Quantcast

Monday, May 20, 2013

212

How to Behave on Your Online Date: A Bartender’s Perspective

Anyone who's alone at a bar fidgeting, smiling then not smiling, glancing at a phone screen, over and over — and over — is often on the verge of meeting a wonderful stranger. A wonderful stranger who fits some essential criteria on a website. One of the few and true delights I’ve found as a bartender is watching the online date unfold. It’s like watching a rom-com except you actually never know how it’s going to end.

I love it when I hear things like:

Just so you know, I have a terrible headache. I can totally sit here with you, but my focus might be off. It’s NOT that I’m not intrigued, it’s that I’m hurting.”

Or:

"I’m mainly interested in Asia, that’s my favorite country, I mean continent, my favorite continent that I’ve been to, my favorite continent that I’ve been to that I liked. I would go to another continent though. If there was a problem and I was required or whatever.”

Intoxicating dialogue aside, I’ve noticed some basic patterns. These advisements, you should note, are created by an observer. I’m too cowardly to meet someone online. Consequently, I view all of you with great respect and awe, as I would a surgeon, Navy Seal, or vegan.

Additionally, it’s hard to mention the central protagonist, DATER #1, as well as the other person who shows up, DATER #2, without using gender-specific pronouns at times. My hand being forced, I’ve loosely designated the protagonist as a female and the other person who shows up as male. Still, no matter what the inclination, the general idea remains the same.

1. If you arrive first, try not to primp too much while you wait. You already did this at home. You already did this on the way there: in the reflection of subway window or in a rearview mirror or in your office bathroom. In particular, the barroom mirror is a woman’s curse. Most men can refrain from looking but women are seemingly mesmerized. Usually there are a lot of adjustments. Hair is fluffed, a duckbill pout emerges. Eyes grow larger, sultrier. The vibe is murderous yet intelligent. Or simply put: fucking nuts. 

Stay away from the mirror. If you can’t resist it, try to sit away from it or across from a section that is obscured or conveniently smashed. If no such opportunity exists, use your hand as a barrier the way you would with the sun.

2. If you order a drink before your date gets there, pay for it. If you don’t want to order a drink, don’t. If you want a drink but don’t have a lot of money, buy a beer. If you want a drink, don’t have a lot of money, and are watching your calorie intake, get a white wine spritzer with the lowliest wine they’ve got. Most importantly, do what you’d do if you were alone. No need to completely depend on your date, like he’s your new dad.

3. After the first round if you don’t want another drink, don’t get another drink. The number one way to tell that two people don’t know each other at all, and are on an online date, is from this exchange:

Bartender: “Do you want another drink?”
Awkward glances.
Guy: “Do you want another?”
Girl: “I don’t know, do you?”
Guy: “I could…”
Girl: “If you want to.”
Guy: “It’s up to you.”
Girl: “We don’t have to. But I’d have another. Sure. I guess.”

The girl in question could be madly in love with this guy or hate every last thing he’s said. She’ll give the same response. This is also the abridged version of the exchange. It usually goes on and on. And on. If the bartender has a handlebar mustache, he may grow perturbed. He has some bitters to brew, some blocks of ice to chip. He is a craftsman. Why wouldn’t you want another of his drinks?

Who gives a shit what he thinks. As for your date, be tender, but still: who cares what he thinks, either.

Try to say what you want. I know, you’re the nicest chick in town. You can still be the nicest chick in town and say what you want. “Yes, I’d like another drink,” or “Actually, I have to get going.” You can add qualifiers so that you don’t seem too Cro-magnon. “Yes, I think I would like another drink if you want another drink, if you have time,” or “Actually I have to get going, but I enjoyed our drink and find your Hello Kitty vest delightful.”

You can also get another drink even if you’re not necessarily that into the date and be a perfectly upstanding citizen. But tread carefully around this curve because…

4. Drink #3 is treacherous. I understand enjoying a buzz, especially while talking to a stranger one on one. Introversion evaporates, wit thrives, warmth envelops. Things that were arrogant, off putting, or boring suddenly become tolerable. This is the problem. Nine out of ten times if a couple makes it to drink three, even if they were completely disenchanted with one another, they will suddenly fall into one another’s arms and ride out into the blurred night. If you’re overly controlling, judgy, or feeling eternally sexless, this might help you a touch. But more often than not, it’ll put you where you didn’t want to go.

My overall point is to try to be self-assured, self-sufficient, and in charge of what you want.

And to alleviate any paranoia: do bartenders really eavesdrop on dates? Hardly ever. They are way too self-consumed, thinking about their dreams, their hopes, their disasters. All you might provide is a flutter of amusement, a flutter of light. You are adventurers, after all, which is way more fascinating than the lone malcontent at the end of the bar.

Previously: How to Fail for a Month, Year, or Decade and Be Okay

Christina Fitzpatrick is the author of the novel 'What's the Girl Worth?' and the short story collection 'Where We Lived.' She is the recipient of a literature fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and is currently at work on a novel. 

212 Comments / Post A Comment

Laughable Walrus

Drink #3 is SO DANGEROUS. I mean, according to a friend.

parallel-lines

@Laughable Walrus There used to be a bar near my old apartment that did 2 for 1 specials on Tuesdays. Drink one was fine. You had to get drink two because it was free. But if you got drink three you probably weren't going to work tomorrow...

raised amongst catalogs

@Laughable Walrus I once knew* a girl who had drink #4. It led to a summer-long fling but it also led to the girl stumbling into another lady on the way out of the bathroom, apologizing profusely and then realizing that "another lady" was HER OWN REFLECTION IN A MIRROR.
*was

RubeksCube

@raised amongst catalogs I've been known to do that sober. I mean...I know someone who has done that sober. Multiple times.

kellyography

@raised amongst catalogs I WAS ALSO that girl who had Drink #4, but it was an accident, and instead of leading to a summer-long fling, it lead to me standing up, realizing I was kind of wasted, sloppily kissing the dude (I think) and fuzzily getting on a train (I have no recollection of actually getting home) and never hearing from him again. Whoops.

Decca

@raised amongst catalogs I recently had a really fun and engrossing conversation/Jenga game with a person at a bar after my ?th drink (I had been to a gig and then a pub crawl beforehand) and I literally remember nothing about him/her, what we talked about, or anything other than the sensation of having fun and a dim image of my hands holding Jenga bricks. Who knows, I could've met a wonderful friend/potential partner that night, if it wasn't for that nth drink.

raised amongst catalogs

@kellyography Oh no! To this day, that night is one of those moments that I can't think of without cringing, blushing and shaking my head. I'm glad you got home okay.

Decca

@raised amongst catalogs This makes me sound like a lush, I realise. But...a fun lush?

formergr

@raised amongst catalogs My drink #4 (I'd had two with friends at a happy hour before the date) led me to act a little too tipsy and probably kind of ditzy with a really hot Match date, who I never heard from again. I mean seriously hot, and everything I liked in a guy. Damn it!

Laughable Walrus

@Decca My, um, friend (me) has a few too many stories like that. Fun lushes unite!

packedsuitcase

@Laughable Walrus Drink #3 always led to fun sexytime adventures. (I can say that because I had #3 once. And then I never heard from him again, sooooo...)

raised amongst catalogs

@Decca I assure you that my "!!!!" was without judgment.

Decca

@raised amongst catalogs Aw, no, I got that! Wanna play Jenga?

raised amongst catalogs

@Decca In the worst way. Actually, when I read your comment about playing drunken Jenga, I was watching a Youtube video of Maria (from the earlier article about head-tingling, whispering videos) and she was arranging Jenga blocks while chatting in soothing tones. Worlds collided, Decca; worlds collided.

TheclaAndTheSeals

@RubeksCube I've not only done that sober, I've thought, "What is that bitch staring at?" and glared at my own reflection. I often go out looking less kempt than I imagine myself to be.

the angry little raincloud

@Decca Yay fun lushes!

RubeksCube

@TheclaAndTheSeals omg yes! Somehow glaring and/or slamming into yourself makes primping so much more difficult.

cminor

@Decca Fellow Lush here. Things don't get started for me till #4.

I'm a delightfully fun lush though. According to friends and acquaintances.

Linette

@raised amongst catalogs I want you and @Decca to have your own radio show. I would tune in daily.

Danzig!

@Laughable Walrus Maybe it's cuz I'm a dude (which I'm not sure is relevant, really, aside from greater average size and weight, which is relevant) or cuz I don't really fux with mixed drinks (because I had 3 of them once), but I've found that a third beer is usually what gets me to "tipsy enough not to be mortified by talking". It really depends on whether you've eaten beforehand,* so it varies between the heavy side of tipsy and the light side of drunk.

* If you're going to meet at a bar, eat something first, duuuh.

laurel

@Linette They just play Drunk Girls over and over.

raised amongst catalogs

@Linette @laurel I would so do this. We would also play "Tiny Bubbles" and the Neil Diamond version of "Red Red Wine."

paddlepickle

@raised amongst catalogs I had one horrible drink #4 experience where my drunk-brain concluded that because he had had four drinks with me but wasn't making a move or flirting very much he must just be shy, so I declared "You're really cute!" and he just sort of blushed and said he had to go and it was MORTIFYING.

missedconnections

@raised amongst catalogs Replace "never heard from him again" with "receiving a dozen texts asking why I didn't want to go out again" and you have my 4th drink story. Never. Again.

Danzig!

@paddlepickle I wish more people would do that! I'm timid as hell even with drinks (maybe more!)

parallel-lines

So, saying, "Can you just whip it out? I want to see what we're working with here and not waste my time." Kosher or no?

leonstj

@parallel-lines - I don't know what's more alien to me - the number of women whose profiles I see on OKC which demand a picture for this purpose, or the number of dudes I hear about from lady-friends on OKC who volunteer the photo without being asked.

(I mean, it's the latter. But the former is still surprising.)

empathicalist

@parallel-lines - I was actually thinking just little bit ago that I wanted to ask for OKC profile tips during the Open Thread. If ya got'em whip 'em out!

Lily Rowan

@leon s Wait, what? Women are asking for pictures of men's penises??? I don't believe that is real.

3penny

@minijen We assume you mean just the tips.

parallel-lines

@Lily Rowan I feel like, as someone who once did a LOT of online dating, I never had to ask. It was just there whether I wanted it or not.

iceberg

@leon s really? that is gross.

leonstj

@minijen - I think the big thing is like, look at your profile, and say "How Would I Start A Conversation With Me?"

There are so so so many profiles that are just like:

"About me: I work in the city. I don't love my job, but it pays the bills. On a Friday night I'm tired from work - I end up hanging out on weeknights more than weekends haha! I like my family, my friends, and sometimes I enjoy guilty pleasures on TV. The most private thing I'm willing to admit here: If I'm willing to admit it here, it's not private. Message Me if: You want to."

Like - maybe I DO want to message you - but, for me anyhow, I want to be doing a little actual talking to see if we click. And I'm a dude, and while I'm super-feminist-leon here, I'm kind of traditional in some courtship aspects (I prefer to be the asker, I prefer to buy drinks on date 1 even if it's completely obvious you don't like me and it's not going anywhere, etc) - but please, please, give "me" (dudes) something to chat about.

What is an interesting thing you've done recently? Good concerts? Where do you want to go on vacation? Do you have a hobby which either I may either also have and can share inside jokes about or which I know almost nothing about and could ask you questions?

The heart of those early messages is just giving a little info one way, then asking a question to get some sort of flow going and see if you can banter well. Put some stuff in there you're cool with a bunch of dudes talking to you about to see if you dig it.

Lily Rowan

@parallel-lines Yikes! I've gotten almost no unsolicited cock shots.

empathicalist

@Lily Rowan - the fact that you are qualifying this is disturbing...

empathicalist

@leon s - I've always given something to spark conversation, it's frustrating to see that on a guys profile. As a super-feminist, atheist, literate person, I tend not to respond to people that very obviously have not read my profile, or think that my beliefs are less important than theirs. It can be a challenge. Sometimes I just want to post something like: "If the word 'feminism' frightens or angers you, please walk away now." But then I figure it may scare off someone that can learn better, so I don't.

Lily Rowan

@minijen Well, I had a slutty online profile at one time, so I can see where someone might think that's what I was after. But still -- not that many! (Mostly thanks to the OKC interface, I'm sure.)

leonstj

@minijen - Oh! No, I didn't mean to take it off. As much as I can be traditional in some elements, (a)that's just me personally, and there are dudes of all stripes and (b)I always think it is really awesome when a woman self-identifies as a feminist on OKC.

I am seriously about 10x more likely to message a woman who calls herself a feminist on OKC. I may like holding doors and buying the drinks on the first few dates, but WAY WAY WAY more important than that, both to me and to healthy relationships in general I think, is sharing similar views about the world and how people are.

I think it's great because, while I'm not going to talk about political preferences or things like that on date 1, it is AWESOME to know that a woman I am trying to go out with is all of the many good things I think of when a woman calls herself feminist. You should never take it out!

All I was really getting at is the "make sure to have something to spark convo" with. No matter what it is! Keep on doing you. Nothing is as attractive as someone who is passionate about things, regardless of what those things are.

queenofbithynia

@minijen Using the F word won't scare off anybody worthwhile, but it will get you a noticeable spike in messages consisting of violent sexual threats. Possibly worth it to know you're enraging them, but unpleasant.

empathicalist

@queenofbithynia - Ugh. Fuck that.

Lily Rowan

@queenofbithynia Ugh, that was exactly my concern.

cminor

@minijen I once had someone message me and say something like, "99% enemy, wow I had really search to see where you were hiding from me." And then tried to feed me some bullshit about how I'm not "open minded" enough to accept other's beliefs. I.e. He'll dismiss mine and I was expected not to be upset about his.

leonstj

@cminor - Eek that is the worst. I am secretly fascinated by 99% Enemies and want to go out for drinks with all of them.

So far, none of them have ever responded.

cminor

@leon s What kind of person is your 99% enemy? Mine were all bigoted lady haters. And while I do have a deep love of making fun of bigots. I don't like to invite them in.

RoxxieRae

@leon s Oh, the best for the dick pictures is the Men-seeking-Women section of Craigslist Casual Encounters. There is no greater monument on the internet to how little men understand women. Or how little people understand about perspective works. Hey fella, you're about 6'1", that bed is about 26" off the floor, ergo, your junk is not anywhere near as large as the mountain dew can on the bedspread. Also, said junk is casting a shadow. And you, over there, the one with the quarters on it? I would make you wash that shit while i watched. Money? Srsly? I'm not generally uptight about germs, but oh wow, ick.

P.S., NO MATTER HOW INTO THE IDEA OF A CASUAL HOOKUP I AM, I STILL CARE MORE ABOUT WHAT YOUR FACE LOOKS LIKE.

Maybe I'm alone, and all the other ladies that cruise that particular corner of the net love the dick shots.

Urwelt

@Lily Rowan If it makes you feel any better, I had an OKC profile for a year with the F word in it and I didn't get any creepy threats about it, just a few dum dums who wanted to "debate" me (easily ignored). I did get a couple of fucked up messages, but the didn't reference feminism at all, and unfortunately that kind of thing is just unavoidable for a woman on a dating site.

lalaladododo

@cminor @leon s Thanks now I'm stalking all of my 99% enemies and it is AWESOME

annejumps@twitter

@queenofbithynia FWIW I explicitly say I'm a pro-choice feminist and have never gotten threats (yet?)

Gulfie

"No need to completely depend on your date, like he’s your new dad."

par_parenthese

@Gulf of Finland Side-eyeing that sentence SO HARD.

ironhoneybee

@par_parenthese

stonefruit

@ironhoneybee oh man Maggie Smith is a gem.

GingerJane

@Gulf of Finland Well that's the best gif ever.

Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood

what about when yr super drunk at a bar with yr friend who you kinda had a crush on at the time and u went up to the bar and said 'how many beers will this get me?' and pull out some slices of pita bread you got at the restaurant earlier and like fan them out like dollar bills and he laughs and gives u a beer i should do that all the time right

The Lady of Shalott

@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood What?

theharpoon

@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood

Decca

@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood Hang out with me

Laughable Walrus

@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood I laughed out loud in the office at that

ColdFinger

@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood I am not a bartender, but DEFINITELY.

meetapossum

@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood I want to know why you had pita bread at the bar. Were you carrying it in your pockets?

Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood

@meetapossum at the middle east in somerville they give u a basket of free pita bread with your meal and we were getting drunk there and my friends were like 'dude take some with you so you can make like a sandwich with it later' so i took a bag and put it in my pocket of my peacoat

ʕ •ᴥ•ʔ

@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood
You mean the Middle East in Cambridge? I gotta say, I am fascinated by you. You are fairly consistently funny, but you only type in all lower-cap run-ons. You're giving me conflicting feeling. Regardless, it feels like we should hang out. With other Boston 'pinners.

parallel-lines

@ʕ •ᴥ•ʔ @Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood

TAKE IT TO A BAR YOU TWO!

(cues sexy time music)

KatieBarTheDoor

@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood
Earlier this year I went to Middle East too and took the pita bread so I could give it to a homeless man, but he yelled at me and said I should be giving him diamonds instead. I'm glad you had better luck with it.

itiresias

@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood bahaha i didn't know you live in boston and when i read the first post i just assumed it was happening at the middle east. also, @KatieBarTheDoor, it's because that homeless man was probably in there a couple hours ago stealing the pita for himself. i go to that bar too much and too many of my friends work there.

Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood

@ʕ •ᴥ•ʔ yes! also im very flattered and ok!

ʕ •ᴥ•ʔ

@parallel-lines Whoopsies, sorry if it came across as hitting on him! haha, I meant it as "what a curious person, wonder what he's like IRL" as opposed to anything romantic. That being said, I do still believe in 'pinners meetups!

cardiganboots

She is so right about that third drink. Many ill-advised decisions have come from that third drink, but good ones too? (or at least decent ones)

whizz_dumb

Me: "Would you like another drink?"

Her: "I don't know, do you?"

Me: "Yes."

Not sure if this is why I'm completely fed up with online dating. Regardless, there have been a couple first dates where I would've rather poured my heart out to the bartender whenever they got close to my end of the bar.

RubeksCube

@whizz_dumb The answer is always yes when it comes to drink #2. Why the hell not? Pfft.

whizz_dumb

@RubeksCube Especially since the first is just a nerves relaxer, gone in 5 minutes or less. And I doubt I've ever said no to a third drink, read into that as you will.

harebell

@whizz_dumb
well, some of us get buzzed from the first drink and 2 is our limit for the night, because things *would* get exciting if we went on to drink 3, but then again I am 5'3" and you are probably not.

whizz_dumb

@harebell Good point. My tolerance is probably higher than the average person my own size (5'11"), let alone smaller, so don't judge too harshly when I'm drinking 2 drinks to your 1, I'm just keeping a subjectively drunken pace. So it's the question of the 5th drink when I hesitate: where we're going, there's no going back.

RubeksCube

@whizz_dumb Yup, I was about to say the same thing as @harebell. You are probably much more able to hold your liquor than us smaller folk (I'm only 5'2"). Still, the willingness to have at least one more speaks to having a good time, right? Right.

MoxyCrimeFighter

@whizz_dumb I think my problem is that I always say yes to another drink, but I am the only one asking.

parallel-lines

@whizz_dumb Me: "Would you like another drink?"

Her: "I don't know, do you?"

Me: "Only if you're buying."

Fixed it for you ;)

meetapossum

@whizz_dumb I only say "I don't know" when I'm trying to gauge how the other person will judge me. Will he think I'm a lush, or will he be thrilled to find someone to drink (a lot) with?

whizz_dumb

@parallel-lines damnit you're right, that is some Roger Sterling shit right there.

Lily Rowan

But I think the real question you're asking is, "Do you want to spend another [X amount of time] together, or are you all set?" I don't think it's about the drinking, most of the time.

RubeksCube

@Lily Rowan Absolutely. I think for me, though, unless a conversation with someone (romantic or otherwise) is going epically south, I'd rather err on the side of a longer chat than a shorter one.

ColdFinger

@meetapossum ok, but wait. isn't this exactly the problem that's being addressed here?

don't mean to be too serious and/or take you on personally, but i actually think this "i will if you will" mushiness happens to the most confident of people becuase they feel like they don't have a point of reference for each other. except, isn't this how you get a point of reference? you just do (or don't do) what you feel like and see what happens?

(recent online dater here, so this is still interesting to me.)

meetapossum

@ColdFinger Yeah, that's true. I don't really know the solution, though. I still feel like it's necessary to gauge the other person's interest by being a little wishy-washy (Is he getting another drink? Then he's probably interested in talking more. I'll get one, too).

ColdFinger

@meetapossum yeah, me either. i was just thinking, sometimes a decision about a drink is just a declision about a drink. guaging whether someone wants to keep talking to you is a lot more tricky/potentially scary than trying to figure out if they think you're a lush. because who cares if they think you're a lush? (i have no answers on the rest of it, however. helpful, i know.)

[ETA: does this comment make any sense? sorry if not.]

cminor

@RubeksCube Oh yeah, so up thread I posted about how 4 drinks just gets me started. I'm a bit of a lush and I'm 5'8" so it's not that unusual.

I forget that average height for ladies is 5'4"

meetapossum

@ColdFinger True! But it's much easier to make that decision when I'm just drinking with friends instead of worrying about what other people think. I don't think it's a bad thing to wonder what your date thinks of you.

@cminor I hear you. I'm 5'9" and that third drink would just be the beginning.

RubeksCube

@cminor Haha yeah I consider myself a bit of a lush, but it means a different thing for me than most people... I really have to watch my intake around people I've just met for that reason. I might pass out at an inappropriate time otherwise!

sceps yarx

@RubeksCube I'm 5'1 and xs. #3=spazzy drunk, #4=barfing. My sister is 5'0, xxs, and can get up to #5 or 6 without any problems at all. Mysteries of biology!

Danzig!

@ColdFinger So what I'm getting here is that it's not good practice to drink unless the other person is drinking (so... meeting up at a bar as more of a neutral public place than a statement of purpose)? You couldn't say "hey I'm having another, do you want one?"

ColdFinger

@Danzig! nonono. just the opposite! at least on what i meant. that was sort of what i was trying to say about @meetapossum's post - that you don't have to say "i don't know" even if you think the other person might think you're a lush, cause who cares? (though i do think she's right, it's not always bad to try to guage the other person's reaction.)

i might have come off anti-drinking simply because i personally am someone who tends to say "sure, why the hell not!" without even considering whether i want another drink. also because i sleapt 5 hours and flew from chicago to ny at 5 am this morning.

Ellie

I don't think the "Do you want another? Do I want another?" thing is inherently bad, though I agree it is awkward. I do that with my FRIENDS when we go out for a drink! You don't always know how much time the other person has available, if he or she has cleared the rest of the night or has to do something later, etc. I don't think it's necessarily indicative of anything.
Though I do totally realize that on a date, it's also an indicator of whether the other person is enjoying the conversation and wishes to prolong it or not, and in that case being as forthright as possible is probably better. I'm pretty sure I've said something like "I'm enjoying myself and would like to get another drink; would you?" before, which seems like a good way to do it to me.

supernovice

@whizz_dumb haha yes I'm 5'11 as well, and drink #3 is the "I think I feel a shade of a buzz? maybe?" drink.

honey cowl

@supernovice You guys I'm 5'11" and 3 drinks makes me DRUNK. #weakling

Slutface

The tone of this was rather aggressive. So sorry to have bothered you at the bar you work at with my date and getting of drinks.

hotdog

@Slutface haha, yes! I have never read a piece by a bartender that wasn't like this, though-I think the air of judgement comes from seeing so many people at their worst, night after night after night.

parallel-lines

@Slutface Why can't you dumb ladies figure out how to DATE?! Don't you silly goats know how a bar works?!

White wine spritzer: first date, last date.

iceberg

@Slutface really? I found it rather affectionate, but it must get a little grating to see certain vignettes play out every. single. night.

The Lady of Shalott

@Slutface Concur. "Fucking nuts" and "your new dad?" Thanks, judgmental bartender, I'll be over here doing as I please and looking in the mirror if I damn well want to.

ColdFinger

@iceberg @The Lady of Shalott I found it endearing too! I think the point is just "do what you want," you know? (Though obviously we all read things a bit differently.)

I have to admit, I've certainly adjusted my hair and lips enough times to achieve the "murderous yest intelligent" look.

ColdFinger

@ColdFinger I am kind of getting the idea down below that maybe people thought this was written by a man - could that be? (I really read it as a "this could happen to me, that's why I'm telling you" perspective, but looks like lots of people did not.)

Slutface

@The Lady of Shalott Only ladies look in the mirror!

allthecorgiezzzz

@ColdFinger I also did not find the tone of this to be judgmental at all! And I'm a fairly experienced online dater. I thought it was funny! There is also the fact that I've often actively wondered what bartenders think about the many online dates that unfold before them, so...relevant to my interests, I guess.

She also goes out of her way to say that she thinks all online daters are brave: "I’m too cowardly to meet someone online. Consequently, I view all of you with great respect and awe, as I would a surgeon, Navy Seal, or vegan." A good reminder that instead of feeling self-conscious, we should all be patting ourselves on the back for our senses of adventure!

Slutface

@allthecorgiezzzz Except that this wasn't really online dating specific. It was more first date or just met specific.

allthecorgiezzzz

@Slutface Well, I can see how a lot of it would apply to any first date situation, but the title of the piece is in fact "How to Behave on Your Online Date".

Slutface

@allthecorgiezzzz Yeah, that was my point :)

ColdFinger

@Slutface @Slutface i just had this thought up above: i think what we're talking about here is people who don't have a point of reference for each other (whether because they've barely met before or not at all), so the whole thing devolves into "i will if you will" and "the way this hair is sticking up will determine history." basically because you feel like your behavior and/or smallest choices will be extrapolated into something, rather than being taken at face value.

i definitely don't recommend ever feeling this level of neuroticism if you can avoid it, but if you can't, having someone else tell you it looks silly isn't the worst thing, from where i'm sitting :)

Julia duMais

@The Lady of Shalott At this point, my hackles basically go up as a Pavlovian response to the phrase "duck face". The only time I've ever heard it mentioned is in vaguely-to-extremely misogynistic nastiness about girls. I think I've seen a lot more instances of people -- both men and women -- complaining about girls doing duck face in pictures than I have of the face itself.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

Why are you all being so harsh on this "really so motivating and very informative post"??

(scroll to the bottom)

stonefruit

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll o-ho I see what you did there

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@stonefruit
Aaah, it's gone now.

Amphora

At one point I had a designated dive bar where I invited my OKCupid first dates. If we hit it off, there were pool tables in the back to facilitate conversation. If we didn't, inevitably a shitty college band would start playing around 8 or 9 and give me an excuse to leave.

empathicalist

@Amphora - Oh...clever! I just usually meet at places where I know at least one of the bartenders, as a safety/comfort thing. Knowing the bartender has been interpreted badly before, but I don't really care.

SarahP

@Amphora I used to have a favorite restaurant to suggest for first dates. No matter how the date went, at least I ate at a restaurant I liked!

the angry little raincloud

@SarahP I am the opposite! I don't want favorite restaurants/bars ruined by potential gross dudes: either the memory of them, or even worse, giving them ideas and then having to see them at a later time on a date with someone else. That lesson has been learned.

Also, I am friends (or friendly) with quite a few bartenders (I really am a lush.) I don't go to those bars either, because my bartender friends do not need to have any sense of my sluttiness in addition to my lushiness. I keep my vices nicely separated, thank you.

Edited to add: it helps I live in NYC with plenty of bars. I hated living in a small town where there were two decent restaurants and one bar. So much awkwardness.

RNL
RNL

@Amphora My boyfriend thinks the bar where we had our first date is special. And it is special! It just is also special with approximately 4-5 other guys, one of whom turns out to be his buddy.

SarahP

@the angry little raincloud Oh yes it wasn't my favorite restaurant, it was my favorite date restaurant. I wouldn't've wanted to ruin a favorite restaurant on a bad date, either!

the angry little raincloud

@SarahP Ah, favorite date restaurant: brilliant!

stuffisthings

Wait, are the drink rules different for guys? Back when I was dating I'd usually try to get to AT LEAST drink three before anyone showed up.

Gulfie

@stuffisthings Ugh nothing is worse to me than meeting someone who is already even a little bit intoxicated. When I am sober I have zero time for tipsy people, even if I'm planning on traveling the Alcohol Trail with them as soon as we meet.

stuffisthings

Then again my "first date" with my now wife involved me showing up at her house for a dinner party with a four-pack of Carling and a pint of whiskey, which she tried to hide at some point, but then I bought a new one, drank that, AND found & drank the old one, and then we ended up making out in the back yard of some party forever.

I don't know what she had to drink but she is not a big drinker so maybe she just got wasted on my breath?

stuffisthings

(She is a remarkably patient woman. A saint, really.)

queenofbithynia

@stuffisthings no way, that's the rule for women too.

leonstj

@stuffisthings - I feel like it is "Bad Form" of me to have any booze at all on my breath at the start of a date.

Which is a bummer, because I'm a bigger dude, so "Three Drinks And Questionable Decisions" is more like Six Drinks for me (which I'm not trying to get to or anything), three is my golden zone for dates.

But I also hate to rush my boozing and appear to be drinking faster than the lady, which is kind of ridiculous cuz I'm six foot tall and not little, but manners, I guess? I dunno.

Thank goodness all of the ladies I've ended up on dates with were, even when it didn't go anywhere, at least really awesome/interesting women to meet and speak to for awhile.

chrysopoeia

I always show up early and have at least one drink, because nerves. I wouldn't blame a dude for doing the same.

@Gulf of Finland Yeah, I read the bit about ordering a drink and had a little head-tilt-"what???" reaction. I sort of think the point of "meet at the bar and have a drink" is "meet while sober, be nervous, have a drink at the same time, be on the same chemical wavelength, etc etc."

like a rabid squirrel

@stuffisthings (and everyone I guess) Back when I was online dating I always had a drink while getting ready to dampen my nerves a bit (I guess this isn't possible if you're going straight from work unless your office is awesome). This seemed to be a prevailing pre-date ritual for most people I knew at that point.. i'd be interested to see a survey about this.. I feel like it's likely that if you show up 100% sober your date has probably had a drink already and vice versa.

Urwelt

@leon s As The World's Slowest Drinker and also someone who basically never wants more than two drinks ever, I don't mind in the least when the person I'm with drinks faster than me. Honestly, I feel a little guilty and tend to encourage it. It's awkward to drink when someone else is sitting there with an empty glass, you know? Maybe your dates feel the same way!

RNL
RNL

@stuffisthings yup. I'm more charming 2 wines in, I promise. Don't like it? Don't date me.

mop4Hack

Your article tells me you must have a lot of background in this topic. Can you direct me to other articles about this? I will recommend this article to my friends as well. Thanks
home refinance eugene or

par_parenthese

I was fully prepared to like this, thinking it would be all, "Humans! They Do Funny Things On First Dates! Here Are Some Other Things They Should Maybe Do Instead!" and then I felt like it took a sharp turn toward, "Women! They Get Crazy Eyes And Expect Men To Be Their New Fathers! They Are Indecisive! *pats you on the head*" there in the middle.

Began and ended well, though?

parallel-lines

@par_parenthese In the words of Caitlin Moran, are the men doing this as well? Do we tell men not to look in the mirror, to make sure they pay for the drinks that they've ordered and not have sex with people on the first date? (clutches pearls) Oh goodness, when will those fellas get it right?!

par_parenthese

(I did find the image of the woman looking at her reflection, her smize/duck lips/wide eyes increasing by the moment until she looks like Gloria Swanson at the end of Sunset Boulevard to be hilarious, I just wished there had been another anecdote about dudes tucking their chins in and flexing their muscles until they look like Jersey Shore cast members... it just came off a little too Silly Females and their Constant Primping.)

the angry little raincloud

@par_parenthese The men are doing this, too, and the men's behavior is getting judged as well! At least in real life... This whole article vaguely echoed the things I've heard from a bartender friend, who works at a bar that is very popular amongst the first date crowd. At any rate, my bartender friend has far more disdain for skeevy guys who touch women they barely know inappropriately and also the dudes who clearly are trying to get their new lady friend drunk.

iceberg

@par_parenthese ahh but then wouldn't we have been like "Oh, Men Are Like This and Women Are Like Thiiiiis, EH??!! Thanks a lot GENDER POLICE."

whizz_dumb

@parallel-lines I know I try not to get caught looking in the mirror of the bar and I do make sure I pay for my drinks one at a time, no starting a tab...in case she wants to buy a round.

C.SanDiego

@par_parenthese I don't know, it's a woman writing a piece about dating for a primarily female audience. I think maybe she's just writing what she knows, as they say.

allthecorgiezzzz

@whizz_dumb I wish that more guys would do this! On many of the first dates I've been on, the dude will start a tab (and sometimes he will have gotten there first, ordered his first drink, and started a tab before I arrive), which makes it harder/more awkward for me to buy a round/chip in...which I would like to do because I'm not that comfortable with the dude buying ALL the drinks!

Slapfight

@allthecorgiezzzz Eh, it's not that hard. Just tell the date and bartender you'd like to get a round, then pay for it. Put your cash in your hand and fan yourself with it for added glamour.

par_parenthese

@iceberg No, you're totally right, I did not hate this article, just a couple of phrases made me go:

adorable-eggplant

@Slapfight Cash, dude. I feel like Mike Dang on the billfold had an article about taking an exact amount of cash to a bar for buying himself and a birthday person a round, and basically it was the cutest thing I've ever read. (tiny, tiny internet crush you all may have noticed). But basically paying in cash at a bar is really easy and fun compared to putting it on a card and makes the back and forth go more smoothly.

hotdog

WOMENS! They don't know how to do ANYTHING right! Let's take a situation in which they're already self-conscious, and let them know that EVEN THE BARTENDER IS JUDGING YOU.

Noelle O'Donnell

This article was unnecessarily judgmental/sucked all around, but one piece of advice for you Internet daters: Please don't invite your friends to join us at the bar on our first date. I don't care how well it's going, do.not.spring.that.shit.on.me.

meetapossum

@Noelle O'Donnell My friend brought his OKCupid date to our friend's birthday party on their first date this past weekend. Whyyyyy would you do this?

@Noelle O'Donnell PEOPLE DO THIS? PEOPLE. STOP BEING TACKY.

Megasus

@Noelle O'Donnell Ummmmm wwhhhhaaat? I think that is your cue to go home without saying goodbye.

Inkling

@meetapossum
Once an OKCupid date brought his female friend due to a misunderstanding and it was awesome, because we became friends, and if I got nervous we would just tease the dude. But he sucked. Maybe if he didn't suck I would have been irked.

MilesofMountains

@Noelle O'Donnell I went on two dates with a guy, and each time we randomly ended up hanging out with his friends, despite him not ever mentioning friends when he invited me out. There was no third date, I opted to go out with one of said friends instead.

Snickies

@Noelle O'Donnell Haha! On my first sort of date with my now boyfriend we went to a concert at a local bar and we ran into his friend while we were having a drink and then he walked right up to my friends when he went up to be close to the stage. None of these friends were invited of course, they just happened to also be going to the concert. It was awkward for everyone!

HunnyBee

I eagerly ran down to the comments, assuming that they would be a 100% hate fest considering the amount of side eye I gave this article the whole time I read it. I'm surprised so many people seemed to not be annoyed by this! It was mansplain city in my opinion. Don't call me a chick, don't imply that I depend on my dad for money, don't tell me when to look into a mirror, so on and so forth into eternity. This article combined with the one from last week is making me very afraid that the 'pin is in shark jumping territory :(

Li'l Sebastian

@HunnyBee Hmm, do you think that women are able to mansplain? I could see condescending from this article, but it was written by a woman.

queenofbithynia

@HunnyBee well by strict definition it is not mansplaining, although it is pretty patronizing. But I liked the 55 percent of it that was amusing and not about women being wrong, femininely.

also I will never not love directives that take the form of "women, stop being so deferential and eager to please and, instead, do what I tell you." It is the lady advice version of telling god to create a rock so heavy he cannot lift it.

HunnyBee

@queenofbithynia Ah yes, reading comprehension fail on my part. I retract the "mansplain," replace it with a "womansplain," and stand by the rest of my annoyance at this article.

Springtime for Voldemort

@HunnyBee Maybe everyone's just tired and worn out from last week's Mansplaining, and are now just like "ugh, whatever, I'll just visit The Hairpin less."

Slapfight

@Springtime for Voldemort There was mansplaining last week? And I missed it?! Damn.

Springtime for Voldemort

@Slapfight Yeah, it's the "Explanations" post. You can still hate-read it and thumbs-up things, though.

Slapfight

@Springtime for Voldemort THANK YOU!

Danzig!

@queenofbithynia I didn't think it was earnest, but maybe I know so little about human interaction that even good dating advice seems ridiculous to me.

PistolPackinMama

@Danzig! It's not the advice, it's the way it sounds. "Wimmins! You are too vain/crazy to know these things! If you do these things you will be sufficiently masking your vanity and craziness and therefore be able to talk someone into thinking you are datable! Or better yet, you WILL be datable once you are less vain and crazy."

As opposed to

"Hey there awesome brave dating person (brave, say I, because I want to try it and haven't worked up the courage yet so who am I to judge!). Here are some signs of 'I am nervous and uncomfortable about this first date I see all the time because I tend bar! Don't be nervous! Go have fun! And if you like, use these observations. Or don't!"

And even then it might be a bit bossy because who is asking for this advice in the first place? And how does she know these behaviors are a problem anyway? I dunno.

It's probably fine, but I am not in a big rush to incorporate this into my life.
"

MEGA VENUTIAN SPACE SCORPION

@HunnyBee Me too! Especially: "I’ve loosely designated the protagonist as a female and the other person who shows up as male." followed by really specific things that apparently all women do.

Quick Brown Fox

I actually thought this was kind of funny! I mostly agree with her advice.

themmases

I don't know, I kind of liked the "like he's your new dad" comment. I often trip over that stuff and it's helpful to remember how ridiculous I'm being. Duh, of course I can pay for my own! What's the big deal? I don't really find the reality check that mean.

missupright

@themmases I also liked it! I felt like this was done in a sort of affectionate way, and a gently-teasing way, rather than a "YOU WOMEN ARE CRAZY" way.

Springtime for Voldemort

@themmases See, I think it's really creepy to suggest that a man buying you a gin & tonic somehow makes him your "new dad", even though the entire point of meeting up with this new gentleman is to see if you want to do things to him you would never, ever, ever in a million years do with your dad.* Plus, while some women, somewhere might need a reminder, women as a group do not. It's rather patronizing.

*Oh, god, I hope.

themmases

@Springtime for Voldemort Yeah, I think I read it as making fun of the dumb patriarchal belief that the man should definitely be paying (and if it goes well your dad will be signing you over to him soon enough), and others are reading it as making fun the lady sitting at the bar entertaining that belief-- if only for a doubting minute.

special_boots

Heavens, what a dreadful article.

Slapfight

I consider myself a semi-retired champion internet dater. Go someplace safe (not in a van), have fun or don't. Sleep with them on the first date if you want to or don't. Show up in a wedding dress to see how they'll react or don't.
Seriously, try to relax and have fun. If the date sucks, you'll probably have (at least) a decent story.

parallel-lines

@Slapfight Hahahah: YES!

One one first date I was real shithead--totally got drunk, made fun of his hometown and his sports teams and forced him to watch an episode of Jersey Shore. Reader, I married him. We still joke about it to this day.

Either it's fun and you hang out again or it isn't fun and you never have to see him again. It's not life and death, just life and wading through dick pics.

Slapfight

@parallel-lines Oh man! That is true romance! I love it.

Gulfie

@parallel-lines Life and Wading Through Dick Pics: A Memoir

I love that story! I especially love it because I am completely uncensored on first dates and have no problem getting drunk/making fun of him/talking too much. I also almost always bring up rape culture or something similar in some way, mostly because I can't not talk about feminism and partially because man, if you can't handle it, I am not someone you'll want to hang out with.

Slapfight

@Gulf of Finland I'm with you. I have no "good behavior" setting.

RoxxieRae

@Slapfight MEEEEEEE TOO. I used to stack them up, more than one a day, the whole thing. LOL I did it all wrong. Made duck face, got hammered, argued about their opinions on shit they loved, saw great shows, ate free dinners, joked inappropriately, did not watch my mouth, did the thing where i had a friend call and tell me my pregnant grandmother was on fire so i could politely run the fuck out, made out in my car, made out in their car, went home with them, brought them home with me, blah blah blah blah. It was a crazy, fun period in my life. I did not find love, but I made lots of really cool friends and have lots of really great stories. I've been judged and snickered at by some of the finest bartenders in my little town, i tell you what. :)

meetapossum

Did I tell you guys about the OKCupid date I had where I had one drink and the guy asked if I was a lush because he got a snakebite and I knew what it was and started talking about ciders in depth?

I mean, yeah, I am a lush, but you shouldn't assume that because I know a lot about drinks, man.

PatatasBravas

Well-read and curious lushes unite!

meetapossum

@PatatasBravas "I'm not a drunk, I'm an alcohol enthusiast."

PistolPackinMama

@meetapossum This makes me happy! <3

adorable-eggplant

@meetapossum Talking about ciders in depth? I am all ears.

meetapossum

@adorable-eggplant Want to go on a date and drink craft ciders?

adorable-eggplant

@meetapossum Only if I can have 3+ ciders. I have a cider minimum.

meetapossum

@adorable-eggplant Come sit by me. I'll get us both a bottle of Autumn's Gold.

LilRedCorvette

I wasn't planning to comment because, well: I read, I nodded, I chuckled, I moved on, but so many people seem so offended that I feel compelled to put my thumb on the other side of the scale. I thought the article was equal parts astute and satirical (the "use your hand as a barrier the way you would with the sun" advice being a pretty solid indicator for the latter), even after rereading to see if I had missed something I could get up in arms about (my favorite internet activity).

City_Dater

@LilRedCorvette

I'm with you. Seems a bit literal-minded and humorless around here today. I feel sorry for the new editor; it's almost as if some people are looking for reasons to get pissy.

like a rabid squirrel

@City_Dater Yes I think the safer route for the first weeks of the new 'Pin would have been all Qream, ghost, and advice columns. (All three things that I love, for the record, but I also think my snark tolerance might be a little above the median, and as such I wasn't offended by this article though I get why some might have been)

elysian fields

Wow, the 'Pin seems to be divided on this one! I thought it was funny and not egregiously mean.
Remember that scene at the beginning of "Date Night" when Tina Fey and Steve Carrell guess that a young couple at the restaurant is on a first date, and invent weird dialogue for them? I'm not clever enough for that, but I do love eavesdropping on obvious first dates in bars or restaurants. Always a fun time.

PistolPackinMama

@elysian fields This is why I practice my inside voice, despite not having much of one. The last thing I want when on a potentially fraught first date is worrying about whether or not I am being sufficiently entertaining to the neighbors.

I guess it's okay if they are secretly cheering me/us on. But if it's me providing humorful eavesdropping of a less benign kind, yeah.

Of course, the kind of places I would prefer to go on first dates are the kind of places eavesdropping is highly likely, on account of them both being widely public places.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

I tried to raise my ire after the daddy line, but I have trouble getting mad at bartenders. I owe them - as a people - so much, karmically; they've put up with entirely too much of my nonsense over the years. But I guess with that line we're one chunk o' nonsense closer to even, bartenders. (Yes, I'm treating them as one entity.)

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

WAIT, everyone else's dads are paying for their drinks? My dad NEVER pays for my drinks!

Everyone else must have more generous dads, I'm going to confront him about this the next time I see him.

bitzyboozer

I'd like to lovingly submit that perhaps with the introduction of new management and in the aftermath of the geek misogyny post shitshow, everyone might have their hackles up a bit around here. Maybe it's just me, but the all this comment hate seems pretty out of proportion to the actual content of this post.

Slapfight

@bitzyboozer Where is this shitshow you speak of? Please point me in the direction of it. I have an hour to kill...

Danzig!

@Slapfight http://thehairpin.com/2013/05/explanations

Edith went on record as it being her admission, so it seems like people are sorta creating a post-hoc defense of their unhappiness with the new site? I guess leaving solely due to staff turnover makes one look petty? Maybe that's an ungenerous estimation.

PistolPackinMama

@Danzig! Maybe. I'd go with probably.

I don't think the critical thinking skills are that lacking around here. I feel pretty flatlined about this article. Don't love the flavor/framing. But whatever. It's fine. With that evaluation from my POV, I can see why people are not thrilled.

Pound of Salt

People ever drink LESS than 3 drinks at a bar? Whoops

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@Pound of Salt
Yeah really, like, why even leave the house for that?

up cubed

@Pound of Salt I work in research and we did a survey where people screened positive on an alcohol related question if they had X number of drinks in a day over the past YEAR. Women's X=4, men's X=5
D:

up cubed

@upupandaway Alcohol abuse/related problems. Hardly any surveys are diagnostic, rather they flag symptomatic behavior or mood that is a symptom (equivalent to validated Cosmo quizzes).
If the survey is conducted in a clinical environment, a trained physician/provider would review the results with the patient and make the actual diagnosis.

RNL
RNL

Ok, everyone, like this article or not, I do have one piece of advice. If it's going well, and you DO decide to do a 2nd drink, and it's a decent bar with decent cocktails, suggesting ordering for each other can be cute and fun. I mean, it's worked on me.

angelinha

Hairpin comments are getting absurd. I thought this was really funny.

werewolfbarmitzvah

@angelinha Same here. I'm kinda bewildered as to how so many people are finding this offensive.

lizard

how about you shut up and pour my drink

Melange

I am an "Older" Gent (sorry to butt in, Ladies). I Love your Article and all the "GREAT" comments that have been posted! I have joined your site and look forward to reading more intriguing Articles and Comments.

I started a number of "Niche" Blog Sites last December. One of them is on "Dating" i.e. http://blogson-dating.com . I would love to have this type and quality Articles and comments on this site and would be willing to pay for them. Any suggestions?

paddlepickle

I also found this hilarious. . .and it confirms every uncomfortable suspicion I've ever had about how obvious it is when I'm on an okcupid date. Sigh.

HuynhGiaMoc Funiture

I'd like to lovingly submit that perhaps with the introduction of new management and in the aftermath of the geek misogyny post shitshow, everyone might have their hackles up a bit around here.
Cac quan an ngon

thistornado

As the lone malcontent at the end of the bar, I find this article extremely offensive.

thomas morrison

Waooow!! Nice blog, this will be greatly helpful.
click here

hussydavid

the online date cause to create a personal behavoiur shares to each other and face to that behavoiur in future in the form of issue
Dating for single parents

Post a Comment

You must be logged-in to post a comment.

Login To Your Account