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I have a couple of questions for people who use coffee as a screening tool before dating.


1. What do you think are the pros and cons of making your intentions clear for the first coffee:

a "I'd like to have coffee with you" Vs

b "I'd like to get to know you more over coffee" vs

c "I'd like to have a coffee date with you" or some other (never tried this one!)

d. Other

I use a) with a lot of platonic friends and b) sometimes when I first got to know them, and ther's close to zero chance of rejection with those, I notice, but it could lead to misinterpretation right from the very start. I'm not an attractive fellow, and furthermore have been accused by some friends of acting too asexual, so this is maybe quite relevant!


2. Specific time vs leaving it open

Again, is it better to make it easier to reject an offer? Are the people who accept out of feeling forced already a lost cause, I wonder.


3. Is 3 x 1 hour coffee too slow a progression before asking someone out "properly" to a whole day/night outing?


Great to hear your thoughts on this and about any experiences you've had. Coffee is easy and comfortable. My worry is that it's too comfortable and sends the wrong message.

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Stop worrying. There are no set rules over this; some people take longer to get to know than others. When you say it could lead to misinterpretation right from the very start - if the chemistry's there, you'll know about it soon enough.


I once met a nice guy who asked me out for coffee. I let him know that I wasn't interested in a relationship, but that I was enjoying his company an' all that. Within a week or so of getting to know him, I was all prepared to say something like: 'You know I said I wasn't interested in a relationship, well, actually, could we talk about that?' but he beat me to it. We were together for 3.5 years.


What you can almost guarantee is that if you're worried about the impression you're giving out, and wondering if you've had the right number of 'coffee dates' before asking someone out properly - you will come over as anxious and awkward, which can be quite uncomfortable for the other person.


Your line "I'd like to get to know you more over coffee" is lovely, and gives the message that you're interested in them as a person. At that stage you don't know if they're dating material, no matter how attractive they may be, so it gives both of you the chance to see how you get on without taking things further. Whatever happens later, there's no way that this gives out the 'wrong' message, and in relationships in the early stage I'm not sure that you can be 'too comfortable'. There are far too many hormones and adrenalin rushes for that!


It sounds as though you have been approaching all this in an easy and relaxed way; this also makes it easy and relaxed for the other person and this is a very good start to any kind of relationship, platonic or otherwise. Stick with what you've got!

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Thanks for your reply. The funny thing is that the chemistry is never there at coffee - I've used it before with the deliberate intention of making platonic friends, which it's perfect for, so I'm just wondering what makes this pseudodate different. No alcohol, little touch, relaxed and little tension, etc: noone has ever felt an 'adrenaline rush' out of seeing me at coffee, know what I mean? (Though in some ways, I'm very grateful for that! It's so hard to be friends otherwise).

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