May 17, 2013
Dating 101 – The Coffee Date
I had a coffee date yesterday that proved what I have always known: coffee dates don’t really work for me. It is an unnatural meeting and feels more like a job interview. I am too old, too intelligent, and frankly too cute, to play these dating games. If someone is interested in me, we should go out for a meal or a walk, not sit in a coffee shop checking off a list we have in our heads to determine if we want to go on a real date.
Not every date is going to lead to love, or sex, or even a second date, but at this stage of my life I can sit with a stranger, even if there is no physical or intellectual attraction, and have a conversation. Having that conversation sitting in a room with a bunch of other people having the same conversations is not cool. There are a million and one things that two people can talk about on a date, and having something in common is not required.
Why not take a leap of faith and meet for a real date instead of a quickie? Listen, quick can be good sometimes, but not on a date. Well that is not true because I have left a date after 5 minutes, but that was not a date as much as escaping someone dangerous. A cup of coffee is not a date. If I am going to go on a date I want it to be a real date. If I meet my Beshert I don’t want to look back on our first date as a quickie over coffee.
Each bad date gets you one step closer to love. It could also get you one step closer to getting a cat and an IV of wine, but either way, it is one step closer to something. My date last night was a lovely man. He is attractive, funny, open, and charming. It was impossible however to know if there was any connection. I meet my girlfriends for a cup of coffee. I go out with my son for a coffee to catch up. Coffee with a stranger is strange.
So, I have made an executive decision. No more coffee dates for me. They are awkward and weird, and I am not doing them anymore. I will exchange emails, I will talk with them on the phone, and I will invest enough time into a stranger for them to not want to be a stranger anymore. Then we can have lunch, or dinner, or go for a walk, or meet for a cocktail. Important to note that meeting for a cocktail is not the same as a coffee.
Meeting up for a cocktail, feels like a date, not an interview. I think most women would dress differently for a coffee than they would a cocktail. For example, I am wearing flats to coffee and heels to a drink. I am wearing lip-gloss to a coffee and lipstick to a drink. Subtle but important differences that change the vibe from that of work to pleasure. Dating is work, but should still be fun and not feel like a chore. Dating should be fun.
Sometimes I crack myself up. Dating should be fun? Dating is not fun. There is actually nothing fun about dating at all. Dating is brutal. It is full of angst and pressure. There is excitement of course, but it comes from the possibilities of where it could lead, not an actual date. Dating is just the vehicle used to find love. I am easing back into dating and as long as I stay away from coffee shops, I will be able to keep the faith.