Here’s Why You Should Embrace The Coffee Date

Coffee: It makes me feel better about waking up every morning because I know it’s in my near future. Many of us are hopelessly addicted to our daily Starbucks, but this innocent beverage could be the answer to all your first date problems. Tired of spending hours at a bar with a jerk and then having to shell out for your own three glasses of wine? No longer into giving up a Saturday evening for what will most likely be anything but a love connection? It’s time to embrace the coffee date, and there are a bunch of good reasons why you should start swapping your cocktails for vanilla lattes.

  1. A coffee date is basically a pre-date. This is equally applicable to online dates and if you actually met in person. Let’s face it, it’s always awkward and a bit scary to sit across from someone for the first time. It may as well be done in the afternoon over a quick coffee. Then, if sparks are flying and you have stuff to talk about, you can always go for drinks another time. As a bonus, you can walk into that bar knowing that things will go pretty well.
  2. Alcohol makes you tired. Caffeine wakes you up and allows you to be your best self. I don’t mean to sound super dramatic but without coffee I’m not sure I would be able to function every day. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who worries about how to fill those first date awkward silences. You know you should be relaxed on a first date but a cocktail will help you relax a little too much. But with the magic of caffeine, you will probably be bubblier than you usually are and will just start talking. This could be bad, of course, but if he’s the right guy he will find you adorable and want to see you again. And if he’s not into your babbling then guess what, he’s no fun at all.
  3. You can always prolong the date. The best part of a 4 p.m. coffee date on a Sunday that actually goes well? You can suggest going for dinner, and then you’ve had an amazing date that lasts for several hours.
  4. If you’re not into sex on the first date (or even the third), a coffee date gives you a buffer. There’s nothing wrong with going slow and taking things at your own pace. It can just get a little awkward if you’ve had an amazing first date and now it’s 2 a.m. and you really want something to happen but feel more comfortable waiting until next time. But with a coffee date, there’s no expectation of sex, so you’ll be in the clear. And you know that actually getting to know someone before sex makes it that much more amazing.
  5. A coffee date is honest: it’s a job interview, basically. There is nothing worse than asking someone questions in a crowded bar because it’s super obvious that this is a date (and probably a Tinder date too). But in a sunny café on a weekend afternoon, asking those questions seems totally normal because hey, job interviews take place in coffee shops every day, and a first date involves a lot of interview-type questions. What does he do? What does he want to do? Where does he see himself in five years? Okay, maybe not that last one. But you get the idea.
  6. If it sucks, you’ve wasted half an hour. Or maybe an hour. And not the entire evening. So you can actually do something fun tonight. Because we’ve all been there: the first date is going well, and two hours in, the guy turns out to be an unstable person, and there goes your Saturday night.
  7. Post-coffee, you can go for a walk for an adorably romantic first date. Beer and nachos? So not romantic. But there’s something cute about walking around the city with a new romantic prospect. It’s not so cute at midnight when you’re wondering what’s the safest way to get home and are stressed about how to end the date.
  8. It’s easy to make an escape. When you leave a drinks date early because things have taken a turn for the weird, it’s super obvious that you’re just not that into them. But it’s totally acceptable that you would have something to do in the afternoon. We all have busy lives, after all.  You can make a polite excuse.
  9. You don’t have to schedule an entire night around meeting a stranger. First dates not only require a lot of prep on your part, but they also to take away from the few nights you have to hang with your riends. It also puts a lot of pressure on someone to be an amazing dinner companion. If you’re going to give him your Friday, you expect an Instagram-worthy place setting, bomb food, and for him to compliment your ability to eat more than your portion of your shared appetizers. Do they really want that kind of heat?
  10. If there isn’t a spark, it’s easier for you to politely bail. You tend to know within the first five to 10 minutes of speaking with someone if you want it to continue any further. Call it a gut feeling or even being super judgmental, but sitting through an hour-long romantic dinner with someone you’re not interested in sounds like torture. Save yourself struggle and go on a date only has to last 20 minutes without being rude.
  1. You have more of an opportunity to just be friends. Sometimes you get along with someone really well, but there just isn’t that feeling of romance that makes you want more. It’s no one’s fault, and you shouldn’t have to cut ties completely just because you don’t want to date each other. It’s weird to just be friends with someone who took you to a $70 dinner. It’s not weird to be friends with someone who bought you a $3 coffee.
  2. You’re able to see if you genuinely (and soberly) like them. There are a lot of things you like when you’re drunk that you don’t like when you’re sober. Taco Bell, EDM and the majority of guys you swiped right on are all on that list. While it’s important to know if you can have fun being intoxicated together, we’d argue it’s even more important to know if you can have fun not being intoxicated together.
  3. They don’t have to shell out tons of cash for someone they’re not sure they even like. We genuinely don’t know why people offer to take girls to a sit-down dinner for a first date. Many are probably hoping to get laid, but why do that with someone they’re not 100% sure they’re into? They can skip the huge check and take a test run with a chill cup of coffee. They won’t be beating themself up later for spending part of their paycheck on a girl they’ll never see again.
  4. It pretty much takes hooking up off the table. There’s always the concern of drinking too much and making a bad decision to hook up way too early. Coffee and the cold light of day make that option pretty much nonexistent, which gives you the chance to not ruin the possibility of something good. It also saves you from the expected regret you’ll probably have the next morning. Go team!
  5. You get a better sense of they really are. Coffee is a lot less pressure to impress and put on a show. Meeting for a quick coffee on your lunch break or on your way back home from work gives you more of an opportunity to see the everyday them, not just the dressed-up version of them in a dimly lit restaurant.
  6. You won’t expect them to sweep you off your feet. They can’t do a whole lot of dazzling in a Starbucks. The most they can impress you with is if they can pronounce “macchiato” on the first try. Less pressure on you means more fun for you and your date both. Isn’t that a good thing?
  7. You don’t have to get all dolled up. This is purely a selfish reason, but there’s a lot weighing on what to wear on a first date. You have to be cute, but not look like you tried too hard. Sexy, but not where you’re giving off the wrong impression. Casual, but not like you don’t know how to put yourself together. Wouldn’t you much rather forget about all that B.S. and just meet them in whatever you wore to work that day?
  8. There’s less pressure to feel romantic. And finally, there’s little to no romance. Some girls may argue that guys especially are only romantic in the beginning, but the opposite can be true. Wouldn’t you rather wait for that side of someone down the road when you actually have real feelings as opposed to the first date jitters and uncertainties? Let’s make it a point to stop racing towards the finish line and save some of the best things for last.
  9. And finally: if they order tea, you know it’s not going to work out. It’s just a fact.
Aya Tsintziras is a freelance lifestyle writer and editor from Toronto, Canada. In addition to writing about dating and relationships for Bolde, she also writes about movies, TV, and video games for ScreenRant and GameRant. She has a Political Science degree from the University of Toronto and a Masters of Journalism from Ryerson University. You can find her on Twitter @ayatsintziras and on Instagram @aya.tsintziras.