Coffee shops are a great place to pick up girls—if you know what you’re doing.  I should know; after all it worked on me!  My time as a barista provided numerous phone number exchanges, a lot of dates (some good, some not so much), and two boyfriends.  And believe me, I’m not easy (just not impossible).

My co-workers have had similar experiences.  And then there are the female customers (or male if that’s your preference—the principle is the same).  It’s almost like shooting fish in a barrel.  It all boils down to repeated exposure.

Basic psychology shows that repetition is the most important factor in establishing relationships.  You can have a great conversation with someone you meet at a bus stop, find you agree on every topic that comes up, and five minutes later the bus comes and you never see them again.  A great friendship ended before it even starts.

On the other hand, at that same bus stop you can encounter someone that you have little in common with but they’re there every day at the same time you are.  Brief greetings gradually turn into regular conversations.  You get to know more and more about each other’s lives.  And over time you become firm friends (or maybe something more—after all, romantic relationships follow the same principle as platonic ones).

So, repeated exposure to someone is the key to moving from encounter to acquaintance to friendship to romance.  And that’s where coffee shops are so handy.  And what makes them so different from bars as a pickup place.  Bars are great for a quick hook up for the night if that’s what you’re looking for (there’s a good chance the girls there are looking for the same thing), but you’re not likely to have the repeated exposure there that leads to more lasting relationships.  (And if you are frequently encountering the same person in a bar, maybe that’s a sign you’re both drinking too much!)

The repeated exposure issue is also why blind dates are so unlikely to be productive of lasting relationships.  Blind dates skip the whole process, trying to jump from encounter to romance without the repetition that builds relationships.

But coffee shops are perfect for that process to play out without appearing to be forced—if you’re smart enough to take your time.  Your two types of targets—counter girls and customers—tend to be there at the same time on a regular basis, hence the repeat exposure.  People don’t automatically connect coffee shops with pick up joints—especially not one-night-stands—like they do with bars.  They provide a more wholesome appearance for anything that happens there—including pickups!  And let’s face it, you’re more likely to meet the proverbial “nice girl you can introduce to mom” at a coffee shop than in a bar (even if she’s “nice” in public, but “naughty” where it matters.)

Now that I’ve explained why to pick up girls in a coffee shop, next time, I’ll talk about how to go about it.