As time passes, I realize more and more that bars are very strange places. I don’t necessarily mean pubs or billiards bars, the types that have been around forever, but the loud, sweaty, totally crazy clubs we’ve come to know as normal. As the nightlife scene changes, the dating and flirty scene has to adapt, meaning that a lot of the key points of first interactions have been lost. The fact that it’s possible to just end up dancing with a stranger all night without the slightest idea of what their name is is pretty absurd, but it happens! When was the last time you heard someone say that they were asked out at a bar on the weekend and they will be picked up at six for their date? It’s more like “I met someone at the bar, we’ve been texting all week, I might tell them to come to the bar we’re going to tonight.” With all of these changes in nightlife and social interactions, there are a few things we need to be mindful of when it comes to the perspective of the opposite sex:
1. Girls, we need to try to put ourselves in the shoes of the guy approaching us at the bar. Yes, we owe him nothing, and yes, we’re probably pretty fed up with being hit on all night; BUT we need to try to understand how nerve-racking it is to approach a girl at a bar. These guys have such a tiny window of time to try and say something witty, charming, interesting, original, and compelling without being shut down. I’m not saying you owe this guy your time, I’m just saying it would be nice to listen to him for maybe an extended two or three sentences before shutting him down and destroying his confidence.
2. Guys, if you buy a girl a drink, she owes you nothing! You approach and say, “Hey, can I buy you a drink?”not “Hey, I’ll buy you a drink if you give me your attention for the rest of the evening in return.”Asking to buy her a drink was your choice, and her accepting the drink was hers. This is a way to start conversation and, perhaps, to ask her to dance, not an invitation to be her new boyfriend.
3. Guys and girls, just because someone is at a bar does not mean they are single, interested, or looking for anything. You can’t scan the bar as you would an online dating site, pick your match, and go for it. It’s a little more complicated. If you go to the bar assuming everyone in there is your new potential mate, you’ve got the wrong perspective! Not only will you come on too strong, you may also end up very disappointed. Go into the experience thinking you might meet some cool people and anything else is a bonus!
4. Guys, girls are nervous too! Just because you feel that you’re the one who needs to start off the interaction, doesn’t mean it’s easier on her side. Many girls default to shutting down an approach simply out of nerves. Don’t think of it as a game, as a one-liner to get the ball rolling, it’s a conversation and both parties need to feel comfortable and relaxed. Chill out a bit and go into it with less expectations, she might feel more comfortable if you’re not throwing rehearsed lines at her one after another.
Dating is hard, flirting is hard, and finding a significant other at a bar is even harder. Change your perspective, relax a bit, and try to understand how everyone’s feeling. Be kind, and have fun!