Here’s some intelligence that’ll come in handy with Valentine’s Day coming up. According to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune, coffee shops are the new perfect date zone. They're easy to exit fast if things don't go well, they’re cheaper than restaurants, and the atmosphere can be seen as either romantic or casual depending on how things go. So, here are some coffee date dos and don’ts, courtesy of MSN.

  • DO order what you want. Don’t be afraid to request your usual venti triple-shot, no-whip, light-water, extra-foam vanilla latte in front of your date. If they can’t accept you – and your complex coffee order – it’s better to know now. Besides, what you order isn’t as important as HOW you order. If you’re rude to the barista when you order – or you get angry when they get your drink wrong – your date will think that’s how you’ll treat THEM eventually, too.
  • DON’T worry if you can’t find a table. Instead, get your coffee to-go and suggest taking a walk outside. Or see if you can find a bench somewhere to sit on. Being calm and flexible makes a good impression. It shows you can roll with the punches because if you freak out over no seating at the Starbucks – your date will wonder what you’ll be like if something really goes wrong.
  • DON’T assume the coffee date is going to turn into dinner. So don’t show up famished. If you and your date aren’t clicking, you won’t want to sit through a two hour dinner. So if you’re hungry, eat first. According to relationship expert David Wygant, if things are going well, you can always offer to share a cookie or a sandwich, which shows you want to keep chatting. If the date goes well overall, ask them out on date #2 right then and there. If you had a good time and you’d like to see this person again, don’t play games about how many days you’re “supposed” to wait.  Just ask them out.