Date Lab: In which we play welcome wagon to the new kids in town
By Elizabeth Terry,
About the daters ...
Your type ...
Will: I’m not too picky about looks, but my dream girl would probably be brunette, not taller than me (but not really, really short) and in shape. I like a girl that I can have an intellectual conversation with, who likes music, movies and adventures.
Marissa: I need a man who is taller than me when I am in heels, dark hair, medium build, athletic, recycles and has traveled. Someone who is down to earth, does not take life too seriously but is success-oriented. Someone who is passionate about something in life other than just work, and, of course, someone who is adventurous! I love a good, crazy, civilized time!
How you’re D.C. ...
Will: People here seem motivated and outgoing, which is me to a T.
Marissa: I love public transportation.
Worst date ever ...
Will: A girl who seemed pretty cool until she told me she liked the taste of theater blood. And things got weirder after that. I did not call her again.
Marissa: The guy was 20 minutes late picking me up because he was watching a football game, and he talked about himself the whole time.
Interests to share ...
Will: Outdoor activities, a passion for food, a motivation to always be progressing in life but can also enjoy the little things, a love of traveling and new people and experiences. Adventurous spirit is important, as well as living an active lifestyle.
Marissa: Appreciation for the environment, but also I love to run and travel, and a good adventure.
About the date
7:30 p.m., Odeon Cafe, Dupont Circle
Will: I moved here from Missouri in early September. I was doing an internship on the Hill. I was really out here to make a name for myself, get a job and really work hard; that was what I was focused on more than dating, at least at [first]. I did get a job on the Hill, and now I’m here for the foreseeable future. [D.C. dating has] been all right. I’ve met a few people; nothing of substance, clearly, or else I wouldn’t be doing Date Lab. I’m a pretty adventurous person. Like, what’s the worst that could happen?
Marissa: I arrived in D.C. in August. I wanted to meet new people, so I figured this would be a great way to do that. I have been on dates here and there, but being new to a city, you never know where to go, and you can only go to a club or bar so many times before that just gets old. It’s been okay. I didn’t realize there [were] a lot of short men in D.C. I had some friends over to help me pick out my outfit. I felt like they were more nervous than I was.
Will: [When] I got to the restaurant, Marissa hadn’t shown up yet. I was going to have a beer while I was waiting for her, then it was maybe two minutes [later] that she showed up.
Marissa: As soon as I walked in, the bar was right there. I was excited to see that he was a lot taller than I was, and I definitely thought he was cute, so in the first couple of seconds I was stoked.
Will: I thought she was very attractive; she had a great smile and this sort of intangible energy that I really thought was good. It didn’t take very long to realize that we had a lot in common. I found out that she just [finished] four months backpacking in Europe and Asia. I’m a huge fan of travel; I think she’s done more travel than I have, but that was certainly something that we have in common. She’s a marathon runner, [and] I do a lot of running myself.
Marissa: We’d both studied abroad in Costa Rica. We’re both really into renewable energy, our interest in the environment was really on the same track. We don’t have the same favorite color, but I’m not going to hold that against him.
Will: She’s only been in D.C. since August, [but] she seemed very familiar with the city; she didn’t seem as new as perhaps actually she was. I think that we actually sat there [and] talked for about an hour before we even opened the menu. We had an appetizer, we had a meal, she had a couple of glasses of wine and I had a couple of beers.
Marissa:In general, I think the body language was just pretty chill. It’s the first date, you know, no need to rush anything, don’t put yourself out there too-too much. The more I knew about his personality, the more he seemed like a really great guy, and I felt I would really like to know this person more.
Will: The way we were looking at each other, talking to each other, it’s hard to describe in words but you get that feeling. I think if anything, she got more attractive as we kept talking. I hope that she feels the same way. We were there until probably 11:30 or so. Time just sort of got away from us because we were having such a good time. If neither one of us had to work [the next] morning, we probably would have continued our night somewhere else.
Marissa: Finally, you could just tell it was time to go, so I caught a cab. We exchanged numbers, and we gave each other a hug and said we definitely should see each other again. I really enjoyed the date; it was above my expectations, he was a really great person, so I’ll give it a 4.5 [out of 5].
Will: I would definitely say it was a 4.5 or a 5. It was a really great date. Certainly the best since I’ve been in D.C. I’m sure we’ll be getting together soon. I know that there’s ice skating in the Sculpture Garden; that looks like fun, so I might run that past her, or there’s plenty other fun things to do in D.C.
UPDATE: Will and Marissa did indeed go for a skating date, and they also spent a Sunday afternoon exploring the National Museum of Natural History and watching football. As of press time, they were eagerly making plans for date No. 4. Welcome to Washington, you two.