Will the first warm night of the year put a spring in the step of these two world travelers? They met for dinner downtown at Malaysia Kopitium.
Jennifer: I had a bit of time just before the date so I spoke to a couple of my girlfriends to help me relax and not be nervous. I feel like it’s been a long time since I’ve been nervous about a blind date, so I was trying to do anything but think about it.
Eric: I got to the restaurant a few minutes early. They showed me to the table. As soon as Jennifer got there, we both had the same idea.
Jennifer: The restaurant is in a basement. It was one of those 80 degree nights that are rare in the spring in D.C. after a long winter. So the first topic was whether it was against the rules to go somewhere else first and come back.
Eric: It was the first really beautiful night of the year. There was no way we were gonna sit inside at that hour, on that night.
Jennifer: We left the designated restaurant and went outside in search of an outdoor venue to have a drink. We wound up at Vapiano at the outdoor seating area. He offered to put the wine on his tab.
Eric: She was very tall, which is great for me, because I’m not very short myself. She’s very worldly. And I did get the impression that she was someone I’d like to get to know.
Jennifer: I’ve dated different people. One thing I’ve learned is to not at first sight make a judgment about whether I like someone or not. It was more finally realizing who [Eric] was and being open to how the evening went and what he was like. I was curious. It felt like this discovery process of, like, “What did the Post think we had in common?” and then over the course of the evening discovering those things.
Eric: Our conversation went all over the map -- what we do professionally, where else we’ve lived. I’ve spent a lot of time in Europe in the past; she’s spent a lot of time in Africa, first in the Peace Corps and with what she does now, international development work.
Jennifer: [He] travels frequently to Brazil and I’ve been to Brazil. He’s really adept at language; he speaks German and Portuguese fluently, so fluently that he translates patents. I was impressed that he took the risk to start his own business, and that he knew all these languages, but that he was also humble about it.
Eric: She’s something of a polyglot [too,] so that was a really nice thing about her. That’s [something that’s] really important to me. Except for not having food in our stomachs we were a little reluctant to leave because it was still really nice outside.
Jennifer: An hour later we went back to the restaurant. I hadn’t realized they close relatively early. I was really conscious of keeping the staff there beyond hours and feeling guilty that we’d gone not according to the rules. So the last half of the evening was a little rushed.
Eric: I didn’t get a good handle on what her sense of humor was. [But] we were out on a Monday night and both had stuff to do the next day. I’d put it down to that more than anything else.
Jennifer: I felt like we both tended toward more serious topics of conversation. I feel like I tend to do that unless there’s someone I’m with who is really silly and can bring out my silly side. He mentioned that he likes mountain biking; I’m a road biker and have done mountain biking. He talked about having a godson and showed me a picture of him. I have some children that I’m close to -- nieces and nephews, kids of friends. So it seemed like something we had in common -- valuing friends and having close relationships with young people in our lives.
Eric: The overarching feeling I had was “Yeah, I want to get to know this person.” It’s hard to say [if there was chemistry.] I don’t like to take thing very quickly even if there is an obvious connection. [But] she’s definitely someone I would ask out again.
Jennifer: One of the things that came up in our conversation was that both of us have these intense travel schedules. Sometimes I think my travel schedule may deter some guys, yet I hold onto the hope that I will meet someone who relishes the time apart to do his own thing as much as he enjoys our time together. Or perhaps he’d be inclined to join me on occasion.
Eric: Since I work for myself I largely set my own schedule. I don’t know if this will complicate my dating life in the future, but it hasn’t been an issue so far.
Jennifer. When we looked at when [another date] would be possible, I think the first time that we’ll both be in the same place at the same time is not until June. It feels a long way off.
Eric: Since we had delayed our dinner so much we were the last people in the place. I walked her to the Metro stop she needed to go to and we had a kiss on the cheek.
Jennifer: We saw the Metro was closing the gate. I really only had a second and just gave him a hug and made a run for the train.
Eric: I’d give it a 4 [out of 5.] Overall we had a really nice conversation [and] had a fun evening out getting to know each other.
Jennifer: I would say a 4. I enjoyed the conversation, I enjoyed the food, it was really nice to be outside and have wine. [And] butterflies getting ready for it -- I feel like it’s rare now, to have these moments that are really full of surprise [but] even the preparation leading up to it was really fun.
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UPDATE: Jennifer and Eric exchanged friendly texts after the date, but didn’t get to see each other again before Jennifer jetted off for work. Maybe they’ll reconnect some warm night in June …