I still have no clue what prompted a dater to flee after the salad course (a.k.a. That means that way too often daters agree they’re well matched on paper but are missing that zing of attraction that makes a second date a no-brainer. On the whole, our daters have been engaging, endearing and even forgiving when we’ve goofed, like the time a database glitch caused us to pair a 46-year-old woman with a 30-year-old man.(She gamely dubbed herself an “unintentional cougar.”) And daters have hit if off plenty of times, sometimes despite a surprise.Some say they’ve tried everything else — friends, co-workers, their mother, Match.com, e Harmony, Tinder, Coffee Meets Bagel — and see Date Lab as a break from the usual.Or as dater Dan Novak, speaking for himself and his date, recently put it, “We had both just reached a low point and now we’re on Date Lab. Date Lab is, admittedly, an oddball, especially now that online dating has become so dominant. We did our own matchmaking, in part, out of necessity.Lisa Bonos of Solo-ish talks to outgoing Date Lab matchmaker Christina Breda Antoniades and writer Michele Langevine Leiby.(Edited by Jessica Stahl and Carol Alderman) Eleven years ago, when I signed on as a writer for Date Lab, The Washington Post Magazine’s weekly feature that sends Washingtonians out on blind dates and recounts them for public consumption, I was nine months pregnant with my third child, a cool decade older than the typical Date Lab applicant and not exactly in a dating frame of mind.
Sometimes I’d spend hours pursuing a pairing and still come up empty-handed, making a note in my files to check back in a month or two in case the perfect partner should apply. In their Date Lab applications, they have laid out a litany of dating complaints: the guy who talked endlessly about his porn habit, or the woman who obsessed over her ex-boyfriend, or overindulged and then puked on her shoes.
Since Date Lab was launched in 2006 we have sent some 550 couples to dinner.
Along the way, the feature has become part of the local landscape.
(Before I could even finish writing my first assigned date, I went into labor.) But my own marriage was the happy product of a blind date.
And when daters described their indecision over whether to hug hello or go for the handshake, grumbled about their date’s sketchy table manners, or gushed about the butterflies they felt sitting across the table from a newly encountered crush, I could relate, just as thousands of readers do.