Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Video Post: is a coffee date a date?

Church, circa 2008:
Him: Hey, I was wondering if maybe we could go get some coffee after church.
Me: [blink] Well, um... [blink, blink] uh, you know, I, um--no. I'm sorry.
Him: You don't drink coffee?
Me: I'm sorry. You see, the whole thing is a little serious for me. Like, I have a busy schedule and serve in youth ministry and if the kids saw me, blah, blah, blahblahblah [insert infinite blahs here]...

Somebody slap me. Hard.

There are, shall we say, uber sensitive Christians out there and I was (sometimes am) one of them. You know those people who ask for the seas to part, the heavens to open, and a divine voice to give us signs and wonders? Yes, Internet, that was/is/will be me.

I believe God can speak supernaturally if He so chooses. But the idea of dating in the Christian realm is complicated to say the least. If I'm completely honest with you, I suck at it. Like really, really suck at it. I'm the last one to answer the questions for this week, but there are my thoughts:
Here are some caveats and suggestions which are important in protecting your reputation and heart:
  • If someone is asking everyone and their mother out to coffee, they are a player. And you need your PhD*!
  • If someone keeps asking you out but has not or does not want to have the DTR, they are not interested in making the relationship serious.
  • If you know after one or two dates that you aren't interested in the other person, be honest. Don't waste your time and their money!
  • If someone keeps asking you out but likes keeping things at a shallow level, it's a serious case of DD*.
  • If this is just a coffee date to get to know someone, there is NO reason why you should be holding hands, kissing, or more. Like my grandmother would say, don't give away what men should work for.
  • Have at least TWO standards: 1. Does this person have a JOB? 2. Does this person love JESUS? If not, this person isn't ready to date. Period. The end.
Comments, additions, stones to throw?

**Edit to post: Tomorrow Matt will address some key questions to The Great Coffee Debate :)

*PhD=Player Hater Degree
*DTR=Defining The Relationship
*DD=Denial Dating


Anonymous said...

Hey, it is just coffee... Things to know about the coffee dating situation. Great questions: How many coffee dates does it take to "be in a relationship"? Do two coffee's equal a date? Can you have coffee with multiple people in the same week? Coffee seems safer than a date...

Catie Ronquillo said...

My first "date" with who is now my husband was kind of comical. Not because the date was a joke, but because we were wrapped up in trying to figure out if it was a date or just dinner. (And all of the folks we were surrounded by said we'd get married after our first "hi nice to meet you meeting".) So he asked me to dinner, and we were just friends at that point. I wasn't sure if he was "officially asking me out and leading to more" or what. But I decided to go with my gut, knowing what I knew about him, he was a nice guy, had a job, good Christian man, etc. So when I notice that it's not a group thing, I have all these thoughts running through my head throughout the evening. And when he paid for dinner, I was like, this must be a date. All this to say that had things not worked out, it would have "just been dinner." And getting to know a friend better.

But I agree that if someone asks you to coffee/lunch/dinner, do your research on FB, Google, Twitter, etc. Go into the "meeting/get together" with an open mind. Don't make assumptions. Just get to know the other person as a person (not a future spouse interview). And be honest if they ain't your cup of tea. They might not be your future spouse, but they might turn into an amazing friend that you can call on for talks, advice, lunch when you need someone who will listen...on a platonic level. And who couldn't use another genuine friendship? :)

Have a great weekend!

the BLAH BLAH BLAHger said...

I LOVE this vlog for so many reasons. First of all, I'm a strong woman. I'm 33, single, a homeowner, have a great job, and am blessed with wonderful family and friends. I think that is attractive to some, but intimidating to others. I didn't get to be strong by chance, but by being a good steward of the resources God has given me. However, the dating life has not been on the top of my "pro" list, but rather on my "cons." Sometimes I think I'm a MORON and completely miss opportunities or offers for coffees. Sometimes I think I panic (like you did!) and worry about the implications of what a coffee could mean. And sometimes I think I send off signals that I'm too busy, too intense, or too too too, etc. What I DO know is that I'm in the Christian Dating for Dummies category and need to settle down and remember "it's just coffee." AND maybe, just maybe I need to stick to just those two standards and not the other crazy ones I've imposed on myself. ; )

And now I want to go bury my head in the sand.

Jenn said...

This is the first time I've heard someone be HONEST about dating!!! So many people put so much pressure or they think A coffee date will lead to marriage.

If I want to go out with a guy from church, what's the big deal?

Bianca said...

@Jenn: I'm so glad you asked what the big deal is. Let me explain:
We have to be mindful of others. If we flippantly go out with one guy, then another, and another, we will set a reputation as someone who doesn't care about each other's emotions.
I temper that with if you like someone, they like you, you both are responsible Christians who have set standards. Then date.
Is there the potential of heartbreak? Yes. But there's also potential that I will get hit by a bus. But I still have to drive to work. It's a risk I'm willing to take.

Bianca said...

@Anonymous: Good question. It varies for everyone. But if you feel like things are serious (at your end or theirs), have a DTR.

@Catie: I agree. But as emotional beings, we get really involved and have the potential to assume more that's there than what really is.

I went to dinner one time after work/before church with a friend in ministry. He TOTALLY thought I was interested in him and it got ugly. From that point on, I quit dating and became a nun for 6 years. Just recently (11 months ago) did I finally give dating a shot.

@JJ: You're hot. You're talented. You have a lot going for you. Rachel, Ruth, and Esther all were busy doing what God called them to do and THEN when their MATE was ready, God blessed them. Sometimes it's not you, but the one the Lord has prepared for you that need to be molded and shaped.
*I'm going to Lumen at Mariners on Sunday. Let's try to connect.

Jasmine said...

Great insights, but--more importantly--your hair looks fab! :)

Paul said...

I think my favorite part about reading your blog and watching these videos is the fact that you are not afraid to be human, not know all the answers and above all, you are who God made you to be and not trying to be nothing else.. I wholeheartedly agree about your stance on dating, people tend to ask April and I about dating, which boggles my mind.. I guess its because we're married that people think we know more than them.. but anyway.. my answers are almost exactly the same as yours.. except from a dude's point of view... and so are hers.. you may think you are really horrible at dating, but honestly, i think that the people who date over and over with different people apparently have no idea what to do. and the one's who got lucky finding who God made them out to be with on the first shot or the first real "Christian" attempt don't either.. I don't think there is a definite right on "how to" date.. which is why there are so many different books about it. Therefore I believe that its the responsibility of every person either looking for a relationship or thinking about someone to be in a relationship with to seek the Father who has all the answers in His hand and not to think too much about it otherwise.. cuz if we're jumping the gun on things that God doesn't have for us, ultimately they won't work... or they'll be difficult.. and why would we want to be outside of God's Perfect Will for our lives.. its a matter of maturity... anyway... good post.. looking forward to the next one...

Keep the main thing the main thing!

Paulie <><

Diandra Ann said...

Oh the conversation this video just started!!! Haha... just wait until you hear it :)


Katy said...

So true..I went to a Christian college, and if you were asked out for coffee (more likely going to WAWA to get an iced tea)..that was a date..on your way to marriage! :) (At least in the girls' minds) I met my husband when mutual friends introduced us with a group of other people at a Friendly's restaurant. It's difficult to really get to know another person when it's so awkward knowing you were purposely brought there to meet each other. Needless to say it didn't work out..but 2 months later when we ran into each other at a youth group event we were both working at (as leaders), we hit it off. Less than a year later we were married and that was 10 years, and 2 kids never know what can happen!

melissa said...

reminds me of when my husband first asked me out when we were in college. He wanted to be my study partner and when he asked i ignored him. so he asked again.

To which I replied, "Well, what kind of grades are you getting in this class? I'm getting D's/F's and this is my third time taking the class. I don't think you want me as a study partner." (Sad, but true!!!)

"Um, yes, I do."


and the rest is history.

(and the class was geology!)

Anonymous said...

Dating church it is complicated, usually women and men at church seems to be desperate to get a couple, please KIR if is not for you, is not for you!! I don’t consider a coffee with a guy a date, it is just a coffee. I don’t see any harm on it, why do we have to be thinking that every date will lead to intimacy? Or why not holding hands? I was so freaked out once when my friend son, he is 15 hugged another girl as hugging good bye, his mom was like he was having an act right there with this girl, she went off on him and told him not to touch or hugged a girl ever until he gets married, that is ridiculous how can parents at church are demanding their kids stuff that they didn’t do it when they were young’s. I didn’t know that showing affection is calling a sin this day at church? I think morbidity has overtaken Christian’s minds and they think that everything out church is wrong!

Anonymous said...

So you are dating now?? if yes!! Hooooya girl.. if not sorry i missunderstood!! question i know it is lame but what the hey!! what is DTR, i am very bad at texting as you can tell,, dating i rather to call them friend having coffee if you feel confortable enough it the first time (both)go for it if not, that is a big sign run foster run!! = D

Bianca said...

@JassyWassy: I wub juw, sissy! Thanks for the hair love :)
@Paulie: You rock. I LOVE the male perspective. Share any time!
@Diandra: Tell Javi to spill it! It's DATING.
@Katy: Preach it! That's what I'm sayin'.
@Melissa: You were smart and got not only a good man, but a good grade :)

Brianna said...

You just posted a blog about dating. I'm checking outside to see if there are pigs flying as we speak.

Bianca said...

The reason I say not to hold hands or kiss or have sex on a coffee date because the premise is to get to know someone. That's it.

When physical touch is involved, things get complicated. Justin Timberlake wasn't kidding when he wrote Love Stoned. It's true. There are drugs in your mind when your aroused/in love that block logical reasoning. If you don't believe me, Google Dr. Roger Tirabassi and see what he says.

Cristina Alyssa said...

Haha, I've had many "just coffee dates" and have been disappointed because it was with one of my best friends of 4 years that I always secretly always crushed on. I would get excited for each one. but alas nothing happened. and now he's dating one of my best friends, blah blah, blah... But I was reminded by someone, that the whole time we were hanging out, I should've had in my mind, that we were just friends. and nothing more. So I would say, definitely, just guard your mind. unless it's obvious, it's not "just coffee."

= ) just my two cents

great topic, would be very controversial in my church, specifically the youth group actually. but I like your approach!

(and I don't see any of those stickies that you claimed you put all over your office!
hahaha, just giving you a hard time)

Anonymous said...

haha thanks for sharing your insight b! i have a question though...i know that i'm just trying to wait on Gods plan for me and i do hold the standard that he has to love Jesus so when a guy asks you if you would date him and you know he isnt someone who meets those standards,so to say, how do you tell him?i recently had a situation like this. thanks b!

Anonymous said...

This just cracks me up. Probably because I've been married for 13 years. ;) It just cracks me up how COFFEE has replaced real "dates" and so there is so much question as to what those visits to Starbucks even mean. My husband took me to the Nutcracker on our first date. And I knew it was a date. Period. Had he asked me to coffee it would've been totally confusing to me. I can't imagine the pressure of dating in the church. "Thankfully" we weren't going to church at the time we met/married to had NO safeguards or moral criteria in place. (TOTAL SARCASM!!) ha! As a mom of a 12 year old girl I hope and pray she takes her dating/relationships as seriously as you do when she reaches that age. Love your thoughts! You seriously always make me laugh during your vlogs.

Krystle said...

As a single Christian girl who's friends are ALL married (even if I am 22) please don't tell me about the first time you (an imaginary you) laid eyes on your husband and then two weeks later you got married. Don't tell me about this crazy love story because it MESSES ME UP!

I come from the camp of "I Kissed Dating Goodbye Ruined My Life". I have to constantly work at seeing boys as just boys and not my baby daddy (cause you never know..I COULD be married in two weeks...right...right??)

I was reminded of this a few years ago when I was reading Proverbs 31 and it says that a woman brings honour to her husband all the days of HER life. SO...while I'm not married....yet.... I still want to honour my husband now.

So, could you (that imaginary you again) help me out and just not talk about that......


Matthew T. said...

I never dated anyone before, so I can't really relate to this, but coffee being a linkage to dating. Hmm. never thought of that. I hope that coffee tastes good.

Anonymous said...

Read this the other day: "If God is not in your life, you can't be in mine".

Cassie said...

I am kind of known in the young adult culture around here to be the girl who will go out to coffee with any guy meeting my 2 requirements: does he love Jesus? did he have the guts to ask me out?

It's a big deal for a guy to ask a girl out, whether it's coffee or dinner! My thought changed at some point from being so concerned if he was "the one" to be honored that he was bold enough to want to have coffee and get to know me.

I want to holler an AMEN to point the 3 in the bullet points B wrote out here... There are ways to know within 1 or 2 coffee "dates" if you want to continue on, but if not... don't drag it out.

coffee is God's gift to the dating world... why over analyze it so much? Dinner is a totally different game, but coffee is good, casual, cheap(er) and tastes AMAZING!

I've actually done the same thing as B with M...and had the same response... "it's just coffee"...

Kimbo said...

HAHAHAHA. i love it
B. i love you! and i miiiiiss you!

let's go out for coffee soon ;D

Beth said...

I decided about 4 years ago that I wasn't going to date until God showed me who my husband would be. When Ben (who will be mu hubby in TWO WEEKS!!) first started talking to me, he asked if we could go for coffee and I sent him this MAJOR text message saying that I wasn't going to date until God showed me who I was going to marry, so I'd pray about coffee and would like him to pray about it too and then if he still wanted a coffee date after a few weeks of prayer, and i felt it was right too then we could go for coffee. But if we did, then he was basically commiting to marrying me. CRINGE TO THE MAX. I was so nervous about sending the text because I absolutely adored him and was convinced that he'd run a million miles. But I decided my promise to God was worth more than my feelings towards Ben and God blessed me a million times for that. Can't wait to stand in God's house in 2 weeks time and marry the man that I know He has given me! Sigh...!

Anonymous said...

I seriously suck at dating! I mean really... I gave up on it years ago. My sister freaked out on me when I turned 30 and wasn't married with kids. She said I was getting old and missing things. At 32 I'm still single... I keep praying that at the right time God will bring the right guy into my life. I haven't freaked out as much as I used to when a guy would ask to go get coffee. You are right... its just coffee! :)
I continue to live my life the way God is directing me and I know at the right time the relationship will come. Not everyday is easy but I choose to dwell on the wonderful things I am blessed with and I have no room to complain. :)
Great vlog post!

melissa said...

so this is very random, but speeeaaking of my husband (i'm trying to make this relevant! haha!) he came home earlier today and said he saw his co-worker on Jasmine's blog (and yeah, i make my hubster look at the blogs I stalk, yikes!) turns out his co-worker went to HS with you both and was friends with you. (Had really neat things to say about you and your family. :) )

And thennnn I was talking to my dad today and He brought up your friend Jennie Finch, who played travel ball against my little sis and how he talked to her at a laker game and how Jennie's great friends with his best friend's daughters, yada, yada, yada...haha!

that six degrees thing is hilarial. haha! see who needs facebook! haha! just HAD to share. :)

KS*Rebecca said...

Wow. I'm so THANKFUL to be married! Dating just seems so much more conflicted than it was back in the day. Sorry I'm out of the loop, I understand Matt is the man you are dating,does he also blog?

jacquelinefigueroa said...

I love it!! Also, I noticed its a you tube video now. Very shnazzy!!

Alyssa S. said...

Ha! Totally ironic that you just posted this today. I'm meeting a guy tomorrow that asked me out for coffee multiple times over the past two years from church haha. I always gave the "I'm too busy" because I wasn't sure if its "just coffee" Hoping it is.. because he is over 10 years older than me, and think its just a little too old - but I am too much of a softy to tell him that straight out. First time I am meeting a guy for coffee, haha, hope I survive and it's just coffee!

Apple said...

hahaha! you talk fast!:P i wonder what matt will say tomorrow.

DToTheG said...

Ha - I used to be so legalistic in the past about this. I am in noooooo way an authority on dating at all ** cough, since I have not dated in 5 yrs cough cough** but I think you made some very good points Bianca. Going out to sit and talk over just that. You might get to know a friend alot better if anything. But yes the important things to know is how is this persons walk with the Lord, doing some investigative background check HA and making sure they never got busted on Cheaters with Joey Greco. Leave things in prayer and let the Lord lead and open doors as well as close any that you need not walk through.

Cindy A. said...

Shout out to KRYSTLE: Honey, I hear ya!

B: I love your two standards! So simple, but why are they so hard to keep? At least for me, the first is easy to uphold, but the second I let myself get talked out of with words like "You should be a little more open minded" or "Just get to know me and you'll see I'm a good person"... *le sigh* Thanks for another great post!

Kayla said...

Oh my gosh, I'm cracking up.

1. I LOVE you. I might come across as a creeper because I say it all the time, but I think you're just fabulous. Trufax.
2. Krystle, I did not know it was possible to laugh so hard at a blog comment. "I Kissed Dating Goodbye Ruined My Life" made me laugh til I wheezed. I read about 10 pages of that book and threw it across the room never to read it again. It was a gift and ended up in the trash. The woman that gave it to me turned out to be a shrew, anyway, so it's proof positive that book was crap, right?
3. I was always so freaked out about spending time with guys and having someone think that I liked them or whatever. Part of it was being afraid of what people said, most of it was feeling that I wasn't worthy of anyone. Once I got over myself, I realized that it is SO okay to have fun hanging out with a guy. I have gone out on Starbucks non-dates with several guys knowing that it was absolutely platonic and with no intentions of dating and everything was completely fine. It's a good way to hang out in public and to just chat with someone. Sometimes guys need friends too, and I've found that if you're a girl who isn't going to make a big deal out of things, they actually sometimes like having someone to share things with that they can't discuss with "the guys."
4-10. Christians need to lighten up.
11. I love Bianca!
12. Dating sucks.
13. So do Christian dating books.
14-1,000,000. I love Jesus.
1,000,001. I'm busying myself until Jesus brings about the right guy. That said, I can still admire boys and if I develop a slight crush that doesn't go anywhere, I'm usually mature enough to handle it and turn it into loving him as a brother. I try to learn as much as possible from my Christian (and even non-Christian) guy friends to help me understand their positions on this. And I think that honesty really works well in these situations. If you're not into someone, it's better to tell them when you realize that and leave open the possibility of a friendship. Guys don't freak out as much as we do.

Anonymous said...

Are you a virgin Bianca?

stacia mikele said...

bianca, i've never commented, but I occasionally read... however, this post was hilarious and true. i'll just say I came from a background that allowed me to know what phd and dtr were without looking at your guide. "ring by spring or your money back" and "MRS degree" were some other popular ones at college. however, after about 1,000 conversations with girlfriends waiting for God to speak down from the sky to reveal "the one". i realized (through his word) that God's missions in life are clear: we know that we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and minds and then love others. this is God's ultimate will. knowing THAT now we simply live life accordingly the best we can. and sometimes that might look like going to coffee with a man of God and sometimes that might look like saying no because you're using your PhD. however, it's not wrong to live life and take chances at every turn as long as you love God with your being and stay true to him. God designed us to marry and since arranged marriages are out, we can't say no to coffee forever waiting for God to speak from the sky. because he's spoken, live life and doing it loving me. my marriage to my lovely husband didn't happen without taking chances and of course saying yes to coffee. :)

Katee Grace said...

you're awesome! love you Bianca, even though I don't know you.. seriously thanks for your legit, truthful, open, rad blog posts!

xoxo | katee grace :)

Amber said...

Very encouraging! Funny, because I have a similar story. I went out for coffee with a great, godly man who I just wanted to get to know and vice versa and now we have been married for six months :)

thanks for sharing. Enjoy dating! God is good :)

Anonymous said...

Ah... I remember this discussion. . I wondered whatever happened to that "coffee invitation" months ago.

Good for you!

Sincerely hope all turns out well for you.

As women waiting on the Lord to fulfill the many desires of our heart, it is SO important to treat the man we are in fellowship or relationship with as an Heir of Christ, and the same respect & care should be reciprocated in agreement.

At best you will become great best friends and draw closer to the Lord and grow as individuals in Christ.

Be encouraged, pray without ceasing, in all things. And as you've mentioned before accountability and Godly counsel are essential to sweeten & keep the "coffee" warm.

Ultimately, God's Will of Loving the Lord with all your heart mind soul & strentgh and others as yourself is the primary aim.

Dating should be the platform of living blameless in purtity and above reproach in personal stewardship. Leading and not leading to marriage.

To God Be the Glory!

His Jewel said...

Did I miss Matt's "tomorrow Matt will address some key questions to The Great Coffee Debate"? I've been waiting and looking for it and nothing. I would like to add that Matt said "it's just coffee" but was it really? Because as you said, coffee led to more dates which lead to a relationship, sooooo was it just coffee?? ;)

Marissa said...

Don't really blog but I love this cultural debate about dating!!!I get asked this questions by so many girls. Who doesn’t want to know the answers to this question!? I hate dating the bible, you'll find all your answers there...

Well, seek first HIS kingdom...and all these things will be added to you! I both agree and disagree with this whole thing.

First: Our goal in life isn't a relationship with the opposite sex. But a relationship first and foremost with our creator...

Second: if you are seeking the Lord with all your heart, your desires will be pure and only want pure things. You'll be making wise decisions about coffee dates, acceptin them and dissin' them...

So learn to chill about coffee dates and turn on your radar/filter for the creepers and the desperates out there!

As far as finding 'The One'...seriously! 'The one' is the one you end up marrying! I heard people say that they 'just knew so and so was the one'. Seriously how many times did they think that!? I said that a few times myself! Elisabeth Elliot was married 3 times! her first 2 husbands died on who was the one for her? Her one was the one God had in her life at the time. In heaven it won’t matter.

As singles we get too caught up with finding the one and we forget the only one....JESUS!
As far as Criteria...just love Jesus with everything that is within you and make sure they love Jesus and want to serve Jesus the way you do...God will take care of
all the other provisions including JOBs, House, family...

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