About the daters ...
Dating history as TV show …
Amanda: I used to be a boyfriend jumper. I was in a two-year relationship, broke up with him and went on a date one week later. I ended up dating that guy for two and a half years. My friends thought I would never be single again! I’ve been single for almost a year. I have gone on some dates, mostly with the wrong guys. I have become much more picky after the failed relationships that I thought would work out. I tell myself that when it comes to the future, it is okay to be picky!
Marc: I swear “How I Met Your Mother” is filming my life for show ideas. Lately I end up being the “other guy” who doesn’t get the girl.
Dream date ...
Amanda: I would love to date Joe from “Beverly Hills 90210.” (He dated Donna for a while.) He was creative, sweet and had a huge heart. He treated her like gold, plus he was quarterback for the college football team!
Marc: A teacher who looks like Kate Beckinsale, loves baseball and can bake like there is no tomorrow.
Your type ...
Amanda: Mature and does not behave like he’s still in college. Taller than me when I wear heels. Someone who will spend one-on-one time with me but will also be social. He needs to be able to hang out with my friends as much as he wants me to hang out with his. I am not picky about lookss; have dated all sorts of guys. I want someone who can get dressed up and go to a nice dinner and then the next day can be in sweats lounging at home.
Marc: Brunette, light eyes, between 5’ and 5’6”, athletic and fit. Enjoys sports, or at least tolerates them. Doesn’t require hours to get ready.
Desired superpower ...
Amanda: To be able to transport in time, so when you are dreading that long road trip home, you can snap your fingers, and you will be there!
Marc: Fly. So I wouldn’t have to deal with D.C. traffic.
About the date ...
7:30 p.m., Boulevard Woodgrill, Clarendon
Amanda: I was a bit more nervous than excited. I was done at work by 2. I had time to go shopping for something to wear, and go home shower and change. I thought I had plenty of time to get there, [but] I haven’t experienced traffic this bad, ever.
Marc: I didn’t get nervous until I got out of the parking garage and was walking over to the restaurant. I was driving from less than 10 miles away, and it took me an hour. She got stuck in the same traffic. She ended up only being about five minutes late.
Amanda: I walked in behind him and shook his hand. I immediately apologized for being late. He had hit the same traffic, so that automatically made me feel better. The traffic topic led us into talking about where we grew up, since we both grew up in Northern Virginia, so that led to what our families are like. His family is from Boston; my brother-in-law is from there, so my family has adopted the Patriots and Red Sox as their second-favorite teams.
Marc: Whoever does the matching does a good job. We were a good match in many ways, including how attractive she is. She has gorgeous blue eyes. A lot of what I’m looking for in a girl.
Amanda: He’s an attractive guy. Honestly, I don’t have a type. If you went through the guys I dated, they’re all different. He dresses in a conservative, fashionable way. He’s fit but not overly muscular — and that’s a good thing.
Marc: I am a big Patriots fan, and they were playing that night. But you know, dinner was great, food was awesome, conversation was good. So I didn’t miss football a bit. Plus, we were able to watch the game a little while we were there.
Amanda: On my fantasy football team, I have lots of Patriots. I’d forgotten they were playing that night. But when he went to the bathroom, I saw the reflection of the game in the window. And then when I went to the bathroom, he told me that two of my players scored! We went to a bar, had another drink and watched more of the game.
Marc: There wasn’t a real spark. That was definitely more on me, not the date or Amanda. She’s an awesome girl. I could see myself having a good time with her. But I’m in a weird situation: Since the initial [Date Lab contact], I’d met another girl, and there may be something there. This just started with the other girl; I don’t know what it is yet. So I thought, Well, there’s no harm in going. Who knows — what would happen if [Amanda and I] really would have clicked?
Amanda: Over three hours is a long time to talk to a stranger. Just sitting at dinner with someone is not very conducive to flirting. [But] we carried on good conversation. We were very lucky to have so much common.
Marc: At this point, it’s now about 11 o’clock. She’s a teacher and has to get up in the morning, and I definitely needed to go, because my dog [was] tearing up my house. So it was time to call it a night, but not because we weren’t having a good time. We walked to the same parking garage. I gave her a hug and told her how good of a time I had, and I got in my car. [But] I’d say I felt more of a spark with [the other girl] than with Amanda. Because of that, I didn’t think it would be right to ask Amanda for her number and then not use it.
Amanda: If he had asked for my phone number, I would have given it to him. I am totally glad I did [Date Lab]. Extremely. It was a successful night. I’d [rate the date] a 4 [out of 5].
Marc: Amanda is an awesome girl, and we had a great night. I’d give the date a solid 3.75.
UPDATE: After Marc mentioned in his interview that he’d had someone else on his mind during the date, we told Amanda. “I am not offended. I totally get that he wouldn’t tell me about something that just started. That would have been weird,” she says. “I did think about it a little more when one of my co-workers brought to my attention that it wasn’t really fair to me if he was already seeing someone. [But] I think it is completely fine to go on dates with more than one person at a time. When you are dating, you are just getting to know someone, so I don’t see the harm in getting to know more than one guy at a time.” Marc and Amanda never communicated after the date, but it seems he was right about that spark with the other woman; when we contacted him a month after Date Lab, they were an item.
Nominate a friend for Date Lab! E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on Twitter @datelab or Facebook and tell us why he or she is a great catch.