Why coffee dates suck.

Coffee dates are classic in the world of dating as a low-commitment, breezy, time-condensed, non-intimidating way to “break the ice” and see how well you “connect” with someone. The problem with that? They suck. I’ve rarely had JUST coffee with someone and had it be a good experience. I can count my coffee date experiences on one hand and they were unremarkable at best, objectionable at worst.

Lazy Eye Guy comes to mind. Pardon my shallowness. But this one was a match.com find (I know, I know). He seemed masculine and cute in his photos. I met him at a local coffee shop as a spur of the moment “I’m not doing anything else and it’s Saturday and I’m bored” kind of a way. When I went into the little indie shop with my mug in hand (eco friendly!) I went up to get tea, he texted me saying “I think I see you.” Creepy much? I saw him lurking in the way back, far in the corner. After I got my mug full of Earl Grey, I made my way to where he sat. Yup, sat. Didn’t get up, nothing. Also, I found it strange that while lingering in the coffee shop, he didn’t have coffee, tea, water, anything. I said “do you want to get something?” He said “no, I’m fine.” Weird. Up close in personal, he did in fact have a lazy eye, which, superficial it may be, but it distracts me. I can’t get into it. Plus the guy was boring. It was awkward. Tedious. I kept my eye on the clock. I texted a friend for an out after about 40 painfully polite minutes. She called me with a pseudo emergency and I almost knocked the café table over on my way out.

I didn’t hear from Lazy Eye until about three weeks later, when he randomly texted me to let me know he was “sexually” attracted to me. Needless to say, I told him off. My other coffee date stories aren’t much better. Don’t get me wrong – I love going for coffee casually with friends, or a guy I’m already dating. I had one coffee date once upon a time that turned into a long walk, and then a drive, and then a short but meaningful relationship, and after that, a long on and off friendship that enriched my life.

But! For the most part, coffee dates seem to be relegated to a noncommittal state – typically a guy who I haven’t spoken with on the phone (I’m a big fan of the phone screen) and it usually sucks. A lot.

Here’s my breakdown of why, after doing a little online digging – I love my research.

1) Coffee dates indicate a lack of financial commitment or class. It seems logical and low-risk to only take a lady out for coffee if you aren’t “sure,” and save the cash for dinner on a second date, but it also comes across as cheap. Especially like, in my case, when meeting at the coffee shop, I’ve always paid for my own tea or coffee. Hmm.

2) Low commitment in general. If I meet someone, I’d like to be able to stand them for a couple of hours. If you’re meeting for coffee you may not have screened them properly.

3) It’s not creative. How about meeting for a walk? Or a visit to a museum? A show? I’m a fan of dinner and drinks, personally. I’ve run the gamut of good, bad and in-between, and the guy may or may not pay (even if he SHOULD), but that’s my preference.

What’s your stance on coffee dates?


4 comments on “Why coffee dates suck.

  1. “I texted a friend for an out after about 40 painfully polite minutes.”

    This is why I think coffee dates can be a good thing–if things are going well after the first cuppa, you can easily transition into a real date, if not, you’re not stuck spending the evening with someone you can’t stand looking for an out.

    For me, the coffee date isn’t about money, or creativity, or laziness, it is all about time. Why invest a bunch of time in online/phone small talk with someone only to finally meet in person and realize you don’t click at all? Yeah, a lot of times the coffee date sucks because the person you’re meeting misrepresented themselves, but I’ll take five bad coffee dates over one bad dinner date.

  2. Jaded, I agree with you but I can also see V’s point. I feel like dinner is a bit of a leap into the deep end for a first date. Also, it puts pressure on my date to pay for everything, which isn’t always practical, but appreciated.
    My perfect first date: a cold beer/bev in the sun OR lunch. Lunch is less committal, less expensive, and takes less time. ~Kat~

  3. I went on my first coffee date a few days ago and it was awful. Mostly because the guy had completely misrepresented him online (he was suddenly 9 years older and had really bad oral hygiene). I couldn’t get away fast enough but thanks to coffee dates being casual and require no commitment, I left after 40 minutes.

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