(Photograph courtesy daters)

What do you do with two well-traveled and friendly people who are willing to try things outside their comfort zone? Send them to Mintwood to test their boundaries.

Elizabeth: My girlfriends came over when I was getting ready and brought some champagne. We read old Date Labs. It was fun. I just walked over. I was definitely five minutes late.

(Photographs of squirrel and clementines by Bigstock; shark by Randy Wilder/Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation via Associated Press; candy Courtesy of Weber Shandwick/Mars Chocolate North America; Emilia Clarke in “Game of Thrones” by Helen Sloan/HBO; Zooey Deschanel in “New Girl” by Dewey Nick/FOX via Associated Press)

Ignacio: I got there a little early — which is exactly what I didn’t want to do. I did not want to be at the bar or at the table perking my head up like a puppy every time someone walked in.

Elizabeth: He already had a cocktail in hand. I thought he looked like a cool guy. He was good-looking and kind of dapper. He wore red pants — they looked good. You know if a guy can pull that off that it’s going to be a fun night.

Ignacio: I kind of smiled, because all my friends know that my type is tall blondes, and she was tall and blond and with a big smile.

Elizabeth: He got me a cocktail at the bar, and then we went to the table. We were discussing the situation we found ourselves in. He said, “You know what, Elizabeth, we’ve been sitting here for 20 minutes just talking, no problem.” I was like, yeah, I was picking up the same impression he did — that the two main D.C. questions haven’t come up yet.

Ignacio: At that point we decided we weren’t going to ask each other where we were from or what we did until the end of the night to see if we could do it.

Elizabeth: We talked about how Europeans live and what it’s like in D.C. He just got back from Spain.

Ignacio: We started talking about my year in Spain. When she was in Barcelona, the first thing she ordered was my favorite dish from Spain, which is squid in its own ink. That got us talking about being adventurous when you travel.

Elizabeth: It takes a while to get into a groove where you can be yourself. I appreciated how authentic he was. He is super nice and open.

Ignacio:We didn’t talk about movies or TV, which is surprising because that is a standard go-to question. I think it’s a testament to the evening that we didn’t talk about those things — they’re almost bailout questions.

Not knowing where we were from and what we did added a layer of intrigue.

Elizabeth: I feel like I know a lot about him, but I don’t feel like I know everything. I want to know more.

Ignacio: When we left [the restaurant], she suggested we go to Smoke & Barrel.

Elizabeth: That is when we talked about what we did or where we’re from. He had said earlier, “My high school offered scuba diving.” I assumed he was from Florida, and he was.

Ignacio:I knew she was Southern, but that’s a very tricky thing.

Elizabeth: Kentucky is pretty hard to guess. It’s not first in people’s minds.

Ignacio: She guessed that I did PR or something of that sort. I started a job in brand strategy.

Elizabeth: We were both really close. But it was kind of an afterthought after having dinner without talking about it.

Ignacio: I guessed she was a medical or pharmaceutical sales rep, and she was medical device sales rep.

Elizabeth: I was talking about Kentucky. He said something like, “You know, the only thing that bothers me about that story is you’re so far away. You should come and sit on this side of the table.” It sounds cheesy but wasn’t cheesy at all. It was sweet.

Ignacio: We had two drinks, and it was not going to be pretty if anyone kept drinking, so we decided to call it a night, and I offered to walk her home.

Elizabeth: He walked me home. There was maybe a little smooch. And he got my number.


Elizabeth: 4.5. The whole day since our date we’ve been texting.

Ignacio: I would say 4.5. I have not been on a six-hour date in quite
some time.

UPDATE: They’ve been out twice since the Date Lab. “We are both heading out of town for the holidays, so we shall see what the new year brings us!” Ignacio says. Says

Elizabeth: “The holidays have made scheduling a little crazy, but hopefully things will be easier in the new year.”

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