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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You are out with your friends enjoying a few drinks on a beautiful night. Your phone vibrates. You have one new text message. You pick it up and see that it’s Sam, a guy you met three weeks ago and hooked up with because you were really wasted. He’s a nice guy, but ever since that night, he’s been pseudo-stalking you. You’ve been cordial, answering some of his texts and calls, mostly because you like the attention, but he’s just not the one for you. You tell your friends at the table, “It’s Sam the stalker again. He is out in DC and wants to know where I am.” There’s a round of snickers and laughs. Someone tells you to be nice to the poor guy and tell him where you are. You never know, he might have cute friends, she says. You take a sip of your margarita and say, “Let’s see how the night goes. If we don’t find any cute guys here, I will tell him to come by.”
Two hours and two rounds later, no one at the table has seen anyone cute. You are almost forced by one of your oversexed friends to call Sam and bring his entourage over. By now you have a good buzz going and figure, why not. He’ll buy you your next round and tell you how hot you are. So you text Sam and tell him where you are in Arlington. You laugh to yourself because you don’t even have to extend an invitation. You know very well that he’s going to say by some strange coincidence that he’s at the bar next door and will just swing by. Fifteen minutes later, Sam, his best friend, and his roommate stroll into bar. People are introduced, shots are ordered, and the night officially begins. Sam is all over you and the more you drink, the more you like it. By the end of the night, you and Sam are stumbling back to your place. You guys make out all over your apartment and for some reason it’s really great. Maybe it’s because you’ve been going through a dry spell, but whatever the reason, you are into it. You continue to make out with Sam and the more you kiss him, the more you like him. How could you have disregarded him before? Maybe he’s not as bad as you initially thought.
And then you wake up the next day completely sober and realize you had on major margarita glasses. Sam is lying in your bed, snoring like a sabertooth tiger, drooling on your favorite pillow. You are annoyed like crazy. How long is going to be here, you wonder? He finally wakes up, smiling like a cheshire cat, and pats the space next to him, indicating he wants you to lie back down. You’d rather shoot yourself than cuddle with Sam so you make up an excuse about having to run into work that morning. Disappointed, Sam reluctantly and slowly, gets out of your bed. You throw his pants at him and watch him stumble to get dressed, knocking over your alarm clock and family photo in the process. He apologizes and then asks if you have time to grab some breakfast. Ah, sorry no. You really don’t. Some other time maybe. Sam picks up on your unintentional invitation to do this again, and says, “Ok, when? Do you want to meet up later tonight?” At this point you just want him out of your apartment so you tell him to call you later and you will see about getting together. He finally leaves after you pretend to walk to your car. You get back to your apartment and collapse on the couch. You eventually drift off to sleep but not before labeling Sam’s number DO NOT ANSWER into your cell phone.
I know you can all related to this story. We have all had guys we just aren’t into, chase after us relentlessly. We’ve all caved and been nice to them, even hooked up with them once or twice. We’ve kept them on the back burner in cases of emergency and extreme boredom. But guess what? This story is not what you think. You’ve just entered the Twilight Zone. You were not out with your girlfriends having margaritas last night. You were in DC, hanging out with your best friend and her roommate, hoping to hear from the guy you met three weeks ago and had a hot hook up with. A hook up you have not been able to stop thinking about. That’s right, in this scenario, YOU are Sam. You were the one who texted him to find out where he was. You were elated when he told you he was at the Eventide rooftop in Arlington. You rushed over and played it off as if you at the bar next door. You met up with him and his friends, had some drinks and ended up back at his place, where at some point in the night you fell completely in love. You woke up in his bed filled with excitement. You are certain he likes you now. He wanted to go to breakfast, but a work emergency took priority. Totally understandable. You like him even more because he’s ambitious. He told you to call him later and you guys would meet up again that night.
Maybe you saw this switch-a-roo coming from a mile away. Maybe my Twilight Zone blog was totally predictable. I really don’t know. What I do know is this. There are lots of girls out there that string along men they aren’t interested in. They hook up with them when it’s convenient, call when they are lonely and use them when they want to. Those same women often Continue reading