Part-time theater critic Riley Croghan, 27, applied to Date Lab five years ago and was finally matched with international development program associate Peter Jones, 26. The two dish about their date at Ris in Foggy Bottom. (Jayne W. Orenstein/The Washington Post)
Interviews by Nina Patel

Riley is a dinosaur enthusiast who has an inflatable brachiosaurus head mounted on his apartment wall. He’s also a theater critic. Peter is a well-traveled military brat who is looking for a hotter version of Bill Gates. We sent them to Ris in the West End.

Riley: He’s tall. He’s handsome. It was a good first impression.

Peter: He’s really tall. That was a big plus, especially in D.C. — I feel like there are so many short guys.

Date Predicto-meter

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

Riley: A lot of the first hour of the date felt like getting a lot of facts out of the way. Things got a lot more natural pretty quickly.

Peter: He had initially done the application five years ago, and I did it last month. That made me initially think he was much older than me, but he had done it right out of college. We are pretty close in age.

Riley: I told him about my day job and my side job as an editor for DCist, which was a little more interesting.

Peter: He used to review restaurants. We talked about the questions [from Date Lab] that we had to answer. One of them was a food you will never eat. [His was] chicken feet. He went to dim sum and it was a bad experience, and he never wants to try them again.

Riley: We talked about where we were from. I am from the D.C. area. He’s been here for two years or so. He traveled around a lot before then — he was in high school in Costa Rica. He studied in Turkey.

Peter: I studied international relations. I kept a blog when I was abroad and kept it going from there. It’s something I do on the side. I will probably blog about [the date].

Both our parents are divorced and remarried. We both have two sisters. There are little things, personality-wise, that we had in common. He is easygoing.

Riley: We had been involved in athletics in high school, but had fallen off track there, but have both found a re-sparked interest in running. He has done some half-marathons.

Peter: He said he was really into video games, which isn’t really my scene. I was like, “What type of video games?” He plays Mario Kart, which is fun. I needed some clarification how intense he was with video games. I don’t think it’s a deal breaker — it’s just that we might not have as much in common.

Riley: I think we flirted a little bit at dinner, which was good, and I would say I plan on seeing him again.

Peter: He was saying stuff like “Next time we hang out, you can buy me a drink.”

Riley: We got out of there by 10:30.

Peter: I said, “Oh, we’ll probably both take Metro the same way, so we can walk and talk.” But he said he was probably going to take a taxi.

Riley: We talked about getting a cab together, so we wound up doing that.

Peter: The taxi stopped at my house. I offered to pay, but I only had a $20 and I had to pay $10. I asked him if he had change, but he said no but that I will buy him a drink the next time we go out.

Riley: He said, “I know this is so Date Lab, but do you want to exchange numbers?”

Peter: I texted him my number. We hugged and then I got out.

Rate the Date

Riley: I would give it 4.5 [out of 5]. There was a good deal of matched humor.

Peter: I would say a 4. I would want to hang out with him again, maybe not in a dating capacity, maybe just as friends, but we’ll see. There is definitely potential.


The two texted right after the date, but no contact since then. Writer’s block?

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