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October 9, 2010 9:30 AM   Subscribe

I want to meet guys in bars, and not for a one night stand. I'm a girl. Is this even possible?

I'm tired of meeting guys online. It's overwhelmingly awful. The pics don't match. Someone that is charming via email is awkward and weird in person. All the dates feel like interviews. It's painful and I know within 30 seconds of meeting the guy that there is no chemistry and that he is nothing like his profile, emails or phone calls. Then I have to suffer through drinks or coffee or dinner. Then I try to convince myself hey, he's a nice enough guy, I should give him a chance. I shouldn't be so superficial. So I torture myself through a second date. This has got to end. The guys I meet in real life are 100 times better than anyone I meet online. Of course the guys I meet in real life are few and far between because they are generally friends of friends and it's pretty easy to exhaust that avenue of meeting people.

I need to find a new way to meet guys to date in real life. And since I'm not into things like hiking or sports leagues, bars are my most obvious avenue. And really I like bars. I go to bars a lot. I'm not really a ballroom dancing kind of girl. I don't want to take karate. And there are only 5 men in my yoga class and no one ever talks to each other (in fact it's pretty frowned upon). I like photography, but my work schedule is to erratic to take a class and it's kind of a solo thing anyway. And anyway nice guys go to bars. I'm friends with many of them. So why can't I find any of these nice guys while I am also at the bar?

I know, I know. Bars are horrible meat markets, but people do meet people at bars. It happens and I want it to happen for me. I get hit on fairly regularly at bars, but not generally by anyone I'm particularly interested in. And in fact in the years and years I have been patronizing bars, I don't think I've ever gotten more than a date or two out of it (I'm discounting guys at bars who I somehow knew through a friend, school, work, other activity).

So here's my question. How do you meet people in bars that aren't just interested in one night stands? What type of bars do you go to? Happy hour during the week or a Saturday night? How does one successfully approach a guy at a bar? Is it better to steer clear of the guys hitting on me and try talking to the guys who are hanging back? How does one signal that you are interested, but not in a one night stand.

About me. I'm in my late 20s. Professional. I'm told I'm cute. Good dresser. A little shy, but I can work on that. I'm in LA on the westside, but I'm willing to travel.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (40 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
Look into speed dating in LA.

I'm not in LA, but I've done it in NY. The benefit is you meet a bunch of guys, everyone is there for the same purpose, and you can tell immediately if he is your physical type. I'm sure this has to exist in LA.
posted by dfriedman at 9:33 AM on October 9, 2010


I go to bars a lot with my single male friends. What I've noticed is that they -- guys like them, the guys you are presumably trying to meet; nice, normal guys with jobs and friends and happy lives -- are not there to go table to table, hitting on all the women. It's more like they are there to have a burger and a beer, chat with friends, and though they are certainly wanting to meet women, they aren't doing very much of it. They don't want to be perceived as a creep or an irritant, especially not in a place where they go every week.

The lesson I'd draw from this is that you might have to cowgirl up and make the first contact. At least a smile, or something. You avoid the one-night stand by, well, not having one -- exchange numbers, meet for coffee later, whatever; if you don't go home with the guy that night, you are automatically filtering out the ones who are only wanting to score right then.
posted by Forktine at 9:39 AM on October 9, 2010 [16 favorites]


Sorry but online dating is still the answer. If you're on match.com, try okcupid and vice versa. Don't let a few bad experiences color you against the potential ease and wonder of finding someone really compatible that you would have missed.

Besides that have you tried rock concerts and alt-comedy shows? how about craft fairs? How about improv class? To meet cool people you have to do cool things.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:41 AM on October 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Friday and Saturday night are pointless, that's amateur night -- go during the week, go with a friend or two, approach guys you think are cute, exchange phone numbers/make plans for a true date later, don't hook up with them that night, be open and friendly but just a little coy, and don't hook up with them that night. Also, don't hook up with them that night.

I've met lots and lots of girls I ended up in real relationships doing just that. I also found cafes were just as fantastic, and even ended up marrying a girl I met in a cafe. Four years later, we've got a toddler running around the house.
posted by incessant at 9:43 AM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


In my own personal opinion, if you catch someone's interest primarily based on your looks, or if someone catches YOUR interest primarily based on their looks, there's less of a chance of that ending up as a serious relationship. In a bar, you are probably going to approach guys, or they are going to approach you, primarily because of looks, even if you have a conversation afterwards. That's just my opinion, but I've watched it happen to people over and over.

I think you need to get yourself in a situation where people are attracted to you because of your personality or skills at something, and vice versa. Something other than looks.

The only thing I can think of that's related to a bar environment is maybe going to a trivia night, if you're really good at trivia?
posted by Ashley801 at 9:49 AM on October 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


You might want to try Meetup.com and just go for something you're interested in. This way, there's a built-in icebreaker and you already have something in common. Things can move to a bar later if you want. Some meetups take place in bars too.
posted by cmgonzalez at 9:53 AM on October 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is it better to steer clear of the guys hitting on me and try talking to the guys who are hanging back?

I think that if a dude approaches you in a bar without knowing anything about you beforehand, 99% of the time sex is the forefront thing in his mind. I just think that if a guy goes to a bar, he's USUALLY going either to drink alone, to hang out with friends, or pick up women for sex. I just don't think guys usually go to bars with the specific intent of meeting women for relationships. That's why I think being receptive to someone who is hitting on you there will probably not work for your purpose of wanting a relationship.
posted by Ashley801 at 9:55 AM on October 9, 2010


As someone who met their husband in a bar, it can be done but you have to weed through a million "non-datable" types too. I'd also 2nd forktine's recommendation...keep it light, exchange numbers and take it slow...this is the way to avoid one night stands. Also, his comment that the guys you'd want to date are just hanging out with their friends and not trolling for girls is spot on. Check out the question a few months ago about how to flirt (I can't find it now)...make some eye contact and then move to the bar so the object of your attention can approach you without feeling like a player.

Also, do the bars you like sponsor a dart or pool league because they often need girls on the teams because of league rules? I don't know how many "datable" guys you'll meet this way but it would be a fun way to spend time at a bar and potentially meet a lot more people.

You might also try a dating service that does some of the pre-screening for you. Online dating just takes TOOOO much time and then it's all been wasted if you figure out you don't have chemistry in the first 15 seconds. If you do something like It's Just Lunch, they do all the leg work and you've just invested an hour for lunch..and you've got to eat anyway. I have no affiliation with them but used them for about 6 months and it was fun. I found that most of the guys I was set up with were new to the area and traveled a lot for work and so had difficulty meeting people.

Good luck!
posted by victoriab at 9:57 AM on October 9, 2010


Okay, here is the flirting thread I was talking about...might have some useful info on dealing with guys at bars.
posted by victoriab at 10:04 AM on October 9, 2010


Not all bars are meat markets; in fact where I live very few are. Definitely focus on happy hour during the week and Saturday and Sunday afternoons rather than weekend evenings.

Find yourself a local - a place that has a regular neighborhood clientèle, a decent jukebox, and doesn't turn into a club on the weekends. You say you enjoy hanging out in bars, so find one that you really like and make it your local. These are the kinds of places where real people go to relax. They must exist in L.A., right?

Get together with a couple friends and check these local-type places out, especially when there's an event going on. Pub quiz, foreign sporting event, bar league darts match, or a Sunday football game when the regulars cook. Sit at the bar with your friends, you at one end (not in the middle). Be receptive to chatting with people who strike up a conversation, whether or not you feel a spark in the first 30 seconds. Have fun!
posted by CheeseLouise at 10:07 AM on October 9, 2010


I have no experience with this, but if you consider yourself liberal or progressive at all, you might check into Drinking Liberally. There are even some singles' chapters on Meetup. At least that way, you'd have a little in common with the people you meet. (I've heard there's a Drinking Skeptically, too, but the one time I tried to find chapters, I didn't have any luck.)
posted by wintersweet at 10:08 AM on October 9, 2010


Yeesh.

I only say that because I'm a professional girl in my late twenties, from Los Angeles (westside!), and I go to bars around here a lot. I'm not single now (no we didn't meet at a bar), but when I was single... the stories I could tell about meeting guys at bars would have you deciding whether to laugh or cry. I *did* get dates out of it, even a relationship or two, but I find that guys you meet here in LA - especially in the bar scene - are so variable that you really have to put some time into figuring out what they want. And even then you might be totally wrong.

Overall, though, meeting 'datables' really depends on the type of bar you go to. Many of the douchebags I know will be pre-partying on a Saturday night at Bigfoot West, Mandrake, or Alibi before heading over to some equally mind-numbing meat market bar/club/lounge in Hollywood. On the other hand, go to a dive bar, say, on the same night, and you might meet a few potentials, but they're usually there to drink the night away and you run the risk of a one-night stand type thing. Try bars that are in-between - Backstage Bar in Culver City is an example - and you have a better chance of meeting someone you like. I only use that bar as an example because there's a lot of guys that work at the surrounding movie studios that go on a regular basis - and again, like someone else said, Friday/ Saturday nights are weak. ESPECIALLY Saturdays. Fridays are a teeny bit better sometimes (early) but not by much. I found Wednesdays and Thursdays to be the best. Also, pick your bars right! Liquid Kitty, Townhouse are not bad as well.

I hate to tell you though, my overall impression of the bar dating scene in LA is that it is superficial. Meaning, you won't get much attention unless you're cute and dressed trendy/hip/cool (and yes, there's exceptions to the rule, but they're rare) and when you DO look hella cute - well, you're going to attract men totally based on your looks, which is kind of not what you want, I think. One suggestion I have maybe is to try to enter the foodie scene - it's a sort of middle ground and I know quite a few "normal" guys that frequent such events. It pains me to say this, but Yelp might be a good place to start in terms of finding such events. Also, the downtown LA bar scene seems to be less of a superficial environment than the westside or Hollywood, or even hipsterville (Silverlake, Los Feliz, etc).

Ummm, MeMail me if you like - I live on the Westside too and always like making new friends :)
posted by Everydayville at 10:28 AM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


The issue is not where you are connecting, but how you are connecting.

If you don't know why you find a guy attractive, apart from his looks, yet you want recurring interactions, and ultimately a Relationship... well, ask yourself what, substantively, you find attractive about him.

If you don't know why a guy would find you attractive, apart from your looks, based on the information you've given him-- if you can't place yourself into his shoes and think, "Hey, she's into X, and I'm into X... she's into Y, and I don't know anything about Y, but she talks about Y in a really exciting way, and that's hot... hey, she actually pays attention and asks interesting questions about what I do, in a way that would probably be sort of inspiring and supportive over the long-term..."-- then you are helping to set a One-Night Stand frame over the connection.

The more you can show him, from the beginning, that your way of looking at things and that your way of communicating to him will help him achieve his ambitions outside the relationship, the greater the odds he'll want a Relationship.

Bottom-line:

If you want to snag a guy for the long-term, it's actually perfectly okay to sleep with him on the first night or the first date. You just have to make sure that during the course of that first encounter, you both come away with clear, compelling, specific reasons for wanting more dates with each other.
posted by darth_tedious at 10:34 AM on October 9, 2010


Oh, and I might add (you may already know this) - guys here LOVE playing games. The better-looking they are, the more they know they can mess with you. I've partied on the east coast, in the midwest and even in other countries... and honestly, LA takes the cake for guys that are just absolutely superficial. That said, like you I know "nice" guys that go to bars a lot, and you *can* find them. I've been told that these dudes sometimes won't come up to you without some prior quiet eye-flirting, or a distinct sign that you want them to come to you, something I find true from personal experience. Men that have been outgoing and forward with me have almost always been the 'wrong' type.
posted by Everydayville at 10:36 AM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm a guy who likes to meet women at bars (and also burnt out on online dating). Two of my significant relationships started out at bars. Here's my take. Skip weekend nights. They generally tend towards meat markety/douchebaggy than weeknights.

Ashley801's advice is spot on.

Make eye contact with guys that interest you who are out with friends. If there's mutual flirting, then look for an opportunity to run into guy while grabbing a drink at the bar. If the guy offers to buy you a drink after a very brief conversation then most likely he wants to take you home so get out of that quickly. But if you get a good vibe in a few minutes of conversation, then suggest that the you two hang out sometime and exchange numbers. Then meet later one on one.
posted by special-k at 10:51 AM on October 9, 2010


if you catch someone's interest primarily based on your looks, or if someone catches YOUR interest primarily based on their looks, there's less of a chance of that ending up as a serious relationship.

I think that if a dude approaches you in a bar without knowing anything about you beforehand, 99% of the time sex is the forefront thing in his mind.

you won't get much attention unless you're cute and dressed trendy/hip/cool (and yes, there's exceptions to the rule, but they're rare)

LA takes the cake for guys that are just absolutely superficial.


This is all a bunch of bullshit. Just talk to guys you think are cute, see if you like them, and explore the relationship further at some later date. You should be able to determine when you're first talking to them if they're looking for a similar relationship as you.
posted by incessant at 11:09 AM on October 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I totally hear you on this. I've met a few guys in bars, hasn't turned into a relationship, but not because they weren't nice guys.

Here is the tip: go the same place a few times, bring a book, and make friends with the bartender. I repeat: make friends with the bartender. Yes, this requires you go at a slower time, Sunday afternoon, maybe for some brunch, Tuesday nights are good. If you're going alone, the bartender will often keep an eye on you to make sure things aren't getting weird ( if he's your friend).

Also, the book will help you have something else to keep your eye on while you drink (slowly, do NOT get even remotely drunk if you are doing this on your own). And you have a topic starter when you talk to the guy. I've gone up to guys and asked them about THEIR book.

here's the thing, if it's a nice guy, you'll most definitely get a nice conversation out of it. But you may not get a date or a relationship. He'll take your number and then never call. But that happens at parties often enough doesn't it?

I totally hear you on your complaints about online dating, and I have the same complaints. And it can be overwhelming to hear the advice on here about activities, because I too work hard and I go to classes and events and the whole thing ( for myself, not dating) and still don't meet anyone so I don't want to start up yet some other volunteering activity just for dating. Some people on here are shy and online dating with the whole talking online build up is good for them IF you're good at just casually talking to people w/out the buildup, the bar thing might work for you. Just be really really safe and don't have any huge expectations, be prepared to completely strike out, and you'll have fun. And bartenders are AWESOME friends.
posted by sweetkid at 11:18 AM on October 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Meetup.com is a good resource, and I'm seconding and nthing the advice to go do things you were going to do anyway, and meet the other people doing them, guys and girls.

Specifically re bars: find a bar that looks promising, that has a hosted pub trivia night. Get two or three friends, or get a friend to bring a friend. Form a team. Compete against other teams.

Because you're in a bar doing something brainy, it's not a meat market atmosphere. You talk about the stuff that comes up in the quiz context, and it can be easy to talk more from there.

Yes. I've met/dated pub trivia guys, and had it go rather well. Or brought guys I was starting to date to pub trivia, as a way to have them meet my friends very low key.
posted by SaharaRose at 11:41 AM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Meeting people in LA is hell.

Consider holding a Mefi meetup in a bar, or at least attending one. Even if you're not into MeFites, they have friends, and their friends have friends.

I've had the pleasure of meeting quite a few MeFites, and they're a damn wonderful and attractive lot. Just watch out for the distant and unavailable or work obsessed, like myself.
posted by fake at 11:58 AM on October 9, 2010


Meeting people in LA is hell. : True statement.

LA takes the cake for guys that are just absolutely superficial.: Total bullshit statement.

There's like a million or more grown men in LA proper, most of them are straight, and yes, some of them are superficial, but you're probably not going to be able to learn that at first meeting on a bar anyway.

Whatever you do, don't let statements like that get you down.
posted by kensington314 at 2:41 PM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wait a week, then post a new question posing as a guy seeking advice on where to go in L.A. to meet cute late-20s-something professional women in real life.

Stalk the posting history of the men who reply to that post and figure out where the best ones are going to look for women.

Go there and let yourself be found.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:57 PM on October 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


Can you meet men in bars who are interested in more than sex?

In a word, no. It has to do with preconceptions and expectations.

As Dear Abby used to say, try a place where serious men go and meeting them face to face without expectation of sex is what's expected.

- church
- lectures at local museums and colleges
- art galleries
- book stores
- libraries, particularly their reading groups
- all of the above, as found on the Web
posted by KRS at 2:59 PM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


FWIW, no absolute *Rules* are ever worth a damn.

I've hooked up with a girl drunk, spent the night naked, and only at breakfast discovered, "Damn, she's sharp! Seriously smart! Now I'm getting horny for her in a completely different way..." and we ended up dating for a while. Still friends.

The only rule I know is: you can't predicate sex on future commitments. "OK, we can go home, if you are interested in more than just tonight" won't work, because the kind of guys it tries to weed out are the kind who will lie (plus, it's manipulative: sex as a carrot).

Think of any such rules as general guidelines, at best. And try everything that feels right - online, blind dates from friends, bookstores, winking at cute guys in coffeeshops, bars, whatever.
posted by IAmBroom at 3:28 PM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I repeat: make friends with the bartender.

This is good advice as long as you get one that's the same sex as yourself or is gay. You want them to help you quickly weed out the idiots, not start hitting on you.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:32 PM on October 9, 2010



This is good advice as long as you get one that's the same sex as yourself or is gay. You want them to help you quickly weed out the idiots, not start hitting on you.


I don't know about this. At the two bars I go to most often, the male bartenders are super protective of and helpful to the female regulars, mostly without hitting on them. (So are the female bartenders, but there's definitely a different dynamic there.) So if you have access to a bar like that, being friendly with the bartender would be super useful in terms of "hey, that guy over there, you know anything about him?" And if a place has table service (instead of you always having to go up to the bar to order) this is even more so the case, because the waitstaff sees everything and knows an enormous amount.
posted by Forktine at 3:42 PM on October 9, 2010


Yes, I've met several guys at bars that I ended up dating. Usually I met them playing pool or at a midweek get together with friends or something equally low pressure. I met my long term SO at an after work beers at a local bar, he knew my boss at the time and came over to say hi, we started dating a month later. Pub trivia is a great night to go because you see the same folks week after week and it's low pressure plus you automatically have something to talk about.

Hands down the best way to meet potential dates, imho, is to throw house parties. They don't have to be huge all night affairs: afternoon BBQs or beers and card games (set up a bunch of tables) are more appropriate for apartments. Invite your friends and tell them to bring their friends. If you don't want to do that then throw one big party a year, one of my friends does a yearly hallowe'en bash that is probably responsible for 4 or 5 marriages over the past 10 years. You meet a ton of people, they come semi-pre-screened and you get invited to a lot of social events in return.
posted by fshgrl at 3:56 PM on October 9, 2010


re: my comment about making friends with the bartender.
This is good advice as long as you get one that's the same sex as yourself or is gay. You want them to help you quickly weed out the idiots, not start hitting on you.

I don't know about this. At the two bars I go to most often, the male bartenders are super protective of and helpful to the female regulars, mostly without hitting on them. (So are the female bartenders, but there's definitely a different dynamic there.)


Yes, this exactly. Also, making friends with the bartender is easy: tip well, be nice, ask questions during the downtime and respect that they have to dash off midconversation to grab a person's order. Bartenders are often great people, and you learn a lot of their "office gossip" as well, which can be fun.
posted by sweetkid at 4:37 PM on October 9, 2010


My recipe to meeting the best people in LA:

Grab a friend and go see a few improv comedy shows at iO West in Hollywood.

You will meet a million nice, talented guys in the attached bar after the show. Ask if there are any upcoming shows that they'd recommend and you're IN. Then change the subject to whatever floats your boat.

It's a niche bar where at least 75% of the people in it at any given moment are regulars -- performers or die-hard fans. There are usually far more guys than girls around, everyone knows everyone, and they love new people.

It is the only bar in the Los Angeles area that I've been to that is usually dickhead-free.

Or, take a few classes there and meet guys that way.
posted by adamk at 4:46 PM on October 9, 2010


All I know is that since my boyfriend started taking me to rock shows I've discovered where all the guys were that I couldn't find when I was single: at bars/clubs (usually on weeknights) seeing great live music.

It'd be harder in some ways because it's usually too loud to talk, but if you arrive early and hang near the bar, you'll at least have your pick.
posted by ldthomps at 7:47 PM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you become a regular at a place that has regulars, then you suddenly expand your friend circle by about 30 people, so your friends-of-friends circle becomes much larger. Of course, many of them will be either alcoholics or professional bartenders.
posted by slidell at 8:13 PM on October 9, 2010


yes you can. i met my wife there. she was there (neighborhood place) just having a drink before meeting friends. I was having a drink and dinner. we were both watching football. neither of us was looking for anything at that time. but, we started talking and lo and behold, we're pretty darn happily married. of course we were older (mid 30's and mid 40's) and had figured out how to sort the wheat from the chaff.
posted by swmobill at 9:52 PM on October 9, 2010


In my own personal opinion, if you catch someone's interest primarily based on your looks, or if someone catches YOUR interest primarily based on their looks, there's less of a chance of that ending up as a serious relationship.

So, you meet all your significant others from photo-less dating profiles?

Most relationships start out, if even for only the first few minutes, with two people thinking each other meets some physical attractiveness threshold. This is true even in venues that imply shared interests. Yeah, the guys coming up and talking to you in bars are doing so because they like the way you look- where else would they start? "Hey, I think that blouse indicates she's into politics and liked House of Leaves." That's just an inherent part of meeting people in bars.

Going to bars with friends while having them invite friends, who also invite friends, and so on works. Your expanded circle provides for less awkward first encounters, some degree of pre-vetting while the getting the advantages of the bar environment.
posted by spaltavian at 10:46 PM on October 9, 2010


The lesson I'd draw from this is that you might have to cowgirl up and make the first contact. At least a smile, or something. You avoid the one-night stand by, well, not having one -- exchange numbers, meet for coffee later, whatever; if you don't go home with the guy that night, you are automatically filtering out the ones who are only wanting to score right then.

I have a bunch of girlfriends who complain endlessly about this crap culture. In their eyes, it's the guy's job to make the first move. Their job is looking pretty, smiling, and being receptive.

I met a Puerto Rican girl who told me that when she came to the states, she thought something was wrong with her because no one was talking to her. Same story with a girl from Montreal coming to San Francisco ("These useless hipster guys make themselves ugly and talk to each other. Why aren't they hitting on me?") A Southerner whose boyfriend told me how she smiled at him on three separate occasions before he introduced himself. (Imagine if they ran into each other one time less.)

One friend dated a guy for two years without him showing the commitment she wanted. I suggested that if she's going to make all the moves: setting up first dates, moving in for the first kiss, then she'll probably end up with a spineless idiot.

I'm all for individuals deciding when they want to make moves and when they want to receive, but everyone should be able to talk to strangers without feeling uncomfortable. And, I'm going to say it, particularly men. When we say "be a man", we mean being fearless in the face of failure. My feeling is that the absence of this quality is forgivable in a woman, but in a man it's indefensible.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 11:14 PM on October 9, 2010



In my own personal opinion, if you catch someone's interest primarily based on your looks, or if someone catches YOUR interest primarily based on their looks, there's less of a chance of that ending up as a serious relationship.

So, you meet all your significant others from photo-less dating profiles?


I can't say that I've ever done that, no. And my preference, like the OP, is usually to meet people IRL. But just in case the OP thinks faceless online dating what I was suggesting she do, I'll clarify. She explicitly said she didn't want to online-date so I didn't have that in mind at all.

I'm not saying the OP shouldn't notice people are good-looking, or shouldn't ask out people she think are attractive, or shouldn't factor someone's looks into her interest. That would be ridiculous.

I just think if looks are what are initially driving you to want to approach someone and get to know them, you're less likely to be headed for serious relationship territory than if personality is what really sparks the interest and drives you to want to get to know that person. That doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't ALSO find that person attractive!

In my first few weeks of law school, there were a bunch of cute guys and cute girls around, a lot of mixers, and a lot of hooking up, but no relationships came of that. Then we had to get down to business and start working. A month or two in, we had to do one of the most dreaded things first year law students have to do: the rape law discussion in Criminal Law class. That was a really tense and fraught discussion, hit way too close to home for some people, one or two people were real assholes, and you noticed some women sitting by the door who didn't normally sit there. But there was a group of guys who participated with extremely impressive intelligence, classiness, and sensitivity. Not all of them were the most conventionally attractive dudes, though some were, but they were very noticed after that, and it was palpable. As classes continued to progress, as people got to know each other in and out of class, things shifted radically from a hookup/casual atmosphere to a pairing off/serious relationships atmosphere. And now in our last year it seems to be an engagement/marriage atmosphere. Nobody who hooked up in the very beginning is still dating. Many people who could have hooked up in the very beginning, but weren't really interested until they got to know each other are engaged.

Obviously, that is an example of getting to know people REALLY well, plus an intense situation and a kind of closed dating pool atmosphere. So it's maybe at one end of a spectrum. And it sounds the OP has a full life of her own without the time, willingness, or desire to get in a situation where she gets to know people really well over a period of months or years. It's not necessary to take things that far! You can meet someone just once and think they have an awesome personality and be drawn to them because of that. You can meet a barista in Starbucks and be drawn to her because of how classy she was with a jerk customer -- and, bonus, think she's really pretty too. OP wants to meet guys in a bar. I think a pool league is a great idea. Even a beer pong league!

I just think it really improves the odds of success to be drawn to the personality before or simultaneously to being drawn to the looks (not instead of). Not the other way around. Not to say relationships NEVER or DON'T come from the other way around- obviously they do. I just think you have worse odds that way.
posted by Ashley801 at 1:08 AM on October 10, 2010


A great thing to keep in mind is that men are always looking. Our radar is constantly tuned in to the women around us and we are always approachable. On the street, in a store, at the gym, wherever. There is no magic location for meeting men, you just need a reason to talk, an in. Anything to start a conversation with an attractive man anywhere you see him is fine, it doesn't absolutely have to be at a bar. We are always ALWAYS receptive to being approached by attractive women.

But if you are going to a bar, make it during the week. When I go for drinks after work I'm thinking first and foremost about unwinding and having a great conversation, not meeting someone for a one night stand. These are the guys you want.
posted by fso at 3:37 PM on October 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Bars are ok if there is some other event the bar is hosting - trivia or whatever. I've had good luck with women going to my local mid-western state university bar on Saturdays to watch the football game (I'm not even from that state, I have many friends who are and I like the people). Sure there are some tourists and non-locals but it could work.
posted by SirOmega at 5:03 PM on October 10, 2010


Someone I know runs this group. I don't know if there's anything similar in LA, but I think it's probably the right idea for you because it's really easy to strike up a conversation if you are both there for a social.
posted by bananafish at 9:34 PM on October 10, 2010


My friend met her boyfriend of 2 1/2 years at a bar, so it can work. It hasn't worked that well for me, however. I did have one nice date from a bar meeting but we didn't have much in common. Usually, it's the guys you don't want talking to you breathing down your neck asking for your number while the interesting looking guys hang back by themselves or chat with friends.

Work on making extended eye contact with the men who catch your eye. I've made the mistake of just talking with friends without looking around much at bars so I probably never look approachable to any of the well-intentioned guys out there.
posted by achtland at 10:54 PM on October 11, 2010


Stop by bars on your way home after work, for like an hour. It will probably still be happy hr! Try to sit next to someone hot. Text someone/read the newspaper/whatever it takes to make you feel comfortable, but still try to be approachable , if that makes sense--maybe smile at them or whatever occasionally. if they dont' start talking to you maybe ask them a neutral question, like what they are drinking/if they plan to vote/something about whats on tv/their thoughts on determinism/etc. This kind of depends on the atmosphere of the bar to some extent, this actually makes a huge difference. Be semireserved, don't go home with anyone the 1st time. Maybe, have some interesting books in your purse, and sort of go through them/look at them visibly ;) good guys are often very shy & need an excuse to feel comfortable starting a conversation w you. Dont try too hard though. You could also go with a girlfriend which is safer, but alot of guys might be sort of too intimidated to approach that scenario, especially the more introverted ones who ultimately would probably be better @ a relationship.
posted by ellevira at 2:22 AM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Let me give you my mom's advice for meeting guys in bars (yes, you read that right, my mom told me this):

Don't sit at a table with friends, or even by yourself. Sit at the bar. That makes it a lot easier for a guy to come up to you nonchalantly, maybe strike up a conversation while ordering a drink. ESPECIALLY if you're interested in the nicer guys, who are probably a lot shyer about approaching girls. They are far less likely to make a direct approach to a girl sitting at a table, or even standing, because when they approach, its obvious what they are approaching for, and that takes a lot of guts that can be hard to work up. But at the bar, they can figure out a way to sidle up next to you and give it a shot without it being so direct, which is a buffer for them in case you reject them.

Other general advice I can give is, don't put so much energy, both physical and mental, JUST into meeting guys. I know its hard, but if you direct energy into being comfortable and happy with yourself, you'll have a lot more satisfaction with your life, and youll be surprised who you might meet unexpectedly. For example, dont go to a class because you are hoping to meet guys, go to a class because you yourself are excited for it, and it's something you really want to do. Yes, this sort of advice is old and cliche and hard to internalize, believe me I know, but once you overcome that hurdle of being happy with yourself, it gets a lot better.
posted by CTORourke at 10:13 AM on October 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


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