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Date Lab: This date is hot. But in the right way?

Sunday, August 15, 2010; W06

7:30 p.m., Tuscana West, Downtown

Christa: I was the first to arrive and started talking to the hostess, and Martin came in just a minute behind me.

Martin: I introduced myself, and we shook hands. I like brunettes with lots of hair, and she was a brunette with lots of hair. She is very pretty. I had a Guinness, which she thought was really funny because it was 100 degrees.

Christa: He is definitely a very attractive man; he is obviously fit, and that was appealing. I was also glad he wasn't wearing a suit and tie: Someone who can be a bit more casual is appealing to me. [But] my type tends to be Latin or of Mediterranean descent.

Martin: We found a handful of things that we have in common that seemed to stand out. She has a cat, and I have a cat. We're both into meditation, and we both like to travel.

Christa: He's a vegan, but I like to share food. So we tried to order dishes that we both could eat. I told him I'm a "flexitarian," because I mostly eat vegetarian but I wasn't able to give up pork. He had a better sense of humor about that than many others.

Martin: She mentioned she almost became a professor or something, but she thought it was a bit too hands-off. I was doing this lawyer thing, and it wasn't physical enough for me. I thought that was something we had in common: that we didn't necessarily follow the career path that we started.

Christa: It was great that he made decisions to find what makes him happy, and it obviously keeps him very fit. I admired his decisiveness and his chutzpah. We have a lot of energy around the things that we care about. His concern about animals rights, which is why he became vegan. I am very much an environmentalist.

Martin: She did say, I think half-jokingly, that what she really wanted to do was have a goat farm. So I had a lot of fun making fun of her. It was nice to make her laugh. It was somewhere in between just a normal, fun conversation and flirting.

Christa: There was definitely a connection between us. He has a physical energy, and we definitely had some kind of spark, but I don't know if it was a real romantic connection. I think he's a flirt. He gave me a lot of compliments, which was very sweet. We were both really full and wanted to walk a bit. We left around 9:45. We walked around a little park on the way. We had some leftovers from dinner, and he fed a duckling.

Martin: We walked around a bit in the heat. She was saying she liked the hot weather, and I don't mind getting sweaty. On the right person, perspiration can be sexy.

Christa: We walked over to the W Hotel and went up to their rooftop bar. It was hot on that rooftop lounge, but it's got a really nice view.

Martin: From that point on, the date was more romantic and less platonic. [But] there wasn't any sort of nervousness on my part, which I would associate with a higher level of attraction and wanting something more serious to happen from it.

Christa: We were cuddled on this love seat looking out over the city, and he suddenly suggested I finish my drink. I think it was around 11. It threw me off guard. I knew he had farther to go to get home, so I chalked it up to that. But he offered to give me a ride home since he had his car and I had my bike.

Martin: I was questioning that she would be biking home at midnight. So we walked back to where I had parked and put her bike in my car, and I drove her home.

Christa: He helped me carry my bike in. He asked for my phone number. I gave him my card.

Martin: She said, "Is it too Washington to give you my business card?" I said, "I think it's too Washington to say that." We exchanged affections.

Christa: But nothing happened that my mother wouldn't have approved of.

Martin: I would give the date itself a 4.5 [out of 5]. We had a lot in common, but [there wasn't] the hard-to-define feeling that I can best sum up as having a crush on someone. She is not someone that I would have a serious relationship with. I am very picky.

Christa: I would give it a 4. I think it would be fun to see him again and get to know him a bit more and do something like hiking. I'm not sure we'll have a deeper connection than that. If I had seen him online, I don't know if we would have matched up, but it was fun to go outside of my usual comfort zone.

Interviews by Nina Patel

UPDATE: Martin and Christa have chatted on the phone a few times since the date and plan to go hiking soon.

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