Unrealistic Love Story #1320942: Meeting Him at a Coffee Shop

JANUARY 15, 2014


When it comes to love, I know that I have a lot of unrealistic expectations. But most women do, right? Thanks to the movies, falling in love looks as simple as bumping into someone on the sidewalk or striking up a conversation with someone on the bus. The most unrealistic scenario though? Falling in love with someone from the coffee shop.

I have one friend who is just infatuated with the idea of meeting someone at her local coffeehouse that she often asks, “Wouldn’t it be so romantic if a handsome man came up and introduced himself at Starbucks or Peet’s instead of at the bar for once?”

Yes, coffee shops are filled with the murmurs of indie music, soft chairs and comforting aromas. But romance? Nope, I don’t think so. Not to sound jaded, but I’ve met numerous people at coffee shops and most of the men tend not to be the kind whom I’d like to date. More often than not, the ones I’ve encountered at coffee shops are just plain strange.

Case in point: as I’m writing this, I’m sitting inside a Starbucks next to a man who refers to me as “novelist” while I work.

“Hey, novelist,” he said. “You know, I’ve written two novels before. But I can tell that you’re a much better writer than I am, not to mention much more beautiful.”

“You’ve written two novels?” I asked. “That is so great! What about?”

“About a beautiful woman who was murdered while writing a novel in Starbucks,” he said.

Wow. After just one minute of conversation, I was creeped out to the max.

Earlier, another man approached and started a conversation with me as well.

“Oh you’re from Minnesota?” he asked. “You know, I have an ex-wife from Minnesota.”

Alright, well as if that wasn’t enough of a turn-off, he continued on, telling me all about where he lives and his cars and that should I ever see him around Malibu again – either in his white Lamborghini, red Ferrari or other black Ferrari – I should be sure to say hi.

Uh, thanks, but no thanks.

What’s up with these men? These exchanges can’t be normal. Such situations make it seem like there’s something inherent about coffee shops that encourages creeps to approach women and make them feel uncomfortable.

I can think of just two instances in which I met nice, normal-seeming men at Starbucks. One was a screenwriter and the other was a surfer. In both cases, however, I later found out that each one was much too old for me.

So all things considered, I think it’s safe to presume that meeting someone at a coffee shop is an unrealistic dream. Of course, I’ll still visit Starbucks and Coffee Bean on a regular basis despite past bad luck and the constant danger of awkward situations, but I am past expecting (or hoping) to meet the next Prince Charming there, and that’s fine with me. Sometimes it’s better to leave expectations behind and just appreciate the reality of what is.

I’m curious though… Where is the best place to meet someone? Have any of you ever met someone at a coffee shop?


  • Jennifer Hacker 4 years ago

    The new dating app Coffee Meets Bagel takes this serendipitous idea of bumping into “the one” at your favorite java joint to a new level. If you’re interested in this modern take on finding future love check out the personal account one our Single Girl readers gives of her experience with the app http://www.thesinglediaries.com/inner-circle/coffee-meets-bagel/

  • Jon Zems 4 years ago

    My first comment on a quaterlette article. First off, I am a male, not sure how many of us are on this site.
    I am a doctor, I am not a creep, and I am always reading in coffee shops. Perhaps most of the men you encounter at coffee shops are novelists, screenwriters, guys of the profession of the arts. But there are people like me there too.
    I’ve met many girls in coffee shops before. In fact, I just met a girl last week that was studying for her GRE exam at a coffee shop. We hit it off and spoke intermittently while both reading and sipping our coffees. I got her number before I left and we’re going out this weekend. Lucky her. Lucky me.

  • Emily Long 4 years ago

    Thanks Jon! We’ll keep our eyes out for guys like you.