Date Lab set up research analyst Ed Slothus, 24, and public relations associate Jenny Wang, 24. The couple discuss their blind date at Iron Gate. (Jorge Ribas/The Washington Post)
Interviews by Amanda McGrath

When asked for their dating lives in a nutshell, he said: “Small-town farm boy has some luck with the girl-next-door types, but can’t quite figure it all out,” while she said: “Cute Asian girl in D.C. whose love life is never boring.” We sent them to Iron Gate in Northwest, where he revealed something unexpected.

Jenny: My first impression was he’s tall and dark- haired, which I like. He seemed very friendly.

Ed: She had a great smile and a lot of energy for someone who just worked eight or nine hours. She was coming from work, so she was very pretty, dressed in this red dress.

Jenny: I felt maybe a little overdressed. But I don’t care much about that.

Ed: I’m like, Oh, great, I’m in a flannel and jeans. I’d much rather be relaxed. But I’m like, Ugh, this is not good on my part.

Jenny: He seemed really passionate about his job. I also enjoy my job. As young people, that’s a lucky thing. We talked about where we’re from: He grew up in a small town; I grew up in a small town, too.

Ed: I’m definitely a rural person. I love D.C., but at the same time, home is just right — seeing a farm across the street when sunset hits; there’s a horse farm down the road. It’s more peaceful than anything D.C. has to offer.

Jenny: We talked about our families and backgrounds.

Ed: I was like, I need to tell her what happened or I’m not going to be able to do this. About two weeks ago, I lost my father. He had been sick; it wasn’t all of a sudden.

Jenny: He said he wasn’t planning on [bringing it up], but that it seemed weird not to. I said thank you so much for sharing with me, I appreciate that, I understand. We talked a little bit about it.

Ed: I wasn’t depressing, I was just honest. When [Date Lab] came up, I didn’t want to say no. I wanted to go out and just try to have fun, because obviously some days in the past two weeks haven’t been that good.

Jenny: It wasn’t uncomfortable. I appreciated him sharing something huge like that. It seemed like he was still able to be himself; but then, I’ve never met him before. It didn’t necessarily color the rest of the date, because we were then able to talk and laugh about other things.

Ed: She’s very energetic, cordial, very open. And fun. She was just fun.

Jenny: We did have a mutual love of dogs. His dog’s at home with his mom. Mine’s with my parents.

Ed: I showed her my Instagram, and she fell in love with my puppy.

Jenny: We were there for maybe 21/2 hours, total.

Ed: I elected to walk [home], and I waited for her Uber to get there, just to make sure she’s safe. I hugged her good night and thanked her for coming.

Jenny: He’s a great guy, not a bad date, but we didn’t exchange numbers or any of that. He’d be a good friend, but not necessarily a romantic interest.


Jenny: I’d say even though there wasn’t this big spark or chemistry, we did find things to talk about and we had a fun time. He’s a very congenial, nice guy. I’d say 3.5.

Ed: A 4 — that’s like a B-plus. In my mind it was a good time, but not really a date.


Unsurprisingly, no exchange of contact information = no further contact. “I still think the date was fun and definitely a good escape for the evening,” Ed says.

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