Where do you meet, greet, and possibly eat on a first date with a stranger?

Starbucks at West Coast Plaza, Singapore

This is my attempt at a segway into places you’ve gone to eat for your first online date.  It’s a reach I know, but maybe I’m still a little comatose and not as sharp-witted as I like to pretend I am…

For those who have online dated, which should be around 1 in 5 of you (according to a match.com commercial I saw), how many of those dates were disappointing?  Probably most, right?  I know in my experience it was even a bit depressing.  I would meet guys who looked like a shorter, wider, older and much less attractive versions of themselves.  Do they not get it that we are going to see them eventually and when we do, the first thing, or second thing on our minds (because the first thing will be horror), is anger.  Anger because we don’t like being lied  to.  If someone tells me they are 5’11”, I can accept a one inch discrepancy, but when the guy turns out to be 5’7″…that’s a bit of a reach.  Guys are not the only guilty ones of fudging the truth, I heard a few ladies out there also like to mislead as well.

Now that I vented, let’s go back to our yummy discussion…food or lack there of on a first date.  When I was online dating, most guys offered to meet for dinner.  Now I hear that “coffee” or “meeting just for drinks” is all the rage.  I know, I know, busy professionals don’t want to invest too much time in a date (like a full meal), if they wind up not liking the person.  But, where is the romance?  Has online dating become so über efficient that it bypasses flirting over the bread basket to interviews at Starbucks?  Sure I’ve gone to dinners that were so boring, I had to entertain myself (by drinking a lot), and fantasize about windexing my bathroom when I got home.  But at the end of the day, you get out of the house, meet the stranger with a good phone voice, and cross him off your list…all while grabbing a bite to eat.  If anything, it’s an hour tops out of your life.  Just compare it to watching a bad rerun.  I also met a guy for coffee, and although there was no way it was a match, I felt like we both sort of swooped in, asked 20 questions, and swooped back out.  I left hungry and confused.  Did he like me?  Did he not like me?  Did I like him?  Why was he asking so many questions?  I hope no one hit my car in the parking lot.

Where do you go on a first date?