Lauren needs to bond with someone who appreciates her for her mind. I don't see him as a competition for Bo in the romantic arena... but worse he's competition for Bo in the professional arena.
Sure, I hope that's all it is, but the way the scene was played made it feel like they introduced this character in order to be a romantic rival for Bo. I mean, this is a series where sexuality is always pretty much at the forefront, so it's hard to read something like this as strictly platonic.
And just as a matter of credibility, I'd think that if a man showed interest in her and asked her out to dinner, Lauren would want to make it clear up front that a) she's seeing someone and b) it's a woman, just so he wouldn't get the wrong idea about what to expect. The fact that she didn't
make that clear up front could be read as implying that she was receptive to being hit on by a man. I hope that wasn't the intention, but it could be read that way.
Oh, I can see HIM
seeing it "that"
way (sexually), and I can see BO
seeing it "that"
way... but I also see Lauren being completely flabbergasted
because they see it "that"
way. Not just flabbergasted... but disappointed that they are only looking at it in the sexual context. Remember how excited she was when he claimed to have read her scientific papers? Bo might admire her intellect, but can she really understand its depth/breadth?
This was supposed to be a night Lauren wanted her girlfriend to see her as an honored professional in her own right, someone who stood out among the best in her field. Instead she meets another respected scientist who's funny and charming and "thoughtful" enough to bring her the award and reassure her she didn't miss anything. The fact that she's miffed that Bo hasn't called her back and when Bo last called (drunk!) she even dissed the ceremony (and by extension Lauren) made this stranger's attentions even more welcome.
I understand how "this show" is all about sex... but even in this context I can't see someone (Lauren) having to tell the guy inviting her to dinner... "Hey... this is just about dinner, right? I'm not available, and even if I were available I'm not into whatever you're selling." That would be extremely awkward for the guy who might just want to be a science geek for a few hours, especially if he's not interested in Lauren as much as Dyson.