Date Lab: Do you like me? Check yes or no.

Sunday, April 4, 2010; W06

7:30 P.M., PERSIMMON, BETHESDA

Tammie: I got there, like, 15 minutes late. He wasn't there yet. The waiter sat me down and gave me the menus.

Darryl: I was stuck on Wisconsin Avenue because of the snow. When I got there, I went around the corner, and there she was. She's very attractive. Tall, slender, beautiful face, magnetic smile.

Tammie: He took off his hat, and I thought, Oh, great, he's bald. I do like bald guys. And he has dimples, which I thought were really cute. I'm usually a hugger, but I wasn't sure whether to give him a hug, so we shook hands.

Darryl: We sat down and looked at the menu. We talked about how we both got into Date Lab. She came off very friendly, very warm.

Tammie: I ordered a glass of wine, and I asked him if he wanted to see the wine list. He said, "No, I really don't drink." I thought, I hope you don't think I'm a boozer.

Darryl: I don't have any problem with people who drink. I find people who do drink are more uncomfortable with me because I don't drink.

Tammie: We decided to order two appetizers to share. We talked and laughed. He asked some really good questions, [such as] where I see myself in 10 years. He didn't pull out cue cards or anything, [but] it's almost like he prepared the questions. But that was good. I really love probing questions; it's a part of my career.

Darryl: Very early on, I realized she's very genuine. I realized this is definitely a possibility. We talked about relationships, things we wanted, desires about kids and career and family. We had a very open conversation. It really flowed, so it didn't feel like we were prying.

Tammie: We had a lot of things in common: He works with children with emotional problems, and [so do] I; he likes to dance, he likes to cook; I like to dance, I like to cook. We're both Christians. We both pray every day and go to church every week. That's a deal-breaker for me, so once I found that out, I felt I could move forward.

Darryl: People tell me I have high expectations, but I know that in terms of a long-term relationship with anyone [religion] would be important.

Tammie: There wasn't a lot of flirting, but toward the end of the evening, he said something like, "So, what is a beautiful lady doing not married?" I thought, Whoo, okay, he thinks I'm beautiful. And it opened the door for me to say to him, "What is an attractive guy like you doing single?"

Darryl: I did feel like there could be [chemistry]. It was a very intimate conversation. But I couldn't tell how she felt about me.

Tammie: We had dessert. At that point, we both were yawning, but his was pronounced. I was making jokes, like, "Am I boring you?"

Darryl: My day had started at 5 a.m., and it was about 10. I told her, "It's not you."

Tammie: I could have sat and talked more, but it seemed like they were closing. We walked out together, and he opened the doors for me. I thought, He's a gentleman. [It] was icy. He put out his arm for me.

Darryl: She took my arm, and I was, like, Okay, I like that. When we got to the car, we had a couple of hugs.

Tammie: I'm kind of old-fashioned. I was hoping he'd ask me for my number. I thought, If he's interested, he'll ask. I didn't think he was going to say anything, but then he was, like, "Well, do you want to exchange information?" And I was, like, "Yeah, sure!"

Darryl: I did feel awkward. I just couldn't tell if she was that into me. So there was a lot of anxiety as to whether she was going to give me her number. But then I was, like, I'll take a chance.

Tammie: I felt like I was giving signs. I complimented him; I said, "You have really nice dimples and a really nice smile." Maybe I was coming across as being reserved, but I didn't know it. When I got home, I saw he texted me to make sure I got home safely. So I called him, and we reassured each other that we had a good evening, and he asked me if I wanted to hang out again. We were like two school kids. I was, like, "Do you?" And he was, like, "Do you?" It was silly.

Darryl: I'd [rate the date] a 4.3 [out of 5]. It wasn't perfect, because I wasn't sure that she was totally interested in me, but I did feel like there was a possibility. And I'm interested in her.

Tammie: I would [rate the date] a 4.5. I really am interested, but I'd give it half a point to grow on.

-- Interviews by Christina Breda Antoniades

Update: Hey, if they went to dinner, how come the photos here show broad daylight? Well, because they're actually from Tammie and Darryl's second date -- brunch at Georgia Brown's and a scenic jaunt around the city. Here's hoping for an equally photogenic third date.

***

Apply for Date Lab

Fan us on Facebook

Date Lab Archives

© 2010 The Washington Post Company