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Posted at 4:59 PM ET, 03/27/2009

Want to Meet for Coffee?

By Julia Beizer

Much ado about lattes in yesterday's chat. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

Coffee dates were a hot topic in yesterday's chat. A reader wrote in with a simple query about where to have one -- and unwittingly unleashed a gallon of haterade.

"[N]ot coffee dates again.... i hate them!!!!!" chimed one regular reader. And others followed suit. You can read most of the debate in this transcript, but the basic gist was this:

* Those in favor of coffee dates liked that they were a non-committal and safe way to size up a new suitor or Internet date.

* Those opposed found them lacking in atmosphere, originality and romance. A meeting that should have a touch of excitement morphs into an interview or a business transaction when surrounded by lattes and clicking laptops.

One of the hottest reader comments came late in the chat and so we didn't get time to post many responses. A reader in favor of coffee dates wrote that the cheap and easy dates are a good solution to the "time consuming, expensive and emotionally draining" world of Internet dating. S/he then wrote, "And isn't all post-college dating about trying to dazzle a person in a short amount of time?"

Is that true? Whether it's at a restaurant, bar or baseball game, I'd like to think that dates are more than just trying to be a really awesome version of yourself for the short duration. But then I think back to a post I wrote in this space a couple years ago. Dating in this town is tricky because everyone's so scheduled with work, yoga, kickball, school, etc.

Anyway, we didn't want to see the conversation end there, so let us know what you think in the comments. What makes a good (and safe) first date for the crowd? What could make it even better? Sova, a suggestion Fritz made in the chat, is on my short list of good date spots. Here's a longer one. Add to it in the comments below.

-- Julia

By Julia Beizer  | March 27, 2009; 4:59 PM ET
Categories:  Misc.  
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any chance that you guys could put a link to the chats on the blog here each week? would help those of us who read this via RSS to remember to look for it... thanks...

Posted by: HoyaParanoia | March 27, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

you cant speak of regular dating and internet dating in the same breath. two completely different things.

regular dating is when you meet someone normally, as you are going through life, whether it be at the office, an event, a dive bar, class, walking down the street, anywhere. imo there is no right/wrong place to meet someone. if you have a spark with someone enough to want to go on a date with them, you want to do something fun, something that you can enjoy each other's company. so unless you both are coffee enthusiasts and that is a shared passion, i would say coffee dates are lame-o.

internet dating is desperate. it is not natural or normal. it is not the right way to meet someone. internet dating is sifting through candidates, and then needing to interview them. so it makes sense that internet daters would want to have coffee dates to see if they like each other, but i would advise that if you meet someone in real life, you already know you like that person enough to where you want to spend time with them and do something fun and interesting!

not meeting someone in real life, say the internet daters. well then, enjoy your life, spend time with friends, try new things, go to new places, and continue to do things you love. if in the course of that you may meet someone great, and i guarantee you, your first idea will not be to take them to coffee.

Posted by: iseedc | March 30, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

You got it, HoyaParanoia. We'll begin posting chat transcripts each week.

Posted by: Julia Beizer | April 2, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

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