Fiona Forrester, 23, has been living in Arlington since she started working at a federal agency in 2020. She has a roommate she’s known since childhood, the kind of person who knows her better than she knows herself. According to this expert on all things Fiona, what is Fiona’s type? “Every time I talk to my roommate, she says that my taste is so ‘generic,’ ” Fiona recalled, clarifying, “generic and boring.”
Lest you fear this assessment embarrasses our Date Labber, she affirmed this take: Her No. 1 priority is just finding a “nice person.” She favors “outdoorsy” guys, she said, who “are a bit more quiet. Like a mix between Jim from ‘The Office’ and Tom Holland in ‘Spider-Man.’ ”
She applied to Date Lab after she heard good things from a friend who’d recently participated in the column, plus she was struggling a bit with how to meet people in her post-college life. “I thought, why the heck not?”
We matched her with Elliott Tauscheck, a 26-year-old who works in government acquisition and lives in Elkridge, Md. (I know, a long-distance relationship … a bold move, but it’s a pandemic! ) He’s been single since he moved to the area more than three years ago. He hopes to find someone who had a “similar upbringing” to him — he’s from Wisconsin and is close with his family. He applied to Date Lab on a whim with the encouragement of a friend.
He struggled to think of a dealbreaker, landing only on “if they didn’t go to college.” As for Fiona, “a big no for me [is] if someone is impolite to anyone,” she said. Then she added, “Podcasts come up quite a lot in conversations and I feel like so many guys will ask me what I like and I’ll tell them a podcast and they’ll say they just listen to Joe Rogan.” Following the media personality is a red flag for her, as everything she’s learned about him is “some wacky stuff.”
Both Elliott and Fiona described themselves as “not ready for true settling down” (Fiona’s words) but open to “seeing what was out there” (Elliott’s). They went to Georgetown’s Peacock Cafe.
Fiona arrived five minutes early, soothed by a mantra of “it’s just a dinner with someone you don’t know,” wearing a sweater, jeans and new white sneakers. Elliott put on a collared shirt and a V-neck sweater, and drove into the city. He was also a few minutes early but not quite as early as Fiona.
Right away, Elliott noticed that Fiona “was a very cute and attractive person. She had a great smile … and seemed very warm and welcoming and just genuinely happy to meet [me].” Fiona, too, had a good feeling from the start. “My first impression was that he seemed nice … He was super friendly right off the bat,” she said.
Over dinner, Fiona found Elliott “easy to talk to. He was very outgoing and very friendly.” The conversation was flowing so naturally that they had to tell the waiter to come back a few times to take their order.
They discussed their families and hometowns. Though Fiona is from Rhode Island and has never been to the Midwest, Elliott determined that her being from a “small town” outside of the DMV constituted a “similar upbringing.”
They also talked about reality television and podcasts. “He is a Joe Rogan fan,” Fiona admitted. “But he did say he listens to other things as well.” Both are avid readers, and they swapped book recommendations.
“There was genuine interest,” Elliott said. “Toward the end, she was smiling a lot, so I thought we had a good conversation and connected.” They stayed at the restaurant until just after 10 p.m. “It was definitely the longest first date I’ve been on,” he said.
“We got along really well, but I wasn’t feeling quite that chemistry, sparks, romantic-y vibe,” Fiona told me. However, she conceded that in the past she’s dated people she was friends with first. “I feel like I’m waiting for that spark, but in my own dating history, it’s taken more time to progress.”
They hugged goodbye outside the restaurant, and Elliott asked for her number. He told her to text him when she got home and that they should do it again. “I did like her,” he said.
“If he hadn’t asked [for my number], I would have asked him, because it was such a nice dinner,” Fiona said. “I would be happy to see him another time, whether it becomes something more or it just stays friends.”
Rate the date
Elliott: 4.5 [out of 5].
They didn’t end up meeting up again. “We decided that we are probably just better off as friends,” said Fiona. “It all ended on a good note!”
Join us for Date Lab’s annual Valentine’s Day event on Friday, Feb. 11 at 4 p.m. Register for the virtual (and free) gathering at datelablive.com.
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