YOU ARE THE ADVICE COLUMNIST: What Does A Coffee Invite Via LinkedIn Mean?

I'm trying to navigate the world of online networking.
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I'm trying to navigate the world of online networking.
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So, apparently asking people out via LinkedIn is a thing now? (You can Google it. It's a thing.)

The first time I got asked out like this, it was by a recruiter I met once and hadn't seen for 6 months. Was he just scrolling through his LinkedIn connections looking for females?? No idea. After some awkward exchanges, it ended up being easy to ignore.

This second time, it's a guy I see once a month at a professional meetup. He recently connected with me and asked me out to coffee. I actually enjoy his company and would like to maintain a friendship or professional connection… but I am happily in a relationship and can't figure out WHAT DOES A COFFEE INVITE VIA LINKEDIN MEAN. And how can I say yes but at the same time emphasize its professional nature and oh by the way I have a boyfriend.

Maybe what I'm really trying to figure out is this whole young female professional thing. I'm fairly new to the city and trying to build up my connections. I want to network. But I keep having this trouble with being friendly without worrying about it coming off as flirting? Or is it just that guys need to stop interpreting a woman being nice as a woman wanting to date them?

Do you have any advice for our reader? Let her know in the comments!

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