The Washington Post

Date Lab: They liked what they saw. Would they like more than than just looks?

Interviews by Amanda McGrath

Tony Hansley, 52, federal police officer, and Hope Brown, 50, IT specialist. (Photo courtesy of daters)

She says she’s positive and motivated and needs an honest, trustworthy guy who has a relationship with God and a mature outlook. He says he’s kind and a “good person at heart,” in search of a woman of wits who “knows what she has and how she got it.” We sent them to dinner at Bethesda’s Wildwood Kitchen.

Tony: We sat down and introduced ourselves. The first thing when I looked at her, I [thought], She’s a very pretty woman.

Hope: I can just tell he’s ex-military, just by looking at him. He had that look. I felt pretty comfortable right away — good eye contact, he seemed very personable. He’s attractive, but at this point in your life you want to make sure good things are happening on the inside, not just the outside.

Date Predicto-meter

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

Tony: We opened up. We kept saying, “Ask me whatever you want, anything you want to ask me you can ask!” And that’s how we did it. I can tell she’s intelligent. She knows what she wants in life. I can tell she’s a very compassionate woman.

Hope: He’s definitely an intelligent guy and a great conversationalist. I appreciated that. He seems like he’s kind of a free spirit.

Tony: We had a lot in common. Music-wise, we both like jazz music and gospel, cultural events [such as] plays and opera. We started talking about events, and it was like, “Well, you like this?” “Yeah, I like that [too]!”

Hope: Even from a spiritual perspective, we had similar spiritual beliefs. We’re at a similar point in life. He’s over 50, and I’m about to turn that corner. Your mind-set changes, and you start to pinpoint the things that are important to you. Such as family — he was sharing with me about his family, kids, grandson. Those kind of things.

Tony: I come from a military family. I joined the military right after high school at 17 years old and retired 23 years later.

Hope: A lot of times when you meet someone who’s ex-military, they’re burnt out on travel, but he’s not, he still loves to travel and explore new places.

Tony: I flirted a little bit, and I got the vibes back. She told me that she’s a good cook, and I was like, “Oh, yeah, that’s what I’m looking for in a woman!” You know, things like that. Comments I made, I’d see the smile on her face and the things she said back I got the impression it was good.

Hope: I’m not too fast to answer that question [of chemistry] yes or no. [But] he was a really nice guy, and he was cool. Like, I-would-see-him-again cool.

Tony: After we finished eating, we walked around Bethesda a little bit.

Hope: That was really nice. We enjoyed each other’s company.

Tony: It ended with a kiss, and she got my number.

Hope: He wanted to give me his number. We’re huggers in our family anyway, so I [had] hugged him hello, and at the end of the date also. There was a lot of hugging during the pictures too. All PG stuff! I’m a good girl.


Tony: A 4.5. The other piece of the star [is lost because] I think we should have started a little earlier. And the food was excellent but kind of small portions. But all in all, I would rate it excellent.

Hope: A 4.5. Only because it went late, and I was tired. I’d like to see him in a more relaxed setting .


Hope and Tony have been texting, but scheduling challenges have so far thwarted their efforts to arrange a second date. “Sorry I don’t have more juicy info to report!” she told us. So are we, Hope. So are we.

Read previous stories and fill out an application.

For stories, features such as Gene Weingarten, @Work Advice and more, visit WP Magazine.

Follow the Magazine on Twitter.

Like us on Facebook.

E-mail us at



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
From clubfoot to climbing: Double amputee lives life of adventure
Learn to make traditional soup dumplings
In defense of dads
Play Videos
How to make head cheese
Perks of private flying
The rise and fall of baseball cards
Play Videos
Husband finds love, loss in baseball
New hurdles for a Maryland tradition
How to survive a shark attack
Play Videos
Portland's most important meal of the day
What you need to know about Legionnaires' disease
How to save and spend money at college

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.