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Coffee Shops Popular First Date Choice

( - January 18, 2006) A national dating survey by StrategyOne has found that 90 percent of singles feel more relaxed having a first date at a familiar location.

"Coffeehouses are familiar places that feel like a home away from home -- as a result, they have become incredibly popular for first meetings. From there, singles can determine if they want to move on to a second date," says dating and relationship expert Logan Levkoff, M.S. "When singles meet someone there, they have the comfort and confidence that comes from being on their own turf, as well as the safety of being in a public place and the freedom to leave whenever they're ready."

Nearly four in ten single Americans (39%) have gone on a date with someone they met online. Singles at Yahoo! Personals also report that a "coffee date" is the best choice for that all-important first meeting because a casual environment helps calm first date jitters.

"The reason a coffee shop is such a popular choice is because it’s a very casual and inexpensive way to first screen a date,” says Joe Tracy, publisher of Online Dating Magazine. “It is a familiar setting for millions of Americans."

The dating survey of more than 300 singles also revealed:

» Singles rate a comfortable atmosphere (85%), a casual setting (78%) and a safe environment (75%) as the most important criteria when selecting a venue for a first date.

» Many (42%) prefer to keep the encounter brief, and almost one-third (32%) look for a place that makes it easy to end the date quickly.

Coffee shops are a first-date meeting place of choice for thousands of online daters all over the country. Troy and Sandra from San Antonio met on Yahoo! Personals in the fall of 2004. Their first date was a coffee-date in Sandra's neighborhood Starbucks.

"We had some coffee and talked and before we knew it, two hours had passed," said Sandra.

They were married the following year.

The poll was commissioned by Starbucks and carried out by Harris Interactive.


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