She’s a salsa-dancing economist who gravitates toward guys who are smart, possibly short and usually more extroverted than she is. He’s a Renaissance man whose dream date is classy, adventurous and intellectually challenging. We sent them to Cafe Citron.
Rachel: I got there first. I ended up running into a few friends there, which made things more comfortable for me. I sat at the booth, and then he got there just a few minutes after.
Nima: She was very polite. She wanted to stand up and greet me, but I told her she didn’t have to. I’m old-fashioned in a way, so I appreciated that. She was warm and welcoming.
Rachel: He’s taller than the guys I normally date, so I felt good about wearing the largest heels I own. I found him attractive, and he was also confident.
Nima: She’s super cute. I did admit on my application that I’m a sucker for big smiles and big eyes, and you guys hit the nail on that one.
Rachel: We got a pitcher of caipirinhas and some food. I think we hit it off right away.
Nima: She has a wonderful energy about her. She has a good sense of humor — obviously, because she was willing to show up at a random restaurant with a stranger and entertain the idea that this person might be interesting enough to hold a conversation.
Rachel: He asked me what I did, and so we started talking about economics. His questions were very leading, and so I realized he must himself be in the same field; as it turns out, he’s working on his dissertation right now in economics.
Nima: We geeked out over that. I do more micro stuff, she does more macro stuff. It was cool to get her perspective. I think she was caught pleasantly by surprise when she realized I understood and would be able to communicate with her on that professional level.
Rachel: I think most people don’t like to talk about economics. [Laughs.] So I usually don’t bring it up at all. When you find another economist you can talk with, it’s a lot of fun.
Nima: She’s a great salsa dancer; I can keep up — barely, but I do enjoy it. We discussed family, how we feel about D.C. She seemed super smart, thoughtful, social but maybe slightly introverted.
Rachel: He was interesting, fun to hang out with. Both technical and artistic, which is rare. We friended on Facebook so he could show me his art, which was really good. It’s modern. He uses math tricks to make your eye move a certain way across the painting.
Nima: We moved so we were sitting on the same side. Sitting across from someone is good, but it’s also good to be able to sit next to someone — it’s a level of comfort.
Rachel:The way he was facing me and close to me — like, I felt comfortable and his body language made it seem like he was comfortable.
Nima: We left at about 11:30. It was getting late, and she was taking the subway. I walked her to the stop.
Rachel:There was a hug, and we kissed on the cheek. I don’t like doing actual kisses on the first date — I take it a little bit slow. But it was very warm.
RATE THE DATE
Rachel: I’ll give it a 5. I think expecting it to go any better than the way that it went would be unrealistic.
Nima: I’d give it a 5. It’s everything you ask for, right?
Since the first date, Rachel and Nima have gotten together twice — most recently for a home-cooked spaghetti dinner at his place. And Rachel says she’s game for more once Nima returns from an out-of-town trip.
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