Interests to share …
Joseph: Running would be a great one or someone who loves to stretch. Funny, I don’t cook much but love to cook for someone I care about. I really like being outside when it’s nice.
Valerie: Being outdoors, shared interest in all things spiritual, intelligent conversation, humor, watching my kids/his kids play their sports, warm-weather lover, quest for knowledge, being in the country and traveling.
Brag a little …
Joseph: Well, folks tell me I have great hands. I’m pretty successful in my practice, as well as my part-time teaching and acting. Not too bad on the eyes and pretty fit — and I do a bit of therapy to keep me honest with myself.
Valerie: I am an attractive and fit woman, with a good personality to match. I am good at, and enjoy, making people feel comfortable. I am a decent and healthy cook, too! I feel very confident that life has much to offer, and I am at a place in my life where I am ready, willing, and very able to take full advantage of what is out there for me.
Worst date ever …
Joseph: Way too much tacky perfume, and she wore old-fashioned “I am dressed up to go out” clothes. She spent the time we had at the bar telling me how lousy men were. No doubt my quick exit confirmed that for her.
Valerie: I was so bored with the conversation that I actually had a hard time staying awake.
7:30 p.m., Tallula, Arlington
Joseph: I was there a little over an hour early. I teach at George Washington University’s Mount Vernon campus, and it made no sense to go back home [first]. I just read a little at the bar, then got seated.
Valerie: I gave myself about an hour to get there. Well, I got lost. I ended up calling the restaurant and talking to the poor manager three times to try and figure out how to get there. So there was a little bit of an Oh, my God factor just because I don’t like being late. He was already sitting down when I got there.
Joseph: She was only four minutes late, which was no big deal at all. The manager brought her over and made the introduction. I couldn’t help but think, Wow. This is sort of what I ordered. She was very attractive [and] fit.
Valerie: Typically, I’m not attracted to older men — even though he didn’t look it and he’s pretty physically fit. The last guy I dated was 46; I guess I’m interested in guys who are in their late 30s, early 40s. Also, honestly, he’s not tall in stature. He’s not an unattractive man, but he’s not the kind of man I would look at and go, Wow. We figured out early on why we were matched up. He said he’s a clinical massage therapist. Basically, as a holistic healer, I’m a hands-on energy therapist. I move energy throughout the body.
Joseph: When she’s telling me this stuff, I almost want to see it to believe it. I know enough about it to know of it, but I don’t get it. She’s in the midst of building up her practice. I got her card about halfway through.
Valerie: I asked for his card, too, just to be polite. He does a lot of different things. One of his hobbies is that he keeps bees. The cheese appetizer we got came with honey, so we talked about the whole honey thing. We also talked about acting a little bit, because he actually does voiceovers and teaches workshops on how to become an actor. He was interesting and very pleasant, and I really enjoyed his company, but there was no flirting. I didn’t feel that kind of connection. It was the whole picture — the appearance, the age, the fact that he lives in D.C. [and I don’t].
Joseph: There were no gaps in the conversation for two-and-a-half hours. When the conversation was really interesting, I even forgot that she had a lovely low-cut shirt on! That’s when I knew the date was going good.
Valerie: He ordered the salmon, and I ordered the rockfish. We kind of ate off each other’s plates. At one point, he brought up a potential second date. I didn’t say anything negative. I just kind of left it open. When dinner was over, we kind of lingered for 20 or 30 minutes. We were talking about my marriage and what happened there. We actually got a little deep into it, but he wasn’t prying or anything.
Joseph: After dinner, we walked outside. I was going to walk her to her car, but it was just around the corner so she said she was fine. There was a hug and a kiss on the cheek. It was like, “I have your card; you have my card.” I said, “You can call me,” and she said, “You can call me.”
Valerie: I’d actually give the date a 4 [out of 5]. We were a good match — except for the physical part. When he calls, which I think he probably will, I’m probably going to play it by ear. It just depends on what he suggests doing. But I am not romantically inclined toward him.
Joseph: I’d give it a 4.5. The date leaves me with wanting to learn more about her. I’ll call her up just because I want to learn more. Whether that leads to something, I don’t know.
UPDATE: Joseph e-mailed Valerie about a second date. “I gently and kindly wrote back that I think he’s a nice person but that I didn’t feel a connection,” Valerie says. Joseph concedes, “I was maybe a little disappointed but not too surprised.”
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