News & Politics

These Date Lab Fails Will Make You Feel Better About Your Love Life

The Washington Post's popular blind-date series is being discontinued.

Photography courtesy of Shutterstock.

The Washington Post recently announced it will be ending its Sunday Magazine, which is terrible news for a number of reasons. Among other things, it means the end of the Post’s popular Date Lab series, in which two readers go on a blind date and then report back on what happened. 

Date Lab originated in 2006, and as of 2019 at least three marriages have resulted from it. Most of the time, however, things don’t work out—often in memorable ways. To mark the passing of this longtime series, here are some notable Date Lab fails, as well as a few successes. 

The Bad

The Ghost Story

A horse girl and a car guy–what could go wrong? Well, according to Eva, everything. In her post-date interview, she said she couldn’t believe that while he said he liked horses, he didn’t know what dressage was. Jack said they bantered a bit, but he knew that ultimately there wasn’t anything there. The kicker came when she went to the bathroom for an unusually long time. “It doesn’t look like she’s coming back,” Jack told the waiter. She didn’t.

The Conversation Collapse

To start, Adam was thrown off by the location of the date–the Post sent two guys to the hyper-hetero bar Madhatter, which Date Lab admitted may have been a misstep. But they couldn’t blame the Post for everything else that went wrong. Christian said the conversation lacked depth and that Adam didn’t ask him any questions about himself. In the post-date interview he said, “I had more fun playing with my food than listening to him,” and rated the date a 1.5 out of 5. Oof. 

The Charger Fail

They logged onto Zoom. They each thought the other was cute. Unfortunately, it all fell apart in under an hour. Chris’s phone was on three percent, and instead of making what I’m sure would’ve been a strenuous trek to get a charger, he decided to just cut the date short. Carly pressed Chris about why he thought they shouldn’t continue getting to know each other and was frustrated when he didn’t give a straight answer. Eventually, he told her she didn’t seem interested in him. Carly decided she didn’t want someone who criticized how she played League of Legends anyways. 

The Andrew Yang Issue

Ben and Claire were getting along well enough that they exchanged numbers (something of a rarity with Date Lab), but Claire, who has worked on campaigns for Kamala Harris and Hillary Clinton, couldn’t leave without asking who Ben voted for in the Democratic primary. He admitted to admiring Andrew Yang. After they hung up, this nagged at Claire. She texted him asking his thoughts on Yang’s candidacy for New York mayor, and when he replied that he was confident in Yang, Claire left him on read. 

The Good

The Royal Flush

Originally skeptical about what Sam’s southern accent meant about his political leanings, Mariana was reassured when he told her he was left-leaning. Passing that hurdle, the date was off to a great start. They stayed at Royal in Shaw until it closed and decided they were having such a great time, they didn’t want to end the date there. They walked down the street to a wine bar and shared a bottle. The latest update is they are still dating; we wish Sam and Mariana the best. 

The Goodnight Kiss

Marrisa and André enjoyed Mezcal Monday at Espita together. They spent the night jumping from topic to topic, bonding over their shared love for yoga and Stevie Wonder. Marrisa was excited that he wore white retro Nikes and thought he looked put together. André also admired her outfit. With giddy energy, they spoke about their passions and things they want to try. They were able to joke with each other comfortably. At the end of the night, Marrisa went in for a kiss. They exchanged numbers and said they intended to go out again. 


Editorial Fellow

Keely recently graduated with her master’s in journalism from American University and has reported on local DC, national politics, and business. She has previously written for The Capitol Forum.