If she had her pick, 28-year-old Morgan Soule would be dating John Mayer. Since that seems unlikely, she'd settle for the next best thing: an ambitious guy who works in tech.

Morgan, who works in corporate tax transactions and consulting, was still thinking about a work call when she arrived at Pappe, an Indian restaurant near Logan Circle, to meet her Date Lab match. She was a bit anxious, too — or was it the six shots of espresso she’d had that day? A few minutes later, 26-year-old Noah Siedman appeared. “He looked nice,” she said, then added: “He looked young.”

To Noah, a researcher at a biotech firm, two things stood out: Morgan was “an incredibly beautiful woman,” he said, and “very professional.” He, too, had come straight from the office, but had freshened up with a toothbrush and deodorant he had packed in his backpack, and was sporting a leather jacket he purchased from Italy over the summer.

Noah had also studied the menu online, so that “it would just be easier to be talking about things as opposed to spending a lot of time figuring out what we were going to eat.”

They selected an array of appetizers and drinks. (An Old-Fashioned for him, a dirty martini for her.) “I’m not a particularly picky eater, and neither is he, so we just sort of chose things,” Morgan said. She recalled getting chicken curry, “something with crab” and something “like an asparagus potato pancake.”

With ordering out of the way, they got to chatting. “I feel like a lot of times in the first bit of conversation you have when you meet someone, it’s just building momentum,” Noah said. “You just want to make sure this is going to be a reasonable conversation, this person is going to reciprocate and share details as well, and all of that happened.”

They learned that they both love to ski; that Morgan had previously lived in Boston, where Noah grew up; and that she hailed from Vermont, where Noah’s sister currently goes to college. They didn’t talk over one another or interrupt, and seemed to have enough in common. “I thought he had a good sense of humor, he was nice, he was easy to talk to,” Morgan said. “I think he has a great personality.”

Three hours passed like this — usually a very good sign: “We didn’t run out of things to say,” Noah said. Morgan agreed: “The conversation was very easy; we were talking the entire time.”

Yet Morgan said later she knew almost immediately that Noah might not be a match for her. For one thing, he’s blond. “I really like dark hair, dark eyes,” she said. And he’s 6-foot-3. Around 6-foot-1 is where she “maxes out.” Then there were his interests: “He’s really interested in politics and current events and history,” she said. “And I’m just not.”

For Noah, having different interests was not a dealbreaker. Morgan likes to watch “super dramatic reality TV shows,” he observed, “ ‘40-Day Fiance,’ ‘90-Day Fiance.’ ” His preferences skew to “equally crass comedies,” like “Archer” and “Letterkenny.”

“We don’t have to have every single interest lining up, but being able to talk about it anyway is certainly important,” he said. And he was struck by her ambition: “It was clear that work was really important to her,” he said. “Not only doing it, but doing it well.”

Ultimately, though, Morgan seems to be looking for someone “more established” than Noah. She elaborated: “He said that he has roommates. That’s probably fine for most people, but I live by myself and there’s a reason I live by myself. I’m looking for someone that’s a little more independent . ... He’s like a young 26, and I would say I’m an old 28.”

As it turns out, the length of the date may have had less to do with chemistry and more to do with their waiter, who was also tending bar, and left the two alone for long stretches.

A few minutes after 9, the waiter came over with the bill, and Morgan and Noah paid and departed. Outside the restaurant, he asked for her phone number and suggested they go out again sometime. “Sure,” she said, noncommittally, as they walked together for a few blocks. Then Noah turned the corner to catch his bus, waved goodbye and walked away.

Rate the date

Noah: 4 [out of 5]. “I’m not entirely sure that this is a match, but there’s no harm in exploring and learning more.”

Morgan: 3.5. “I had a good time. ... Nothing about it was bad, but it just wasn’t a match.”


Noah texted Morgan after the date to give her his number, but they’ve had no contact since.

Prachi Gupta is a writer in New York.

Please join us for our annual Date Lab Happy Hour from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 14 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Eighth and G streets NW.