Photo by Theo. Over the years, I’ve sat in a lot of bars—overpriced bars, sketchy bars, good bars—not just for the sake of going out, but because people hang out in bars. I’ve watched them. (I know: I’m weird.) And over the years, I’ve learned a few things: 1. Ladies love places to drink. I actually call this phenomenon “Lady on Tap.” It doesn’t matter what age they are, what kind of clothing they’re wearing, or whether you’re playing the actual role of an attractive man—if there’s a bar, and there’s a lady on tap, there’s a potential for a date. First of all, there’s the obvious: You can drink while you talk to her. You can have more than one. She’ll probably want to go with you. I’m not going to lie, ladies love the guy who brings a girl to a bar that he’s seen there a lot, because that’s code for: “I’m cool with you hanging out together.” It also goes without saying that you don’t have to buy the lady a drink if she’s being attentive—but it’s nice. (And since we’re talking about drinks here, the last thing you want to do is pay for something that you’re going to spend the night regretting.) But at the end of the night, you really can’t expect things to go anywhere if all you’ve done is get a drink. Sure, the evening was fun and she’s a nice person and you’d like to see her again, but the fact is that she’s just one. Until you’re actually having a conversation, she’s not really ready to pursue you. (The actual pursuit may come later, but this isn’t when it happens.) It’s important to realize that not everyone is going to be looking for a relationship. A lot of people just want to have fun. So when someone comes over and asks you for a drink, and you’re not really interested in them, they’re going to have to know that it’s clear that you aren’t into them. It’s up to you to be honest with them—no flirting, no smiles that imply you’d like to get to know them better, no “we should go out sometime,” but lots of “hey, it was nice to meet you.” After that, it’s up to the person. Maybe they’ll put in a
As someone who’s been through a few dates and relationships in her time, I’ve gathered a list of tips and tricks that my (and other) dating experts swear will help you be the most awesome-shmoove one in the bunch. I’ve also added my two cents on what I’ve learned—and, more importantly, what I wish I would have known—while I was flirting and checking out potential dates. Photo by Fabrice Dierick. At-a-glance Keep your email private—If you put your email address on your online dating profile, you’re an open book. That’s just your online dating profile, but if you have a Gmail or Yahoo account, you probably also check it occasionally from your computer or mobile device. Even if you’re not interested in the person you’re chatting with, this information is theirs—if you don’t want them to have it, don’t put it out there. Warn people when you’re in a group—It’s very easy to be polite with the people you’re talking to one-on-one, but when you’re with a group, that changes. In fact, when you’re just chatting with a date, especially one you’ve just met, telling a group that you’re just chatting with one person is, well, less likely to make you come across as manipulative. When in doubt, just make your intentions clear and don’t lead people to believe you’re talking to someone more than you are. Don’t always be up front—If you’re aware of the types of people you don’t want to date—like religious zealots, people who are picky about their food and aren’t much of a romantic—you have the upper hand. People who have habits you aren’t fond of, or who prefer to date people who are the same as they are, need to feel confident that their preferences will be respected. So, even if you’re dating someone and have some very specific things you don’t want, don’t tell them up front. Later in the process, when you have a date on the books and you’re both ready to meet in real life, they’ll thank you for not revealing your preferences too early. Remember that people don’t always go in for the same things—Not all people want to date hot, celebrity models, and not all people like a little bit of drama. So if you don’t seem like your ideal match, try not to assume that