Time is the most precious and irreplaceable thing in life, so I'm going to cut straight to the point:
I judge guys who ask me out for coffee.
As a blogger, business owner, content marketing consultant, and creator (ask me about the super cool side-projects I've been working on!), I have very little free time. In spite of being busy, though, I don't let busy-ness consume my life. No matter how much work I've got piled up, I always make time to play basketball or rock climb during the week, and go surfing, whitewater kayaking or backpacking on the weekends. (In fact, the best productivity hack in the whole world is to make weekend plans, and never, ever EVER set a Monday deadline.)
Or, at the very least, I like to attend talks about dark matter or woolly mammoths, sing my heart out at karaoke, or skateboard around the neighborhood with my Snoofer Dog.
The way I see it, I have 52 Saturdays per year. I have 52 Wednesday lunches and 52 Thursday Happy Hours. That's all.
If I take time out of my day to see you, to try to get to know you better, it means I am giving you something I can never have back: my afternoon. My evening. My time. So if you suggest doing something boring and interchangeable with you, I judge you.
It's selfish. It's boring. It's uninspired.
Coffee is for networking and job interviews. Is that why you've asked me out -- because you want to interview me? Because I spend enough time pitching my ideas and services as it is. I have no desire to continue doing it in my free time.
A first date is a chance for you to show me your best you. It's a chance for you to show me what a life with you could be like. I'm sure there are plenty of girls out there who would love to drink coffee with you. There are plenty of girls who will stay home and cook you breakfast while you go surfing with your buddies. There are plenty of girls who would rather wear a cute outfit and watch you climb a tree instead of climbing it with you. And when you ask me out for coffee, I can't help but wonder, Is that the sort of girl you're looking for?
But if (as I suspect, based on the chemistry I felt when we met) you are a fun and considerate guy -- show me! Respect my time. Inspire me! Thrill me to the marrow!
Challenge me to a game of one-on-one! (I'll probably suggest 3s or 5s instead, but I'll still be impressed.) Ride your bike to Buck's with me! Take me to an arcade and try to beat me at PacMan. (You can't.) Give me a sneak peak of what a relationship with you would look like.
And remember: you can improve your shot at landing a second date and make yourself look way more attractive by sharing an adventure with me. There's this great study about the misattribution of physiological arousal that you have to read, if you haven't already.
Even if we only have forty-five minutes to get together this afternoon, I'll bet there's still something you can suggest to take my breath away. After all, one of my life mottos is to Reclaim the Fifteen Minutes. When I was in elementary school, all we had was fifteen minutes for recess, and that was enough to line up in a single-file line, walk outside, pick teams, and play a whole game of kickball -- and if we could be that efficient with our time when we were eight, we can definitely still do that now.
And another of my life mottos is to live like you're traveling. When you're in Chile or China, we think a trip to the grocery store can be an adventure. We're willing to go out of our way to see or try something new -- even something touristy. So... why can't we do that when we're in San Francisco or Palo Alto or Des Moines? Seriously -- why?
So let's do it! Let's light shit on fire. Let's ride skateboards! Let's put our faces in the water or get in a boat together. Or even just hop on a slackline. Because then, even if our date goes horribly and we never want to see each other again... at least we had an amazing little adventure together.
10/22/2015 11:23:55 pm
Have you considered suggesting a more fun activity? I agree with your point, but suggesting a more fun activity seems more in line with the general message you seem to send here
10/23/2015 12:24:44 am
If I like them, I do. But I still judge them if their first suggestion is coffee or a drink. Life's too short.
10/24/2015 02:57:15 pm
Great post as usual. There's something about coffee dates/hangouts that always bugged me as boring... But you went the extra step and wrote about it so well!
6/21/2017 02:58:18 am
So why go on them? Suggest something you don't find boring instead... just a suggestion.
11/11/2015 09:31:46 am
I beg to differ! I prefer dates where I can have a conversation with my date - so a drink or a meal is fine by me. I go to the arcade and play games with my other basic friends - being able to share a good conversation with someone is special to me.
3/3/2017 03:37:37 pm
Why don't you mix it up and YOU suggest and lead the date instead of the guy
5/9/2017 04:27:58 pm
Who says I don't? The thing is, this post is advice for people who want to initiate better, more interesting dates. Especially given some of the problems Dr. Phillip Zimbardo wrote about in Man Interrupted: Why Today's Young Men Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It (http://amzn.to/1T6XukA), I don't think it's wise to encourage men to passively wait around for women to ask them out. Do you?
6/21/2017 02:55:35 am
I have to agree with other commenters.
6/21/2017 09:59:17 am
Well, obviously, you're not allowed to veto something if you don't have an alternate suggestion. I've struggled with people who need to *be* entertained, too. That's why I want someone I know I won't have to entertain.
8/19/2019 02:44:53 pm
I so disagree with you! I love a first date as a coffee date. I want to look in someone's eyes, talk, ask questions, get to know this person, and then decide if I want to do more, do crazy, jump on trampolines, etc. Being side by side while playing is one kind of getting-to-know-someone, and talking is another. I want to get to know someone's insides, not their behavior or skills. I do appreciate a cool, hipster coffee shop, someone more interesting than a Starbucks, but I don't need the shiny new penny everyday or when I get to know a new person.
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Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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