As a frequent customer of this Nashville establishment, 5 years running, I have come to learn some important, very important things about the dynamic of Cafe Coco. One of them is that you should never-ever try to date a regular there- at least, not if you're a regular, too. This equally applies to men and women, so that nobody can feel left out.

Why not?

Well, not to put too fine a point on it, but we're all nuts. CocoNuts, yes, but more aptly, bug-shit crazy.

Worse still, if you're a regular at Cafe Coco, your personal life, the one you try to protect at work and from your family, suddenly disappears like a soft membrane that no one seems to care about but you. Having a personal, private life outside of Cafe Coco is hard enough, but when everyone knows everyone else, your love life quickly becomes the center of almost everyone's attention.

Some people like being the center of attention- however, their romantic partner may not. I mean, some things simply should remain sacred, right?

But that's just one angle on the whole "don't date CocoNuts" thing. Another angle, and one that I've already touched on, is that the people there are like chronic bachelors and bachelorettes. Most people there have had more failed relationships than Joan Collins and Cher combined. If they were really on the path to having healthy relationships, they'd be smart enough to look for potential partners elsewhere. The people that hang out there are usually eclectic (virtually all), intelligent (some), creative (most, but not all), dysfunctional (most), cynical (virtually all, in their own ways) and immature (many, many, many of those!).

Now, of course, there are exceptions to every rule; some people have managed to make long-lasting relationships work at this den of caffeinated iniquity, but that's usually because either one partner doesn't hang out there often or the couple is smart enough to make their visits less frequent. I have seen maybe four Cafe Coco relationships last longer than 3 months- one couple is married, one couple quit coming altogether, one couple moved and another couple keep to themselves (the male in this last doesn't fall in with backbiting, which helps him and his partner out a lot).

I, personally, have not had a relationship that started there last longer than 1 month.

Meeting a person of the opposite sex at Cafe Coco, who is not a regular, and being attracted to them is often a good thing. The situation turns sour, however, as soon as this new person finds the place interesting enough to come back more than once a week. If that should happen, your chances of "hooking up" with the person dwindle with every visit until they become little more than an acquaintence, they end up sleeping with every "slut" there and somehow blame you for getting them caught up in the mess. This usually happens right before your eyes and your heart breaks quietly the entire time and your faith in love and happiness turn to cynicism, loneliness, dismal loathing of happy lovers and, sometimes, momentary insanity that is witnessed by all and becomes current dramatic scuttlebutt.

If you should ever come to Cafe Coco, my advice to you is don't date someone there. If you do, make sure you go back no more than once a week and discuss it with your new partner. If you find the place too attractive to avoid, write the relationship off as a bad deal and accept the inevitable.

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