Meeting for a coffee on the first date almost guarantees you won’t get a second, according to a relationship expert who hates the idea of a cliché café encounter.
Australian professional dating coach Louanne Ward said the noisy, uncomfortable and often crowded environment of your favourite café is a second date killer.
In fact she has five reasons why she would never opt for a ‘boring’ coffee date right off the bat – and believes they could be the reason many of her followers are single.
Professional dating coach, Louanne Ward, says the noisy, uncomfortable and often crowded environment of your favourite café is a second date killer
Louanne said the people walking in and out of a café can be distracting and take the attention off you.
She said the table creates a barrier in a typical seating arrangement – leaving potential new couples at arm’s length from the get go.
People are more like to try to fire off questions in an intimidating interview style on a coffee date because they are traditional short meet ups, she explained.
Extending the date can be awkward, Louanne said, unless you and your potential partner are comfortable drinking back-to-back coffees.
‘Meeting over coffee does not make a date,’ she said.
But most people said the ‘coffee date’ is misinterpreted as a real date – when it is designed as a casual catch up before ‘proper dates’ happen.
‘It is definitely not a date,’ one woman said.
‘To me, it’s more a meet and greet to gauge mutual attraction and interest. Depending how I felt, I would then consider an actual ‘date’ in a more intimate environment,’ she continued.
And others agreed.
‘A coffee date isn’t a date. Its the precursor to see if you want an actual date and provides a quiet escape route of things go south,’ one man explained.
Some asked for ‘better suggestions’.
‘What would you recommend to do/go on a first date? To me first dates should be a quick catch-up to see if there is some sort of spark or interest,’ said another.
Louanne’s five reasons to avoid coffee dates:
1 – They are noisy, uncomfortable and crowded.
2 – They are one of the most distracting places with people coming and going which turns the attention away from you!.
3 – You sit across from each other with a table between you creating a barrier.
4 – Conscious you only have a short time you fire off questions trying to tick off the important checklist
5 – There is little opportunity to extend the date unless you plan on drinking back-to-back coffees.
Source: Louanne Ward
Boring dates, namely coffee dates, were listed in Louanne’s top six dos and don’ts for successful dating in 2021.
THE RELATIONSHIP DOS
1. DO FLEX YOUR SOCIAL CONFIDENCE MUSCLE
Top of Louanne’s list if you want to be successful when dating is a good amount of social confidence.
‘The gap between being a texting hero and having social confidence is widening,’ she wrote on her website.
‘Leave the phone apps behind and talk to people in real time, rather than waiting for the right time to approach someone or wondering if they’re single – just say something!’
Louanne said the majority agree that there is nothing more attractive than someone who knows who or what they want and will go for it.
‘Social confidence is a dating gamechanger,’ she said.
2. DO STAY IN YOUR DATING LANE
While things like looks, money and physical attraction are important, Louanne seeks to remind singles that these are ‘short-lived’.
Instead, you should be focusing on compatibility.
‘Successful relationships blossom from compatibility, caring and shared values, not superficial ego-driven desires,’ she said.
Try to put someone’s personality ahead of their looks when you’re looking to date them.
Louanne (pictured) said the best first dates are often activity-based, rather than something cliched like drinks or dinner
3. DO USE ONE SITE OR DATING APP AT A TIME
The likes of Tinder, Bumble and Plenty of Fish make modern dating a minefield.
Louanne said if you want to be successful, you’re best off just using one dating site or app.
‘Most people register on multiple dating apps to increase their chances, which also means they look on all platforms,’ she said.
‘If your profile is seen everywhere, it could give the vibe that you are desperate or too fussy, whereas if you’re only on one dating site psychologically you create scarcity and come across as a rare find, which can make you appear higher value.’
Louanne said if you want to be successful, you’re best off just using one dating site or app (stock image)
4. DO CREATE A NEW CODE OF POSITIVE EXPERIENCES
While things like coffee, a drink or dinner might seem like the easiest first date options, Louanne said we’ve all done these things and you might be better off opting for a new kind of first date experience.
‘Activity-based dates like bike riding, hiking, a walk on the beach, picnic in the hills, a stroll around the zoo, wine tasting, boating or canoeing will all help you to stay present, find common ground and enjoy each other’s company,’ she said.
The less cliched the idea, the better the date.
5. DO LEARN TO ACCEPT REJECTION
To some extent, we all must be rejected at some point in our quest for love.
Louanne recommends you learn to accept this and move on from it. Ideally, learn from it as quickly as possible.
6. DO USE VIRTUAL DATING FIRST
While lockdowns might mean a lot of things are off the table, this doesn’t have to mean your dating life grinds to a standstill.
‘It’s important to progress and try to maintain as much of your normal activities to some degree as possible,’ Louanne said.
While you might not be able to meet a potential date in person right now, you can ‘build the groundwork’ and start connecting with people, which will make you want to meet up with them even more when you can.
THE RELATIONSHIP DON’TS
1. DON’T RUSH THROUGH THE EARLY STAGES
If you do start dating someone this year, Louanne said you shouldn’t rush through the early stages – and should instead ’embrace the slower pace’.
‘Instead of rushing through the first date to get straight to the bedroom, focus on getting to know the other person,’ she said.
Again, physical attraction and chemistry can blind you to the downsides. It’s important to slow down and focus on someone’s personality.
2. DON’T FOCUS ON WHY IT WON’T WORK, INSTEAD OF HOW IT COULD
When we first get into a new relationship, many of us are quick to spend all of our time nit-picking and looking for reasons why it won’t work.
But Louanne said you need to look at the positives:
‘Don’t allow your past experiences or judgments to dictate the outcome. Look at what you do like, instead of what you don’t,’ she said.
When you go on a date, it’s vital you let the conversation flow as much as possible – and avoid transactional questions (stock image)
3. DON’T ASK TRANSACTIONAL QUESTIONS
When you go on a date, it’s vital you let the conversation flow as much as possible – and avoid transactional questions.
Louanne said that no one likes interview-style dating questions, and this will quickly switch someone off you.
‘Instead of trying to uncover what you can get out of the relationship and why you should date this person, consider what you have to contribute and what you are bringing to the table,’ she said.
Keep things light-hearted, at least at the beginning.
4. DON’T FALL INTO THE 68ERS MINDSET
Again, Louanne said it’s important to stay in your own lane when trying to date, as while you do deserve someone who loves and appreciates you, wanting more than you have to offer is a mismatch.
‘Being a perfect six holding out for a perfect eight isn’t staying in your lane, nor will it help you attract the perfect partner or even the right dates,’ she said.
Be realistic about what you are and what you want, and prepare for good results.
5. DON’T CATFISH OR DOGFISH
It can be tempting to post flattering photos that have been overly filtered or hide the truth.
But Louanne said doing so will only lead you to failure.
‘Don’t put up photos to lure people in which falsely leads them to swipe or connect,’ she said.
You’re always better off loving yourself as you are, and telling the truth.
6. DON’T GET AHEAD WITH VIRTUAL DATING FANTASIES
Finally, while virtual dating is good – and there is a place for it – Louanne said you shouldn’t get ahead of yourself.
‘Nothing takes the place of dating in real life,’ she said.
‘It’s not until you physically meet, touch or kiss that you can discover if there is a realness to the bond.’
By all means, she said you should speak to and continue to online date people while in lockdown, but wait until you can meet up before classing them as the ‘one’.
For more information about Louanne Ward, you can visit her website here.