I have a theory that bartenders are women’s version of strippers. When men go to strip clubs, there is always that one guy who is convinced the stripper is super into him and wants to be his girlfriend. For women, the bartender attentively listens to her issues and acts interterested in her life. After tipping generously, she is convinced that he wants to date her. This could also apply to a server, barista, or any man in the service industry (even physical therapists, accountants, and bank clerks) that you swear was giving you the “bedroom eyes”…..
What’s some mistakes we make with bartenders, in general?……
Ordering a complicated drink- depending on the bar, it might be standard to order a complex drink. If it’s on the menu, it’s fine, just don’t make up a weird, complicated drink. Try to stick to the classics.
Expecting to get a free drink- Unless you know the bartender personally, or it’s your birthday, don’t expect to get free drinks.
Mistaking friendliness for hitting on you- Most of us who are no longer in school rarely meet men in person anymore. So, we value any interaction that did not involve a swipe. The problem is, we tend to read into just friendliness, or basic customer service.
What if you think he is into you?….
If he asks you out or asks for YOUR number, than that’s a better sign. Also, if you match on an app or meet in another location besides his works, see what he does.
Don’t become a stalker…..
Change up the routine. If you are always at the bar on his shift, it feels weird. Even if he is cute and talks to you, it doesn’t mean he wants you around all the time.
It’s fine to have a brief conversation, and then decide to step outside or sit at a table. It’s weird if you are trying to talk to him for hours. Drink your first drink, then when you order your second, move to another location.
If you are alone, it’s fine to be on your phone…..
You aren’t obligated to talk to him. Just keep to yourself and act like a customer. It’s fine to talk if he wants to. In fact, bartenders tend to get super-bored, especially if it’s slow. Don’t be a chatterbox if he seems busy.
If he remembers you, it’s not because he likes you……
Bartenders love regulars. If he recognizes you, it’s to establish a relationship to get a better tip. Customer loyalty is important to most bars.
Don’t write your number on a napkin…….
Made this mistake. You shouldn’t give your number to any man, but especially a bartender. If he is hot, he has girls writing down their numbers on napkins every shift. I am going to assume he crumbles up the napkins and tosses them in the trash.
If you get rejected, disappear…..
Listen, I hope your town has more than one bar. It’s not worth going back to a place where you embarrassed yourself. Don’t try to prove a point by bringing dates to the bar. Just stop. Move on and find a new regular spot to hang. If he happens to start working at the new place, (happened to me), then act strictly like a customer.
He has the memory of a goldfish…..
You have to keep in mind that he has 100 different conversations a night. When I worked as a cashier, there were some customers who expected me to remember them. I usually smiled and nodded, pretending to recognize him/ her. After he cleans up puke from the bathroom and talked to 50 more people, he will have forgotten he even talked you. You get a free pass to be annoying once, but don’t do it again.
Always assume he is not into you…..
As a rule of thumb, never jump to conclusions. You are better off thinking with a cynical mind and assume he is gay, married, or not into you. You can get wrapped up in the fantasy that will shape your decision making. You will be more likely to become a low-key stalker or even act like the FBI making a background check. All this is fine if done once though social media, yet you can go down a rabbit hole if done to excess. Don’t waste your brainpower, time, and energy on a guy who is not pursuing you.
Self-awareness is the key. Again, this does not solely apply to bartenders–it can be the car wash attendant, mailman, or massage therapist. In general, just because a man talks to you doesn’t mean he likes you. If he is at work or on a break, then he is probably just passing the time. Don’t make a fool out of yourself by hitting on him. He is on the clock and trapped behind the bar. Don’t make him feel uncomfortable. Think of the situation in reverse–you would hate it if some guy was flirting with you at your job. If he asks for your number or you run into him outside of work and he shows interest, then go for it! However, this is not your green light to show up every shift. If anything, avoid the bar when he is working as much as you can. You don’t want him to think you are only dating him for the free drinks.