Image via screenshot/Fleabag.
Image via screenshot/Fleabag.

In its Date Lab series, the Washington Post matches two D.C.-area singles, sends them out on a blind date, and interviews them afterwards. Obviously, this doesn’t always work out.


This week’s Date Lab featured Erica, a 27-year-old project analyst, and Anda, a 32-year-old entrepreneur. Here’s how Anda describes his goals:

I’ve been on hundreds of dates in D.C. But I’m not seeking something serious. I’m the founder of a start-up focused on the coffee market in Yemen; that’s my No. 1 priority.


And we’re off to an amazing start! Anda thought Erica was great—“I like tall, smart girls, and she wasn’t a pushover”—while Erica was, shall we say, less convinced:

“He’s very confident, on the verge of cocky,” she said. “It wouldn’t have surprised me if he had just said, ‘I want a hot chick.’ He said a couple of times throughout the date, ‘I’m so glad you’re not fat,’ or ‘I’m so glad you’re not ugly.’”

Dang, that’s what we like to hear! Moving right along: Anda appreciates that Erica is a sentient being—so many women aren’t—and steals her jewelry in a gesture of affection:

Anda: I’ve been on dates where I’m the one holding up the conversation, like Atlas. But she had no problem holding up her side.

Erica: He’s very smart, educated. But he’s a little creepy. Like he grabbed my hand and took my ring and put it on his finger for two hours. I wasn’t reciprocating, but he wasn’t reading the signals.

Anda: She was going canoeing the next day. I was like, I want to come, can I get an invite?

Erica: He asked about it two or three times. It was odd.

And later:

Erica: He was very persistent about [asking] whether we’d have another date. By the end of the night I was like, “I’m not interested in a second date.”

Anda: If she’s not interested, I want to understand why; it won’t hurt my feelings.

Erica: He challenged me when I said my type was more masculine.

Anda: She’s emotionally mature; I was like, how is that working for you with more masculine guys? I’m in touch with my emotions and other people’s emotions. Manly and self-reflective aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive, but more often than not they are.

Erica: It felt like he was trying to convince me I was wrong so I would give a different response. He’s a successful guy who gets what he wants most of the time. I think he just wanted to “win” at this date.


Following this date, Anda, a man who is very in touch with other people’s emotions, sent Erica, a woman who had just emphatically rejected him, an audio recording of himself playing piano. According to an update from the Post, he also sent her “the location of a lecture he thought she might like,” and, a few days last, “a picture of a Belgian ale he thought she’d enjoy.”

A memo to the Washington Post’s Date Lab editors: please sent this poor woman a gift basket. And maybe some pepper spray.

Ellie is a freelance writer and former senior writer at Jezebel. She is pursuing a master's degree in science journalism at Columbia University in the fall.

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