Q: "I'm having second thoughts about how great coffee shops are as places for first dates. They're boring and don't do anything to stimulate interest between two people. You sit there and it's all lonely people on their laptops or tablets."
A: We feel your coffee shop pain. Back in the infancy of The Coffee Shop Age, they were a bit glamorous. Yes, imagine it. Up until that point, people had no place to go that wasn't a bar, restaurant, or club. Traditional diners (of the Ihop, Denny's, Big Boy, etc. variety) served and still serve lousy coffee, and they don't let you hang out. The coffee shop filled that middle need.
Then we all got used to them. They became auxiliary offices and living rooms. We closed mortgages, finished spreadsheets, read CNN, and chatted on the phone--all in coffee shops. We began to date in coffee shops, too.
And it's because of this very ordinariness that The Dating Gurus still advise daters to seek out coffee shops as good places for a first date. Their neutrality (and lack of alcohol) means that you get to see each other as they truly are and not with a lot of outside stimulus.
Imagine if you were the world's biggest Ke$sha fan (yes, it's impossible, but please imagine). And some dude, on a first date, scored tickets to the VIP section of a Ke$sha concert. Naturally, being the world's greatest Ke$sha fan, you will leave that evening feeling pumped!
It's easy to transfer that emotional high to thoughts of your companion. Good feelings have a way of coloring everything. So this ugly, obnoxious guy wearing Ed Hardy becomes--well, if not exactly attractive--less unattractive. And your resistance to going out with him a second time is weakened.
In the gray neutrality of a coffee shop, you won't have that problem.
Certainly coffee shops aren't the only place for first dates. We're just saying not to cross them off your list anytime soon.