Coffee Dates Pt. II – Circumstance

If you haven’t read my coffee dates blogpost, you can read it by clicking HERE. I’m a little behind on my goal of 75. I’ve had about 30 coffee dates with truly wonderful people, and I need 45 more by May 10th. Thank you to all of you who contacted me via email. It’s been very helpful in the past hectic few weeks.

I want to share a few things I’ve learned from my most recent of coffee dates.

One of my dates told me that they’ve never been approached by a random person before asking them out for coffee, and that it was actually refreshing that they got to meet someone completely new. I was so happy to hear this, because this is exactly the reaction that I want people to have. I proceeded to tell her how easy it was to initiate a coffee date. Hell, my success rate so far is 98%, and I’m not even the most gregarious of people. My point is, most people are receptive, and if you want to initiate contact with someone you don’t know, you should just go ahead and do it.

Additionally, I was struck by her saying that it was refreshing to meet someone completely random, and this begs the question as to why we never choose to meet random people.

I would love to meet this person... along with everyone else from awkwardfamilyphotos.com

Are we constantly profiling people to the extent that it inhibits us from meeting people that we assume would be incompatible with our interests and personality? I hope nobody ever says, “he’s in a frat, so he probably drinks all the time and our friendship probably wouldn’t be compatible with my substance-free lifestyle.” If you do, then you should probably read a (really good) Puget Sound blog post that debunks myths about Puget Sound Greek Life (click HERE).

There has to be some selection mechanism in the way we meet people. In fact, there are times when I choose not to initiate a conversation with someone because he/she exhibits some standoffish behavior and suggests that he/she doesn’t want to meet new people. Or, so it seems. Of course, these are all unfounded assumptions. Unless I acquired data from a controlled study, there is absolutely no evidence indicating that he/she would not want to get coffee with me.

So let me ask you (the reader) this: How do you meet people? Does circumstance dictate who you meet? What conditions must be met for you to step outside your comfort zone and open up to someone?  Do you have to have mutual friends? Maybe you have to be at an off-campus party and have a drink in hand?

Or, maybe it can be anywhere with a drink in hand. I wonder how many people I could meet if I carted around a watercooler with a sign that said “FREE WATER.” Maybe we can turn the term “watercooler talk” into a good thing. If someone wants to supply me with a portable water cooler, I’m game. Challenge accepted.

Or maybe you're the type that need more dire circumstances.

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