What your bartender thinks of your first date

And how compatible we think you are based on what you drink

Look, we’re not couples therapists or anything. We’ll admit going in that we have no idea whether or not the two of you are going to end up with a brood of babies or grow old together. But we do see a lot of people, many of them couples, and we’ve seen how the ones who’ve been together for-ehv-ur are at the bar.

We notice if only one of you is doing the talking.

Especially if it’s bragging, interrupting the other person, or talking down to them.

We can’t, however, say for sure what you think of this —because at least once, I’ve watched a conversation going up in flames only to have them order two more rounds. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

But that aside: if you are the one talking, shut the fuck up. Ask them a question. Don’t tie their answer back to you. If you’re not the one talking… god help you.

We notice if one of you pushes your date into a certain drink

PSA: please stop. Unless they asked for a recommendation, or are otherwise the sort of opinion-less person barely worth dating (and there are actually many of these, so whatever), nobody wants a stranger picking their drink for them — especially on a first date.

We know if this is your date’s “go to” date spot

Also, that that’s his “go-to” conversation.

Because girl, he’s in here all the time. And he tells all his dates about the moon party in Thailand. Odds are it wasn’t that “magical” — he just doesn’t get out enough.

Not that it matters. I give the guy some cred for having a plan and sticking to it.

We know if one of you is bored

We see enough bored faces in here, fam. We know that momentary flicker of emptiness behind your “active listening face” is the slow death of your soul.

If your date’s expression hasn’t changed in, like, 1 minute, he’s bored. Change the subject. If you are the bored date, jump in or something. It’s not your date’s job to entertain you.

We know if one of you is trying too hard

Because whoa, buddy. Your voice is just slightly too loud, you’re talking just slightly too fast, or you nearly took out your own drink with that gesture.

Women’s version is this slightly-too-eager-look-in-the-eye. It’s weird AF, totally off-putting, and I’m sure most dudes read it as “already clingy.” I know I do and I’m just pouring the drinks back here.

We know if one of you is literally not even trying

Did you lose a bet or something? I mean, damn, it’s like you don’t even wanna be on this date. Throw them a bone or something. I’m about to jump over there and have a drink with them.

We know why she paid

99% of the time, if she decided this, she’s keeping him at bay.

Why may vary. She may be into him, but use finances to carve out her own arm’s-length space (she’ll call this “equality” so he feels good about it, too.) Maybe it was the date from hell and she just wants to gtfo. Or she may be friend-zoning him so hard.

We know it’s going well if you’re deeply engaged somehow

If not talking excitedly, then touching. Facing each other. Smiling, laughing. All the obvious stuff.

But it has to be mutual. If one of you is doing this, it’s just weird.

We’re judging you based on your drink

Nothing personal — we judge everyone’s drink. So we definitely judge your “date drink.”

Pro tip: I mean, drink what you want, but if you want a bartender’s viewpoint: keep it simple, and not too high in alcohol.

  • Top choice: beer or wine, depending on the vibe you want. (Beer is chill / casual; wine is serious / romantic.) These people are here to actually get to know each other, not get fucked up.
  • Mixed drinks can seem a little “young slosh” or “I’m just here to drink.”*(And for the sake of all that is good and holy, do not order a vodka Red Bull or Long Island Iced Tea.)
  • Cocktails are a little uppity (though it’s kinda the game plan if you are at a full-blown cocktail bar.) Either way, the girl who orders a cocktail on a first date is sending a clear “maintenance” and “standards” message. Mama ain’t afraid to be “taken care of.”
  • Avoid scotch unless you 100% sure you can sufficiently downplay the pretentiousness risk — or 100% confident in your ability to run with it.

*Exception is the “vodka cran/grenadine guy.” Because you are a love addict and you know it.

So we’re also gaging your compatibility based on your drinks

It’s especially important on the first round, when you’re just meeting.

If one of you lays low with a beer and the other wants some bullshit like a mohito, we’re gonna raise an eyebrow.

It’s not that you can’t work it out as a couple. I’m sure you could sort your differences — whatever. It’s just that the first date is about building rapport, and so far one or both of you is choosing not to. And that’s interesting.

You only have so many things on a first date — why not use them to your advantage? Unless Jager is literally the only thing you drink, or you both just happen to love it, why not choose something that sends a subliminal message of: I like you; you like me.

Pro tip: order something similar, at least for the first round. You can branch out after that, especially if it’s going well.

It doesn’t mean you both have to drink the same thing, but similar levels of complexity and ABV helps.

Here are some suggestions of combinations that totally work:

  • Any like-kind (beer + beer, wine + wine, whiskey + whiskey, etc.)
  • Any beer + any wine
  • Margarita + Mexican beer, American macro, or other light lager
  • Whiskey + red wine or non-bullshit beer (ideally craft, unless the whiskey is Jack, then literally whatever — bc “Jack guy,” he don’t care)
  • Any combination of: scotch + wine + craft cocktail (i.e., cocktail with a serious-sounding, not stupid, name. If your date orders a Macallan and you follow up with a “liquid cocaine,” you might as well show yourself out now.)
  • Tequila shot + tequila shot (I mean, don’t leave them hanging, man)
  • Vodka Red Bull + an Uber (bc srsly bro, don’t do this)

After that, it’s over to you guys. Hopefully there’s at least a couple of rounds — as much for my sake as yours. 🙂

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