Operation Fall in Love in a Coffee Shop

My friends are sending me to New York City to fall in love in a coffee shop.

Of all the jokes that have run through the bloodstreams of our friendships, this is the one that withstands all time and circumstances.

I began talking about my dreams of falling love in a coffee shop, over a skim latte and a book recklessly abandoned for the sake of conversation, quite a few years ago.

It’s always an early Saturday morning. It’s always an autumn day where possibility seems to rise up off the ground like steam on gravel after a fresh fallen rain. It’s always in New York City.  Perhaps the unintentional ambiance that the city conjures up or maybe the fact that a coffee shop awaits at every single corner so Love is bound to sit inside of one.

Post a sign that reads “Hopeless Romantic” across my back, but I have often wondered what it would be like to live a life skipping from Saturday to Saturday. To be so content to just sit in the presence of someone else as they sip their cappuccino and read their New York Times, someone that literally does not even know you exist. What It Might Be Like To Never Exchange A Word. However, these wordless encounters somehow come packed with enough passion and mystery to crawl you through the next seven days. All the days, Sunday through Friday, are spent thinking of that person who sits in the coffee shop. Wondering about their thoughts, dreams and how they fill their days.

I wonder what it would be like to be one of the millions who have not the courage to reach out a hand to the one they love and introduce themselves.

I guess I am a horrendous story teller because that is where my plot ends. Quite the lack of thickening, if you consult with me. I have never thought of what would come after the first handshake- of “our” thoughts together and “our” dreams and how “we” would fill our days.

I only have the coffee shop and the moments planned out pre-handshake. And that is like sending a pretty girl out into a big wide city but giving her no map to get anywhere.

We spend a lot of time building up dreams in our heads. We convince ourselves that happiness exists in a certain place with certain people. That our dream job does not exist outside of our dream city. That we were destined for a coffee shop, a freshly brewed Chai and a warm smile. And we stop there.

But don’t we pigeon hole ourselves when we plan so furiously? We should be so careful not to dream too specifically that we wipe away all other options. That we don’t grow to be so arrogant as we hold the soft hand of our dreams that we deem the others- outside of the coffee shop, jobs outside of our dream city and opportunities apart from our thought process- to be less than worthy. Perhaps, perhaps our dreams are good… but our futures are even better.

What if I could make all of our dreams come true in a matter of 172 days. That might be nice, right? We would stroll around in less than a year (24 weeks and five days) with spouses we have dreamed of, jobs we have wanted for a long time, white picket fences and all that good stuff. But what might we do for the 172 days? Sit and wait?

A lot of life can pass us by when we are waiting on one option. When We Forcefully Close Other Doors Because We Are Convinced That a Specific One Will Open.

This silly little “reach for the tissues” cinematic dream of mine is teaching me very much as of late. Oh How To Make Things Not So Silly. Not So Little. Not Just Dreams. I would love to claim to be the best director of my life but I have learned through experience that the best in this lifetime comes when we least expect it. When we are hoping for one smile and we gain another. When we are waiting for one opportunity and we stumble across something even brighter and more brilliant. We need to be careful not waste time sitting in our heads and precariously planning out dreams that lack a certain “plan of execution.”

If we want great things, well, we must work. If we want happiness, well, we must be open-minded.

Open-Minded: o·pen-mind·ed. adj. To not designate the corners where our happiness must wait for us, nor the coffee shops that our true loves sit in. To entertain curiosity, new faces and life when it throws us for a loop.

49 thoughts on “Operation Fall in Love in a Coffee Shop

  1. I am guilty of this. I tell myself I am waiting for the perfect opportunity and THEN I’ll talk to her, and while I am waiting for that to come, she finishes her coffee and heads out to live her life. And then I tell myself that NEXT TIME will be different.

    Excellent post, Hannah

  2. I always thought that maybe I’d just meet someone randomly in a cafe or a bar… but how often do we actually start conversations these days? I might mention the weather to someone in a bus queue, but I’m much more likely to gawp at someone over my sports section and then duck my head away if they look over! I really hope you can buck the trend. Go and meet that dreamy guy sipping at his americano! Make all our dreams come true!

    1. Perhaps I can.. Ha ha, who knows. A great quality of mine is that I can talk to just about anyone over anything.. This could work in my favor perhaps?


      Hannah Katy

  3. Ah, I would do exactly as Kirsty said which is why God’s going to have a battle on His hands when it comes to showing me my future husband. 😉

    I feel like I’m doing this right now. (Seriously? ARE YOU IN MY HEAD?!) I’m just waiting for good things to happen to me before my life starts. I need to graduate or lose weight or find my husband before I can REALLY be happy and REALLY live my life. I’m trying to stop this negative self-talk but it’s hard.

    1. I trust that a special one is out there for you lady.. One that you cannot even imagine in your head just yet.

      And I think you need to will the good things to come.. I struggled for a while thinking that happiness was some sort of event.. but then I realized it was in my own hands and that I deserved the best. You have to put faith into that one…


      Hannah Katy

  4. The funny thing about how that works in the movies vs. real life is that in the movies, none of the characters walk in to the coffee shop looking for love, but in real life we have that hope.

    Just the same, sometimes you have to be willing to make that first move…just drop a pen and see if he picks it up for you 🙂

    1. Ha, so true. Guess I never thought about it that way… I have become so used to the whole coffee shop idea that maybe now I view them as a venue to fall in love in. Ha ha.

      I will take dropping the pen into consideration. Thank ya.


      Hannah Katy

  5. You are so RIGHT ON. Life is crazy. You never know what is around the next corner. A dream come true, unexpected sorrow, or the answer to a dream you didn’t even know you had.

  6. I love this idea – for what it’s worth, I think it’s just as romantic to pick a beautiful coffee shop and be the amazing girl who starts the conversation with the guy who’s hoping to talk to her but can’t think of what to say.

    You still get to fall in love in a coffee shop, you just change the odds 😉

    I think that being open minded is great, and following that with an open heart by engaging with the people around you will help to jump start everything for you, from the romantic to the mundane 🙂

    1. You and I are very similar.. I can always see that in reading your comments, same kind of ideals. And you are right, I should be the girl in the coffee shop.. Its a fun little fantasy even if it does not lead to romance. I find some kind of comfort in a coffee shop, in the possibility, creativity and great beverages that brew inside of it.


      Hannah Katy

    2. Reading through the comments, before getting to yours, I was thinking how we never know if someone is sitting there thinking the same thing about us.

      I got hit on at a coffee shop once but it was quite the love story I had in mind. If you don’t succeed, try again (right?).

      1. I need to chime in here… I always wonder that.. sometimes I think that I should not be such a creep but then I think “Hm… Maybe I am not alone on this.. It takes two to tango ha ha”


        Hannah Katy

  7. Here is my problem. I don’t like coffee, and I never have. I always wanted to be one of those cool people, sipping their mocha latte or chia tea (I don’t really like that either)… I do enjoy a good hot chocolate, but in the summer… this just isn’t practical. I did however go on a date for the first time in years and we ended up on the second floor of a coffee shop sitting in the sun and overlooking the streets of Seoul, South Korea. Not exactly meeting in a coffee shop, or the beginning of love, but I like the picture you are painting… and I just want to like coffee.

    1. Ha that is very funny. Do you like chai tea? Or no? For a while I didn’t like coffee either but maybe I made myself used to it so I could fit the role of mysterious artist type? Ha ha.

      But I too like the picture you have painted, it sounds quite beautiful. I will keep pulling for you to find a love for coffee or tea… Or who says you cannot have iced hot chocolate? Its quite delicious.


      Hannah Katy

  8. “”We need to be careful not waste time sitting in our heads and precariously planning out dreams that lack a certain “plan of execution.””

    I love this!! This is what I definitely needed to read because I’m clearly guilty of this big time.

    1. Ha ha, maybe you can make friends in the coffee shop? I think sometimes it is more fun to be the beautiful girl in the coffee shop anyway.. Just make the other people wonder who that girl is with the book in her nose clearly off in another world.


      Hannah Katy

  9. I feel like it’s so rare to find a hopeless romantic now a days. Seems like everyone is obsessed with falling in love that they will do just about anything to find it.

    I always wanted to be able to fall in love with a coffee shop and be able to sit there for hours, consumed in a really good book or newspaper, sipping coffee.

    1. Kate, I agree. I want to have a wonderful love story to tell some day.. So that allows me to hold out on just anyone that comes my way.

      And I think you should go fall in love with a coffee shop… What is stopping you? There are often little nooks in towns and cities that no one knows about and I think you should go out and find one that you adore! Yup, I am actually going to make you go out and do this! Report back, ha ha.


      Hannah Katy

  10. This is a really great post. I especially loved the lines “We spend a lot of time building up dreams in our heads. We convince ourselves that happiness exists in a certain place with certain people. That our dream job does not exist outside of our dream city.”

    I tend to convince myself that things will only change once I get out of this town. If I travel, then things will get better. It doesn’t really make sense. I need to learn how to create happiness here, or there, or wherever I end up.

    xo, Tay

    1. I think thats a very good idea.. It is hard because we often pin happiness to a place or a feeling or a person.. But happiness is all up in our heads. We just need to learn to carry it wherever we go and in whatever we do.. Not the easiest of tasks but something that I am learning with each day that is extremely worth while.

      Thank you for reading.


      Hannah Katy

  11. I remember a few years ago, I had been single for about 6 or 7 months and I started having a similar dream. Go to a coffee shop and the one I was going to love would be there, or at the library down the opposite row of stacks, waiting for me, he’d peek through the gaps between the tops of books and we’d introduce ourselves and it would go from there. You are so right, when we pin our hopes and dreams on something so specific, we’re subconsciously allowing other possibilities to pass us by – kind of like tuning your radio station to one channel, waiting for one song, when meanwhile it could be on a variety of other frequencies but we’d never know.

    Love this post – a great reminder for us to be open to life taking us by surprise 🙂

    1. Spot on Emily… I always do that with the radio.. Waiting for one song but realizing that I need to skip through my options. Maybe that is a good life lesson, turn that one into a post! ha ha. We need to be open minded to all the other possibilities out there.. Not just search in one place.

      Thank you for always giving me something to think about.


      Hannah Katy

  12. Maybe it’s what this post was based on, but have you heard the song “Falling In Love at the Coffee Shop” by Landon Pigg? It’s so perfect for this post!

    1. Adore that song.. Although I did not base the post on this song (had this dream of falling in love in a coffee shop long before I found that song) it is a great tune. And so optimistic. Maybe I can get it to play in the background ha ha.


      Hannah Katy

  13. I was thinking of that Landon Pigg song too. Love this post so much, as I’m the girl in the coffee shop here in Chicago with the same daydream, and now I’m enjoying everyone’s comments. And I must say that meeting a guy in a coffee shop is so much better than the bar scenario.

    Do the things you’d regret not doing has been my motto, but sometimes I’m still that girl lost in a daydream.

    1. Great motto to have Kristen. And also, thank you so much for spreading the message and this post through your blog. I was so happy to read your post just a few short minutes ago.. I am going to comment shortly but I wanted to express my gratitude for you having been so receptive to my writing.


      Hannah Katy

  14. Hi Hannah,

    Fantastic topic! The problem with someday is that it never comes. The secret no one wants you to discover? It’s today. Yours for the taking. Grab it, milk it, live to the fullest.

    Once I was riding on the green line — probably 28 years old — and kept exchanging flirtatious looks with this really cute guy. I liked his smile and piercing blue eyes. He liked something about me.

    We both got off at Riverside. He said “see you.” I said, “have a nice night.” We both walked in opposite directions never to meet again. I kicked myself for being such a whoosie!

    What was I afraid of?

    Now that I’m older, I try not to hold back – conversations, compliments, hellos, thank you’s, why don’t we’s, adventures. I know that with each passing day, I have one less someday …

    Wishing you the courage to go for your best life in the NYC coffee shop!

    Thx, Giulietta

    1. Thank you Giulietta.. This is some great insight. I have recently adopted the same attitude as well.. Someday is nothing to hitch your hopes on. That is really what inspired http://www.tenthousandthankyounotes.com... The fact that there is no better day than today to thank someone.

      And thanks for the courage to get out there.. Who knows. He may just be waiting for me…


      Hannah Katy

  15. If you have success falling in love in a coffee shop (something I’ve always wanted to do as well) please let me know so that I can come to NYC to pursue this goal of mine as well, k? =) I don’t think it’s all that unrealistic, really. We all have to meet our mates somewhere.

    1. I am so intrigued by the fact that everyone seems to want to fall in love in a coffee shop.. This is so wild. I am starting to wonder what kind of men/women we are expecting to find so intriguing in these little shops. Brooding artists?


      Hannah Katy

  16. First time commenting (hi there!), this is an appropriate post because I’m a coffee addict so much so that when I head into a coffee joint it’s to fill up and get to work, or to take a break from work and recharge. I had no idea that it could be rife with romantic possibility!

    Oh by the way, of the neighborhoods in NYC to get coffee, I’m partial to Chelsea. Just sayin’.

    1. Thank you for the suggestion! I am in need of some good NYC coffee shops. And I am so glad you came by, thank you. I am the same way about coffee something about being able to recharge with a big cup of brew makes me giddy inside.


      Hannah Katy

  17. “We convince ourselves that happiness exists in a certain place with certain people. ”

    I like how this post reminds me happiness is NOW, within me and that waiting around for anything allows us to miss the joy in THIS moment!

    Good to be here on your blog.

    Thanks for having popped over to mine.

  18. I have yet to find a coffee shop in Manhattan that I actually visit regularly. There are a few here and there, but Starbucks has really ruined the landscape for good coffee shops. It’s pathetic…

    Restaurants and bars, however, are in spades, but that’s not nearly as romantic and Sundance-worthy, is it? Maybe we can go coffee shop hunting together (although I’m not hunting for love – got that already – but I am hunting for a decent cup of jo!).

  19. Can I just tell you how much I’m enjoying the chance to go through your entries?

    This one stood out to me immediately, and not just because a similar scene to the one you describe is a turning point type moment in my novel. It’s so much more than that. I love the analogy you painted, and I couldn’t agree more. It’s a wonderful thing to dream big dreams and envision that fairytale coming to life … but it’s also important to be open to every possibility, because sometimes those unexpected opportunities are the ones that change our lives the most. Thank you for that reminder!

    1. And thank you for understanding the takeaway of the post! Ha ha, although I have this dream of falling in love in a coffee shop, I was really trying to get at the heart of the fact that we need to be more open to other dreams… to reworking our stories and being open to possibilities. You got it perfectly. I am so glad you are enjoying the posts, that is so awesome to hear.


      Hannah Katy

  20. Remember this? Remember how you wanted to fall in love in a Coffee Shop? Remember that feeling?

    Remember that you DID?

    Immensely,insanely,entirely proud of you.

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