I am a big believer in coffee dates.
But not for 3.5 hours. I don’t care how great the connection was to extend the coffee date for that long. This relationship is starting off muddled already. If it starts at all.
The design of a coffee date is to get to know someone in real life (IRL). You have moved from texts and phone calls to face-to-face. This is a big step to figuring out chemistry–something important to notice.
Any coffee shop location is almost always designed to be conducive for conversation. Two coffees, and maybe a snack, are on the budget-side for meeting with someone new. The length of time a coffee and conversation takes allows for an easy exit if things aren’t going well. The public location of a coffee shop makes it a safe public meeting place. Thus you have the coffee date. It is meeting someone new to discover who you are and thusly get to know someone, do something fun, and with no pressure.
A coffee date is not a relationship. It is the starting place to discover who you are while mixing the chemistry with another person. And most importantly, what did you learn about you on this coffee date?
A 3.5 hour coffee date is not a coffee date. Someone or both someones are “spilling too much tea.” (Get it? Not coffee.)
Like everything else involved with dating—and with your healthy mental health—a coffee date requires boundaries. The boundary should be 2 hours at the most. Maybe. Ideally less.
But why you ask? When there’s such a connection?
I know it feels so good to have someone be listening with rapt attention to your stories. It feels good to have that sort of attention–to be asked those questions which lead you to the stories you want to tell and to have that possible special someone nod and smile and give you affirmation that you do have an interesting and good life. You can do this in under 2 hours and not give away so much of yourself to someone you may or may not see again.
There is a right pace of growth for a relationship. So much so fast is not growing anything well.
How about creating a little mystery about you? Leave this person wanting to know you more so there will be a second date. Mystery is not game-playing. Leaving a coffee date in under 2 hours is not game-playing. Mystery is allowing the relationship to grow well. It is giving space for growth. Part of attraction is simply mystery.
(This same rule applies to talking to someone everyday by phone or Facetime for weeks before there is a coffee date. If a few phone calls are going well, one of you better move forward and invite to meet in person. A coffee date is the safe way.)
It is also protecting your soul. This person may walk away with a piece of your soul eventually. Maybe even after this one coffee date. Only a good match should know that much about you.
Do you know what else a 3.5 hour coffee date says about you? It says you have a lonely and desperate life to allow time to waste away like that. Maybe you do have a lonely and desperate life but you don’t want this new person to know that yet. All of the time spent on the phone or on this coffee date definitely communicates that you have so little going on. It may also read that you are desperate.
And perhaps these unboundaried coffee dates lead to you attracting the same type. Again. No matter how much fun you are having.
Have a little vanity. Create a little mystery. Keep that coffee date to a boundary so this someone continues to want to get to know you.
Now that this next coffee date will be under 2 hours, you have time to read What Did You Learn About Yourself on That Coffee Date and ponder this good list of questions. With your team maybe?