Coffee Dates (an Online Dating Rant)

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“I would love to meet you in person, are you free this Friday?” Tom asked over the phone.

We’d met online (pre Robert) and had been talking on the phone for about a week. It was definitely time for a face-to-face, in order to see what our true chemistry/attraction was.

“Sure… what did you have in mind?”

“There’s a Starbucks in Times Square, lets meet there for coffee,” Tom said.

***Tires Screeching***

Starbucks?

on a Friday Night?

…in Times Square??

You know those dating commercials that say “Actual First Date” on the bottom, when the two people awkwardly meet in front of a restaurant and then laugh and flirt over sushi and drinks? Yeah. That hardly ever happens to me when I meet guys online. The guys I meet are all about the coffee date.

When did coffee become every guys idea of a perfect date? I have no idea… I mean– get it, a coffee date is cheap and can end quickly if needed. But lately guys seem to feel like they’re really “doing something” if they ask to meet you for coffee (mind you, most guys who have asked me to coffee don’t even drink coffee) augh!

Anyway, I feel like  if a guy is going to use the “lets meet coffee” approach, he absolutely cannot try to book it on a Friday or Saturday night… that’s prime weekend time! If I’m a single girl, my Friday and Saturday Nights are for going out with my girls to meet new guys or for dates that are based around meals, activities or maybe a cocktail. Not paper cups with plastic lids and cardboard slip covers!

Okay, so back to Tom… I hesitated trying to figure out a way to say how I felt about his proposed date.

“I’d love to meet you, but maybe we can do something else? There has to be something else we can do on a Friday night in New York City,” I cooed.

“Well, I really want to talk and get to know you, I think Starbucks is nice and quiet. We can talk over a cup of coffee” he said. He sounded pleased with himself.

“There are lots of restaurants that are nice and quiet too,” I bit my lip to keep from laughing.

As much as I love Starbucks, it is not a quiet french cafe. Between the espresso machine, the frappuccino blender, the baristas yelling out orders and the “artist of the month” playing over the speakers… that place can be far from romantic. Not to mention he wanted to meet at the Starbucks in Times Square. (For those of you who don’t live in NYC, Times Square is like Disneyland… with homeless people.)

I could hear in his voice that he was trying to romanticize the starbucks thing, when at the end of the day he just wanted a cheap date (which again, I have no problem with just NOT on a Friday night!). I was backed into a corner because I’d already said I was free, but I refused to waste my Friday night in Times Square drinking coffee. Ultimately, I gave him 24 hours notice that I’d have to cancel our coffee date. Maybe I’m too high maintenance, but I just couldn’t do it…

How do YOU feel about coffee dates? Love ‘em? Hate ‘em?

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  • Razmataz

    I’m married and havn;t been on a date for 30 years, but if it were my daughter I would say he needs to pick a quaint cafe that makes homemade soup and great cakes….a little effort.

    I think what the Starbucks date is, is really a great place NOT to have to be intimate if there is no chemistry and also it’s quick. If he needs a quick escape he can go in a flash……His output for this date is really 0 effort and about $6.99 if you don;t order a Grande Frapuccino.

    • Anonymous

      I TOTALLY agree on the quaint cafe idea… especially in NYC there are too many options for Starbucks to be the default. *shakes head*

  • Mari

    Maybe it’s a pre-requisite for him. Girl must love coffee. Or something… lol I totally agree with Razmataz, there are lots of quaint cafes around the city to choose from.
    Actually, I went once to a cute little cafe in a first date, and it was great. And of course, not on a friday night. lol

    • Anonymous

      LOL! which cafe did you go to? I’m always looking for new ones where I can write :-)

      • Lisa

        Well personally the coffee thing isnt that bad of an idea especially when your are meeting a guy for the first time face to face. You don’t know anything about this dude, he may be a creep or what have you. and that goes for all guys not just ones you meet online because creeps are all over the place lol. I guess thats just my opinion.

  • HP

    I’m a girl and fully support the use of the coffee date as a first meeting. Better than meeting for “drinks” outright where alcohol can cloud judgement and better than a meal where if you DON’T get along, that meal can seem like 3 hours of torture.

    I like it because it’s quick, cheap (in case he’s the type that doesn’t pay) and if things DO go well you can do other activities. I’ve had a bunch of multiple hour dates that started with simple coffee. One “date” literally lasted about 10 hours because we kept hopping from activity to activity, it turned out to be an awesome night.

    The Times Square thing is what’s weird about all of this. There are many Starbucks in the city that don’t get as much foot traffic and are a lot quieter if he was really stuck on the Starbucks.

    • Anonymous

      The coffee date that leads to other things is ALWAYS cool… but again, those usually start early in the day. The Friday night part and Time Square part are my biggest issues. I can deal with coffee for the reasons you so eloquently outlined! xoxo

      • HP

        Yeah you do have a point and I’m guessing he never followed up with another date plan afterwards. Which means he probably wasn’t really interested much anyway.

        • Ma5ta Gonz0

          I agree, he was probably interested in getting some face time in real quick and if the physical attraction was there he would of tried to move the date further into the night and if not physically attracted then he could disappear w/o a trace into the hectic fun that is Midtown Manhattan….

          I drink coffee and I would never do a meet and greet at a Starbucks.. but that might just be me cause I work and breath Manhattan..

  • anonymous

    I was set up by an acquaintance with this guy. We talked on the phone and agreed to meet. I told him I had an aversion to meeting at Starbucks (Primarily because I feel like it’s being in a fishbowl and everyone knows you’re on a first date.) He said, okay, there is one about halfway between us. He didn’t know what aversion meant. I ended up meeting him and he was a total jerk. Looked at every woman who came in the store. Ironically, he had never been to a Starbucks before.

    The person who fixed us up removed him from the Christmas list because she was so annoyed with him. She set me up with another guy a year later. We went out for a very nice dinner and have been together for more than a year.

  • http://twitter.com/goldeelocks1908 Goldeelocks

    I haven’t been on a coffee date as of yet, but I completely get you not feeling that with the date and time he suggested. If this dude wasn’t sharp enough to come up with something equally or more creative as an alternative, I think you did pretty good for yourself NOT going out with this dude. I’m sure you had better luck with the next one. :-)

  • http://www.socialitedreams.com/ Socialitedreams

    if i do a coffee date, its in the middle of the afternoon or early evening on a NON weekend night, that’s for sure. “okay, that’s fine. how about tuesday at 5?” mmmm kay

  • Belatedbloomer

    Yes to coffee. No to Starbucks.

    http://thebelatedbloomer.blogspot.com

  • Elle Bee

    Hi Cece! I’m a long time lurker and love your blog but rarely comment. I feel you on your stance about the coffee date and no, you aren’t high maintenance… you’re not saying “No” to coffee ever, just not on a Fri/Sat night. And that makes sense to me. Shoot! Theaters charge premium for tickets to shows on those nights because they’re in high demand… why shouldn’t we value our own time similarly?? There’s lots of people/events competing for your time on those nights, so yeah… he shoulda came with more than coffee. Just wondering though… did you ask him to do Starbucks on a different night? Or maybe been more direct that he should up his bid for your time?? Not trying to be dense or anything… I’m just kind of a direct person like that… then again, I don’t get many dates. LOL!!… But seriously, will you be putting out a book on dating for the PSP?? How about a webinar?? I need it!!

  • Vanessa

    Love coffee dates ! But not an overcrowded Starbucks. Something more quiet, with good coffee.

  • :pouch

    Hi CeCe, its been a while since i last checked your blog! All this time i was curious about one thing, it will take me a while to read all the posts i have missed so i just wanted to ask have you told Robert about your blog?

    • Anonymous

      Yup, he knows…

  • http://www.facebook.com/dylanslegacy Dylans Legacy Dylans Legacy

    Say no to cofee and star bucks? What happenedto get an old fashioned burger. Since you live in New York why not stop by Bobby’s Burger Palace.

  • http://twitter.com/mskay00 k

    I’m all about the coffee date (I don’t drink coffee). Not willing to commit 2-3 hrs of time with someone I might not like. I don’t do coffee dates on Fri/Sat tho. That’s a mid week thing. I’ve got things I’d rather be doing on Fri/Sat night. That’s when I go out with people I know and like. And Times Square Starbucks really? That’s just extra lame and you don’t have to live in NY to know that.

    • Anonymous

      *High Five*

  • Anonymous

    I totally agree with you…coffee is fine…starbucks will do…but not during primetime. Starbucks meet and greet on a tuesday night…no problem…but friday night a girl needs to be wooed.

  • http://www.alltheweigh.com/ Kenlie

    I don’t mind a coffee date on a Friday or Saturday night, but Starucks..? In Times Square? Absolutely not. And it’s hardly quiet..that’s one of the loudest Starbucks I’ve ever gone to on a regular basis (not on a Friday night date..lol)

    A coffee shop like M. Rohr’s on the UES (my old stomping grounds) is perfect because in addition to coffee and tea, you can also play a board game or talk in the lounge in the back without overbearing music. There’s just a totally different feel to it.

    I like Crumbs Bake Shop too, but I wouldn’t go there on a first date (Friday or otherwise) either. Just not happening…

  • http://tipsonlifeandlove.com/ Emily

    Yes to coffee, definitely not on a weekend night, and definitely not Starbucks in Times Square. Was he trying to make you feel comfortable meeting in a crowded place? Or is he just new? Silly men, there are a million coffee joints/other Starbucks’ in this city… pick one.

    • Anonymous

      lol! Exactly…

  • Rosie

    Here’s a happy medium: the expresso martini.

  • Memphis own Shining Star

    So, I am ususally the one that suggeeeest a coffee date but It will not be at night because like you my weekend time is set aside for things that I know I would enjoy. If the cofffee date goes well and we would like to keep talking I suggest we go somewhere else or do something else right then or another time. I don’t like to ones that want to meet at your house or at a park. When they say that I have a siren and red flashing lights going ooff in my head that this is not what I am looking for, lol.

    • Anonymous

      YUP!!! lol

  • Jennifer Peaslee

    I almost always meet at coffee for the first date – but it’s nothing special. It is quick and cheap, and you can always go do something else afterwards if you hit it off. But I don’t live in a big city.

  • kay1231

    I actually never had a coffee, but I feel like u I wouldnt want to spend my friday or saturday night just having coffee thats something u can do on a week day.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=543271079 Joanna Rothman

    I refer to the coffee date as the “McStarbucks date.” You might as well be taking me to McDonalds because it demonstrates that level of creativity.

    • Parbel

      Creativity is appropriate only when you know you are going to go on a date with that person. A coffee meeting is really a pre-date, a Date 0, so to speak.

      • pandawanda

        Then wonder why you don’t get a second date.
        You don’t have to splurge on dinner. Go to a cute casual bar, get a drink and share an appetizer.

    • pandawanda

      Coffee date = Friend Zone date
      It’s impersonal, unromantic, so ordinary, so everyday, so “this coffee is making me restless” AND wondering all the time if this guy just wanted something casual or if he is a cheapskate and I am his cheap date? ahhh!
      A first date needs all the help it can get from its environment and ambiance because it’s actually a sensitive situation, two strangers meeting for the first time, and hesitant, nervous, so use your environment to your advantage.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1041424799 Tabitha Teixeira

    My boyfriend of 5 years and I had our first date at Starbucks (and also met on eharmony). After having a number of bad first dates, I started to really like the convenience of the starbucks date. Easy. We ended up closing Starbucks down that night, and still say outside and talked. So I’m probably a little biased. I think if the date had been in a big town city like NYC though, I would probably suggest better locations. It certainly is the McDonald’s of coffee houses. lol

  • Parbel

    All you had to do was tell him that if it was just to meet for coffee that you would want to meet up with him on instead. Problem solved. Simple as that.