Navigating the Bar Scene

Here’s a great article by new staff writer, Diana Peterson, about tips on navigating the bar scene. Read, share, comment!

Trouble meeting men online and want to try it the old-fashioned way?  Read these tips before you and your girlfriends head out.

  • Ditch the Wolf Pack: Go out in groups of two.  You’ll be more approachable.
  • Single Ladies Only: Leave your married and on the way to married friends at home.  They may be great friends, but they don’t make great wing women.
  • Don’t Show Too Much Skin: Sure having the girls out on display will buy you a lot of drinks, but it’s not going to find you a long-term man.  You don’t have to cover up completely – just keep it classy ladies.
  • Give Him Room: There’s a cute guy across the bar and you think he’s coming this way.  Politely ask your friends to give you a little breathing room, so he’ll feel more comfortable approaching you.
  • Make the First Move: You’ve been making eyes all night, but he’s not coming over.  Remedy that – Make the first move yourself.
  • One Drink Minimum: You’re more likely to get a drink if you already have one in your hand.  On that note –
  • Stay Buzzed: Don’t get drunk. Sure it’ll make it easier to talk to men and cure your shyness. But it also leaves you uninhibited and emotional. You may say something you wish you hadn’t, or worse.
  • Watch Your Drink: So this is an obvious one that your mother probably warned you about, but I’ll say it again.  Watch your drink.  Take your drink into the bathroom if you must.  Do not leave anything unattended.
  • Location: Sitting or standing?  Bar stools or tables?  Always make sure to find a spot with a good view of the bar, particularly the entrance.  This way you can spot a hot man right when he enters and make your move before the other girls.  Sitting isn’t a table isn’t a good idea, unless you’re at a tall table.  It makes you harder to approach.  Sitting at the bar is not advised if it’s a crowded bar because all the action will be happening behind you.  On the other hand, if you’re at a less crowded bar, a hotel bar or out alone, the bar can be a very good bet.  Standing is your best bet in a crowded bar because it gives you the most access and movement.
  • Exit Strategy: You don’t need a formal code or SOS signals to get out of talking to a guy you don’t like.  You can be direct and politely excuse yourself.
  • Stay Together: Always keep an eye on your girlfriends.  If she’s talking to a guy and looks uncomfortable, rescue her.  You came together; make sure you go home together.
  • Watch for Red Flags: He wants to buy you a drink, then he wants to buy you a shot and why haven’t you finished your drink yet?  He’s married, but it’s just a paper marriage for his wife’s green card.  You just saw him hit on every woman at the bar, but now he’s smiling at you.  Use your common sense.  Know the signs.  If a man seems too good to be true: he is.  If you don’t know the signs—
  • Read the Game: This is required reading for all women.  It’s a book that details tactics to hit on and seduce women.  Trust me ladies, those tricks work.  Know when you’re being played.
  • Know Yourself: The more you know about who you are and what you want, the easier it will be to spot a potential mate at the bar.  A woman who knows what she wants is a powerful thing.

Where To Go… Now that you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to time to figure out where to go.  This can be overwhelming if you’re in a big city like Los Angeles or New York, but don’t worry.  I can help you narrow it down. Clubs There are a lot of basic downsides to clubs: crowds, long lines, expensive cover charges, and long bathroom lines, but really the problem is the men.  The kind of man you’re going to meet at a club is just after sex.  I know, you’ve all heard the story about your friends’ friend who found her husband at the club.  There are exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking you will not find your man at the club.  Why?  The noise level – it’s impossible to have a real conversation, so everything must rest on the physical.  As for the dancing – well dancing is fun and all, but dancing is about sex.  And most dancing styles are about mimicking sex.  So you’re going from “Hi, nice to meet you” straight to sex.  Go to the club for a girls’ night out, find a man with a table and enjoy free drinks all night long… just don’t go looking for a relationship. Lounges/Bars Now a lounge with a dance floor – that’s a different story.  Why?  Well, it’s quieter for one.  Also, you have the option of sitting down or standing by the bar.  Maybe even going outside if there’s an outdoor patio.  The key is the ability to talk.  You’ll have the best chance of talking to a man in a lounge or bar.  So how do you find the right spot?

  • Ratio: You want to find a bar that has a 3:1 ratio of men to women.  Those are the best odds.  If you’re in NYC you can find that through the Mingle NYC app which breaks down the ratios of men and women at places throughout the city.  If you can’t do that, then you have to rely on yelp.
  • Demographic: Know your demographic, it will affect which bars you go to.  If you’re looking for men that do a certain type of work go to happy hour near their place of business.  IE: If you’re in Manhattan and you want a corporate guy you go to happy hour in midtown or Wall Street.  If you’re looking for an artist you go to Williamsburg.  Google and yelp for bars in your area with keywords for what you’re looking for.

Remember: There is no right bar to find a man.  Men are everywhere.  Finding the right bar is simply about getting closer to finding the right man.  And for all you know, your stockbroker could be hanging out at TGI Fridays during happy hour.  You do your best to prepare, then work with what you’ve got.


About the writer:  Diana grew up watching a lot of television. Her great life lessons on morality were gleaned off shows like “90210”(the original) and Lifetime movies—Tori Spelling featured prominently in her life.  Diana didn’t read much.  In fact, she couldn’t actually read until sometime between the first and third grade (but she was really good at cheating on spelling quizzes).  She liked to make up stories and figured better to write them down then pawn them off as true—that had gotten her into trouble.  When Diana grew up she attended UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television, majoring in Screenwriting.  She’s worked in television ever since.


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