(Photograph courtesy daters)

She’s getting her master’s in security studies and wants a tall guy who’s smart and patriotic, and likes outdoor adventures. He’s an Army captain searching for an active, independent woman who shares his love of national parks and bar crawls. We sent them to Bibiana Osteria-Enoteca.

Julia: I was about two minutes late; of course, Steve, being an Army guy, was on time and already there.

Steve: It was kind of odd, because they sat me in the back behind a steel curtain with beads. I didn’t really get to see her until she came through the beads. The first thing I thought was, Wow, she’s, like, legitimately pretty!

(Photographs of Sean Connery, left, and Nicolas Cage in “The Rock” by Frank Masi; Keira Knightley in 2005’s “Pride & Prejudice” by Alex Bailey/FROM PHOTOPOST/Focus Features; bald eagle by Ricky Carioti; diving petrel © Universal Images Group Ltd./Alamy; Sterling Archer from “Archer” Courtesy of FX; Ryan Gosling by Katy Winn/Associated Press)

Julia: I hugged him and sat down. I’m normally attracted to military men, so that lines up. [But] initially I was like, Ah, okay, he looks a little ... maybe kind of disciplined, strict? He had close-cut hair, he had on a suit, his West Point class ring, you know?

Steve: I expected it to be more tense, but once we were at the restaurant we just started talking and, you know, cracking some jokes.

Julia: We ordered a bottle of wine, and the food was good. I really liked that he kept using my name [while talking]. It kinda takes you off guard, ’cause people don’t really do that anymore. We had a really good conversation about civilian-veteran-military affairs stuff; we’d both read Sebastian Junger’s “War.”

Steve: I thought to myself, Wow, we have these things in common. Catholics, families with Eastern European backgrounds, we both follow the same world events, both do some sort of sport, both laughing at the same stuff.

Julia: As we got to talking more and more, [I found] he’s very easygoing. He just retains the air of positivity, even though his job is kind of really intense. He’s very lighthearted. We’re both positive, smiley people.

Steve: Julia’s smart, well-read, articulate; she carries herself well and with confidence. She knows how to engage in conversation. She’s a fun person to be around.

Julia: I suggested we go over to Dupont. We took kind of a longer, nice walk afterwards. We took a picture of us by the White House. We had a more low-key drink at the Big Hunt.

Steve: There were two seats waiting perfectly at the bar for us. I had two beers; she had one. I was definitely more relaxed.

Julia: There was a little bit [of flirting]. I was kinda hoping there would be a little bit more. We were sitting on the bar stools, and it’s crowded, so you’re naturally a little bit closer.

Steve: It was just easy, free-flowing conversation. I know she mentioned on more than one instance that “Yeah, I’m really impressed, this is great, better than what I expected.” And I’m like, “Cool, you know, right on.”

Julia: We didn’t part ways until midnight. I had a friend’s birthday. I think maybe we would have hung out a little bit longer had I not had to go to that. At the end of it, he’s like, “Okay, let me know if you want to hang out again.” He kind of put the ball in my court. I was like: “No, no! You contact me!”

Steve: We exchanged numbers and gave each other a hug. I left the date that evening just feeling good overall. For me, this was one of the better dates if not one of the best dates I’ve been on since I’ve been here in D.C.

Julia: I wasn’t sure from him if he’s looking for something more serious; we didn’t really broach that. I’m not looking to meet my husband right now, but it would be nice to meet somebody who is interested to get to know me on a more intimate, relationship-type of level.


Steve: A 5 out of 5. Aside from the fact that she was just a great person and was very physically attractive and intellectually keen, we had a lot in common, and it was a relaxed evening. At the very minimum, it was just a great evening out with a person I’d love to see again.

Julia: A 4. Steve is awesome. It’d be fun to see him again.


UPDATE: The two got together again for an event at the Hungarian Embassy a few days later, and more meet-ups seem likely.

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