This woman tried to flirt while working remotely from coffee shops in DC. She documented everything for us. –

Photo via Getty Images.

Earlier this month, a post in the Washington, DC subreddit caught my eye: Places to telecommute and possibly flirt?

I slipped into the DMs of the Redditor who penned the post, a 25-year-old woman working in progressive advocacy who moved to DC a few months after the pandemic hit. The woman, who lives in Shaw and asked to remain anonymous because of her job, had recently ended a relationship and wasn’t ready to return to apps, but she still wanted to dip a toe into the dating world and meet someone IRL.

Everything I’ve done has been so virtual and online, right down to training on a Peloton. It’s all on my phone, and I think after Covid I got so sick and tired of the screen,” she says. “It would be nice to be flirted in nature, to feel attractive and pursued. I felt like it could be a confidence booster.

So she went to a cafe every day for a week in August with the intention of finding a date, and documented her experience for Washingtonian. Spoiler alert – no cute dating, but she left with some takeaways for her fellow coffee shop date lovers: go to a place where the tables are close together (think Tryst, not Tatte), don’t wear no headphones, and don’t be afraid to make eye contact.

“There is nothing to lose. You already lose if you don’t even try,” she says. “I think it would be really cool if everyone met more in person. We are becoming so isolated and dependent on dating apps so much more. I miss when people get together.

Below is his dispatch from a week of attempted flirting in a coffee shop.

First day: Monday August 15

Tatte Bakery and Cafe (Capitol Crossing)

I arrive around 11:30 am and buy an iced latte and a chocolate spiral. I choose to sit at a small coffee table for two near a handsome guy who makes a face at me when I try to make eye contact, but now I’m sitting down and can’t get up (alert vital). No points of sale near my home (-1).

Those who work alone stare deep into the void of the black mirror of their laptops and do not smile. Those who are in groups talk while shouting and they have belt holders for their phones. It’s not a particularly enticing scene, but it’s a Monday morning. Around 12:30 p.m., more people arrive, but the crowd seems grumpy. How can you be mean in a bakery? I decide to try elsewhere.

Atmosphere at work: 4/5

Noise: 1/5 (loud)

Affectionate scale: 2/5

Food/drink: 5/5

Compass Coffee (7th Street in Shaw)

I arrive at 2 p.m. A hot guy comes over and sits next to me, so I smile and make eye contact (as suggested on my Reddit post). I ask him to watch my things while I run to the bathroom. He accepts ! I proceed to place a large iced coffee on the floor. Like 12 oz. He looks disappointed in me and says “I’m fine” with a frown. He left without interacting again.

Atmosphere at work: 4/5

Noise: 3/5 (moderate)

Affectionate scale: 3/5

Food/drink: 2/5

Second day: Tuesday August 16

Had to work from home due to stacked Zoom calls.

Day 3: Wednesday August 17

Coffee bar (Logan Circle)

Arrival at 11:30 a.m. There is no free WiFi, although there are many people working on the terrace with laptops. Luckily I have a mobile hotspot. After about an hour, a man carrying luggage who looks European sits across from me. He pulls out a 35mm camera and proceeds to photograph the café. Then he turns the camera… towards me? I refuse to make eye contact, but I adjust my posture. He leaves. I leave. I am a coward.

Atmosphere at work: 2/5

Noise: 3/5

Affectionate scale: 3/5

Food drink: 4/5

Compass Coffee (Shaw, 8th Street)

After eating a sandwich at the Union Kitchen, I arrive at 2 p.m. The barista is very cute and there is talk of me dropping an entire coffee at the Coffee Bar. They tell me not to be ashamed. I take a cup of tea. The people here are… very attractive! The vibrations are however very quiet. Everyone has headphones. No one looks up when a new person walks into the seating area (this is a metric for me when judging flirtation).

Working atmosphere: 4/5

Noise: 1/5 (silent)

Affectionate scale: 1/5

Food/drink: 2/5

Day 4: Thursday August 18

Date (Adams Morgan)

Arrival at 11:00 a.m. The morning vibes here are much better than the afternoon vibes. I would say the best place to sit is the back corner. I asked a gentleman to watch my bag while I went to the bathroom. I got a grunt response. I tried to flirt with someone. It did not work. Maybe I’m not cut out (or attractive enough) for it.

Atmosphere at work: 3/5

Noise: 2/5

Affectionate scale: 2/5

Food/drink: 3/5

Fifth day: Friday August 19

Your living room really

Hotels are inherently sexy…or so I thought. Something about carbo-loading at Call Your Mother kind of takes all the sensuality out of a modern hotel lounge. There are way more women than men working here, but the chairs are the most comfortable I’ve ever seen. I will definitely come back. I think it might get sexier here in the evening after the bagel party is over.

Atmosphere at work: 4/5

Noise: 4/5

Affectionate scale: 2/5

Food/drink: 5/5

The hotel of the line

To continue the hotel experience, I decided to go to The Line Hotel lounge. The vibes are good here on a Friday afternoon. I choose to sit closer to the bar, but end up sitting away from people. Bad call from me. I sit behind a guy at the bar who talks to the bartender about his travels with his fiancée (not present) and watches him flick through Bumble between drinks. I think this place has the ability to have a great meet-cute afternoon on Thursday or Friday. It gets busier in the evenings and later in the week.

Atmosphere at work: 4/5

Noise: 4/5

Affectionate scale: 3.5/5

Food/drink: 5/5

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