When “Coffee” is More Than Coffee

facebook-lindsI know at least a handful of guys who are going to roast me for writing this, but I have to write it anyways!

I understand it takes guts, courage, and self confidence to ask a girl to go on a date with you.  I also understand that many women have treated many men very poorly!

And as a result of girls breaking guys hearts, combined with guys either not knowing how or not wanting to be a gentleman, Christian men either shy away from asking girls on dates, or they ask them out for “coffee.” Call me old fashioned, but chivalry is not dead, nor should it be.  And what is it about coffee?  Why coffee?

Can I just be honest for a second?  I have been asked out on dates more often by non- Christian men than Christian men.  As soon as I step foot into a church or Christian setting, guys can barely stand up straight and look me in the eyes and say hello, let alone ask me to go on a date with them.  What’s up with that?

And finally after seeing the same guys in church every week for years, they muster enough courage to say, “Would you like to grab coffee sometime?”  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate coffee. I don’t drink it, but I don’t have anything against it either!  I just don’t understand the phenomenon about asking girls out for “coffee.”

Recently I met this guy through a mutual friend of ours.  We chatted on email for awhile, then after about a month, he asked me if I would like to grab coffee.  “Coffee.”

So I said, “Sure, I’ll go on a date with you.”  And we had a problem!  He didn’t think going out for coffee was a date.  Sure it is!

I know this is only my opinion, but I think it’s LAME to ask a girl out for coffee.  If you want to meet me, let’s go on a date and call it a date.  Most likely, if I wouldn’t go on a date with you, I wouldn’t go for “coffee” with you either… Although I know this is one of the arguments for meeting for coffee instead of a date (potentially less rejection for the guy).

If you haven’t met me yet, and you ask me out… it’s a blind date.  Why do some guys think that meeting for coffee is somehow not considered a date?  So let me get this straight, if I drink something (Ie: we go out for coffee), it’s not a date, but if I have to chew something (Ie: we go out for dinner), then it’s date?  Wow, that’s confusing…and weird.

So because I didn’t eat chicken when I spent time with you, it wasn’t a date?  This is ridiculous people!

If you are trying to get on my good side to begin with… we should probably eat something when we see each other!  I am kinda like a guy in the sense that the way to my heart is through my stomach.  I am an eater, and I am usually hungry… so if you are going to ask me to take time out of my day, drive somewhere to meet you, and food isn’t on the agenda… you’ve already got strikes against you… ha, ha!

According to dictionary.com,  the word “date” means: a social appointment, engagement, or occasion arranged beforehand with another person.

This definition doesn’t say “If you eat chicken and or spaghetti” then it’s a date.

Also, I think it’s cheap of guys to ask girls to coffee verses a date…so, what, you don’t know if I am worth buying dinner for?  That’s pretty insulting… save your penny and save your time, ask someone else to join you for “coffee.”

So I hear the excuse: “If on the date, you realize that you don’t like the person, then you are stuck with them for an hour or two.”  Hey  buddy, get over yourself! Since when is godly dating supposed to be all about you anyways? I have been on plenty of dates where I wasn’t “feelin’ it”, but we had a fun time regardless… lots of laughs, even when I knew I didn’t want another date with him.

If you meet for “coffee” you hang out for 30 min. or more right?  If you meet for a “date” you hang out for a hour or so. Big deal. Chalk it up as something fun to tell your grand kids about someday!

Another argument I have heard for the non-date coffee routine is this, “I can tell within the first 60 seconds if I am interested in the girl.”  My response: “Okay, so while you were asking her out or mustering the courage to ask her out for “coffee”… did those 60 seconds not count?”

And say, like my instance, you are meeting someone you don’t know… what is wrong with calling it a date?  Just call it what it is, it is a date.  You are meeting the person to see if there is a romantic chemistry between you… normal people call that a first date.

If the date goes well, ask her out for another one!  But this thought leads to another argument for the non-date “coffee” meetings: “There are too many expectations when you ask a woman out on a date.”

Oh my gosh… so if you go out with a girl and you aren’t feelin’ it, tell her, “Thank you for the wonderful night, it was a pleasure meeting you.”  Nothing awkward about that.  Don’t tell her you will call her, don’t talk about hanging out again, and if you never see her again, she will get the point.  I don’t think that’s rude.

If you go on a date with someone who is has the same circle of friends, when you see her again, be cordial and kind, but don’t ever ask her out again.  I think that’s pretty clear.  It doesn’t have to be awkward or uncomfortable… you both can act like grown ups, right?   If you don’t think she will be mature if there is no chemistry, then maybe you should get to know her a little bit better with a group of friends before asking her out on a date.

I could say more on the topic, but I am sure I have said enough to fill up my inbox from guys who disagree with me!  Ha, ha!

-Linds

For more information about sex, dating, relationships, and trusting God: Buy the Book:
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by
Lindsey N. Isham
www.lindseyisham.com
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About Lindsey Isham

Lindsey Isham has been working with singles for over thirteen years and has traveled nationwide, speaking to audiences ranging from junior high girls to collegiate women about relationships and sexual purity.

44 Comments

  • October 8, 2009 | Permalink |

    hahahaha out for coffee is a date. God forbid those 10 minutes of coffee dating go badly then they’ve wasted a whole 10 min!

  • October 21, 2009 | Permalink |

    ha, ha… you are funny! I know right!?

  • Joe Brown
    April 27, 2010 | Permalink |

    Look I asked a lady friend from church out to coffee because I had no agenda. I wasnt dating or looking to date. I even had her pay for her coffee. I truly didnt want a relationship at the time I was feed up. The purpose was not to rate her relationship potential. I can be just friends with women. However……..we have been married 4 years now……..nevermind.

  • April 27, 2010 | Permalink |

    Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha… that is hilarious! Thanks for sharing Joe! I love it!

  • August 14, 2010 | Permalink |

    i love this post, but now think I am guilty of the same thing :P oooops

    I asked a guy i’ve known for a little while to catch up for coffee (of which we did), but now I’m not so sure on what he actually thought that was date/not date. Hmm…….maybe I need to take ur advice, or just leave it up to him for now

  • August 18, 2010 | Permalink |

    Ha, well, dating, coffee, there are way too many rules and tip-toeing around “dating.” You are not the only one who gets confused about that stuff… :)

  • Dennis
    September 7, 2010 | Permalink |

    Yeah I just asked a girl to have coffee with me yesterday. I don’t know what I was thinking. I’m in rehab and just started the methadone program. I just moved into a new place and I’m trying to get my life together. My counselor even said I shouldn’t be getting involved in relationships just yet. I told my friend about it and she said just be clear that you want to be friends. Thing is at first I thought I wanted to take it further, but I started thinking and it really isn’t a good time. I better tell her while it’s early.

  • CreativeCanberran
    October 28, 2010 | Permalink |

    I view coffee as a prelude to a date. The fact is, there are plenty of great girls out there and many girls I am lucky to call friends. Starting off with a full date runs the very real risk of negating any friendship with a girl and missing out on that, for she will always view you in a different way. I see coffee as a filter, you can decide whether she is a friend for the future or someone worth going after more seriously.

  • MsOutofTheLoop
    November 10, 2010 | Permalink |

    Yesterday a guy I am attracted to, asked if he could buy me a coffee. He didn’t specifiy a time or day. I emailed back ‘coffee would be good.’ But he hasn’t come back to me. I’ve sent him two emails – work related – which I felt would give him the opportunity to suggest a time for coffee but he hasn’t. What’s going on?

  • November 11, 2010 | Permalink |

    So, he asked you out for coffee through an email? Am I understanding you correctly?

    That in itself is telling. Here is what I think: I think he is insecure. If he were confident enough in the first place, he wouldn’t have asked you out over emailed or text. He would have either asked you in person (you did say that you work with him so I am assuming you see each other) or over the phone. I know that a lot of guys are asking girls out via facebook, twitter, text, email, etc. but it is usually because it is SAFER for them. If they get rejected, they simply receive a few words on their phone that say something like, “Thanks but no thanks.” But if they have to actually talk to you, and see your facial reaction when they ask the date question, well, it is a perceived bigger rejection for them.

    I think you have given this guy plenty of opportunities to bring up the “coffee date” again… so now I think you just wait. Don’t fret, just be your normal beautiful, fun self. You need a confident man who will be able to lead you and your future family (for marriage of course) and if a guy is too intimidated by you to even ask you out, well, maybe he isn’t the best for you anyway.

    In my experience, if a guy was too shy or too insecure to ask me out (and I decided to help him), he was the type to be jealous or insecure in a dating relationship. Trust me, you don’t want to date a guy with escalated amounts of those two qualities.

    Good luck and keep me posted!
    Sincerely,
    Lindsey

  • Sara
    December 18, 2010 | Permalink |

    Uh oh… My friend asked me out for coffee, we’ve known each other for maybe a month now. And he wanted to catch up before we head separate ways for the break. I said yes, because it was only coffee, (I’m not interested in him)… What if he thinks of this differently than I do? Ugh, I usually avoid people when I don’t like them and they like me, and I want to stop doing that because I want to be friends with this guy. What should I do?

  • Mae
    January 7, 2011 | Permalink |

    Thank God I found your blog. I have been really baffled about this whole “coffee” thing for awhile now. I was just casually chatting with a friend when he suggested coffee. We went, it was really casual and there was no pressure of anything because we are just friends that were reconnecting. We remain in constant communication through texting. He asks me for coffee again about a month after the first coffee and I go it went really well I thought, but again no awkwardness or anything. We were just talking about our walks with God, and many other random things. And now I guess I found myself agreeing to another coffee session. Seriously. What is this now? For the third time of plain old coffee? Haha. What do you think? Thanks Lindsey for letting me vent out my frustration.

  • January 11, 2011 | Permalink |

    Hi Sara!

    Your situation sounds familiar :)

    Has anything changed since you wrote me (sorry it took me so long to respond)?
    Sincerely,

    Lindsey

  • January 11, 2011 | Permalink |

    Mae,

    You are such a riot :)
    So, I took a long break over Christmas to spend with my family, has anything changed with your situation yet? Have you had a DTR or anything?

    It sounds like the guy is one of four things:
    *Nervous about dating (or nervous about dating you), or doesn’t know how to date
    *Cheap
    *Just wants to be friends
    *Insecure and afraid that if he tells you he likes you, you won’t want to spend time with him anymore

    Update me about your situation and I would love to offer some more concrete advice.
    Thanks for writing!

    Sincerely,
    Lindsey

  • Mae
    January 14, 2011 | Permalink |

    Well, if I were to assess the situation, and do an investigative DTR. I can pretty much say that right now we are plain super duper amazing FRIENDS.

    Hahaha. Uhm so, he never mentioned the coffee meet again. It was weird. On that day, I waited for a mention on it and nothing. If I remembered it, how could he have forgotten about it when he was the one who asked right? Haha. Oh dear. Well, if God intends for something more than friendship to happen, then it will right?! If not, then he is a really good buddy that I can just share almost anything to.

    Ouch. hahahaha.

  • January 24, 2011 | Permalink |

    If anything, it is a funny story that you can tell your girl friends when they find themselves in a similar situation!

    Sincerely,
    Linds

  • Dee
    March 30, 2011 | Permalink |

    Hey Lindsey,
    I am so honored to have ran across this webpage! I am a soon-to-be 26 year old virgin and loving it! Your testimony of waiting for “the one” while still being horny-LOL is an encouragement to me to continue to wait no matter what! Thank you!!

  • May 3, 2011 | Permalink |

    Thanks Dee!

    God bless you!
    Sincerely,

    Lindsey

  • Hilary
    July 6, 2011 | Permalink |

    Ok so I was at a 21st the other week, and I met a really nice guy and we hit it off straight away; we’d read the same obscure book and both love the show Inspector Rex. Anyway, at the end of the night he got me and a few other people to add ourselves on his facebook on his iphone. A few days later he was on chat so I said hi, but got no response and went to bed after a while. The next morning he’d replied and said “sorry I missed you, here’s my number let me know if you’re ever in the city and want to catch up”. So I did and I’m supposed to meet him for ‘coffee’ on Saturday. The question is, is this a date? I have pretty low self-esteem, so I keep thinking he just wants to be friends, and I’m getting mixed responses from friends – what do you think Lindsey?

  • July 21, 2011 | Permalink |

    So, how did the “coffee” outing go? Was it a date? Did you guys talk about it or not? Sorry for the delay… I was on vacation!

    Sincerely,
    Lindsey

  • R
    November 3, 2011 | Permalink |

    I’ve just chanced on this article. And, certainly, I just don’t get what is it with coffee. I’ve just gone on coffee with this guy I’ve never met. A few days after the first coffee meeting, he asked me out for coffee again. How many coffee chats can one have?

  • November 17, 2011 | Permalink |

    Who knows! :)

  • Kat
    December 28, 2011 | Permalink |

    So, say your older brother’s good friend asks you out for coffee, is that a date or just coffee? I have known him for years, and I’m back home for winter break, and he asked me out for coffee, I agreed and we’re supposed to go tomorrow.

  • Kat
    January 3, 2012 | Permalink |

    Never mind, turns out it was to get to know me, before asking me out on a date :). Apparently he’s liked me for a long time.

  • January 22, 2012 | Permalink |

    And??? :)

    I wish you the best Kat!

    Sincerely,
    Lindsey

  • Kat
    January 22, 2012 | Permalink |

    We’re officially boyfriend and girlfriend now. :D Thanks Lindsey!

  • kiki
    March 10, 2012 | Permalink |

    Well, confusion, confusion, confusion!!! Okay, I was using my computer at sturbuks when two guys walked over toward me to say hello. One was shy, the other one was just being cool. the cool guy made me exchange my # with the shy guy because he is new to town. a week went by without me hearing from him. So I texted him first to make him comfortable. Then we continued texting every other day or two. Three Weeks has passed and two days ago, he asked me to grab COFFEE after work. We did and talked about 3hrs. It has been two days now and did not hear from him either by text nor a phone call. I need to know what is going on? Ia he not into me? He asked me for coffee through text also. Was that a date, or a get to know each other…I decided to text him two days later when I didnt hear from him. He did not reply. I txt him around 10:10 pm though. Was I wrong for doing that? HELP

  • Hannah
    November 3, 2012 | Permalink |

    “Since when is dating supposed to be all about you anyways?” Haha!! So true! Thank you for pointing this out! :)

  • Serenity
    November 6, 2012 | Permalink |

    I know this blog was posted way back, but I have been praying and just reflecting a lot on this one friendship I have with a guy and I happened to come across this blog today.

    I am happy to hear that someone else agrees with the whole ‘coffee’ thing! I am just as confused as you other ladies on what, ‘let’s do coffee’ actually means.

    I met this guy many years ago when I was in youth and I ended up praying for him but then we lost touch. Last year I reconnected with him right after I had gotten out of a pretty bad 1.5 year relationship. We reconnected online and I told him we should hang out (Not actually meaning it). He ended up suggesting we do coffee and thought it was a great idea to catch up with an old friend.
    After the very first outing I didn’t realize how much he’d grown and how remarkable he was. So about 3 months passed and I asked him how he was doing and he suggested coffee again. Two months later he suggested coffee.

    I am confused as to what ‘Coffee’ actually means. After the second time we went out I was nearly certain he had some sort of attraction to me because as he drove me home he was chattier than usual and was actually really nervous sitting in my drive way.

    The issue is, I don’t know what coffee means, because ‘hanging out’ or ‘coffee’ usually happens every 2 or 3 months. I have been considering being straight with him about my feelings but the truth is I could be reading into all of this in the wrong way! What do you think?

  • November 30, 2012 | Permalink |

    One thing my step-dad used to tell me is this, “The truth will set you free.”

    Here is what I recommend, if he asks you to go to coffee again, say something like, “are you asking me out on a date?”

    It might be a scary question to ask, but either way, you will at least know what his intentions are.
    What do you think about that?

    Sincerely,
    Lindsey

  • November 30, 2012 | Permalink |

    Glad to hear that you liked it! :)

    Sincerely,

    Lindsey

  • Rose
    December 7, 2012 | Permalink |

    Awesome points you made!
    So I got into a situation that Im confused in. Ive been friends with a guy for like 3 years now. We text often but we never get the courage to talk in public. I mentioned that to him and he offered a bet. If he talks to me in public then I have to get him coffee and if he doesnt then he owes me coffee. He ended up not talking but offered through phone to go get a coffee because he owed it. We went and enjoyed that time. So my question is did he loose the bet on purpose just so that he could get me coffee or does he just not want to be seen with me in public. (ps. In my point of view it was not a date.)

  • December 10, 2012 | Permalink |

    Why do relationships have to be so confusing, right?!

    First question, how old are you?
    Second question, how old is the guy?
    Last question, how long have you been texting like this?

    Okay, one more question, how did you guys meet?

    This will help me to better give you advice.

    Sincerely,
    Lindsey

  • December 10, 2012 | Permalink |

    Hi Kiki,

    Relationships aren’t some mathematical equation that you can follow a few steps and then everything is solved… so do I think you did the “right or wrong thing,” that’s not really up to me to decide.

    But here is what I do know… you initiated a couple times with that guy, maybe if you wait a little, and let him pursue, then he will. Or by waiting, if he doesn’t pursue, you will know he wasn’t interested.

    Trust me, I know how hard it is to wait… whether it be for a text, call, marriage, etc. I have been through a lot of waiting, but every relationship that I tried to rush or lead always ended in failure.

    I have no idea what will happen with you and this guy (keep me posted though, I would love to hear more), but what I do know is that God is protecting you and He loves you like crazy. And sometimes He allows us to not hear back from certain guys because He knows we deserve better…

    This is hard to wrap our minds around when we are single and the guy seems nice. I am sorry you have been confused by this guy, but I will pray that you will have a peace with however the situation turns out.

    Sincerely,
    Lindsey

  • Rene
    December 12, 2012 | Permalink |

    Hi,
    Awesome forum. Just asked a girl out for coffee, actually i have been interested in her for a while and we have hung out a couple of times. I plan on using this last coffee date to tell her how i feel for her, would that be appropriate to do?

  • December 12, 2012 | Permalink |

    When you say “tell her how you feel,” what does that entail? Why not just ask her if she would like to go on a date and skip the coffee altogether? It’s much less confusing that way. Tell her that you are interested in seeing if your relationship could grow into a romantic relationship.

    It’s a lot easier for a girl to be wooed into a romantic relationship when she has time to prepare for it (like from the time you ask her to go on a date until the time you actually do), and when you show up at her door or the restaurant, bring her a small bouquet of flowers… it will go a long way and make a really great impression (and hopefully erase the current impression that you have given with the multiple coffee dates).

    What do you think? Let me know how it goes.

    Sincerely,
    Lindsey

  • Rose
    December 12, 2012 | Permalink |

    Im 17 hes 18. we’ve been texting ever since i can remember. we met on my friends birthday party she introduced me to him and him to me.

  • Serenity
    December 14, 2012 | Permalink |

    Thank you for giving me your input Lindsey!

    Back in September we had said we would hang out but a bunch of things got in the way for the both of us. I asked him what had happened to hanging out sometime in November and he apologized for not setting anything up with me and for not communicating with me.

    He asked to hang out (which usually means coffee), so we will be doing this after Christmas. Unfortunately, his asking me to hang out occurred before I read the comment you had left me.
    I definitely agree with your step-father on ‘the truth will set you free’. I really would like to know what is going on between us because I know how I feel about him, but I don’t know how he is feeling. How can I bring this up? Should I just ask him how he feels? I don’t want to seem like the pursuer.

    Also, congrats on the engagement!!

  • deep
    December 20, 2012 | Permalink |

    i have a frnd , nd nw i like her may be i love her , bt i dont understand how to tell her ?
    so plz help me to tell how should i purpose her or tell her the things in ny heart?

  • January 24, 2013 | Permalink |

    Hi!

    Does she know that you like her? I would start off slow and ask her to go on a date with you. If she says, “no,” then you will know. If she says, “yes,” then see how the date goes, but don’t overwhelm her with your feelings for her – it might push her away. Little by little, is she is responding in a way that shows you that she also cares for you that way, and after a few dates, share with her that you would like to date her to see where things could go.

    But please be warned, no girl wants her guy friend to pour his heart out to her and confess his feelings for her ESPECIALLY if she has already made it clear that she only wants to be your friend.

    Good luck and keep me posted about how things are going.

    Sincerely,
    Lindsey

  • January 24, 2013 | Permalink |

    Hi!

    Well, how are things going with this? Here is what I would do, go on the next “coffee date” and when you are there, ask him why he asks you to go on these dates. You have entertained his vagueness for quite awhile and you deserve to know what his intentions are, but the way you communicate that with him should be in a gentle and humble way. Regardless of how elegantly or kindly you say what needs to be said, he may get squirmy, but that’s okay.

    Let him answer the question and decide how you will respond to what he says. If he just wants to hang out as friends, be honest with yourself and decide if that is something that you can really do. (Personally, seeing how you feel about him, I would suggest NOT hanging out because I think it would feel like torture to you).

    I will be praying for you; keep me posted.

    Sincerely,
    Lindsey

  • Holly
    October 27, 2013 | Permalink |

    I agree that asking a girl out for “coffee,” if he has romantic intentions, is pretty spineless. What if you are open to just friendship, but not interested in more? Should you accept a coffee date in that case? I’m looking to make more friends…there are two guys who have recently asked me to “go get coffee sometime,” and I gave them both a wishy-washy “maybe…” because I’m not attracted to either and don’t want to date them at all, but they do seem nice in a “friends-only” kind of way. Should I agree to go, but make it clear beforehand I see it as truly “just coffee”? Thanks.

  • December 9, 2013 | Permalink |

    If you aren’t attracted to a guy, do you really want to be spending 1:1 time with him? Probably not. He will probably assume that you are interested in him if you do… I know how nice it is to have friends and how complicated friendships with the opposite sex can get. My dad used to tell me that men and women cannot be just friends because usually one person likes the other- maybe not at the same time, but it is usually going through someone’s mind as you hang out.

    The easiest way to keep a friendship in the “just friends” status, is to have more than two people there. Just a thought. Let me know how it goes!

    Sincerely,
    Lindsey

  • Melissa
    December 16, 2013 | Permalink |

    Hi Lindsey,

    I totally agree to this!! About 3 1/2 years ago I was asked out for “coffee” after reconnecting on MSN with a guy I dated in High School. We have now been married for almost 2 1/2 years and the reason that he went with “Let’s go for coffee” was because he had recently gotten out of a 4 year relationship and didn’t want me to think he was rebounding. Of course all I was really thinking was “What does coffee mean?” haha

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