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What does "coffee" mean to you?

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?

ElizabethI 6 Feb 18

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47 comments

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16

As you beautifully described in your first sentences, "coffee" is a way to meet someone. I give out No personal info, like phone number, until a face to face meeting. I also insist on at least 3 or more texts/ whatever beforehand, the crazy ones cannot hold it together longer than that. Unsolicited sexual innuendos should Never be ignored! A real man worth meeting will Never act like that!!!
I have been married 2x, and was almost the Only woman in a shipyard of 20,000 men for 13 years, I know whereof I speak!
I just read a statistic that said you have to "kiss" an Average of 80 frogs before you meet a prince....do not give up, but listen Very Carefully to your radar!
And, IMO "letting a guy down easy because he thinks we are in a ..relationship"? I would be applying for a restraining order, myself! You owe these people Nothing, ever!

Maybe I phrased that poorly. It was more going from "well, it would really be rude of me to pile on to a day like that" to trying to let him down easy so he wouldn't attempt suicide, which seemed to me what he was hinting at if I left him right then - and the hints got stronger to the point that I offered to get him the number to a crisis line.

@Elizabethl, that probably worked for him in the past. Me, I probably would have told him that I was sorry to hear that but the answer was still no. The only person responsible for a suicide is the person contemplating it. My dad stayed with his second wife for years because every time he talked separation she would tell him she would commit suicide if he did. He finally got tired of the threat and divorced her. As far as I know she's still around and that was over 20yrs ago.

Type your comment here
Nasty, manipulative crapola...Never get that close to a stranger......if really crazy, you take the risk oof truly enraging him so that he tries to play you back somehow.....if he is merely a user, you are wasting your precious time...on to the next frog!

(sry, could not resist!)

@kiramea my first husband was a manipulator and wouldn't accept our divorce, even years after. He called me one night, angry, and said he was going to kill himself and it would be my fault. "Hmm...", I replied, then waited a second. "Okay," I said and hung up! He's still living on his 6th wife.

@Zster
Lol

"The crazy ones can not hold it together longer than that"...lmao!

12

I treat a coffee or lunch date as just way to meet someone new in a safe, neutral setting. If either of us feels a "zing" we can see about a more formal date.

My sympathies about the two weirdos you have encountered. I think most of the people I know, male or female (or non-binary), would agree with my statement in sentence one.

Good luck with your search. I don't think your expectations were off at all.

I'll second that.

Exactly how I view it. Thx!

9

Been in your place a few times..it's shocking, then aggrevating, then disgust, all in the blink of an eye.
Coffee for me has always been how I kick start my humanity in the morning, not an offer for a invite to a monkey dance..

You told me you are not human

@MarcIveson Lololololololololol not b4 Cofffffffeeeeeeeeee

Same here! Coffee is the only revival I partake of now. Need at least 2 cups in the a.m.

@Lewellyn3. Ooo sister, whatever shall will we do without the dark,aromatic liquor of that celebrated bean?

@Charlene I'm rabid until I have my coffee in the a.m.!!!!

@Lewellyn3 as am I..lol

7

To me coffee is step one. It is less threatening to me than a "real" date. Its a "get to know you basic" outing. I'm sorry you had that experience, he sounds like a creep who can't respect boundaries!

Forget "step one." Coffee/tea means not even a first date, but a zeroth date. There's no server to pay off or resort island to fly off of, so you can pop your 'chute and bail.

Guys who think it's "coffee, tea, or me" (also the title of the amazingly dated classic stewardess memoir, ghostwritten by a dude, of course) are more than clueless, they're desperate.

That said, it's OK to come back to the same cafe for years because you're crushing on a barista, so long as you treat them like any other employee, while still tipping twice as generously.

Both of them seemed to be creeps to me, after the interactions. I guess just starting out with a couple of guys who went from what seemed like decent guys during general interactions in front of people to unpleasant stuff as soon as we had anything remotely resembling privacy made me wonder what was really going on here. I guess mostly I just started off with bad luck?

6

Coffee is for me the perfect companion to a cigarette. That moment of calm during the day when the rest of the world can f*** right off. It is also a community moment of a shared joy with friends or anybody sharing the moment. It's a pity you got a couple of flakes whose upbringing omitted a simple basic human truth. Coffee is an end unto itself. And no you haven't missed something you were just unlucky

6

I think you've dated some nutters. (sadly). No it is not "Netflix and Chill".

Coffee is getting to know you. In a safe space.
Not committing to a thing.

I mean it's a "maybe we'll do dating after this - maybe not". Unless you're Christian Grey.

5

You need to do a stand up comedy routine!! TOO funny the way you write about it. I laugh 'cause been there done that. I had one guy when I checked my messages trashed me as a bitch cause I did not response to his text messages - I had given him my phone number and TOLD him it was a land line, no caller ID, text capablities etc. THAT rapidly ruled out ever doing coffee. I think some guys are just needy and immature.

Possessing your land line phone number, anyone can get your home address and internet profile in less than a minute! Please, everybody, do NOT give out a landline number to someone you do not know! NEVER,

@AnneWimsey It's way worse than that Ms. Wimsey. Privacy is dead.

a simple google search can identify you easily.

I recently read a paper that if you know at least three things about a person you can locate them. Could be first name, or last name, birthday, ssn, place they live, etc.

I am not trying to intimidate you, or scare you, but you shouldn't use your actual name in your profile.

Send me a message if you want more information, or how to do it yourself.

@arnies I just don't give a rats ass if someone wants to waste their time looking for me - I've had nothing but a listed land my whole life. Public records are out there so I take protective measures and don't worry about it. It was a person close to me that commited ID theift not some stranger from the internet. I only recently signed on to facebook so we'll see if there is any fallout from that. One should always stay alert and be aware of one's surroundings when out and about.

5

Stories like these are why I'll never date again. I'm completely aghast at the byzantine structures of assumption that people take for granted anymore.

"What does 'coffee' mean?". It means brown bean water--what else is it supposed to 'mean'??

I learned the hard way that the fix is not necessarily to proactively speak against the assumptions you suspect; that can often make things significantly worse: "What?? I don't think that!! Why would you think I think that? What's wrong with you??"

Nope. I'm just done.

Yeah, the denials even if we quote them word for word are pretty frustrating. I used to think I was done, and I'd certainly rather never get in a relationship again than get involved with a significantly wrong one again, but hey, my second husband was a million times better than my first, so while I'm not a big fan of a piece of paper, with this rate of progress my next SO ltr should be perfection. I just need to keep working on myself - both with me as me and with simply my ability to choose well - and take enough time to regroup and fix what needs fixing in between attempts.

5

Well, for boomers, most of the time we have the old fashioned expectations. Coffee means coffee. I am told with the younger folks that guys expect sex for very little investment in a relationship.

Do you still have coffee bars where you live? - As a teen I felt so grown up going into a coffee/milk bar with my friend they seem to have disappeared . The last one I remember was in Liverpool in the eighties where they still had the big counter and huge machines. the two men who ran it were twins and hadn't spoken to each other in years but couldn't stop playing 'twin ' tricks on the customers.

5

you'd better hone your listening skills a bit better. you should be able to tell a legit prospect within 15 seconds on the phone let alone in person.. rely on your instincts and you will be saved from the muppetts

I totally agree that I need to improve in that area. Do you have a suggestion for me about either what to listen for, or some search terms I can use on google or youtube to learn more about what to look for and listen for?

@ElizabethI Never give out any personal info like a phone number! If it is a home phone they can look up your address in about 10 seconds, if they are savvy, even from a cell phone! At the first sign of inappropriate sexy remarks, RUN! They are testing you to see how far you can be pushed. Do you think anyone generally interested in making a new friend would do that? Would you allow a remark that made you squirm to go unchallenged in person? Not acceptable!

4

"Coffee" to me just means meeting someone in person in a public place to see if you want to see them again, nothing more than that. I'm sorry you had those experiences, those guys just seemed pretty needy and desperate. In this age of "instant relationships" there seems to be a lot of that. I've had guys professing their love for me just after a few online messages, couldn't understand it. What happened to taking the time to get to know someone? Someone said to me that people like that aren't looking for a partner, they're looking for a parent to make them feel okay.

4

Coffee is life .

4

I,m a normal ( ish ) bloke , and to me, inviting a lady to ' coffee' , is just that .,it's an icebreaker to chat , discuss stuff , and maybe find out if there is a mutual attraction . Nothing more .
If there is ..... All the better, if not , its cost a cup of coffee.

4

The meaning is still the same. Some people simply insist on reading more into it.

4

Another point...continue to meet in public places until you know them better, and Google them. Better safe than sorry, at all times!!,

4

Some women I have met online don't like the idea of meeting for coffee. Most seem to think it is ok. My idea is it is a way to spend time with someone in a situation that has no significance of it's own. You get to talk with the person, find out a little more of each other. It may never happen again, or you may have further time together.

4

WTF!??

4

Ok, I'm not speaking from a hetero perspective here. But coffee to me would mean....COFFEE. A meeting for a liquid beverage and some convo. PERIOD. Unless you're meeting someone from Tinder or Grindr, then you both know what you're meeting for, lol, but I ain't into THAT casual scene, never have been.
You sound like you are meeting some obsessive dudes. What site are you on, anyway? OKCrazy? Lol....online dating or even meeting people IRL can be extremely odd nowadays. The rules don't apply anymore. My advice is this: if you decide to meet someone, spell the guidelines out clearly beforehand. Be firm; keep it simple; play it safe. Don't assume ANYTHING. These, unfortunately, are the times we live in.

Actually. I didn't meet either of them on a site. The first guy I met at a community building that served coffee to everyone (so I actually expected that when he invited me to coffee, it actually just meant we'd get a table together there) and also crossed paths with him on the sidewalk a few times. We exchanged numbers on the sidewalk while I was on my way to a meeting.

The second one I met at community suppers, but also ran across around town from time to time (I live in a fairly small but active community where lots of people just end up knowing each other).

3

Coffee is a delicious beverage. No reasonable person would see coffee with someone as anything other than a casual meeting. Dinner means that you are obliged and committed to have sex with them.

Hehe, Just kidding....
That kind of thinking is really pretty silly and obnoxious. I would need a good deal more than an image to actually wish to insert tab A into slot B.

It would be funny if so many men didn't think it was true.

3

Damn, are you sure there were no indications beforehand? It's really hard to believe that people could be that batshit crazy and not tip you off somehow.
On the subject of coffee, I think of coffee as just coffee; not much more than a casual chat.

JimG Level 8 Feb 18, 2018

NO Jim, people really are batshit crazy. I had "lunch" with a guy (first time we met in person after a short time exchanging messages). I wanted to keep it casual which he agreed to. He drove an hour to have lunch with me. Maybe that was a sign. So we had a very casual lunch, nothing fancy, just a diner. He rarely made eye contact with me, seemed just short of looking at his phone, just didn't seem into me at all. I tried to pay my way but he insisted, I am still flattered by chivalry. But we parted and I just thought it wasn't gonna go anywhere. He just didn't seem to connect. So I get in my car and drive home. I had about 8 texts from him, telling me how beautiful I am, how interesting I am, how he just wanted to kiss me. Then they got creepy in a hurry. He described in detail what he would do TO me in bed. Nope. WTF? He can't make eye contact but then this? Crazy. Guano-type.

The first one, I seriously doubt it. I'd only recently moved to the area, hadn't dated anyone since I first got together with my second ex, and was just coming to terms with the fact that my second marriage was over, so I was all kinds of paranoid and looking for anything that could possibly be of concern. He passed, but as soon as I let my guard down enough to agree to coffee when he asked, that happened.

The second one, I could have read something wrong. We had run into each other at community suppers just about every week for a couple of months. One crowded night when where I usually sat was full, he waved me over to sit with him and the people he usually sat with. He was nice, and helpful to everyone at the table - offered to bring back stuff for anyone who wanted it when he went up to the serving table. Asked me out after a few weeks, but at the time there was someone else I was interested in, so I explained that to him. We still sat together for about a year, though I did skip most of the meals, especially in the winter. Stuff didn't work out with the other guy, but I didn't reach back out to him until after I'd moved, ran into him downtown, got to chatting, and realized we both needed a new friend, so this time I asked him if he wanted to go out for coffee, and because of his previous request a year and a half earlier, emphasized "Just Coffee."

Maybe there was a clue when a couple days later, he suggested a change to lunch. I was a bit nervous, but told myself lunch wasn't a big deal, and the next day as we sat down, I told him I'd get my half (I learned a long time ago that if the guy pays, many of them expect something - and last I checked, I don't wear a sign that says "will have sex for food " ) . He insisted on paying, so I didn't argue (some guys get their pride wounded if a female pays), and despite my nervousness, I reminded myself that sometimes I'd picked up the check when it was just friends going out, and it was no big deal.

I got a lunch special, and he got a dinner that came with a salad, so he offered me some of his salad when that came. A piece of lettuce landed on the table, so he made a joke about tossing my salad. I was mortified. At least he had what I thought was the decency to cover his face, apologize, and sound embarrassed. It dragged out a bit as he seemed to try to unsay what he said, but actually made it worse. I was going to let that go because all of us stick our foot in our mouth sometimes.

He asked about the guy I'd said I was interested in before, so I was brief about that, and he told me about his various dating experiences. It seemed like he was jumping the gun a bit, but it also seemed kind of like a natural flow, so I didn't really know what to make of it. Let's just say that after that was over, it went downhill from there, rapidly.


edited because an emoji unintentionally came up where I did not want one

@ElizabethI you seem to be a lovely empathetic person...but honey, this ain't the time to use it! Making excuses for men before you even know them is not a good idea...when you find yourself "justivying", RUN!

@ElizabethI okay, that is absolutely crazy. I've seen some weird behavior from women, but it's not as scary for guys.

3
2

Coffee is a good way to go. Meet there and go Dutch. No expectations or obligations.

2

Oh man I'm sorry you've had to go through that. My dating experiences have been similar lately. What is it with people wanting a commitment on the 2nd date?

2

Evidently, "coffee" may be misconstrued as a euphemism for sex these days. I've run into the same thing as far as guys thinking this was the face to face to decide if there was going to be a bit of "slap & tickle" (yes, thats a euphemism). I've started to make it bluntly clear that this is coffee & conversation & not "Lucas cage coffee".

It also clues me in to how much of a geek they are cause if they don't know who Lucas Cage is... ????????????

Lol. Is he related to Nick?

2

Sorry, you met 2 creepers in a row, thats got to suck.
To me coffee is just coffee, time to sit-down for a little bullshit time and get to know someone a little. It is usually an early step to people becoming friends nothing more
I am aware enough of people non-verbal communication to recognize the level of interest someone has in me, these guy don't seem to have that talent.

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