Washington post online dating has its pros and cons

But I don't think dating is always the linear process that outside observers want it to be.

washington post online dating has its pros and cons-77

It’s no big reveal to say that dating is hard work, especially in a city like Washington, where everyone seems to focus on three things: work, work, and work.

Even the most pragmatic daters sometimes wish for a magic wand to conjure up perfect suitors. The results vary, but one thing is certain: Date Lab is a veritable cultural institution in the District.

Nearly everyone’s heard of it, and chances are you know someone who's been featured (or at least filled out the survey). We caught up with Date Lab editor Amanda Mc Grath to get the full story. "We ran this anniversary story in July 2011 — it lays out the history pretty clearly (though the statistics are obviously somewhat out of date).

But just what goes on behind those closed-laboratory doors? Ahead, Mc Grath dishes the nitty-gritty about the Date Lab team, the selection progress, and even some dating advice. More recently, we've been trying to shake up the process now and then — sending couples out rock climbing or sailing instead of to restaurants; letting daters choose their own match (we have two of these experiments coming up); getting fans to vote for which person we should send out on a date.

And there's lots of new stuff on the horizon that we're very excited about."It seems like Date Lab combines the best of online dating with traditional matchmaking.

Potential daters fill out an online survey and then real humans — your team — match them up.

What’s special about this process, and how does it make Date Lab stand out from other dating options?

"We are a little bit old-fashioned, in the sense that we don't use any algorithms or science or strict rules in our matchmaking process.

There's a back-and-forth discussion between myself and my fellow Date Lab editor, Christina Breda Antoniades.

We try to find some common ground for the couple, whether it's specific interests, or backgrounds, or sense of humor.

I think what makes Date Lab most unique is the fact that these are truly blind dates.

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