Going out to bars has always been my least favorite way to meet guys. At a popular bar on a Friday night, my high-pitched voice is hard for even small dogs to hear (which makes conversation a challenge), not to mention the fact that bars are crowded with bros on the prowl. As Eva Mendes puts it so well in the movie Hitch, “Sometimes it’s really hard to see the forest through the sleaze.”
That being said, bars are full of guys you have never met before, and if you know what to look for, the guys who are worth the effort are easy to spot.
Next time you and your girlfriends decide to forgo your cozy night of red wine in and head to some trendy spot for happy hour, look for a guy who does these six things. He’s the one you should strike up a conversation with.
01. He is so nice you aren’t sure who he likes.
It's always nice to feel confident that a guy is into you so you can encourage him properly, but this guy doesn't give you that luxury—and it's okay. When a guy is kind and considerate to everyone he speaks to, you know it's authentic, and he isn't just putting on a show for you. This guy will do things like offer to buy you a drink and then offer to buy your other two single girlfriends a drink, too. When he approaches you and your girlfriends, he won’t just zero in on you and leave your friend to sip her drink alone. He will involve her in the conversation by asking her questions, too.
02. He doesn’t pull the ‘it’s so crowded I have to touch your lower back to get by’ move.
Do you have experience with this move? It's my pet peeve in crowded New York City bars. I feel a hand gently slide over my lower back and someone whispering "excuse me" in my ear. Um, yeah, excuse you is right! But actually you aren't excused for touching me like that; you are a total stranger and could have tapped me on the shoulder if I was blocking your path. Guys who respect women's physical boundaries will navigate a crowded room trying to give women as respectful a space as possible. If things look tight, he will ask the woman in question if he can please squeeze by, giving her the opportunity to move herself, without any help from his hand on her lower back.
03. He doesn’t have a wandering eye.
In a crowded room it's natural to get distracted and look up from conversation here and there, but a good guy will mostly be paying attention to whatever woman he is speaking to. I specify woman here because when two men are talking they tend to prefer facing out, shoulder to shoulder, over making eye contact. No woman wants to have a conversation whose eyes are constantly roving around looking for the next best thing. Eye contact is where it's at, and the good guys know that.
04. He doesn’t use actual pickup lines.
There is a big difference between cheesy pickup lines designed to make you smile and roll your eyes and legit pickup lines, seemingly designed to make your skin crawl. Guys who think they can use flattery to manipulate women's affection are not nice guys. Guys who focus too much on your physical appearance in their flattery are not nice guys. But, in my experience, guys who employ a little corniness when breaking the ice are harmless, and it's easy enough to move on to real conversation from there.
05. He offers to buy you a drink . . . not a shot.
The old buy-her-a-drink thing is a classic inroad for guys in bars. But more often that drink is a shot. The man who wants to toast your meeting with a big gulp of Fireball might not be your future Mr. Right. For one, shots are quick. He's basically saying, "I don't want to commit to sipping on a whole drink with you, but I want to impress you." Second, shots are used to get drunk . . . really drunk. Chances are, that guy thinks this night will end with the both of you being uninhibited and doing something you might regret. Stick with the good guy lingering over his drink while he's busy socializing.
06. He is not a lone wolf.
Women naturally trust a guy who has social dominance or seems like he is enjoying himself with his other guy friends. It makes him seem approachable and friendly. It also often means he, like you, is there to hang out with friends and maybe meet someone new if he's lucky. That's not to say a guy who is sitting alone at the bar is necessarily a creeper—he may have just wanted to grab a drink. But a guy who is on the prowl without a wingman, trying to maneuver himself nearest the prettiest girls, are acting as lone wolfs, and their purpose for being at the bar is clear: to pick up chicks. Maybe if you are a woman hoping to be "picked up" that night this works for you, but I know most women would prefer to talk to a guy who is looking for something more than a one-night stand.
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