Why I Don’t Do Coffee Dates

One of my girlfriends started dating online. I have not quite ventured into online dating yet, but I do support anyone who chooses that path. It really wasn’t her preference either, but hey, what does a single woman have to lose? After all, online dating just gives you more options than you already have, right? Well, one of the first young men she met online asked her out for coffee to which she quickly declined. She & I discussed the whole coffee date “epidemic” and what a tacky choice it is for a first date.

Now there are a lot of people out there who feel like meeting for coffee is a good idea for a 1st date especially if you’ve never met that person face-to-face before. Supposedly, it’s an easy way to determine if there’s enough chemistry to move forward with a second date without fully committing to a “real” date in the first place. The problem with this concept is quite simple: It’s cheap.

Making a pre-date (which is really what a coffee date is) can get really old after a while, particularly if you’re doing it over & over with all the new people you meet. Coffee (or any other coffee shop beverage) is nothing to get excited over. If I’m going out on a bunch of coffee dates, it gets harder & harder for any one man to stand out & make an indelible first impression on me. There is just nothing memorable about sipping on a mocha latte.

As a woman it takes me at least an hour to look really cute for any date but especially a first date. So for me to spend an hour (or more) getting myself together, get in my car, drive across town, search & pay for parking all for a 30 minute coffee date is simply a poor investment of my time – simply said, the ROI is bad. Where I live gas costs upwards of $4/gallon but a Starbucks cup of coffee only costs $3.50, so any man who wants to meet me for coffee is basically saying I’m not even worth the gas it took for me to drive to the coffee house. And of course, I’m worth more than that.

Setting up a coffee date also shows me what kind of guy you are – Not big on commitment, casual, and I’ll say it again, cheap. Why can’t you ask me out to lunch and not coffee? What, you don’t have the extra $10 bucks to buy me a salad or a sandwich instead? Casual is not the place to be on the 1st date; maybe the 5th or 6th date, but not the first. It certainly won’t impress me enough to go out with you on a second date.

Besides, if you are really trying to get to know me then shouldn’t you be doing that over the phone before even meeting me? You certainly won’t get to know me any better of a cup of coffee than you would investing a little more time in a substantial phone conversation. Sure, you want to see if there will be any physical chemistry, especially if it’s someone you met online. You want to make sure that your date actually looks like their online photo. Well men, that’s just the chance you take with anyone when you meet them for a date for the 1st time. I could meet someone at the gym, the grocery store or wherever but by the time we go out for a real date I’m still not going to look the same way I did when we first met. So what’s the difference?

Let’s be real – restaurants were designed for eating, mingling, talking and dating. Starbucks was designed for grabbing coffee in a hurry on the way to work, for quick bathroom breaks on road trips, for college students to study or to host informational interviews but not for dating. The chairs are hard & uncomfortable, the music is zany and there is no seclusion. I have no desire to sit next to some nineteen year old studying for college exams, trip over somebody’s little dog they decided to take out for a walk, or look at the back of a Mac book while a group of kids listen to Pandora or hear random coffee orders being yelled out by the barista.  There’s just nothing intimate about a coffee date.

Now some men might be reading this thinking, “Hey, a coffee date is short, it’s casual and I’m not spending a lot of money on someone I don’t even know if I like. Besides if things go well, we can still do something else afterwards.” Well, I think that’s a horrible way to think because again it reinforces that non-committal attitude and rings of sheer laziness. Casual is “cute” when you’re in your twenties but a grownup man should be making grownup dates. Besides, if things go well with coffee then I’m probably not appropriately dressed to go on a “real” date afterwards anyways.

To me a coffee date basically says “I think you look good online but I want to check you out in person before I spend any real money on you.” And I understand how that might make sense to a man, especially if you’re meeting so many women all the time. But you must bear in mind that any “good woman” knows that she’s worth a lot more than a $3 cup of coffee. Men, if you are looking for a woman who is confident, attractive, self-respecting and just overall appealing, trust me, she will not be looking for you at the coffee shop. A good woman knows she can hold out for a “real” date and will (just like me).

So ladies what do you do if a man asks you out for coffee? Don’t be afraid to tell him N-O and suggest other viable “first date” options – like going to a park, bowling, an arcade, going to an interesting museum exhibit museum or a reading at a bookstore. There are just so many other options that don’t require a lot of money but are still fun, interactive and more creative than drinking coffee. What happened to actually planning your date and making it special for the person you’re with? Men you get what you give, so no effort & no planning on your part means a no-show on mine.


39 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Do Coffee Dates

  1. I don’t do coffee dates. Just so no. Don’t even tell the cheapo,why so he keeps making the same mistake over and over again until he dies.

  2. I’ve had several successful coffee dates. However, you have to be the type of man that can keep an interesting conversation going. They’re the best way to screen out women trying to use you or princess mentality. If a woman won’t go on a coffee date, try taking for a slice of pizza or go to a bar. All low investments and If they’re not feeling you or vice versa, you barely took a loss. Everyone wins with these low investment dates.

  3. This discussion comes down to a fundamental difference in how people date. I spoke to the guy I’m currently dating for 2 weeks over the phone before we went on our first date. So obviously our first date would be a real one. Who would wait 2 weeks to meet someone and then go on a coffee or drink date? That would be crazy. And I generally do this with all my dates. I always like to wait 1 or 2 weeks to meet, so that we can talk on the phone and get to know eachother. That’s the best prediction as to whether the date will be a good one or not. By that point I already know that I can have great hours long conversations with the guy, so our first date will go pretty good as well.

    These coffee date drink guys want to meet you the very next day after a first conversation. Some even want to meet you that same day! One of the guys here even said as much. These aren’t guys I would be considering anyway because to me they are rushing things. Getting to know a person over the phone also makes the first date a lot less awkward! Of course my way of dating requires patience and the problem with a lot
    of people is that nobody is patient anymore. And I’m sure these coffee date guys are meeting 3 or 4 different women per week. Yuck! For me its about quality vs quantity. I’d rather date less people but have more quality dates. It takes a lot more effort to invest time in speaking with a person for a week prior to going on a date. The man has to call everyday or maybe every other day to keep the momentum up. Throughout this time the anticipation and suspense builds. By the time you meet for the date, you’re both super excited.

    Also, my conversion rate is pretty high. I almost always get asked on a second date. What’s the success rate of coffee/ drink dates?! I’m guessing a lot less.

  4. We (men) are not perfect beings. Neither are women. That’s what compromise is all about. Maybe a coffee date could be a quick icebreaker, because he’s really interested, but doesn’t have more time for the traditional date in the next day or so. Therefore he wants to demonstrate that he is a different kind of guy by showing his interest. He doesn’t want it to appear he’s playing games and ‘waiting’ for some period of time (as some men and women do) – why I don’t know – so it’s as if the man can’t win either way.
    You also sound as if it’s only about what you want and what the man has to do to please you. Isn’t a relationship at any level about give-and-take?
    All of us men are not bad? But from the sound of the majority of those who replied here, it seems like men are viewed as – no matter which one you pull out of the proverbial bag, they’re all the same.
    I truly (not sarcastically) believe that if more ladies gave a man the benefit of the doubt (until he screws up), then you would sometimes be pleasantly surprised.

    1. No woman is born to give you the benefit of the doubt. If you’re not prepared to go out of your way to accommodate a woman YOU approached to get to know, then you don’t deserve her time, effort, and consideration. Period.

      1. Ya but some girls are not appreciative and only care about money. When I was younger I worked as a cashier and I dated a girl in my work. We made around the same (I think I made a bit more). I used to take her for bowling, walks, we went to nice beaches. Once I took her go carting and we watched a outdoor movie after. She kept complaining I never took her to nice places. She called me cheap one time and I got into a fight with her and called her an entitled princess. She kept talking shit about my car as well and I had a 2006 Civic and she didn’t even have her license. She ended up leaving me that cunt.

  5. Why does it seem like you want the man to to be subservient to you? Why can’t it be about both, the woman and and man? And you sound as if men don’t put any energy, effort, pride into how they look? Or acknowledge that a man does strive to make positive and indelible impression on a lady. We (men) are not perfect beings. Neither are women. That’s what compromise is all about. Maybe a coffee date could be a quick icebreaker, because he’s really interested, but doesn’t have the time. However, he doesn’t want it to appear he’s playing games and ‘waiting’ for some period of time (as some men and women do) – why I don’t know – so it’s as if the man can win either way.
    You also sound as if it’s only about what you want and what the man has to do to please you. Isn’t a relationship at any level about give-and-take?
    All of us men are not bad? But from the sound of the majority of those who replied here, it seems like men are viewed as – no matter which one you pull out of the proverbial bag, they’re all the same.
    I truly (not sarcastically) believe that if more ladies gave a man the benefit of the doubt (until he screws up), then you would sometimes be pleasantly surprised.

    1. I’m not putting effort in meeting somebody who isn’t doing the same. Why should I waste my mascara, freshly dry-cleaned outfit, and Uber bucks on somebody who’s cheap and insecure to have bad cup of coffee in a dank, stupid coffee shop?

      It’s like I have to dress up to audition for you. Screw that. My money, my cosmetics, my nice clothes, and sophistication are things I worked hard on to be squandered on some slob who needs a babysitter.

  6. So you think you are entitled to dinner or lunch because you put makeup on? You girls kill me. Its coffee. Think about it. Its just coffee, no different then going to a dumb bar. Why must you be feed or have liquor bought for you? I guarantee it will be quieter in a coffee shop then a bar or restaurant. And maybe more intimate if you get the chairs by the fireplace. Parking will be available and you will be doing the same thing, getting to know each other AKA talking. If your complaining about gas prices, you have bigger issues. It should not take a women over a hour to get ready for coffee, lunch or dinner unless its a wedding. Lose the makeup, get in the gym and feel better about yourself. O and maybe be original for once and pay for the first date. My interest in you would triple if you would actually pay the tab on that overpriced drink you ordered. If you did anything that I mentioned above, I would make sure that second date was better then the wedding. Grow up girls. This isn’t 1950. You can actually make the guy that seems not interested in commitment into you IF you think outside of the box a little. Rant over. Not joking about that gym comment, and do more then yoga or your 15 min mild pace on the treadmill. It will change your life, and you will most likely look back at this dump post thinking, ‘what was I thinking, I cant believe I posting something so dumb’.

    1. I appreciate your comments, but a few things:

      1) I’m not a girl. I am a fully grown woman
      2) If a man asked for a woman’s time (i.e. – to get to know her), why on earth should she offer to pay? There is no logic in that statement
      3) Since you don’t know what I look like or how much I weigh, I suggest you reserve your comments about me needing to go to the gym. It does you no good to assume that I am out of shape or overweight.

      Thanks for stopping by my blog; come again!!

    2. The funny thing about your post is that you sound very bitter and its obvious that you’re single. On POF I somtimes get hateful messages from guys like you saying garbage like this because I make it clear that I do not accept coffee dates in my profile. My question is, why are you so mad? You should have plenty of “coffee date girls” that you shouldn’t have to waste your time complaining to us women who require more effort. I am very polite in my profile, I simply state I do not accept coffee or drink dates. And for some reason it infuriates guys like you. I don’t seek out guys like you and say “hey why won’t you take me on a dinner date?” I simply ignore the guys who ask me for coffee and focus on the ones who ask me on real dates. I don’t understand the need for confrontation.
      We are simply incompatible so keep it
      moving. There are plenty of other fish in the sea 🙂

      Just an FYI… I have my pick of the litter online. I get so many guys messaging me that yes, I can be picky and choose who I want to spend my time with. And I only choose men who are excited about me, want to impress and invest time in the date. Its not about getting a guy to spend money on me or needing a meal, hardly I have a great job. Its about choosing a higher quality date who shows me right from the start that he is willing to do more to stand out from the crowd. After all there are many guys online messaging me at any given time. I have to separate the cream from the crop. Those guys are more enthusiastic and serious about finding a partner because who is actually going to invest in taking a nobody out to dinner? Only a man who is really interested is going to do that, probably one seeking a real relationship, a girfriend or a wife. And that effort translates into a man who calls frequently and courts in better ways. My last several boyfriends over the years I met online and they ALL took me for dinner on the FIRST DATE. No I didn’t have to do tricks or jump through hoops or “earn it”. They saw my profile and wanted to be with me and were willing to meet my requirements. BTW… If you saw what I looked like you’d realize how foolish you sound. I run 4 miles a day and have an amazing body. I show it off on my profile too, guess that’s why I never have to settle for cheap coffee/drink date guys like you. Piece of advice for you… you cannot convince a woman to lower her standards and settle for a guy like you. We know what we want and that’s it. Respect it and move on to the next profile.

      So go ahead and keep being bitter and complaining and wondering why you can’t get a date with a really hot woman. The hot ones will be spending their time with men who impress them by taking them on dinner dates. Go ahead, hug your pillow and cry now.

    3. I don’t patronize bars and I haven’t sat inside of a coffee shop to”hang out and chat” since my college days.

      If you expect a perfectly sculpted lady with the appearance of a goddess, you’re going to have plan considerably to spend some money on her.

      If you don’t have the cash to date a substantial woman, then stop having kids, return to school, get your degree, get a good paying job, and stop dating low-hanging fruit for hook ups…you’ll see how puerile and stupid your insistence on boring coffee meets are. (Starbucks coffee is garbage. A substantial woman can make her own coffee.)

  7. I make it plain and clear (directly and politely) on my online profile that coffee dates are not real dates for me.

    I know when somebody doesn’t read my profile or writes to me with cheeky aforethought when they ask me for a coffee, to which I tell them that I can make the best coffee at home and flip through profiles of more serious men. I want a serious man who takes dating and courtship seriously. There are scads of men a dime a dozen on these online dating sites, but very few are worth the time and effort, and I have a met a couple who are wonderful people.

    Why the hell would I waste my good mascara and expend my time and effort on somebody who doesn’t feel I’m worth the time and effort to get to know? I wouldn’t.

    If he wants to be cheap, there are plenty of low-hanging fruit on seedy dating sites who are more than obliging to have coffee

  8. I agree, coffee dates are definitely a cheap way of getting to know someone. This is why I no longer accept coffee dates or drinks at a bar, they’re too casual. A casual date means he’s not looking for a relationship. A guy took me out on a date to Starbucks for a cup of coffee and we sat in his car and talked since the café was full. The date was very boring and felt like an interview. The first red flag during the date was when he said he “wasn’t into planning dates” and that he “just ended a 3 year relationship.” Basically, he wasn’t looking for anything serious. After the date was over I never spoke to him again. I can’t spend time with a someone that is too lazy/cheap to plan a date.

  9. This just happened to me. I met a guy on POF, gave him my number and when it came time to ask me out he invited me to meet him for coffee. It’s unfortunate that I gave him my number prior to learning what he was all about. I told him “I’ll let you know” then he accused me of blowing him off. So then I came right out and said I’m used to be taken on real dates not coffee dates. His exact response was “Listen I’m not a sucker. If I spent money on every girl I met online…” I didn’t even catch the rest of what he was saying I promptly cut him off and said I was back with my ex. At that point I just wanted to get off the phone with him. He went off and rambled that he didn’t care and didn’t want to meet me now anyway. I ended up hanging up on him. And this was a man in his 40’s who supposedly had his own real estate company LMAO!!! And you mean to tell me he couldn’t afford dinner at Olive Garden? I’m sorry but what a loser. We had talked on the phone a handful of times by that point, so if you can’t invest in a meal to get to know me you’re a waste of my time. I’ve never had to go on a coffee date in my life and never will. It’s a waste of my time and effort and I have no interest in getting all dressed up and cute to meet a cheap loser. The author is correct, attractive women don’t have to settle for coffee dates. And that fool wonders why he’s in his 40’s and he’s still single.

  10. I feel the same way about coffee dates and it goes beyond whether or not I find myself to be “quality” as one person’s quality may not be the next person’s “quality”

    for me, I find that coffee dates are just extremely boring. there’s nothing to do, no music to listen to, nothing to dance to, nothing to see, no place to walk around. So they lead to “interview style” dates. which almost always involve (since I talk less) men rapid firing interview questions at me, and are almost always exhausting.

    At this point in my life, I consider it an utter waste of my time to spend all my time answering interview questions, particularly as I hoped to avoid that by using the online questionnaire.

  11. Instead of coffee then, we could just go out and eat a bunch of caramels. One thing is just as arbitrary as another, which is just another way of saying that it’s not the 10 or 15 or 30 or even 90+ minutes that you can spend together drinking coffee (although I sincerely hope that there’s more going on than just that), it’s what you do in that time. What getting coffee means to me is clearly different than what getting coffee means to you. But if ‘getting coffee’ to the people who ask you out is just going to Starbucks and having a chat, then I’m glad you refuse to do that. You’re no $7 girl.

    1. Yes, I prefer a well thought out/planned date. Coffee is too overdone & just seems so systematic.
      I will say that I am very fortunate in that no man has proposed a coffee date to me. =)

  12. I have a friend who has turned to on-line dating as well. She has had 50/50 luck with it thus far. Has done some coffee meetups and actually enjoys them now that she has found a nice coffee shop (not Starbucks) nearby her home that offers lunch and a bit of privacy. If the men who want to meet for coffee are willing to meetup there she is all for it. I think it is a matter of compromise.

      1. Right now, she isn’t looking for marriage which might be the difference. She is looking for broadening her dating opportunities and finding companionship. So far she has had some luck with that. Because the men she is meeting now are willing to come to her coffee shop, have lunch and coffee it is more of a win.

  13. I think somewhere back in my early years I went on one blind date. HATED IT BEFORE IT BEGAN, HATED IT DURING THE DATE, AND HATED IT AFTER IT ENDED. And as far as I’m concerned, an online date is just as bad. She. or I, for that matter can tout we’re the perfect match for anyone. What the hell else we going to say? We’re a total dud? No, thrown into the same situation you couldn’t push me to an internet date with a stick that has shit on its end.

  14. ” It certainly won’t impress me enough to go out with you on a second date.” Why is it about you? With the progress that women’s rights have made, why is that you still expect the man to impress you, by approaching you, then asking you out, then paying for your food. That baffles and confuses me, what do women want? You generally research a investment or purchase before you actually spend the big bucks on it, why should it be different for men. Why must I pay to have a horrible time? Women never seem to view it like that, they always talk about how bad the date was for them yet they walk away pockets no lighter… Don’t peg me as a woman hater but more of an equal rights activist. A coffee meetup is just that an extension of the previous conversation to build on what you suspect. Then if the stars are aligned you can go on that first date. Which is likely to better since he will know exactly what he’s walking into.

    1. Honestly, you shouldn’t be taking a woman out that you haven’t decided that you like anyway. That should be decided on the phone – that’s what a phone is for, to communicate.

      You ask what women want? Women want a man who is thoughtful enough to come up with something better than coffee. Nine out of ten women DO NOT like coffee dates, so instead of fighting it or bashing it, deal with it & come up with something better. I don’t see the big deal about that. Plus the more creative you are, the more points you’ll get by the time the 2nd date rolls around.

      What if there was something men liked for women to do, but we didn’t enjoy doing it? (I can think of a few things that would fit into this category) I can either gripe about it or I can figure out how to deal with it since that’s just the way it is. Sure, I can challenge their way of thinking but men want what they want. So if I want to attract a good man I must conform, not him.

      As I wrote earlier, dates cost for women too. So what if you lose $10-15 on a lunch date? We have expenses too. We pay for makeup, hair, jewelry, etc all to look good for YOU. Dating is expensive for both parties. That’s why men should be selective with who they ask out.

      If you’re concerned about losing money over a date, then get creative. I gave several other options that cost little to no money but are more intimate than the sound of a coffee grinder over your conversation.

      Thanks for reading my blog! It’s always good to hear a man’s perspective

      1. Men want what they want? Only thing the average man wants is food and what other hobby he wants to be into. If you are a pretty girl the man tends to do most of the conforming, I know this because most of my friends are in relationships. Women are really good at changing men over time.

        You likely already have the necessary make up for any date and clothes, I know this because I was raised in a family of girls, women are rarely unprepared.

        I actually find coffee meetups rather pleasant, and have been known to move from a niche coffee joint to a nice restaurant if the night so progresses. There are no waiters to bother you or pressure you to leave. Average length of my coffee meetups are about 3 hours of us talking and getting to know each other.

        Its not 10-15 because I have to buy my food as well so more like 40+ when you factor in tips.. An women rarely look good for men, they mostly look good for other women

        I am always happy to share my opinion on matters of men and women. You took the time to write it, I can at least take the time to tell you how I feel lol.

      2. This guys response shows the issue with the dating scene today. He’s another man oozing feminine energy and lethargy not a man who’s marriage material. There are a million places to go other than coffee shops, and plenty of free places or low costs places to go to have fun. I never heard a love story starting with a coffee date! Men love to play the money card when they don’t have any money.

  15. I’m with you. We’re all adults here! If you must have a coffee date, at least head to a cafe. Get a coffee someplace with a little class.

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