What are the four words that will ruin your first date before it’s even begun? Let’s go for coffee.
Ah, the coffee date… There is nothing less romantic than going for coffee on a first date. While coffee dates are great for things like catching up with friends, business meetings, hanging out with your mom, or even a second date, I would like to argue that there’s no worse setting for a first date than a coffee shop. Let me explain…
Your nerves are already through the roof
First dates are nerve-racking enough as is. Throw some caffeine into the mix with your first date jitters, and you’ll be shaking like a Hitachi Magic Wand (but not in a good way). Other unpleasant potential side effects of caffeine include frequent urination and an upset stomach. If that’s what you’re into, I would suggest broaching that topic on date number two (no pun intended).
Your awkward interactions are on public display
Now, I know what you’re thinking: I won’t order something caffeinated. And while that will provide a solution for my aforementioned points, it will not change the fact that you’re in a quiet, brightly lit coffee shop, surrounded by people reading, working on their laptops, and other related activities that provide the perfect vantage point for eavesdropping on your first date awkwardness. And trust me: they will eavesdrop. I know this for a fact, because I am a total coffee shop eavesdropper.
One afternoon, I was working on my laptop at a coffee shop when a guy walked in who a friend of mine had met on Tinder a month or so prior. Long story short, he turned out to be a total prick, and my friend cut things off with him. He headed straight to the girl sitting beside me. She had spent the last five minutes pretending to look at her Instagram feed on her phone as her eyes continuously darted towards the door. My friend’s failed Tinder tryst approached the girl. Juicy, I thought. This has “first date” written all over it. Naturally, I muted the Blondie blaring through my headphones to listen in.
“This is the first time I’ve actually been on a date with someone I met online,” the girl confessed, as she nervously looked down at her green tea.
“Yeah, me too,” said my friend’s Tinder tryst. “I’m new to the whole Tinder thing.”
LIAR. I thought to myself as I recalled the screenshots my friend had sent to me of their correspondence on Tinder prior to meeting up IRL. I glared daggers at him over my Mac Book.
“So, what kind of music do you like?” the girl asked.
“I really like bands that aren’t mainstream and haven’t really been discovered yet.” The guy smoothed over his undercut, and took a sip of his non-fat, no foam latte. He continued, “For example, the most life changing concert I’ve ever been to would have to be the time I saw Mumford & Sons play at the Saddledome.
I spat out my coffee at this comment, almost blowing my cover. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure if a band is played on almost every single radio station across the globe and is performing at Calgary’s largest concert venue, they qualify as “mainstream.” I watched the poor girl as she cringed.
The date painfully dragged on as I watched the girl become more disinterested by her date by
the second. I watched the pair stand to leave and the guy went in for an extremely awkward
hug. The girl just kind of patted him of his Canada Goose parka.
Bad dates can happen in any setting. But in a coffee shop, be prepared for your bad date to be
on display for any asshole (like me) pretending to be working to see.
Make it easy: Go to a bar
Personally, I prefer my bad dates to happen in a bar setting. At least at a bar, there’s typically music and a lot of chatter around you so that there’s less opportunity for your awkward date to be on display to prying eyes. I am also a big fan of first dates at bars because the atmosphere is also much more relaxed. This allows conversation to flow a little easier. Plus a drink in your hand can help ease some of those first date nerves. Just try not to go overboard with the booze.
No one ever gets laid after a coffee date
My final argument against having a first date in a coffee shop is the same thing I loudly exclaim to my friends anytime they tell me they are about to meet someone from Tinder at a coffee shop: No one ever gets laid after a coffee date!
When you go on a date with someone, are you not rooting for a little hanky-panky to happen? I don’t necessarily mean you want to have sex, but at the very least, don’t you want a successful first date to end with a lingering goodbye kiss? I don’t want to be kissing someone for the first time with coffee breath. And if you happened to have something like a latte? Coffee and milk breath? Double whammy.
…But absolutely go for coffee for any other date!
I want to reiterate, coffee shops are great for all sorts of other kinds of dates; just not for first dates. A coffee shop is a great setting for a date once you’ve gotten that initial introduction out of the way.