Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Meeting Guys in Bars

There’s one piece of dating advice that most women agree on: it’s rarely a good idea to meet guys in bars.

But they’re often hard pressed to explain the rationale behind this age-old adage.

There’s the obvious if-a-guy’s-looking-to-pick-up-girls-in-a-bar,-he’s-probably-not-looking-to-date-them argument, but it rarely feels like you’re being picked up (because when a guy starts dropping lines, you start making the secret come-save-me signal to your friends).

There’s also the added difficulty of making a good first impression when you’re drunk. One (or both) of you is going to end up looking like an idiot.

And there’s definitely a social stigma against meeting guys in bars. Drinking establishments are acceptable places to meet one-night stands, but if it’s anything more, how are you going to explain it to the kids? (See yesterday's post for an answer.)

But this weekend showed us, not the downsides to meeting guys in bars, but the advantages to meeting them elsewhere.

We went skiing with a group of girls, and we met up with a group of guys that we kinda, sorta knew.

These guys all ended up being perfectly dateable. At first we thought this was a weird coincidence, but then we realized that these guys had all gotten up at 8 a.m. to make it to the mountain by 10. Which means they probably hadn’t gone out the night before. Which means they thought some things were more important than drinking. They had also opted to spend money on recreational activities that didn’t involve killing brain cells. Which means they have interesting/enriching interests and hobbies. And finally, they had at least one thing in common with all the girls there: they enjoyed skiing.

When you meet a guy at a bar, the only thing you know, with absolute certainty, is that he enjoys drinking. He can tell you that he’s a lawyer, and makes a ton of money, and loves going sailing on the weekends, but he’s still choosing to spend his Friday night at a bar.

Which is fine. But when you meet someone, say, skiing, they’ve already been vetted in the ways we outlined above. You already know, going into things, that you share certain interests.

When you meet someone at a bar, the only thing you have in common is the fact that you both enjoying drinking.

A relationship founded on a bond forged by alcohol probably won’t be as successful as one based on a shared love of Wes Anderson movies.

So while going to bars might not be the worst way you can go about meeting guys, it probably isn’t the best either.


  1. I met three of my wives at a bar, so...

  2. This weird grad student was buying me drinks at a certain local pub and was totally going to buy us champagne but then Miss Delmo said I had a boyfriend so he left.

    I suppose it was for the better as he kept on hinting at what time he'd be free for dinner the next day, but I would have liked some champagne.

  3. What if you have a shared love of watching Wes Anderson movies drunk?

    Wine and Royal Tenenbaums? Seriously, there is nothing better...

  4. Those skiing guys sound lame. They obviously weren't out slaying tail in Adams Morgan last night (oh wait me and my bros were). Good luck meeting a chisel jawed God like me.

  5. I'm a twenty-something female in grad school who has been dating in nyc. What's wrong with being in a bar on a Friday night? Bars aren't all about getting wasted. Some people like to sample beer, cocktails much like one would taste wine. And you can catch up with old friends or meet new ones at bars too. I don't think there's anything wrong with meeting a guy at a bar. You're just as likely to run into a psycho or Mr. Right at a bar or on the slopes. At least you know that the guy at the bar has a social life.

  6. I love the post idea, but I think I'm in agreement with the last commenter. Stigmatizing a bar-hookup simply because it occurred in a bar seems very short-sighted at best, and downright prude at worst. Many times bars are social meeting places where the end-goal isn't to get drunk.

    Additionally, not all guys who go to bars with the intent of meeting gals do so with the one-night-stand mentality. Many gentlemen need a little bit of liquid courage to approach a woman they find attractive, while many others may be unsure of where else it is acceptable to meet introduce yourself to a woman. For instance, I've asked a number of my gal-friends how they would feel if a random stranger approached them on the bus wanting to introduce themselves - most have responded that they would feel awkward in such a circumstance.

  7. While I agree meeting a guy over a common interest is a great way to form a bond, I think you are making A LOT of assumptions. My friend has a boyfriend who also went skiing a few weeks ago and yeah he may have stayed the night before. But on a regular basis he is out 3+ nights a week getting drunk and talking to girls by lying about every aspect of his life (name, age, occupation, interests, etc) just to get them interested. So while he may seem "dateable" to that girl who has so much in common, he's really just trying to catch her interest so he can wing-man for his single friends looking for hook-ups. Be careful what you assume.

  8. I go out drinking with my friends for fun and a little harmless flirting. But when a guy starts to really hit on any of my friends, he has to know 10 clues she's just not that into you and move on!

  9. Most dating sites that I have tried have been quite disappointing. They are ok for a laugh but not if you really are looking for something. So I searched for dating website for real relationship and I found this and it was really good, it is a good way to see what is out there. There are a lot of different people in different countries, but some good ones too. The good thing about it is that it's totally secure because they have the feature of video chatting with these girls so you'll not share your personal contacts unless you're 100% sure , One thing that I really liked was the tips on how to avoid scam and fraud.