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'Coffee Date'-less

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Note: Neither of these people are likely to be found on CoffeeDate.com.


Single City is a twice-weekly blog about the Chicago dating scene written by Sun-Times Media Wire reporter Sally Ho. Got a question? Email her!

Ever since I started writing a dating blog, friends and readers have sent a steady stream of story ideas my way. The most recent one was CoffeeDate.com, a website that promises easy, low-key meetups. Since it sounded up my alley, I attempted to test it out. (The key word here is attempted).

The member profile fields are mostly standard -- age, gender, looking for, height, build, smoker, five things you can't live without, about me...and APPEARANCE? I laugh to myself and look at the drop-down box. Apparently, I am to rate myself as either below average, average, attractive or very attractive. The site says the answer will not be listed once I upload a picture. Interesting.

Before I even filled out the profile, a 30-year-old man named Robert had "winked" at me (Red Flag 1). As an optimist, I reminded myself that every site has got the creepy guy that winks at everyone (Red Flag 2) and looked at his profile, which had no photo (Red Flag 3). I moved on. (Full disclosure: I'm proud to say I am a woman without a checklist. I am a woman looking for a real, sparkling connection -- something that seems awfully rare with every man I meet these days.)

As I browsed the site in hopes of a Coffee Date with a man between 25 and 30 who lived within 75 miles of my location, the website, disappointingly, reported just four options (one of which was Robert. Red Flag 4). Two had pictures. Neither of them were interesting.

I left my profile up for a week to see if that incident was just a fluke, but eventually just deleted my profile. Unfortunately, I just could not test out the service because of the lack of members.

I should have known the service was too good to be true when it said it was"100% free to use - all we ask in return is for to you visit advertised coffee venues whenever possible." The site's gotta make money somehow, but the blatant advertising just does not seem very romantic.

And actually...it's not, because if Match.com is the Starbucks of online dating, CoffeeDate.com is the run-down, mom-and-pop gas station that only sells Folgers in a paper cup. And if you're like me and looking for a man between 25 and 30 in Chicago, those paper cups are limited to less than a handful.

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This page contains a single entry by Ben Rubenstein published on June 2, 2010 3:56 PM.

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