [out of 5].
Chinwe: In terms of enjoying his company, it was more than a 2, but in terms of romantic inclinations, it was a 2.
-- Interviews by Christina Breda Antoniades
Update: The two have had no contact since the date. Jared says he considered friending Chinwe on Facebook but decided against it. "I'll probably wait until the dust settles from the article," he says.