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Before you devote an entire evening with a blind date or online match, spend an hour with them on a coffee date first.
What Specifically Constitutes a Coffee Date?
Coffee dates are generally used when two people haven’t met each other yet, or don’t know each other very well. Online daters have made the coffee date popular, but many folks have opted for coffee dates before meeting a blind date as well. Setups from friends, for example, can be a great way to meet new people, but if the two of you don’t click, it could be a long evening. Coffee dates are called such because many daters choose to meet at coffee shops. But coffee dates can be held in any public place, where there are lots of people coming and going, in which you can meet someone new and feel comfortable leaving after an hour.
• Strategy: If you get asked out by someone you know very casually (from work or a volunteer event, etc.) you might want to opt for a coffee date. Suggest a public place where you can arrive by yourself and still feel comfortable as you wait for your date to arrive.
Yes, one hour. Meeting for sixty minutes takes the pressure off of struggling through a lengthy date when one or both of you know it just isn’t going to work out. When you tell someone you’re going to meet them for a quick cup of coffee (or a drink), it eliminates that awkward time during a date in which one of you wants to leave but you’re not exactly sure how to broach the subject. Generally chemistry happens quickly with people meant to click – so if you don’t feel the spark of something special within an hour, you might not ever.
• Strategy: Set up the expectation with your date ahead of time that you’ll be meeting for one hour. After that time, tell your date it was nice to meet them, shake their hand, and leave.
What Happens After the Coffee Date?
You both go home, alone, and reflect back on the past hour. The purpose of the coffee date is to help you determine if you’d like a second date.
• Strategy: If you liked spending time with your new love interest, tell them so with a follow up email or phone call and make plans for a “real” date. Even if you decide that you don’t want to see your coffee date again, send them an email saying you enjoyed meeting them but don’t think the two of you made a love connection. Wish them luck with finding their match, and move on.