how to pick up a barista?
February 19, 2012 4:35 PM   Subscribe

On Friday I grabbed a coffee with my sister, and the barista was the most lovely woman I'd ever seen. Love at first sight if I've ever known it. I stammered my order, paid with cash, and simply remarked to my sister on the way out the door that "wow, she was cute!" The next day I receive my match.com daily email with 14 "mutual matches" and BOOM, there is the amazing barista among the other women. Destiny! How do I go about asking her out - in person and not via match - without seeming like a creepy stalker?
posted by Hermanos to Human Relations (28 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
So, is there a reason you want to do this in person rather than on Match? Asking out staff at their place of business is very hard to do without a very high risk of Creepy; on Match, though, she's explicitly looking for someone to date, so that's the appropriate venue.
posted by Tomorrowful at 4:37 PM on February 19, 2012 [45 favorites]


Say whatever it is you'd say to her if you hadn't seen her in person. This isn't destiny, this is just a moderately convenient coincidence.
posted by SMPA at 4:37 PM on February 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


(oh, and yeah, I meant saying it on Match.)
posted by SMPA at 4:37 PM on February 19, 2012


This question may be relevant and in particular this answer. In short, do not ask her out at work because it's her job to be nice/friendly/decent to you. However if she's on Match and you're on Match, great. Not saying you have to not do it in person, but make sure you find a way that is not at her job. Same goes for other service workers who staff a desk including librarians, pharmacists, etc.
posted by jessamyn at 4:38 PM on February 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


Agreed. Ask her out on match, go ahead and mention that you saw her and thought it was a neat coincidence. There's simply not a good way to ask somebody out at their place of work.
posted by saul wright at 4:40 PM on February 19, 2012 [18 favorites]


In short, do not ask her out at work because it's her job to be nice/friendly/decent to you.

This. Do it through Match.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:42 PM on February 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


I had a fairly similar situation arise (bartender that I knew showed up in OKCupid) and after much deliberation, I decided against saying anything in person - I sent her a message via OKCupid instead. Here's my logic:

- I only knew where she worked; I didn't have any other way to find her in person. Therefore, I would have had to make a move while she was at work.

- When she's at work, I'm a customer. She's being paid to be nice to customers. She's also pretty much a captive audience. If she weren't interested, I'd be putting her in an awkward and very public spot.

- She chose to make an OKCupid profile and accept messages. That suggests she's actively looking for dates/flirting/whatever in that venue. She can respond or not, turn me down or not, and it doesn't have to be a big awkward thing.

So that's what I did, and it went fine although she wasn't all that interested, (and she realized she really, really wasn't interested in online dating at all,) and we're even better friends now. I think doing it that way was the right thing to do, and I'd really recommend it.
posted by restless_nomad at 4:43 PM on February 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Another reason to use the site: you can compose yourself. If you're that twitterpated, you're probably not going to come off well. Write a great message via Match, and save us the next question ("I asked her out in person but was nervous and screwed it up and what do I do!!").

Good luck, this is indeed a rare thing.
posted by fake at 4:51 PM on February 19, 2012


Response by poster: Thank you all, quick and great answers. It looked like creep-city every way I considered it so I appreciate the sanity check.
posted by Hermanos at 4:53 PM on February 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Whoa...wait a minute. Just to pipe in here with another point of view. I had a very similar experience minus the internet dating website stuff. I totally fell for a barista. I'm not even sure how it hit me but I know my heart went pitter patter. I've been married to that barista for 12 years now and I'm super glad for the time I spent loitering in the cafe as he fluttered around me nervously. Forget about the internet dating thing - go to the cafe. Talk to her. Yes, it's her job to be nice to you but maybe there is more to it.
posted by YukonQuirm at 5:00 PM on February 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Step one: Find a new coffee shop.
Step two: Reply to the Match listing.
Done.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 5:16 PM on February 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Don't ask her out at work, don't ask her out at work, don't ask her out at work.
posted by mleigh at 5:33 PM on February 19, 2012


Best answer: I'd respond via match but acknowledge having seen her in person with something like, "I know this is strange/funny, but I actually saw you at CoffeeShop the other day and thought you were incredibly lovely." And maybe even be transparent about not wanting her to feel awkward since you're a customer there, etc. Just brainstorming here....Good luck!
posted by tacoma1 at 5:37 PM on February 19, 2012 [20 favorites]


Forget about the internet dating thing - go to the cafe. Talk to her. Yes, it's her job to be nice to you but maybe there is more to it.

I second that, with a caution OP. If you're decent at reading people and body language, then yeah go for it. Hang at the shop for a few weeks, bring interesting reading materail and/or a sketch pad and if an instance for conversation come up, talk.

Yes, she's at work and in nice mode, but that doesn't nothing can't happen. Face to face can work very well for initiating these sort of things.

If you're not good at that above, then yeah, stick to the online first.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:44 PM on February 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


. I'm not even sure how it hit me but I know my heart went pitter patter. I've been married to that barista for 12 years now and I'm super glad for the time I spent loitering in the cafe as he fluttered around me nervously.

Doing this to a dude and doing it to a woman are, for better or worse, very different situations. The male barista is still put in the place of being a captive audience and forced to be nice to you, but he is probably not carrying around the heightened sense of danger that a woman might be.
posted by schroedinger at 6:04 PM on February 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


Best answer: Use the venue she prefers - match.com. A lovely barista? Don't be the thousandth guy she has to be polite to at work. (Plus, you've already been in the shop with your sister, but this lady doesn't necessarily know that - you may come off as the guy showing up again, sans girlfriend and on the make.) Best of luck to you.
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:05 PM on February 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Hermanos" is making me think you're a fella - if I'm mistaken, I sincerely apologize. My points above still stand: it's her workplace, and you may have appeared already coupled up while in the shop.
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:11 PM on February 19, 2012


Respond on Match that you saw her at work, thought she was awesome, and couldn't believe your luck that she also came up on Match.
posted by zachawry at 6:47 PM on February 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Best answer: Do it via Match. Say nothing about seeing her at work. If it's a cafe in your neighborhood and you go in often enough that this would be awkward/a lie, still do it via Match but say something like,

"Look, I have to confess I know you work at Coffee Of Doom, because I'm a regular there. But cute charming evidence that I read your profile and actually like you for YOURSELF and not because it's your job to be servile towards me. Want to get a beer sometime?"
posted by Sara C. at 6:53 PM on February 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


Yeah, don't ask her out at work. Don't do it tomorrow, and don't do the hang out there and slowly warm up to chatting her up. When you're a barista, or working behind a counter anywhere public, you're already kinda on display. Like, you have to smile at everyone and be friendly, it's your job to be inviting. If you take advantage of her availability, you're not just probably ruining your chances with her, you're going to make her extra self-conscious about every guy she automatically smiles at as part of her job in the future. She's at work. Don't force her to mix her work-self and real-self. Approach her in the place she's made it clear it's OK to approach her.
posted by MadamM at 7:17 PM on February 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: All fantastic replies, thanks much for the advice. I hadn't thought about Iris' point that my sister could have appeared to be my girlfriend, and Sara C's answer is spot on and had me laughing big time. Thanks again all.
posted by Hermanos at 9:07 PM on February 19, 2012


Don't use the word servile. Maybe "nice" instead.
posted by amtho at 11:35 PM on February 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just for your consideration.
If you want to think about asking her out in person, print out this MeFi post of yours and give it to her.
posted by mbarryf at 5:07 AM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


zachawry's answer is the right one. I think if you just messaged her without mentioning that you have met her in real life, it might seem a little creepy to her if she happens to remember you. So acknowledge it. "What a coincidence! I was in your shop with my sister, blah, blah, blah."

To answer next week's question: what happens if you message her on Match and she doesn't respond? That's where it gets tricky: you don't know if she wasn't interested, or doesn't check her matchmail, or isn't a paying member, or is kinda-sorta dating someone and hasn't closed her Match account yet. I think there is a way to mention it to her at work and not make her uncomfortable, but I can't really think of one right now. The key thing here, as in all dating moments like this, is to make sure you aren't more invested in her answer than she is, and not to do it in a way to puts her business in front of her co-workers. All I can think of right now is to go in again, make small talk and sit down for a while. If there is any interest, she can probably find a way to come out to talk to you.
posted by gjc at 6:10 AM on February 20, 2012


If you say nothing about seeing her at work, you are being creepy.

She's likely to recognize you, but even if she doesn't, you are only off to a good start if you let her know what you told us - you were already interested and the she showed as a match. Although you might want to tone down the emotion and avoid words like kismet.

Also, maybe not coffee for the first date.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 9:27 AM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Don't use the word servile. Maybe "nice" instead.

Don't say anything about presuming anything about her inner life. Sara C. is being illustrative.

If you want to think about asking her out in person, print out this MeFi post of yours and give it to her.

Holy Christ no.
posted by cmoj at 11:21 AM on February 20, 2012 [4 favorites]


A yoga teacher asked me out via Match. It was quite flattering, and I can't imagine it having worked out as well if she tried somehow (ugh!) to ask a student out after class.

Ask via Match.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:49 PM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Let me clarify - my yoga teacher asked me out. Not just her profession, our professional relationship.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:50 PM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


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