Interviews by Amanda McGrath

James Lee, 26, Geospatial analyst, and Maureen “Mo” Earley, 23, Federal consultant. (Courtesy of Daters)

She describes herself as “a down-to-earth yet fiercely curious individual who is able to create my own happiness just about anywhere” and is in the market for a guy with a rugged side who likes live music and local food. He says he’s a reliable, hardworking, all-American guy who “gives willingly of [his] time” and wants a woman who shares his love of outdoor activities. We took their mutual love of adventure to heart and sent them for a horseback ride at the Rock Creek Park Horse Center (followed by dinner at Ardeo + Bardeo in Cleveland Park).

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Mo: [When Date Lab suggested horseback riding], I was all for it. I like the idea of any sort of adventure. I rode a bit when I was little.

James: I’ve done a few trail-riding things, and riding camels and mules. But that’s all the experience I had.

Mo: I walked in, and James came in right after. He seemed like a great guy right off the bat. I got a good vibe about it and knew we were going to get along.

James: She’s pretty cute, seemed very friendly from the start. She’s definitely someone I would gravitate toward. Her confidence I could see right off the bat . We found out in the first five minutes that we had mutual friends, so that was kind of funny. [It] was comforting, that someone could vouch for her and vouch for me.

Mo: We grabbed helmets and walked around to see the horses. We started riding. It was a great tour with facts about Rock Creek Park, and you really felt like you weren’t in the city at all. It was surprisingly easy to hold conversation while riding a horse.

James: I love being outdoors, so it was a great way to be comfortable in a place I love and getting to know someone new. It was a gorgeous evening. It was five or six degrees cooler inside the canopy, so we got a little break from the humidity.

Mo: We went around for about an hour, took some photos and then drove over to the restaurant.

James: We wondered if Date Lab had somehow gotten the inside scoop on both of us. She’s very outdoorsy; I am, too.

Mo: We both love a wide variety of outdoor activities. I would say he’s an outdoorsman in the city who can live in both places.

James: I’d describe her as energetic but relaxed and smart. And just a really good people person.

Mo: I felt like we were laughing the entire time — not like a laugh track, but just enjoying the conversation.

James: We talked the night away and then realized it was 10:45. Since we both like to be at work before 9 a.m., we didn’t want to stay out super late. Plus I’d just gotten back from a weekend away, and she was gearing up to move apartments, so were both a little more tired than usual.

Mo: He was very sweet and offered to help me move this weekend, but I told him he really didn’t have to do that.

James: She let me drive her home. We had bonded a lot on music, sharing our concert experiences and stuff. I asked for her number.


Mo: This is the most vulnerable part of the whole thing! I would say 4.5. I had a really good time. I’m not afraid of putting that out there. I hope to see him again.

James: I think I would rate it around the 4-ish range. It was a wonderful date. I’d like to get to know her better.


As of press time, Mo and James had locked down plans to watch a World Cup match together just a few days after their Date Lab date.

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