Washington Post's 'Date Lab' Sends Woman Out On Historically Shitty Date

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.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter



Like he grabbed my hand and took my ring and put it on his finger for two hours.


Is this a thing?

Why is this a thing?

This should not be a thing.

Who the fuck does this?