Could there be a spark between you and your online dating beau/belle? The only way to be sure is to go on that tummy-trembling first date. But where to go? Fear not. The answer is simple: grab coffee. Here are the 7 reasons why chatting over coffee should be your go-to first date.
1. Caffeine perks you up
When you meet someone for the first time, your brain starts working in overdrive, processing thousands of signals from about what your date looks like in person, to the outfit they’re wearing, to the way they speak and even how they smell. Give your brain box a boost with a stimulating cup of coffee! Caffeine has been proven to banish sleepiness, improve your reaction times, memory and reasoning – all skills that you want to be making the most of on a first date.
2. You’re going to chat and find out the basics
Unlike going to the cinema, once you’ve got your brew in hand, it’s just you, your date and scintillating conversation to focus on. While activity dates are amazing for bonding and getting to know someone better, they’re usually not the best first date fit, because you don’t spend enough time finding out the basics about your date. It would be wonderful that you both love French impressionist cinema, but if your date is also still living with their ex, works nights when you work days, hates the outdoors and your dog, you probably want to know about that before you pursue them further.
3. You don’t have to drink
As much as I love a white Russian or a G&T, in my experience, it’s often better to save the drinks for later. It’s interesting to get to know your date in the state where, if you were to take things further, you’d be spending the most time together anyway. It also barely has to be mentioned, but alcohol also has the tendency to make us lose focus of things which would otherwise seem obvious – we’ve all had our fair share of alcohol-fueled regrets! Start off by dating the non-tipsy version of your date; if they don’t take your fancy – even if their tipsy-version does – it’s probably not worth chasing in the long term. If there’s chemistry, then follow up your date with a tipple and see where it goes from there.
4. You can easily make your coffee date as long or short as you like
You’d meet anyone for a coffee. From your grandma to work colleagues, going for coffee is easy, because isn’t laden with expectations. It’s perfectly acceptable to meet someone for 20 minutes over a flat white, whereas it’s less acceptable to bail from a date as your starters are being served. Coffee dates give you complete control over when you want to leave, whether that’s in 20 minutes or hours later. It’s also easier to schedule coffee dates early in the day, at lunch or before you get on with other life activities, which gives you the perfect opportunity to put a time limit on your first date – perfect for setting up your second meeting.
5. You don’t have to dress up
Similarly to time expectations, coffee first dates are less intense than going for drinks, dinner or doing an activity together. Naturally, you’ll want to look your best, but you don’t have to worry about dressing up for the occasion. Coffee shops are also usually home to a wide and interesting array of clientele, so they’re perfect for people watching and musing with your date.
6. They’re varied, cheap and convenient
It’s not hard to find a coffee shop that has a more intimate character, nice decor and isn’t far for either of you to travel to. But perhaps best of all, a coffee date is pretty much as cheap as they come. There’s no reason to spend a huge amount on a first date if you don’t want to. People often use dates as a way to express their expectations for a new relationship, but everyone appreciates a delicious cup of coffee, and there’ll be plenty of opportunity to invest more in your date on future dates if it goes well.
7. Coffee shops are quieter, casual, but also busy
Coffee spots typically play non-intrusive music, so you don’t have to worry about getting into barely-audible-shouted-conversations as the music gets turned up at a bar in the evening. There’s a constant stream of people around you, and if you’re meeting someone for the first time, its always best to do so in a more public place.
For more first date tips, read our First Date Survival guide.