When I ask where people met their current lover, rarely do they answer “in bars”. Yet many people go out at night looking to meet women in bars. Loud music, social lubricant, and a plethora of attractive people to choose from sounds like a great place to meet a special someone. However, too many factors are working against you for it to be the most effective place to mingle and develop a real connection.
That’s not to say it can’t happen. It never has for me, but don’t let that stop you from going out and having a good time. That said, it may be good to set your expectations low when taking this approach.
I’ve never had good luck in bars. Maybe it’s because I don’t drink alcohol, or that I don’t like crowded places, or that I’d rather not have to yell to be understood. There’s something very unsexy about yelling at someone while trying to flirt.
Why shouldn't you meet women in bars?
1) It’s too loud.
Too much communication gets lost, mangled, or misread when you can’t effectively heard the other person.
Take this conversation I had recently.
“HOW ARE YOU?”
“HOW ARE YOU?”
“WHO AM I?”
“I DON’T KNOW!”
2) The odds are forever NOT in your favor
Most people go out looking for love at night. That means the lady you have in mind has probably been approached several times that night. You may be the one she lets in, but your odds are much lower in a place filled with guys who want the same thing as you.
3) She’s built up a wall
Women get approached in bars more than anywhere else. They go out to have a few drinks with friends and often don’t want to be hit on constantly. So they build up a defense. Your friendly approach probably just won’t cut it here.
4) Alcohol lowers your chance of a real connection. (I said three but fuck it here's a fourth!)
People go to bars to drink alcohol. This may make them more flirty, more touchy, and more emotionally expressive than when they haven’t had anything to drink. This may be great if you are looking for that special someone in the next couple of hours, and only for a couple of hours. However, if you’re looking for something a bit more long term, connecting with someone while under the influence of alcohol won’t give you an accurate read on their personality, and it certainly does alter behavior in yourself as well.
Am I suggesting that you should meet people when not under the influence of alcohol?
That’s exactly what I’m suggesting. Stop going out to meet women in bars. Get out of bars and go talk to people in real life. Walk next to them and strike up a conversation; flirt in cafes, grocery stores and at the car wash.
Don’t be scared to walk up to a stranger and start talking to them. Be friendly and smile. If someone doesn’t want to chat, smile, say “have a nice day” and move along. It’s not personal. Be light and fun.
I’ve met the most interesting people in the most mundane situations. There’s something incredible about connecting with someone while waiting in line for your coffee, or while taking your dog for a walk. Magic is often in the mundane, not in a bar.
Shaun Galanos a dating coach, and host and producer of The Love Drive. He lives, drives, and writes in San Francisco, CA.