Last week I was asked kindly to write for the great people over at Boobs, Bacon, Bourbon about how to date a bartender. Many of you may have read it, but if not then I suggest you do so before continuing here.
You may be able to tell that not everything in part one of this manifesto is entirely real… AKA I open a few doors that are filled with stereotypes there. I have therefore decided to touch more on reality with part two.
Step 5: Be flexible.
No, I’m not talking about in the bedroom (although that’s a definite plus, it’s not exclusive advice for those trying to date bartenders). What I mean by it is much more basic and obvious. We industry folk work the opposite hours as most corporate drones… er… people with day jobs. I work 5-7 days each week depending on the season, but I am rarely at work before 4pm. I’m also almost never done with work before 1am. So if you’re going to date a bartender, you need to stay flexible. You need to be ready to accommodate last-minute plans. Sometimes we can plan in advance, but sometimes we’ll have one random night off over the course of 2 weeks. Often we’ll come back at 3am and crawl into bed with you. It’s not easy to be flexible like this, but your bartender-boyfriend will make it up to you. I promise.
Step 6: Don’t visit him.
What? I already used this one? Wait… did I also get crass and inappropriate? Right… well, I mean it differently here. Yes, visit him. He’s going to like seeing you. Don’t, however, expect him to hang out with you. If it’s slow he’ll be able to chat with you a little, but he’s still at work. Imagine if somebody came and visited you at your office. What would you do if they just sat down next to you in your office and requested you hang out with them socially for 3 hours. The bar is my office. It’s a different industry, yes, but I do have work to do that goes beyond hanging out with you.
Step 7: Don’t be jealous.
Much easier said than done. In part one I mentioned that bartenders flirt with the girls at their bar a lot. This is true. It’s not exactly why you think, though. Allow me to paint a picture. Nobody tips me because I pour a mean Jack and Coke. Sure, somebody may tip me because I created a fantastic new cocktail for them, but in general they tip for the experience I offer. Just like countless female bartenders before me who get a large percentage of tips from men, I get a large portion of my tips from women. I flirt. I smile and create the feeling of availability without necessarily being available. What this means for someone dating me is simple: being jealous doesn’t fit. Flirting is part of a bartender’s job. It doesn’t mean he’s being or is going to be unfaithful, it means he’s using the skills he has to make money. If you’re jealous of his flirtation, there are going to be arguments and that’s just no good. Imagine if he asked you to stop being so damn good at data analysis in your government job. Is it different? Yeah, but again: flirting is how he’s making his money, not how he’s trying to cheat on you.
Step 8: Just do it.
If you want to date the bartender who asked you to drinks or dinner… just do it. I can’t tell you that all bartenders are great dudes or that they’re all assholes just like I can’t tell you all doctors are great guys and all lawyers are the scum of the Earth. You might get fucked over by a bartender sometime, but some of us are also decent people who aren’t defined by our profession. If he asks you to drinks and you’re a little interested, go. Even if things don’t work out – he probably knows how to get a good deal wherever you end up and he’ll be entertaining… that is, after all, what he’s good at.
Happy drinking tonight 😉