Thursday, February 11, 2021

Stay In! And Take Part in the Pre-Valentine's Day DATE LAB Event!

Photo by Dennis Wong
via Wikimedia Commons

by Peggy Robin


In good times and bad, since 2006, It’s been a source of hope for thousands of singles looking for love – and though it may seldom produce high scores on the romance-o-meter, it usually rates big in the reader popularity polls. 

If you’re not already a fan, here’s a quick recap of how it works. Singles of all ages apply to Date Lab to set them up with a compatible someone. They fill out questionnaires about themselves, and say what they’re looking for in a romantic partner. Unlike a dating app which works on computer algorithms, or a matchmaking service, which is presumably run by professionals who have studied what makes relationships work, DATE LAB is run by amateurs --  young journalists with a sense of humor, more interested in pairing up a couple whose date would be more likely to make for a quirky and intriguing tale than a grand romance.

The Date Lab column is not so much about helping people find “the one.” Indeed, the odds of finding “the one” on Date Lab are dismal – only about nine percent are still dating after a month; and less than two percent get together and stay together for five years or more. But people have certainly had some dates worth reading about – although part of your enjoyment may be schadenfreude – you’re just glad it’s happening to someone else!

Week in and week out, most dates end with a parting shot like this: “Did not feel a spark” or “Would be happy to hang out together – but just as friends.” And then there's the most common last line of all: “No further contact.”

Yet we love it. And we look forward to reading it in the Post’s Sunday magazine week after week, year after year. Since the pandemic started, the dates have all been via Zoom or using some other virtual meeting space.

And now the Date Lab's annual pre-Valentine’s day event is going virtual, too. Here’s your invitation to the FREE 2021 Date Lab event, co-sponsored by the Washington Post and Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) Creatives:

If you loved the 2020 Date Lab event, be sure to join us as The Washington Post Magazine’s popular Date Lab column comes to virtual life ahead of Valentine’s Day weekend on Friday, February 12th, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. Because this past year has been anything but normal, the theme of the night is “dating during the pandemic.”

- Date Lab writers discuss their experience writing the column and talking to Date Labbers over the last unique year.

- Certified dating coach and Date Lab writer, Damona Hoffman, offers tips on how to ace your virtual dates and other dating advice.

- Plus, we’ll have a Q&A with one of Date Lab’s success stories, Renee Coley and Willie Gray. 

Ahead of the event, consider nominating a friend or family member to Date Lab! Click here to enter someone who you think could find their match with us. At the event, we’ll announce a lucky pair we are setting up because of you.

The event is free with registration. Grab your drink and screen of choice at 5:00 p.m. to join the virtual event. Don’t worry if you’re hanging around in your PJs. Only participants given advance notice will have the opportunity to turn their cameras on.

Please RSVP by clicking:
Yes or No

We look forward to your response and hope you can join us!


The Washington Post Magazine 

Maybe this virtual event will inspire you to apply for Date Lab  yourself! If you do end up on Date Lab, and then you and your date end up being in the successful <2% that go on to build a long-term relationship – maybe even marry – please don’t forget to credit the Cleveland Park Listserv for giving you “the spark.”


The “Stay In!” events column is published on the ClevelandPark Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Thursdays.  

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