June 15, 2010 10:17 PM   Subscribe

I got a phone number at a bar...Now what?

Over the weekend, I was hanging out at a bar, and unexpectedly hit it off really well with a guy I met. Before the end of the night, we traded numbers, and he made the comment that "we should meet up someplace that isn't here." I'm not new to the dating world, but I am new to the "meeting random people at bars" scene (I'm a country boy in the big city). What's the proper etiquette here? How long should I wait to contact him, or is it already too late?

Should I invite him out to coffee? Dinner? With other friends? Formal dating seems a bit lost on my generation (myself included), so I'd like to avoid a formal "date" if at all possible.

FWIW, we're both dudes, and as far as I know, neither of us wants a quick hookup or an immediate LTR. Worst case, I wouldn't mind simply being friends.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (18 answers total)
I believe that the universally accepted protocol is a blushing and charmingly slightly-awkward brief phone call to arrange a coffee date.

Dinner is too much of a commitment, out with friends is too intimidating.
posted by desuetude at 10:24 PM on June 15, 2010 [4 favorites]

I got a phone number at a bar...Now what?

Um, call him?

Seriously, though, this is not complicated. Call or text him and say something relatively neutral like "Hey, had a good time hanging out the other night. Want to get a drink or something some time?"

Any time this week is neither too soon nor too late. If you call or text late at night, though, (especially on a weekend) it might seem like a booty call. Your choice whether you want to send that message.
posted by Nothing... and like it at 10:26 PM on June 15, 2010 [2 favorites]

It's not too late, next Wednesday won't be too late either. If you want it casual, then keep it casual, lunch, coffee, or early dinner, in a well lighted place with somewhere to walk afterwards. If you want it personal keep it personal, no friends this time.
posted by Some1 at 10:31 PM on June 15, 2010

Call soon, like now, it will relieve you of the anxiety you have and set you up for a potentially rad coffee date with this guy.
posted by fake at 10:33 PM on June 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Absolutely call him! Tell him you're new in town so if he has suggestions for something fun to do. Have that fun!
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:35 PM on June 15, 2010

Coffee dates are boring. What do you like to do? Do you like photography? Invite him to come take some photos of the view from a bridge. Do you like cooking? Invite him to come shopping at a farmers' market for ingredients and then make a recipe together.

But, yeah, give him a call. Good luck!
posted by surenoproblem at 10:40 PM on June 15, 2010 [6 favorites]

should I invite him out to coffee?



If coffee goes well, then yes. If not, then no.

With other friends?

eh, try coffee just the two of you at first. It's hard to really engage with someone new with extras distracting things.

Formal dating seems a bit lost on my generation (myself included), so I'd like to avoid a formal "date" if at all possible.

Then do casual things and escalate slowly. Or just do casual things. Don't make it harder than it is - just relax and enjoy getting to know a new friend.
posted by archivist at 10:44 PM on June 15, 2010

Yeah, one-on-one coffee is the quintessential low-key "let's hang out and see if we still like each other in the sober light of day" date.

@surenoproblem: To me, a first date that involves cooking with a stranger sounds about as low-key and relaxing as a ropes course over a viper pit, but I'm willing to concede that my neuroses might not be shared by the general public.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:19 PM on June 15, 2010 [6 favorites]

A call is a kind of a date.

It can produce a conversation where you find out more stuff, and plan for a date.

"Oh...you're an investment banker...I'm busy Friday...and Saturday...and yeah...I'll be pretty busy now, maybe I'll call you if I get free."

"I'm glad you called...I really like your voice, its cute...how about we meet on Friday."

If you want to get neurotic thinking about stuff, there ya go.

Although, the best policy would be to call and go from there...pretend its 2 normal humans having verbal interaction.

Good luck.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:19 AM on June 16, 2010

Make a day plan for coffee. A night plan leaves the awkward ending (kiss, go home together, what?) but you won't have that with a day plan. Going to a museum is probably too date-ish, but you could call him and say "hey, it's great whether out. i think i'll go by Park X, to hang out and have a coffee. want to join?" And if it goes well, you can progress to getting food and/or drinks if you like.
posted by molecicco at 3:24 AM on June 16, 2010 [4 favorites]

I think the "hey, nice meeting you the other night. want to grab a drink after work one day this week?" works best. You can call but texting is a little less daunting (and more popular these days) if you want to go that route. No dinner (too formal), no with the friends (too much pressure). Aim for a weeknight to keep it relaxed. Coffee works, too, if that's your style. Good luck!
posted by emd3737 at 4:25 AM on June 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Coffee or drinks is the classic low-key way to meet up -- it doesn't lock you in to an entire evening, like dinner and a movie, and it can be contracted ("oops, look at the time, I just realized that I have an appointment to... uh... wash my hair, bye!") or expanded ("hey, you hungry? There's this great place down the street...") depending on how the date is going.

The more elaborate sort of dating that gets suggested (eg photography, cooking, etc) is great if both of you are into that; if you aren't, that approach can maximize the discomfort. Whatever you do, the key is to find a way to hang out and talk, get to know each other, and see where things might take you.
posted by Forktine at 6:14 AM on June 16, 2010

Coffee and dessert. Where in your new city has the killer desserts? Say, hey, I've been wanting to try the Dessert Bar....want to get a cup of coffee and try their cannoli?
posted by fieldtrip at 6:30 AM on June 16, 2010

I just wanted to throw out another casual idea to suggest when you call him - go to a local tapas (or any place with interesting bangin appetizers) place. some people aren't coffee house people.
posted by WeekendJen at 6:51 AM on June 16, 2010

If you're in the big city, there are a million things that you can do that aren't coffee. Do something like that - take a walk, see a gallery exhibit, grab gelato, check out a costume shop for early Halloween ideas, find an outside cafe to grab drinks in the evening...

...or ask him what he does for fun in the city. Tell him you're just a small town boy, born and raised in South Detriot who took the midnight train going anywhere and you need a tourguide to show you around the town properly.

As for what the expectations of this are, it's hard to tell. I find hookup phone phone numbers to be unambiguous, usually accompanied by a quick note. "I want to blow you. Call me."

But you should call, like, NOW. Because people's weekends start filling up about this time in the week and you'll want to catch him while he's free.
posted by greekphilosophy at 7:46 AM on June 16, 2010 [3 favorites]

Since you already know you hit it off, I don't think you need to play it safe with a coffee date.
posted by grouse at 9:18 AM on June 16, 2010

A two-minute call to set something up. You don't have to be all online-datey and talk for hours before you meet. You've already met.
posted by rhizome at 11:13 AM on June 16, 2010

Do you want to go on a date with him? Then call him. Then you can arrange a date together. Coffee is probably a safe bet. It can be as short or long an event as you like.
posted by chunking express at 12:46 PM on June 16, 2010

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