Date Lab: And if you feel like I feel, baby ...
7:30 p.m., Marvin, U Street
Blake: I decided I wanted to get there a little early. I thought it would be better to be the first person there, so you can get the lowdown of what's going on and watch people come in. That actually ended up being a terrible idea. Basically, the only purpose it served me was to become increasingly paranoid when anyone would walk in. By the time he arrived on time, I was a little bit of a discombobulated mess.
Mark: He looked like a good, solid guy, a little bit younger than me. I usually go for my age or older. When I first met him, he seemed nervous. I thought, This might be a lot of work. He had a drink already, so I got one to catch up.
Blake: He arrived right on time. He may not be the type I normally go for, but that type hasn't worked out in the past [anyway]. He was cute, dressed well, had nice hair. I'm not sure there were fireworks going off, but I was pretty excited about him. We talked about wondering how we were matched up, and from there we went into the whole "What do you do for work?" We talked about our families, where we grew up, things like that.
Mark: It quickly became fun, and I started to like him. He's a good Kentucky boy. He doesn't have a Kentucky Southern drawl accent, though, which I appreciated. He has a nice, gentle ease about him that is very pleasant. I liked that he was politically aware and a runner. After the first or second cocktail, things loosened up and started flowing a little more.
Blake: I don't go on a ton of dates as it is, and then to go on one like this, well, I give him credit for sticking with me, because I was kind of awkward at first. He's very easy to talk to and funny. [And] I thought it was admirable that he had volunteered for AmeriCorps and that he wasn't the type who identifies himself by his career.
Mark: Since we were at Marvin, I asked if he liked any Marvin Gaye songs. He said, "You know how there is that question on the [Date Lab] application that asks, 'What song would describe the guy you're going on a date with?' " I was like, "Did you put 'Let's Get It On'?" He nodded. Even in the dim room, with not a lot of light, he was clearly blushing. It was adorable.
Blake: Oh, man! I told him not to bring that up! I would say there wasn't really any obvious flirting. I have a buzzed haircut, and my hair is pretty soft. At one point, he leaned over and rubbed the top of my head a little bit. That was cute. Toward the end of dinner, he just kind of popped up out of nowhere and asked if he could get my number. I was glad.
Mark: We went just a little over the [Date Lab] tab, so I left a 20. He asked if I wanted money, and I said, "No, you can grab the drinks next time." We were getting ready to leave, and a manager came over and was like, "Hey! You want to head over to the Gibson? First round is on us." You can't say no to that.
Blake: [The two of us] had fun with the bartender over there, who made us some strong cocktails. Then I think we realized it was pushing 11:30. We both said we were having a good time, but that since it was a Monday and we had a pretty busy week ahead, we should probably head off. We walked out [and] he had to head south and I needed to head east. He kissed me. It was basically a peck on the lips, and I'd say it lasted maybe a half a second. It was a nice way to end the date.
Mark: I'll give it a 4 [out of 5]. For me, I see Blake being the type of guy I may not notice at first, but when I do, I want to hang out with him and get to know more. Do I see it being a romantic thing? I don't know. I genuinely had a good time. I will see him again.
Blake: I would give it a solid 4. When I got home, I texted him and told him I had a nice time. In the morning, I had a couple texts from him saying he had a nice time, as well. I'd be interested in seeing him again, not under the microscope of Date Lab.
Interviews by Stephen Lowman
Update: Two weeks after the date, they've e-mailed, texted and friended each other on Facebook -- but they've yet to meet up. Mark told us he'd "be happy to grab a beer" with Blake but had not yet contacted him.