We had high hopes when we stumbled across two fresh-faced runners in our massive database of single-and-looking Washingtonians in the spring of 2010.
Both seemed smart and low-key, and were looking for a partner who was active and well traveled. But “high hopes” for us roughly translates to “future dates for which we don’t foot the bill.” So when Daniel and Anna both rated their date a 5 out of 5 and arranged for a second get-together, we patted ourselves on the back and moved along to the next potential couple.
Our headline on their story that June wondered “Can two marathoners go the distance?” Two years later, they’ve definitively answered that question: Daniel, 28, and Anna, 29, are scheduled to tie the knot this weekend. They prefer to stay away from the spotlight and declined to be interviewed for this story, but we can’t help celebrating their good news. (For those keeping track, theirs will be the third Date Lab wedding.)
So what about other Date Lab matches? We started poking around to see what had become of our other experimental couples ...
Truth is, we were thisclose to sending Bennett out with another woman. They appeared to be a pretty close match: attractive, fit each other’s “type,” stated similar interests.
But at the last minute, we got a gut feeling that they meant different things when they said “likes to travel,” and that maybe the sense of humor would be off. So we found someone else to pair with the Other Woman and went back into our database, where we found Jane . We had our reservations: She had mentioned liking men in glasses, and Bennett didn’t strike us as a geek-chic kind of guy. But it seemed like a risk worth taking, so last summer we sent them to Oyamel for dinner.
It could have gone wrong (“I tend to like nerdy guys, and he doesn’t look nerdy at all,” she told us when asked about her first impression), but things just ... clicked. They had been on a dozen dates before their story even hit the newsstands; soon, they were spending Thanksgiving with her family and Christmas with his. “We really hit it off from the first date,” Bennett, 27, says now.
In January, he and Jane, 25, got a place together in Adams Morgan. “Honestly, we couldn’t get enough of each other ... We were basically spending all of our time together, and so we decided that we were ready to take the next step in our relationship,” Bennett says. Jane adds: “I think it had been on both of our minds previously, but [we] were afraid of it seeming too fast. To others it probably seems like our relationship has moved really quickly, but for us it seemed totally natural.”
Living together means seeing a whole new side of your significant other, but so far, so good. “When you move in, you get the full experience of being with that person. I’d say I probably have more quirks than her, but everything new that I’ve learned about Jane has just made me love her more,” Bennett says.
Even better: They’ll be celebrating their one-year anniversary later this month at Oyamel, where their Date Lab adventure started. “I think we both know that we’ve found the person we want to spend our life with,” Jane says.
Erica, 28, and Stephen, 31, had a good time on their date last December, but the romantic spark just wasn’t happening. They’ve kept in touch here and there. She invited him to her birthday party, and they would trade texts whenever she was heading to a hockey game. (Stephen is manager of ticket sales for the Washington Capitals, and Erica has partial season tickets.)
Erica has experienced friendly teasing since the story was published: It’s on display in a teacher’s lounge at the school where she works, and the karaoke band for which she sometimes emcees once read excerpts from it between sets. “It’s a long-running joke now; they threaten me with it,” she says with a laugh.
Publication led to something else for Stephen. The Monday after the Magazine came out, a friend heard from a co-worker who had spotted Stephen and thought he was cute. The friend thought they’d be a good match and put the two in touch. After a few days of chatting online, they went for pizza at District of Pi ... and by the time this story is published, they’ll have been together for four months. “I feel very confident that it’s going to be pretty long-term,” he says. “But I don’t want to jinx it!”
In the short time between when we first contacted him and the night of the date we arranged last November, Marc, 32, met someone else. He went ahead with Date Lab anyway, but while he thought Amanda, 29, was “an awesome girl,” his mind was elsewhere. It turned out to be best for both of them: Marc and the other woman are still together, and Amanda is now in a relationship with someone she met just a few weeks after Date Lab.
Single, adventurous and living in the Washington area? Let us find you a match! Fill out the Date Lab application at datelab.washpost.com.