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Date Lab: Bonding over vegetables and social issues

Max Broad, 27, government contractor and Kara Wright, 26, marketing/communications. (Photograph courtesy of daters)

Is a vegetarian diet enough to bond Midwesterner Kara and West Coaster Max? We sent them to Trattoria Nicola’s in Dupont Circle.

Date Predicto-meter

Our highly analytical tool for determining whether our daters will hit it off.

Kara: They took me to the table, and he came in a couple of minutes after. He was really cute.

Max: She gave me a warm hello. I thought she was very pretty, and she was definitely well put together.

Kara: The manager came over and was like, “Okay, we’re taking a picture now.” They asked us to sit next to each other because they wanted to take that picture. That was a nice way to break the ice.

Max: I wanted to preemptively point out that I was going to be a picky eater because of the limited (vegetarian) options. She said, “That’s okay. I’m in the same boat.” It was definitely a source of relief. Kara has been a vegetarian for much longer than I have.

Kara: We both used to hate mushrooms, but now that we are vegetarian, we love mushrooms. I thought that was kind of weird.

Max: We talked about our respective jobs. I don’t think we talked about our current positions so much as our visions for ourselves professionally.

Kara: I want to get into issue-based communication, working on some type of cause, and talked about some of the issues I’m interested in.

Max: Kara made comments about wanting to do work in the nonprofit sector for global health issues such as AIDS and LGBT issues. I am motivated by people who are very driven and passionate about social causes.

Kara: He was like, “Oh, okay, I can see why they matched us.” I took that to mean we must have some core values in common. We had a lot in common, but also a lot that was different.

Max: I was really impressed — particularly given the fact that it was a blind date and we had no prior knowledge of each other — that we had no problem chatting all night. I was definitely attracted to her, and I think there was an element of chemistry.

Kara: I’m not sure if it was friend chemistry or romantic chemistry. He was comfortable sitting close to me, and he did a frequent touching of the arm when he was telling a story. Some people are like that all the time with pretty much anyone. It was hard to tell if it was me specifically.

Max: She seemed very willing to continue the conversation and stay engaged in the night. She definitely was not checking her watch.

Kara: At the end of dinner we walked around the hotel a little bit and took pictures. He was the creative mastermind for all the pictures.

Max: It was around 11 when we finally parted ways. We continued the conversation as we walked to the Metro.


Kara: Probably a 4 [out of 5]. We didn’t have any awkward pauses. I thought that was a good sign for hanging out for 31 / 2 hours.

Max: I’ll settle on a 4.5. I think we just had a lot in common and a lot of shared values. I look forward to exploring them with her.


The couple’s second date was dinner and a comedy club, but things got a little awkward when a comedian made them part of his act. They laughed it off and seemed up for a third date.

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