I think this is a funny subject for me to write about. I’m only doing it because my website gets a TON of visitors asking this very question. Unfortunately for them, the article they land on is about responding – in a professional setting – to someone asking you to coffee to pick your brain (as in, they want free advice). Not the ‘asking you to coffee on a date.’ Regardless, I thought I would share my thoughts on what to do if a guy asks you out for a coffee date.
As a guy who has survived the dating minefield, I’ll share from my own perspective. All the best to you who are still out there looking for The One.
Cheers to you and the next season of The Bachelor.
How To Respond When A Guy Asks You Out For Coffee
So, you just got asked out by a guy for coffee. Should you go? Let’s face it, being asked out for coffee can be flattering, intimidating, or revolting. Knowing how to handle the situation says a lot about you. A confident response can both save your reputation and make your intentions clear.
Let’s jump in.
What does it mean when someone asks you out for coffee?
When someone asks you out for coffee, it typically means that they would like to spend some time with you in a casual setting, such as a coffee shop, and get to know you better. It is a common way for people to ask others on a date or to simply spend time together and have a conversation. The idea of going out for coffee as a way to get to know someone better is often seen as a more low-key and less intimidating option than asking someone on a formal date.
How should you address it if someone asks you to go out?
First: Are you even interested in going?
The first thing to decide when you’re asked out is: are you even interested in going? I know this sounds simple, but sometimes – in the moment – we don’t think about what we want, we just turn into awkward turtles.
If you are interested in going out – congrats! Let him know. No need to play games, real men don’t like games.
If you aren’t interested in going out with him, your reasoning will dictate your next move. For example, if you’re not interested but he is persistent, you need to be firm in your response. Don’t let him pressure you into it or worse – make you feel uncomfortable.
Let’s explore that more.
Your response if he’s persistent
Some guys come off as pushy, persistent, or plain rude.
Others are just confident and don’t mean to come across this way, but end up misreading the room. For a guy who is not getting the hint (no means no) and continuing to pressure you, be firm.
You can be polite, but there comes a time when being polite just hides your intent.
“I’m flattered, but I’ve told you I am not interested in going out with you. Please stop asking me and do not bring it up anymore.”
If he asks you while you’re at work, you can be firm and blame it on the job.
“You are making me very uncomfortable. If you do not stop asking me (or leave me alone), I will have to notify my boss.” Or “Thank you, that is very sweet. However, I am not allowed to date customers / clients / patients / volunteers / members I meet at work.”
Your response if you have a boyfriend
Have you ever noticed the universe conspires against you as soon as you’re in a relationship? Weird, huh? Like all of the sudden anyone you’ve ever met is interested in dating you.
Whether you’re in a new relationship or a long-term, committed relationship, it’s likely you’ll be asked out by a prospective beau.
No worries – there is nothing wrong with being asked out while you’re in a relationship. The important part is how you respond to it.
“Thank you – that is very sweet and I am flattered. But I am in a very happy relationship and am not open to seeing other people.”
Simple and closes the door on any future asks. Notice I didn’t say, “I’m not interested right now ….“? This leaves the possibility open.
It also helps to bring up your boyfriend in conversation as a gentle reminder that they exist, are an active part of your life, and maintain a clear boundary between you and the paramour.
Your response if you’re busy
If a guy asks you out (and you’re interested) but you’re busy on his proposed date/time, be honest.
“I’m interested in going to coffee with you, but I am not available that day. How about _________________?” Or “I am leaving to Ecuador for a 6-week banana-harvesting expedition, can I call you when I get home?”
“I work until 7 that night, instead of coffee, maybe appetizers at not-Applebees?”
The key here is to acknowledge that you’re interested and suggest an alternative time or day that works for you.
Your response if you would rather just be friends
No one wants to hear “Let’s just be friends.” But also, some guys just don’t do it for you.
No problem. There are nearly eight billion people in the world and we’re not going to click with all of them. Thank goodness. Younger Me would argue this fact, but More Mature Me sees the blessing in it.
If you are not romantically interested in a guy who has asked you out, but you’d prefer to remain/become friends, be honest. Don’t sugarcoat it or make it weird, let him know your preference so he can adjust.
“Thank you for asking me out. I am not attracted to you in that way and am not interested in a dating relationship. If you are okay with that, I am happy to continue our friendship, but it will be strictly that.”
“I’m flattered. I do not see us becoming more than friends, I know hearing this may hurt your feelings. I really value you as a friend and want to keep that relationship.”
Your response if you are interested, but have some concerns or red flags
I know some guys who squarely fall into this category. Their reputation proceeded them, but there were still some women who were willing to give them a chance. You can handle these situations with care and – who knows – perhaps you’ll find Prince Charming.
Don’t go into it blind, set your own boundaries, and be clear about your concerns.
“I am interested, but I have heard ___________ about you. This is concerning to me. It does not align with my viewpoint or belief. If we go out, I would like to hear more about this so I can learn more about what I’ve heard.”
“I don’t think we see eye-to-eye on some issues, and I don’t know if I can be in a relationship with a partner like that. I am willing to go out for coffee and discuss our common ground and these differences. But this is a concern for me and I need to be upfront about that.”
Your response if you’re very interested
The best – and simplest – for last! A guy asks you out for coffee and you’re interested! What could be better!? I mean, other than the fact that he will probably buy your coffee … who doesn’t love free coffee!?
Tell him! Let him know that you’re interested (remember, no games). If he asked you via text, just reply back. If he asked you in person (bonus points to him), tell him in person. If he is your neighbor … umm. Good luck.
In any event, let him know. Be clear. Set your expectations upfront.
Responding to a guy who has asked you out doesn’t need to be complex or weird, kudos to him for taking the initiative and making the ask. I hope he did it in a respectful way and allowed you to make the decision. From personal experience, asking a girl out is SUPER intimidating – even for confident guys.
Communication is key in any relationship, whether it’s a friendship, dating relationship, or business relationship. Having that in mind, be clear in your communication about the date, your expectations, and your boundaries.
Enjoy your coffee!
P.S. I am not a dating expert. My qualifications include being a guy, loving coffee, and dating in the past. I have sisters and a lot of female friends – I care about how they are treated and hope that every man out there learns to respect women. I also believe chivalry is not dead, but apparently took a detour. My examples are slanted towards respectful men being mindful of how they may come across.
If you are dealing with a jerk or a guy who just doesn’t get it, make sure you are crystal clear about your lack of interest, then take action. Don’t let him bully you around. No means no.