Instant Dates: How to take a stranger out for coffee in Vancouver


If there’s one thing the people in Vancouver love it’s coffee. So why not grab a date to go as well?

I was on Robson Street one sunny Saturday afternoon when my attention was completely diverted away from my thoughts. She had style, elegance and a sexy feminine walk. It looked like a less exaggerated version of a models strut on the runway. I was compelled to talk to her so I walked up and stepped directly in her path. “Excuse me,” I said. She stopped and I gestured for her to take her earphones out. I gave her a light compliment and she beamed. After chatting for a few minutes I took her by the hand and lead her across the street where we chatted for another 10 minutes, exchanged numbers and set up the next date. That first coffee date turned into a year long romance with many adventures, and a month long trip to Mexico.

From start to finish the whole interaction was less than 15 minutes and it lead to so much more. Who would have thought a quick coffee could be so engaging? This is what’s called an “Instant Date.”

If more people knew they could literally go out onto the street and get a date within mere minutes, many matchmaking services might fade away. It may sound absurd to say that you could just step out of your door and get a date on the street but, speaking from personal experience, it’s not any more difficult than asking a friend out for a chat.

Sure, you could get a phone number from someone you just met, but a phone number doesn’t mean much unless a connection is established first. Have you ever gotten a phone number and then wondered which part of the universe your text message went to? Damn, better luck next time.

Even though a phone number will be necessary at some point, taking a woman on an instant date is a much more powerful way to start your next relationship. You can be on your way to a coffee or drink instantly, and the sky is the limit as to where it may lead. Your next girlfriend, wife or lover is waiting for someone to take charge and step up to the plate. Are you up for the challenge?

It’s super simple, effective and easy to learn. You just have to get over your nerves and your ego, which may be telling you “Don’t talk to her, you may say something stupid and not look cool.” Aw yeah, you got to love that false sense of being cool. Cool enough to stare as she walks out of your life?

If you’re one of the few who wants to step out of the comfort zone and engage a totally random stranger then you can get an instant date. You don’t need to look like a model, drive a nice car or even have a hefty bank account. You will be judged purely on how you make your approach, and by the way you make your new acquaintance feel. Turn on the charm and within minutes you will be sitting in a cafe together asking interview style questions. Just kidding, don’t do that.

All it takes to make an approach work and turn it into an instant date is some confidence to make the approach in the first place, some charm (make her feel good), and strong body language that tells your prospective partner you’re just a confident man and not ‘that guy’ she saw on the 6 p.m. news.

Although the main focus has been on men approaching women, there’s no reason why an assertive woman can’t make this happen either. Over a year ago I was in Yaletown with a buddy when out of nowhere – BAM! Two very well-dressed women came out of nowhere from behind, “Hey.” My mind must have warped from surprise because I can’t remember what they said, but these women were on a mission. After engaging us for a couple of minutes, they corralled us into a bar line up on the other side of the street. Yes, if you’re a woman give it a shot. Confidence goes a long way no matter who you are or which sex.

Now here are the mechanics on what to do the next time someone attractive passes by. The steps listed assume that you’re already confident enough or adventurous enough to make a cold approach in the first place. So assuming that you can walk through invisible matter (air) unobstructed by a gremlin nibbling on your ear (anxiety), then you can physically make a basic approach. Emphasis should be on the best frame of mind that will get you the best results – authenticity. Be authentic on your approach and skip any kind of act. Connections happen faster when they aren’t obstructed by a fake persona. Be real and don’t try to impress anyone.

5 Steps To Instant Date Bliss

1. Start walking towards her/him

Before you talk yourself out of it, start walking towards her/him. The mind is an excuse machine and you will never run out of excuses that convince you not to do it. Just start moving your feet forward in that direction.

2. Attention

A lot of guys trying this for the first time will approach a woman and go straight into a strange conversation or ask “Where are you going?” without even getting her attention first. Creep alert. Keep it super simple and just get her/his attention with “Excuse me.” We’re conditioned to respond to someone saying excuse me so use psychology to your advantage and get his/her attention instantly.

3. Delivery

Why are you talking to her/him? You need to explain clearly why it is that you’re talking to her in the first place. Be direct and skip the excuses. A simple compliment will do, but don’t go overboard. State the real reason you’re making this connection.

4. Conversation

This is simple enough but a lot of guys have trouble with what to talk about. That’s really just because of nerves, but if you focus on her it’s easy keep a conversation going. If you completely run out of things to say be honest about it instead of running away little squirrel style. Unless of course you’re a Little-Squirrel-Kung-fu Master, then squirrel away. This is where you create a connection so pay attention. Your body language is the most important factor in this equation. Strong eye contact, slow speech and stand tall but relaxed. That’s body language in a nutshell.

5. Logistics

So it feels like you have a connection – awesome. It’s time to take it off of the street and into a cafe or bar for a quick one. Just ask “What are you doing right now?” If she’s meeting her friend in 10 minutes then it’s not going to work, but if you get an answer like “Oh, just window shopping” then it’s on like Donkey Kong. Even if she has plans in a half hour there is still plenty of time for a quick instant date. Choose the nearest coffee shop right by where you are (There’s coffee shops on almost every block in Vancouver). Then FIRST start moving towards the coffee shop and say “Let’s grab a quick coffee over here, come on.”

If you’re not used to leading this may be difficult. Most guys use weak language, such as “Do you want to have a coffee?” It’s weak because you’re not taking charge, and usually a guy asking a girl this question is subconsciously expecting her to say no. A more whiny voice with an upwards inflection on the end of the sentence will typically come out along with the weak question.

If you’re REALLY confident, and there is a great connection between the two of you, try leading by taking her/his hand. It’s magic when there’s a strong chemistry, and it fast tracks the romance to another level. However, this is akin to what that guy who literally wrestles with wild lions is doing. He’s 100 per cent confident that the lions won’t eat him. So when playing with lions, discretion is advised. If you decide to play with lions you probably won’t get bit if it doesn’t work out, just withdraw your hand and continue on towards to the cafe.

To sum it up, you simply need to be willing to ask, and that starts with the initial approach. Asking someone out for coffee in Vancouver is a fun way to meet new people, create amazing connections and much more.


Coffee date image via Shutterstock

About the author

Author Avatar
Eddy Baller Eddy is a dating and personal development coach who specializes in overcoming fear. He helps guys to crush personal obstacles and become the kind of men that women desire and men respect. He writes on the topics of dating, men's personal development, overcoming fear and anxiety, sex, and erotica. His site is When he's not helping people blaze new paths in their lives he's travelling the world and telling bad jokes to his friends. Contact Eddy with questions or thoughts.

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  • yaright

    “After chatting for a few minutes I took her by the hand and lead her across the street where we chatted for another 10 minutes”

    And then you woke up

  • Marnix van der Berg

    My man, you read the book from my favorite author Jeremy Soul, keep it up!

  • joemama

    And here’s the difference between a bold man and scared boy. Keep hiding behind your disbelief and funny comments, it will take you far :-p

  • Jase

    It is just that easy.. I think the Vancouver guys have stuffed up so much over the years that it makes it so easy for an outsider to date their women..

  • Bruce

    Just remember that people have a thousand ways of saying no without actually saying ‘no’. If they’re looking away, disinterested, have closed body language or seem like they’re trying to end the conversation: don’t push it into creeper territory. Say it was nice to chat and let them go. Showing that kind of social awareness earns you big bucks with someone who is actually interested and checking you out on the sly :)

  • Trini in Vancouver

    Whoa! Thanks for this tip. Now where are the men who will actually do this sort of thing? I am a confident woman and I have made the ‘friendly first move’ only to be met with sheer panic! Sigh…dating in Vancouver is HARD WORK!

    One would think just sitting at a coffee shop and asking to share a table with the lone sipper would lead to at least a good conversation, but it’s more complicated than that quite often.

    Looking forward to comments to see if this actually works.

  • BCboy31

    It’s on like donkey kong? I hope none of us Vancouver boys use that one liner when talking to chicks.

    As a 31 year old bachelor dating many women, I agree you need balls to get women, and your confidence and spontaneity attracts them. Works for me every time.

    being attractive is a huge advantage. If they don’t find you good looking you’ll come off as a weirdo and creepy.

  • Danimule Fernandez

    I find being able to sing bypasses having to look attractive

  • HelloCDN

    Most of the things in the article are pretty much true.
    Or are they?

    A lot of women – and I’m not even saying most, although I should – like to steer away from traditions in relationships these days, yet not one of them wants to steer away from a tradition of being asked out by a Prince Charming – I wonder why ;P

    To all guys you who don’t have a thick wallet and the looks to come with it – there are a lot of other, legitimate ways to meet a date. Also, watch a movie called “Don Jon” – just to ease up on your desires of getting a hot girl from a night club 😉

  • aliceinreality

    I’ve had a man come up to me on New Years in the mall, complimenting me and asking me what I was doing that night. It caught me off caught completely, as I was literally stepping out of a store after a purchase, mouth open, make-up less, still stuffing my wallet into my bag.

    Although awkward initially, it was very flattering. Although he seemed to intrigue me, being the straitlaced-stonewall person I am, I said that I had plans that evening (him being from out of town didn’t help), no matter how much he nudged me.

    In hindsight, even though I may have missed that chance, I am still very happy he approached me (without analyzing his real intentions haha!). Guys, even if you are turned down, please note that you still make our day by just a small act!

  • Steve

    Not if you are a fat slob with tripple chins, and no style. This is Vancouver after all, land of the ice queens.

  • Oh

    Don’t out daygame bro otherwise every loser gonna be doing it.

  • john

    you’re one ugly dude bud dream on, probably you hooked up with a fat chick.

  • WP

    I have an ex who was a whiz at asking women out on transit- he even pretended not to know me when we were on the bus going out to dinner one night and I was completely charmed by the idea of a stranger taking a leap of faith and asking me out on the bus. I hate to say it, but with a genuine smile and kind demeanor, I would totally be into a stranger asking me out for coffee!