In some cases, I never stopped waiting for the right match, which is where I am now with an active 81-year-old who’s busy with Latin dance and music lessons (maracas, anyone? Yet still, they’ve signed up and, when selected, signed on despite a daunting legal release that charmingly warns they may be exposed to “public ridicule.” Almost all have earnestly thrown themselves into the encounter, eager to have a good time, so much so that they doggedly push through dates they’d otherwise have politely cut short.
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.A few years later, I took over from Date Lab’s editors as matchmaker in chief, tasked with pairing daters based on nothing more than their photos and their sometimes candid, sometimes elusive answers to questions that range from the silly to the slightly intrusive, such as: “Quick!What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?(When we set you up with a vegan we didn’t know you had a cheese addiction, dater!) Sometimes the chemistry-crushing surprise remains a mystery, even after the date. Experience tells us it’s a critical element in propelling people past a first date, but we’re still a long way from a foolproof formula. Thankfully, true fiascoes — like the guy who took a ring off his date’s finger and wore it for the next two hours — have been relatively rare.
Lisa Bonos of Solo-ish talks to outgoing Date Lab matchmaker Christina Breda Antoniades and writer Michele Langevine Leiby.