The setting is ideal. You want to meet a guy, so you go to a place that has a variety of men packed into 2000 square feet. All single, all looking, all ready to buy you a drink and get to know you. On paper it would seem that a bar or club is an ideal place to meet someone. However, we all know the reality of this situation.
Just yesterday I received an email from a client who had met a guy at a club over the weekend. He was tall, and cute with the most adorable British accent. (Man, those accents are hard to resist.) They talked and laughed, and drank and danced. She was interested, he was mesmerized. He asked for her number, she gladly obliged. A seemingly perfect first meeting.
Then my client caught this guy making out with some random girl by the bathroom.
Yet another example of how bars and clubs are not good places to meet your next boyfriend. But wait a minute, I met my husband at a bar! And my husband, sorry to brag for a sec, is the cutest, smartest, most wonderful person I’ve ever met. So how can bars be all that bad?
The truth is that you absolutely can meet the love of your life at a bar or club. Yes, you can. I’m living proof of it. So it’s not the venue itself that is the problem. There are just a couple of rules that you have to apply when you are out on the scene to up your chances of meeting a good guy and reduce the risk of attracting a bad one.
First off, timing is everything. Remember the movie Gremlins? The number one rule for caring for the cuddly creatures was to never feed them after midnight. After midnight the perfect pet turned into a mini Cujo. Well, the same goes for guys. Depending on what time you are out on the scene will determine what kind of guy you are going to find once you’re there. If you are on the prowl starting at ten p.m. and going until three in the morning, don’t be surprised if you constantly meet flakes, drunks and professional partiers. If, however, you hit the bars/clubs for happy hour (anytime between 5-10 pm) you are more likely to meet a good, quality guy. The reason is simple. Guys that call it a night before ten, do so because they are serious about their lives. They have good jobs and don’t want to risk being hung over for work the next day. They would rather get up early, go for a run, catch up on the news, and get a head start on the day rather than sleep until noon. These are the guys that make good boyfriends.
Secondly, beware of Barney Stinson. If you haven’t watched How I met your mother, then get out from under your rock and go set your tivo right now. Barney Stinson is the womanizing Lothario that loiters his local bar, McClarens, scoping out the ladies, and targeting his next score. He’s there every night (yes even during happy hours). He is a denizen. A regular. A fixture, if you will. He is also to be avoided. If you come across a guy that claims the bar you are in is his modern day “Cheers,” then you should pay your tab and be on your way. (Or have him pay your tab and be on your way, either way don’t stick around and get to know him.) Men that hang out at bars so frequently they have a “regular booth” or worse, and entree named after them, are not marriage material. One of my friends learned this the hard way. When she met her boyfriend at McCormick & Shmick’s ten years ago he was there so often he was invited to their company Christmas party. She married him anyway, against all advice from her friends and family, and ten years later is now divorced. That’s not the worst part of it though. The worst part is that not only did she waste the best ten years of her life, she wasted them in agony. She was always waiting for him to come home, wondering where he was (even though she knew), and fighting with him to stop going out. She was constantly alone, frustrated and angry.
At first it could seem an attractive quality – a guy that everyone knows and is treated like royalty whenever he makes an appearance. He doesn’t have to wait in line to get in, gets his drinks for free, and knows the bartenders first and last names… but this is not what you want in a husband.
Not all clubs are created equal. Just because one place doesn’t yield good results, doesn’t mean the place next door will do the same. Choose your venue wisely. If you want to meet someone and have it develop into something long term, go to places where you can actually have a conversation without having to scream over the music. Places with loud music, smoke machines and fancy lighting tend to attract the party-going types. Likewise, bars that are rowdy, noisy and crowded will make meeting someone all the more difficult. Try bars that are in nicer restaurants or even in an upscale hotel. I’m can’t promise you will always meet stand-up guys there, but your chances will be better and you will be able to weed out the creeps faster!
To sum it up, can you meet a good guy in a bar? Yes. I did and you can too. But you have to know when, how, and what to look for. A lot of the above scenarios happen more frequently when you are between the ages of 18-28. Rightfully so. When you are young, you act young, and there is nothing wrong with that! Don’t be surprised that the twenty-two year old hottie from Capitol Hill frequents the mid-town clubs every weekend and stays out until 4 a.m. He’s twenty-two. What do you expect? As guys grow up, they grow out of things… most of the time.
There are many other signs you should be aware of while out prospecting. If you want to know more you can read about it in my book, “You Lost Him at Hello” or “Was it Something I Said?” Otherwise, contact me about one-on-one date coaching. To continue on to my advice blogs, click here!
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