TikTok’s become the new sheriff in town, and in the era of modern dating, it’s provided a space for essential conversations surrounding dating, relationships, and self worth. One trending topic is declining coffee dates as a first-date option.  

@fallinginluxe YT: sheraseven • Coffee Dates Pt. 2 #sheraseven #sheraseven1 #sherasevenyoutube #sherasevenknowsbest #coffeedates #hypergamy #levelup #5050relationship #dating #datingadvice #relationshipadvice #relationship #brokemen #highstandards #feminine #feminineenergy #firstdate ♬ original sound – Falling in Luxe 💕

While some critics fiercely disagree, let’s get into why so many women view coffee dates for first dates as a symbol of low effort, cost-cutting, and a failure to prioritize their time and worth.

The Coffee Date Conundrum

Grabbing coffee is minimal and cost effective. It’s a less formal date option, providing an opportunity to chat intimately, and minimize the financial commitment for both parties. However, the debate arises when women, particularly Black women and women of color, feel that accepting such dates perpetuates a cycle of undervaluing their time and worth.

A Matter of Effort

Many women argue that a coffee date as a first date gives the impression of minimal effort on the part of the person asking them out. 

It seems quick and easy, implying a need for more thought and planning. Women value the effort put into crafting a memorable first date experience, which suggests a more profound interest and investment in getting to know each other.

Cost and Investment

While coffee dates are more budget-friendly, some women want to feel more valued on a first date and may perceive the choice of a coffee date as a signal that their potential partner is not willing to invest financially in the initial stages of a relationship. 

Prioritizing Time

Time is valuable and for many women, accepting a coffee date can feel like their time is not being fully respected. The person asking them out may be trying to squeeze a date into their busy schedule rather than making a concerted effort to prioritize and focus on the date. 

Redirecting a Date to Your Preferences 

In a viral TikTok video, Tisia X’iare Vere Saffold, a popular TikTok creator, shared a series of text exchanges between herself and a person who had invited her for a coffee date.


A spray of my perfume costs more than a mocha chocha latte baby..

♬ original sound – Tisia X’iare Vere

“Ladies, let me show you how to redirect your way out of a low budget experience,” Saffold remarked in the video.

She explained that coffee dates didn’t align with her preferences, partly because she doesn’t drink coffee. She also highlighted the value she places on her personal choices, noting in the video’s caption that the cost of her perfume exceeded that of a “mocha chocha latte.”

To respond, she used what is known as the “sandwich approach,”  a technique frequently referenced in Corporate America. This method involves framing negative feedback or requests between two layers of positive feedback or statements. Doing so makes it easier to elicit a more positive and receptive response from the other party.

Saffold was able to communicate her dating preferences confidently and respectfully. This notably encouraged viewers to consider their dating preferences and how they communicate them to potential partners.

Choose What Works for You

First Dates and Finding What Works for You

First dates are like initial ‘vibe checks.’ Some folks prefer keeping it casual initially and delving into more elaborate plans later. But one thing remains clear—communication is key. Women should feel confident expressing their dating preferences and expectations, ensuring everyone’s on the same page.

For some, coffee shops are perfect for first dates and don’t signify cheapness or lack of effort. Yet, dating preferences are personal. Whether you’re into cozy cafes, vibrant bars, or upscale restaurants, it’s all about personal choice. What matters is their willingness to create new plans that match both your interests and standards if you voice concerns.

First Dates Don’t Have to Be Rooted in Capitalism

Black women and women of color deserve much more respect than they receive in dating. While seeking someone financially compatible is understandable, some people have limited budgets. Though, that doesn’t excuse defaulting to coffee dates when plenty of other thoughtful and budget-friendly options exist.

I believe dating is about fostering a connection, not just monetary value. The price of a date shouldn’t overshadow the joy and excitement of spending time together. 

While you’re not obliged to date someone with financial constraints, treating others with kindness and respect is non-negotiable. So you shouldn’t make fun of or ghost people who ask you on dates you don’t prefer.

At the End of the Day

Ultimately, choose the first dates that make you comfortable and happy. Whether sharing coffee at your favorite cafe or a fancy dinner at the top sushi spot, prioritize activities that spark joy. But most importantly, be with someone who treats you with kindness and respect.

While it’s true that someone genuinely interested in a relationship will ask about your interests and plan dates accordingly, appearances can be deceiving. A first date tailored to your interests doesn’t guarantee a great person. Stay cautious of those who woo you upfront and expose narcissistic and abusive traits later on. 

Stop letting others determine your worth, and don’t be swayed by social media trends. Define what respect, value, and effort mean in your dating life through open communication and trial and error.

Ultimately, the journey to a fulfilling dating experience starts with self-assurance and setting your own standards. Prioritize genuine connection and communication to pave the way for meaningful relationships.

Aysia Morton, a culture and travel writer, wrote this story.