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Thursday, 12 March 2020

The coffee date interview

Coffee dates are hot and I'm not talking about espressos. About a decade ago, someone had the nerve to send me a dating timeslot: from 3-4 PM at a city center square in Haarlem. I was flabbergasted. I assumed she probably had similar appointments at 1, 2 and 4 pm that afternoon and refused to be her dating applicant. Today, coffee dates are the new normal.

Last year, I decided to accept such a request, despite my reservations about such coffee dates. Afterwards, I promised myself not to repeat this mistake. After some 30 minutes, our conversation suddenly switched from positive to negative. She had made up her mind, without telling me. That encounter resulted in my 2019 blog: You are very intelligent, aren't you?

Next weekend, I am scheduled to meet a new Possibly Maybe. On paper, we seem a match in heaven. Our first telephone call lasted 4 hours. I invited her to visit me, which she accepted. Last Monday, she suddenly changed the location of the meeting to her town. Moreover, she wanted to meet on neutral grounds. Doubt and fear have entered the equation.

I don't want to meet my dates in public places as then they can hide their true self. In a private place, people are less likely to hide their character (eg, not cleaning after yourself, physical distance towards date). Moreover, it avoids coffee dates from becoming interviews. A coffee date in a public place is often timeboxed. On average, such a date will last some 45 to 90 minutes.

During a job interview, a candidate will stress her/his strengths and hide or minimise her/his weaknesses. It's human nature to do so. A coffee date isn't very different from a job interview. At least one of the persons at a coffee date, will look for signals in the other person that point towards doubt and/or fear. Hope doesn't stand much of a chance in such meetings.

Coffee dates are not suited for assessing someone's true self. Almost by definition, coffee dates can only scratch the surface of both persons (eg, attitude, clothing, intelligence, looks, money, smell). The final verdict can - and will - only arrive after a mutual vacation with 24/7 coexistence.

Hence, coffee dates are bound to impress or disappoint. The higher the expectations, the more likely there will be disappointment. The more disappointments, the more likely someone will lose hope. People without hope no longer care about their future.

In my view, coffee dates have become some kind of female leisure activity. It fills their time and the bills are usually paid by the guy. Some women have even mastered this craft and frequently go out on fancy dinner dates, without committing to anything (eg, sex). After several of such dates, they dump the poor sod. Unfortunately, dating and desperation often coexist.

Is She Really Going Out With Him? (1978) by Joe Jackson

Pretty women out walking with gorillas down my street 
From my window, I'm staring while my coffee goes cold


Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.

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