Federal consultant Asif Mahmud, 28, and data analyst Julia Falk, 28, have a lot of weird quirks in common. The two describe their date at Fainting Goat on U Street. (Jayne W. Orenstein/The Washington Post)
Interviews by Amanda Mcgrath

Asif says he’s “easy to talk to,” “a sponge when it comes to information,” “a good cook” and drawn to tall brunettes who are “fit and brilliant” and “can be self-deprecating and a firecracker.” Julia says she’s “smart, ambitious, loyal,” active and is “into guys who are responsible, work out, have nerdy sides and a sense of humor.” We sent them to the Fainting Goat on U Street.

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Julia: He was very tall! I’m not used to seeing tall guys come in my direction. I’m fairly tall for a woman, 5-9. He was cute.

Asif: I’ve usually dated tall, long-haired brunettes. She’s kind of in the same camp, just shorter hair. [I like] long, voluptuous hair. But she was very attractive. She’s very friendly, very forthcoming. Expressive and confident. There was never a dull moment.

Julia: He’s bubbly, energetic. Kind of shy, but it was endearing. He’s very personable, very engaging.

Asif: We started talking about work, and that led to technology and computers. I casually mentioned that I hate Microsoft products. They’re garbage! She’s in the exact opposite camp: She said I could never convince her to use an Apple product.

Julia: We could hold an intelligent conversation, and it wouldn’t be boring. We could hold differing opinions and talk about it in an engaging way.

Asif: Her knowledge really impressed me. She’s very educated about a lot of different topics. In the last couple of years she’s been studying constantly — she got her master’s and a second bachelor’s. Her background was in the humanities, and then a few years later she decided to do the hard sciences and do computer science. I’d never have the courage to do that, from one end to the exact opposite.

Julia: The way I see education is, I’m always trying to do more, to learn more. But I don’t care how many degrees someone has so long as they can have a conversation and I can be comfortable around how they express themselves. With Asif, I felt like we were on the same level.

Asif: She’s very even-headed and confident about her endeavors, and I found that very, very impressive. We were talking about where we’re going in the next five to 10 years.

Julia: We definitely had a connection in the conversation.

Asif: We talked for hours nonstop. I thought she was really cool. She told me she was taking the Metro, so I walked her. We took a few selfies at the end. We hugged good night and said we had a good time.

Julia: There was no exchange of any contact info. I was willing to if he wanted to, but I didn’t get any indication that he might want to get my number.

Asif: I would love to be in touch. I just did not ask for her number then and there. I didn’t want to ask for her number and make her feel awkward about it. [But] she’s such an interesting person, and I had a great time.

Julia: I’d certainly be very willing to see him again.

Rate the date

Asif: I would probably give it a 4 [out of 5]. Even though there wasn’t a romantic connection, she was great.

Julia: I would give the night a 4 out of 5, because I feel like there was possibly a romantic connection, if we kept talking or hung out some more. It’s not a 5 because there weren’t sparks right away, but that’s to be expected.


“Would have been nice to at least try one more date,” Julia says, but Asif moves on: “There was no romantic chemistry, and I don’t want to lead her on.”

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