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Coffee, drinks or dinner invitations. Why the suspicion?

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wood_pots

I get the feeling from society that it's not safe for a man particularly to invite out a woman for coffee, drinks or a dinner without it being seen as a date. Like with the #metoo thing, it's now even more of a no-no for men to even ask a woman for coffee. 

 

I see the avoidance of asking as lost chances for friendship or even getting to know others, and it's sad. How else can you get to know people? How else can you make friends? I feel it's getting more and more societally unacceptable.

 

Yes, some people do ask with the intention of a date but surely, it can't be 100% of men, can it?

 

If you're a woman and a man asked you for a coffee, drink or dinner would you become suspicious?

 

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StormySky
15 minutes ago, wood_pots said:

I get the feeling from society that it's not safe for a man particularly to invite out a woman for coffee, drinks or a dinner without it being seen as a date. Like with the #metoo thing, it's now even more of a no-no for men to even ask a woman for coffee. 

 

I see the avoidance of asking as lost chances for friendship or even getting to know others, and it's sad. How else can you get to know people? How else can you make friends? I feel it's getting more and more societally unacceptable.

 

Yes, some people do ask with the intention of a date but surely, it can't be 100% of men, can it?

 

If you're a woman and a man asked you for a coffee, drink or dinner would you become suspicious?

 

A little bit, I'll have to tell him, "yo, this better not be a date, I don't do dates" but yeah, I do feel this stigma.

 

Though most of my friends didn't meet through stuff like that. It was more of a spontaneous thing where we start talking about weird stuff and we're chill with it and eventually we get to know each other, and THEN we go eat lunch together, go places, etc. Inviting a person you don't know (solo, not part of a friend group) to eat or drink is usually seen as an, "hey I'm attracted to you" move.

 

It doesn't have to be a date, though. I feel like we need to encourage the fact that male/female friendships ARE A LEGIT THING and not just "oh, they're in love and in denial, they'll eventually smoochy smooch." I find it annoying that every time I say "we're just friends" the response is, "Oh, SURE, wink wink. That's what they all say."

It really sucks, it guilts girls into feeling that they owe guy friends, it denies guys the opportunity to have fun friendships with girls. It's one of those annoying times that heteronormativity goes into overdrive. Just because there's one male person and one female person doesn't mean it's a couple.

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Cheshire-Cat

As a female I have, and have had, a variety of male friends. Once they are a friend I've had no problem asking them if they want to go for a meal or coffee or something to catch up. I suppose in some way it's how you phrase it. Something like 'hey fancy having a catch up over a cuppa' makes it more obvious that's it's friend zone stuff than if you were to say 'would you like to go for coffee' which could be mistaken for asking for a date.

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Guest Deus Ex Infinity
On 9/2/2018 at 5:24 PM, wood_pots said:

If you're a woman and a man asked you for a coffee, drink or dinner would you become suspicious?

 

Maybe just a tiny little bit tbh but only because of my own past experience.

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Just Dani

I've also noticed how society tends to work when it comes to inviting someone out. It's like everyone is suddenly thirteen years old, giggling and gossiping about your supposed love life. 😑

 

I recall this happening to me many years ago at one of my former jobs. I asked a guy if he wanted to hang out some time (we're both huge nerds, thus have nerdy things in common 😁). Unfortunately, being AFAB, some of my coworkers starting gossiping about us. Felt like I was in high school all over again... Sadly, we never got to hang out, and I kinda wonder if the teasing scared him off... :( 

 

When I ask people out to do something together, I'll make it clear right away that I'm not interested in them that way if I feel that they're expecting more from this than friendship. Ditto with the other way around. I'm usually pretty good at feeling people out early on, and I make sure that things are nipped in the bud ASAP. If someone doesn't want to be my friend after that, well, then that's their prob, not mine.

 

It's both exhausting and frustrating how difficult humans have made even simple interactions... 

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GhostGoesToWail
49 minutes ago, wood_pots said:

Yes, some people do ask with the intention of a date but surely, it can't be 100% of men, can it?

 

If you're a woman and a man asked you for a coffee, drink or dinner would you become suspicious?

To reverse the situation... a while ago I asked a male classmate of mine if he wanted to go for coffee. I had slightly romantic intentions. It wound up being a platonic thing (I don't think he was looking for a relarionship), but we talked and laughed for hours.

 

There's an expectation that if a woman asks a man out for xyz, it's "purely innocent", but if a man asks a woman, he's got other things on his mind. I was none of the innocent, but then the end goal wasn't a one-night stand. Society has also taught us that subterfuge is involved in romantic pursuits, much to the confusion of... everybody. When is coffee just coffee? Is the mere act of asking an acquaintance out an intimate romantic advance? Does this guy really have sex in mind? Is this woman accepting just to be nice? Wtf is a date these days? What if someone asks if we're on a date? Should I be gentlemanly? Should I play coy and feminine? Ugyaaaa!

 

If a dude my age asked me out for coffee or dinner... I'd be flabbergasted. Millennials just don't do this. They do... something. Maybe involving phones and fb or Netflix or digital magic unicorns? I don't know. I'd be stuck somewhere between thinking he's actually looking for extra-internet connection or trying to pull a Ted Bundy on me. In all likelihood, it's probably just the usual test-compatibility measure. I don't understand modern dating, so my input is probably not too helpful.

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StormySky
41 minutes ago, Dani-Chan said:

It's like everyone is suddenly thirteen years old, giggling and gossiping about your supposed love life. 😑

 

I know, right? It's so annoying. 

Person: Why are you so childish and enthusiastic??? (I have a soft personality like a fuzzy unicorn with bubbles for feelings)

Same person: OMG!!!! SO CUTE! *HIGH PITCH GIGGLE* IT'S A DATE, TOO CUTEEEE! AHHHH JUST FRIENDS YOU SAY, NO WAY!! THIS IS THE START OF MAGIC SMOOCHY LOVE SPARK ROM COM TERRITORRY!!

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J. ALFRED PRUFROCK

It's suspicious because coffee is purely a wake-up aid, so using it as a social bonding thingy is so dumb that the only setting someone could reasonably express such dumbness is on a date, that most arbitrary of traditions.

 

This is 50% a joke and 50% me calling most people fraudulent charlatans.

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Cheshire-Cat

I go for 'coffee' but have tea or hot chocolate as I don't like coffee. It's not something I do often but usually when I have a reason to meet someone for a meeting, to catch up with someone I haven't seen in a while. Or once when I had no internet for a few weeks so went to use their Wi-Fi.

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iam135

I feel like it would depend on context. I'm I being asked to dinner at McDonald's or at a ritzy restaurant? And, honestly, even if it was the latter, I'd just ask to make sure it isn't a date and, if it's not, happily accept the excuse to eat fancy food 😁. Maybe invite some other friends along as well to keep it from being awkward.

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Jade Cross

This is a bit of a funny story but I once had a situation where female coworker said that they were going to get coffee and I ,in serious need of some caffeine, ask if they wouldnt mind if I joined them.

 

They looked at me awkwardly and said "we're just getting coffee...." and my response was "yea, I know, thats why Im asking" to which one of them said "I think he just wants coffee. Is that right?" and I responded "Uhhh yea. Listen I dont care what you two are doing, I just need my caffeine".

 

In hindsight I was rude but probably instantly cleared up any suspicion of there being any ulterior motives.

 

 

 

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MichaelTannock

@Jade Cross is it wrong that I couldn't understand your story at first, and thought that maybe the two female coworkers were using code for them having sex and didn't want you to join them for it?

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Jade Cross
3 minutes ago, MichaelTannock said:

@Jade Cross is it wrong that I couldn't understand your story at first, and thought that maybe the two female coworkers were using code for them having sex and didn't want you to join them for it?

Not sure what they were going to do but all I wanted was my coffee. I woulnd have gotten the coffee just the same with or without them. 

 

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Anthracite_Impreza

I'm not female, but I would be instantly suspicious if a (near) stranger asked me out anywhere. Call it part life experience and part paranoia, oh and part "I have absolutely no interest spending time with strangers of any kind".

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Dreamer23

 

3 hours ago, Ambo-blossom said:

As a female I have, and have had, a variety of male friends. Once they are a friend I've had no problem asking them if they want to go for a meal or coffee or something to catch up. I suppose in some way it's how you phrase it. Something like 'hey fancy having a catch up over a cuppa' makes it more obvious that's it's friend zone stuff than if you were to say 'would you like to go for coffee' which could be mistaken for asking for a date.

Totally agree - very dependent on how you phrase it!

 

I'm also not super sure it's a one-sided thing. Being a man, if a woman I'm not friends with (let's say a co-worker) asked me if I wanna grab a coffee, I'd definitely be suspicious and ask for a reason. Grabbing a coffee just seems like an unusual thing to do if no particular purpose is stated. If you make it clear from the get-go that it's just to catch up, that's totally different, but without doing so it DOES sound very date'ish! :)

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NimaToad

I don't know, being naive as I am, I wouldn't think anything of it even if there were other motives besides hanging out. But I can see how some women would feel uneasy if they didn't know you as a friend yet. Maybe for a first get together, it would feel less awkward if she was to get invited to hang out with a bunch of people, like "my friends and I were going to get Chinese food tomorrow, maybe you could join us, bring a friend if you like." At least then she would know, you don't plan on being "alone" with her and you could tell a lot by the type of friend she would drag along :D Then take it from there, doing a sort of rerun later, even without friends there would feel much more comfortable and less like a date.

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knittinghistorian
5 hours ago, Ambo-blossom said:

I go for 'coffee' but have tea or hot chocolate as I don't like coffee. It's not something I do often but usually when I have a reason to meet someone for a meeting, to catch up with someone I haven't seen in a while. Or once when I had no internet for a few weeks so went to use their Wi-Fi.

A fellow coffee non-enthusiast! *high five*

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daveb

I have had people ask me if I wanted to meet for coffee (long ago), but I always said, "no thanks; I don't like coffee". And never thought any more of it until much later when I learned that asking someone out (or in) for coffee might mean more than just an offer of coffee. I guess more recently people might've said "how about some netflix and chill?" (or however people say it). :P 

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CBC

I don't know that "suspicious" is the correct word, but unless the context of being asked for coffee/drinks/dinner was something clearly platonic (say... business-related, the guy was gay, whatever), I would likely assume he was asking me on a date. Which doesn't mean I would then assume something negative; I don't work on the assumption that all men want to harm me.

 

If you just want to spend time with someone to get to know them as a friend, be upfront about it. I suppose some women may not believe you, but there isn't much you can do about that other than hope that some people are indeed open to being friends.

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InquisitivePhilosopher
19 hours ago, wood_pots said:

I get the feeling from society that it's not safe for a man particularly to invite out a woman for coffee, drinks or a dinner without it being seen as a date. Like with the #metoo thing, it's now even more of a no-no for men to even ask a woman for coffee. 

 

I see the avoidance of asking as lost chances for friendship or even getting to know others, and it's sad. How else can you get to know people? How else can you make friends? I feel it's getting more and more societally unacceptable.

 

Yes, some people do ask with the intention of a date but surely, it can't be 100% of men, can it?

 

If you're a woman and a man asked you for a coffee, drink or dinner would you become suspicious?

 

The thing about the #MeToo movement is that, according to the women who complained about their bosses, co-workers, etc., the men weren't just "asking for coffee/dinner." They were also touching them inappropriately for months (on their thighs, their buttocks, breasts, etc.) while asking them that; made sexual comments about/to other female employees, interns, etc., all while being married to someone else; one boss would ask his female employees over to his house, claiming he needed them to pick up something or do something work-related, then he'd remove his clothes in front of them, exposing himself, while saying he'd "just taken a shower."

 

Women have looked at me strangely or ignored me for trying to be polite and say "Hello" to them, like I've seen other adults sometimes say to each other, while walking/exercising in the neighborhood, so I stopped because I got the hint that, where I live, some adults aren't comfortable with that or perhaps not comfortable talking to people of other races.

 

For me, as a kid, my friends and I invited all of our friends to do things together, like swimming, going to the movies, etc. To me, that's very different to being the only one asked by one person "for a coffee/drink/dinner."

 

But I've never only been asked out for a coffee, drink, dinner: two older men--one when I was in high school--kept blathering on and on for several minutes, telling me all the things they wanted to do with me; they weren't satisfied with my honest answers that I don't really go out to movies and places (because I don't like spending a lot of money and prefer staying at home). One kept badgering me for my specific address because he wasn't satisfied with me answering his question by saying that I lived around in the neighborhood.

 

Another older man, who was also a skater and whom I just thought just wanted to be friends, eventually asked me, months later, if I'd like to be his skating partner for an adult competition; he already knew an older, adult female skater, whom we'd sometimes practice skating with. After I told him I was 16 (he said he thought I was 24), he never spoke to me, again, even though I'd see him at the skating rink.

 

So, in my life, adult men haven't ever "just asked for coffee/dinner/ etc." without another motive; they'd also mention that they wanted to get closer to me, physically, and go to a lot of places with me, all upon meeting me/speaking to me for the first time. Telling a complete stranger--someone you've just spoken to for the first time--that you want to hold them, cuddle with them, go many places with them, without even knowing if they're comfortable with those things or asking their opinion (and continually ignoring what the other person is saying, about not being into things like that, going to places, etc., trying to pressure them, while also claiming that you're not trying to) feels incredibly rude and self-centered (and uncomfortable for the person they claim to care about/have an interest in).

 

My male friends, when we were kids, never pestered me or talked to any of our other female friends like that. So, for me, the big, obvious difference is whether or not adult men are inviting several people to go somewhere--together, as a group--or just one person.

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Laplace

I don’t drink coffee so I thankfully haven’t had to think about this dilemma 😅. Also, if anyone thought I was asking them out when I just wanted to grab a bite to eat, my somewhat messy eating habits would quickly disabuse them of that notion 😄; they are not particularly elegant and are not meant to impress. My plates end up looking like a bomb went off on them.

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Claire1983

I wouldn't call it suspicion but there certainly is the assumption that there could be romantic intentions.  I would suggest inviting a woman out for a group outing.  That makes it totally clear that your intentions are friendly, plus, more friends. Once you have an established friendship it's easier to hang out one on one without anyone making assumptions.

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Snao van der Cone

I think we need to improve the communication skills of the overall population. I think there are ways people can ask someone else out for coffee without a romantic or sexual pretext, but most people are nervous when trying to form friendships, which makes it seem similar to how nervous people are when trying to form romantic relationships. There are ways to word things, or ways to evaluate the context to determine how something should be said or if it should be left for another time.

 

Examples:

 

[man and woman colleagues or acquaintances talking more amicably than they usually do]

Man: This has been a fun talk. We should hang out some time to carry on this conversation. Have you been to [insert coffee shop]?

VERSUS

Man: Hey, um, I like talking to you. Would you, by chance, be interested in, uh, going out for coffee with me some time, to get to know you better?

 

Now, the first one seems more casual - it's about "hanging out" for that particular conversation, to bond over something that's not sexual or romantic. It's about a specific coffee shop instead of a general place card for a mid-range date type environment. The second one is obviously more nervous, which might give off the impression that it's a more vulnerable situation for the man, like he's putting his heart on his sleeve. The vagueness of it also makes it seem more like euphemisms for asking for courtship. I think we need to teach ourselves and each other about the difference this makes. Being clear and specific is very important.

 

Now, there are also ways the woman can respond that will help ensure it's a platonic invitation, or at least communicate her limits to keeping it platonic without having to assume the man intended it as romantic. Things like:

 

Woman: Oh, another friend of mine who likes this thing we're talking about likes that coffee shop! I should invite them too!

OR

Woman: Maybe we can go to this place after work some day (or some other event that will be the focus of the day/evening making the hangout only the addition).

 

Hopefully the man would understand these. The second one might still be too vague, but we should teach society as a whole to read into what it says about how much effort will be put into it. That's not intended as an insult to how unimportant the potential friend is, but to set a casual tone that isn't about impressing the other person on physical levels.

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Transformed

If a man were to ask me to coffee, drinks, or dinner, I'd either say no(depending on what my mood and stuff is) or say something like, "I'd love to, but as friends." I would make sure he wasn't trying to ask me for a date. 

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Anemoon

Hmmmm, depending where. If a male collegue asked me for coffee at work, I would interpret it as 'hanging out'. Somewhere else, I probably would think he was asking me on a date. But 'suspicious'? That means that I would think he wanted to harm me. So no, not suspicious, rather flattered. So I would try to understand hie intention.

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fuzzipueo
On 9/2/2018 at 9:24 AM, wood_pots said:

If you're a woman and a man asked you for a coffee, drink or dinner would you become suspicious?

Unfortunately with me, it would be instant suspicion on my part since the only men who've ever talked on that level to me were odd or weird and uncomfortable to be around and are always complete strangers. None of my male friends have ever approached me with such a proposal beyond just wanting to hang out with someone who shares their interest in particular franchises, etc.

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DunnoM
On 9/2/2018 at 5:51 PM, StormySky said:

It doesn't have to be a date, though. I feel like we need to encourage the fact that male/female friendships ARE A LEGIT THING and not just "oh, they're in love and in denial, they'll eventually smoochy smooch." I find it annoying that every time I say "we're just friends" the response is, "Oh, SURE, wink wink. That's what they all say."

It really sucks, it guilts girls into feeling that they owe guy friends, it denies guys the opportunity to have fun friendships with girls. It's one of those annoying times that heteronormativity goes into overdrive. Just because there's one male person and one female person doesn't mean it's a couple.

Totally agree with you. I think true friendships between men and women are more interesting and fun.

 

I live in a conservative society so any invitation like that is certainly a date unless it is given for a whole group of people. In this case also people won't stop gossiping if there is any kind of understanding took place between a man and a woman in the group 😏

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breezycalm

If its someone I barely knew, then yes I would be a tad caution, but only because I'm not the type of person who would ask someone out like that without first knowing them in some way, like from the work place or school, you know? But it depends on the situation, how the person ask it, and if you get a good feeling about the person. I don't mean feeling like "oh I think there attractive" I mean just a vibe like can I trust them. 

On September 3, 2018 at 4:20 PM, Anemoon said:

But 'suspicious'? That means that I would think he wanted to harm me. So no, not suspicious, rather flattered. So I would try to understand hie intention.

I agree, I wouldn't say I would think its suspicious, that would imply harm. Most of the time if someone just wants to get to know you more as a co-worker, friend, then there absolutely nothing wrong with asking someone out for coffee/lunch. Its sad that in our society we can't trust one another anymore. Even if the intention from the other person is to maybe get a date from you, be an adult and just say no, and lets stay friends if that's all you want.

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wood_pots
On 9/3/2018 at 9:45 PM, fuzzipueo said:

Unfortunately with me, it would be instant suspicion on my part since the only men who've ever talked on that level to me were odd or weird and uncomfortable to be around and are always complete strangers. None of my male friends have ever approached me with such a proposal beyond just wanting to hang out with someone who shares their interest in particular franchises, etc.

 

 

I get your point if you've had that experience... could it be that they're uncomfortable or acting weird because of nerves of asking for a coffee?

 

But you could be right to be suspicious.

 

Your male friends won't ask as they know you already where as a stranger needs to make an effort to get to know you. 

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fuzzipueo
1 minute ago, wood_pots said:

could it be that they're uncomfortable or acting weird because of nerves of asking for a coffee?

I admit that I am, by nature, wary of complete strangers trying to talk to me about anything that doesn't have anything to do with the weather or what-have-you. I honestly don't think strangers would approach me (I'm not that interesting) unless they were up to something or had an agenda (I've been this way since well before high school). So, yeah they might be shy, nervous, etc., but I'm not willing to take a chance on that assumption*. Better not to and say you didn't. Mind you, I'd rather they didn't in the first place at any rate, since our interests would probably be very divergent.

 

*Especially as the one time it actually happened the guy managed to come across as a creep and left me uncomfortable riding in elevators with strange men for quite a while.

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