You're a woman. You look sexy. You're at a bar alone.
There are two ways that this can happen (to me):
1) I've already had a few drinks with friends. They go home and I feel that I need one more drink. (Read: this means I absolutely do not need one more). I either stay at the bar by myself, or on my home I wander into another bar.
2) I have plans with friends who are notoriously late and I get to the bar first. Sometimes I wait for 15 minutes, sometimes an hour. (Read: I need new, prompt friends).
No matter the cause, the question is what to do. Do you whip out your phone and play Tetris or bury your face in a book? Those are the easiest things to do. I've done them more often than not.
Men, at a young age, were schooled in how to sit at a bar alone, drink, watch sports and chat up other men about mundane things. Women, are not as good at this. Not to mention that I don't watch sports so I really suck at this.
Over the past few months I've challenged myself to be comfortable alone at a bar, to look around, and to watch for opportunities to talk to new people (hopefully men). This is not easy. And since I'm not online dating right now meeting men is all the more difficult.
This is what happened on three occasions and the results:
I'm alone due to scenario 1 above and sadly, really drunk.
I'm sitting at the bar, and the bartender notices I'm alone so he chats me up. He gives me a free drink and then follows it with a giant glass of water because he knows I should be home in bed by now. He is being sweet and taking care of me. I vaguely remember discussing politics and where our families are from in Italy. I have no idea what was actually said.
I finally decide to stumble home. He hugs me on my way out and we exchange numbers. I don't remember what he looks like but I do remember he was significantly shorter than me, and I was wearing flats. John and I text once or twice after that night, but never see each other again.
: SUCCESS. I gave out my number and he used it.
B) I'm alone due to scenario 2 above because my guy friend is really late. But it's summer on a rooftop so I can't be too upset. I try to stand near the wall but not too close to avoid being a total wallflower. I put my phone away. I'm sober so this is harder to talk to strangers. I buy myself a drink and I watch the crowd.
Eventually two cute, much younger men stand next to me. I make sure they aren't with other women because that if so then I abort mission. One goes to the bathroom and the other is alone and bam! I ask him how his night is going and we chat. The other one comes back and I chat with them both. We all live in the same neighborhood and I have a crush on the tall one, Zac. He and I argue about an actor who starred in an old movie. I'm sure I'm right, so we bet a drink. We look it up and I win. He buys me drink.
At this inopportune moment my guy friend arrives and comes over to talk to us. I have no idea how to get Zac's number without his friend and mine hearing us, and I wonder if that's too forward or desperate to ask anyway. I do nothing but shake hands with both of them and say goodnight.
Result: Huge FAIL. I regret not saying anything because, lord, Zach was adorable. Young but adorable.
C) I'm alone due to scenario 1 again but on my way home from the subway I wander into another bar. In a short five minutes I manage to insult the bartender. I was being playful and he was being a douche. A woman is petting a tiny dog next to me (yes at the bar). She starts talking to me. She lives upstairs and comes here all the time. The bartender is a good guy, she tells me. I love when people defend douches...good guys are good all the time not selectively.
She tells me I have pretty eyes and she loves my shirt. She doesn't have enough girlfriends. She asks for my number and I give it to her. I didn't know how to say no. I leave and pass her and the bartender smoking outside. Isn't she so pretty? She says about me to the bartender. I didn't stick around to hear his answer.
Result: SUCCESS - kinda? I gave out my number, but to a girl so that was a part fail. She never used it, thankfully, but I did feel pretty after so many compliments so that's something.
- If you think you need one more drink you most likely do not.
- Do not stop at a bar on the way home, go straight to your bed.
- Good friends should be on time.
- And when good friends arrive they should not cock-block you.
- Say thank you when someone says you are pretty - guy or girl.
- Talking to new people alone is scary but worth the risk.
- Smile as often as possible when alone.
- I should drink less.
Does anyone have any similar stories or advice on how to talk to men when you're alone at a bar or an event or anywhere in public? I would love to hear it in the comments.