Twice since my last divorce, I have agreed to coffee with guys. To me, coffee just means that I don't really know who the guy is, but I may have seen him around or spoken with him a bit and he seems decent enough to get to know a little better. Maybe if I get to know him well enough to trust him that far, we could become friends soon. Yes, theoretically it could go farther than that eventually, but right now I don't even know him well enough to know if I want to be friends. That's just the next step of getting to know someone a little better.
The first guy seemed to think that coffee meant that I was ready to jump into something right away, and kept texting me about how sexy I was and asking if I was going to kiss him when we got together for coffee. He didn't catch the hint when I said that for now, I just want a chance for us to get to know each other better, and kept going on about kissing. He also didn't catch the hint when I said that all these texts were making me uncomfortable (the first text couldn't have been a full minute after I'd walked around the corner, and I quickly lost count of how many texts he'd sent, and they were rapidly sounding more explicit. Within 18 hours, I had to explain that he was making me so uncomfortable that I was going to have to cancel (to which he insulted me and told me he was only trying to give me a compliment).
Next one, long story short, within 3 days I had warning signs and then he was making sex jokes, 5 days I was looking for a way to let the guy down easy because he seemed to have gotten the idea we were in a committed relationship when actually I was thinking even the friendship thing might not work at all (stuff like telling me it was okay with him if I wanted male friends, so long as he didn't have any reason to think something was going on) but with every contact he seemed to be having a rougher day where he just didn't need anything else to upset him even more so than last time (not returning calls and texts very promptly just made him more upset and he tried to guilt trip me about it), so finally at 10 days when he forced my hand by asking when we were going out again and I had to tell him this wasn't working, you'd have thought I'd broken our engagement the night before the wedding, and I finally had to ask him if I should look up the number for the crisis line for him (which finally turned out to be the right thing to say to get him to stop).
So, does "coffee" mean something nowadays that it didn't years ago, did I have really bad luck by just happening to get 2 scary-end guys, were my expectations off about thinking it was fine to get to know somebody pretty well before getting into a relationship with them, or what? Is there a different way to indicate just wanting to get to know somebody incrementally before getting into a relationship?