I know that talking to a girl at a bar – or really any place that people congregate – can be a gut-wrenching experience for the quietest of guys who are desperate to make a love connection. Personally, I do not go to bars just to meet guys because if you’ve ever met me, you’d understand that the kind of guy I am waiting for is wandering around a record store somewhere in Brooklyn in 1953. However, I am always willing to talk to just about anybody and give people the benefit of the doubt before I quickly judge them and declare them worthy of friendship or otherwise.
That being said, there are perhaps some ‘do-nots” I can give the guys trying to make conversation – and maybe later, babies – with a girl out on the town that night. And who better to give these tips than one of those girls? I speak for ladies everywhere with these don’ts.
1. Don’t Insult the Girl
This seems like a “Well, duh,” right? But you’d be totally surprised. Take this example from just last weekend. My two friends and I were huddled in a circle at our watering hole, still talking, but quickly examining our phone notifications. Two of us were getting updates about family that needed tending to, one of us had just gotten a new job that required a quick text conversation. Cue: dude in an Ed Hardy shirt walking over to us in ill-fitting pants:
Guy: “Ooooh, look at me on my phone. I’m so important. Tee hee!”
Me, without looking up: “We are important.”
Guy: “Do you do this all day?”
(We still don’t look up.)
Me: “We all work in social media.”
Guy: “OOoooOOoo social media! I am so important I have to be on my phone and I definitely shouldn’t talk to the guy who works in television.”
Tiffany, still looking at her phone: “Everyone take off your tops right now. He works in television.”
Guy: “You can keep your top on. That one,” he points to my friend, Maddy, “can take her top off though.”
Tiffany: “You need to back off and leave right now.”
Guy: “I get it. Phone too important?”
Tiffany: “You’re being really rude. Please, go away.”
Guy: “The only good girl here is that one,” he points to Maddy again. “You’re a good girl.”
Maddy: “You need to leave.”
1b. Don’t Insult the Girl’s Friends
My friend Maddy was recently on a date with a real doozer of a motherfella. He had a lot of red flags, one of which being that none of her friends liked this guy, but I was willing to give him a chance for Maddy. Until he started insulting her. And then when I called him out on it, he started insulting me. Here’s a funny thing you may not know: Girls don’t like to be insulted or talked down to. Most of us are pretty smart. Especially emotionally since our frontal lobe – known for the area where thought, anticipation, planning and goal-directed behavior comes from – was done growing at sixteen and most male brains aren’t done growing until twenty-four. This means that guys aren’t thinking through the consequences of their behavior as well as females. Studies show it, dudes. I’m just spewing facts. Anyway, one way to a girl’s heart is most definitely by not insulting her friends. So try that. You’re welcome for the pro tip.
2. Don’t Use Your Accent as an Excuse to Sexually Harass a Lady
So a funny thing happened a few weeks back at a bar, and by funny, I mean horrifying. This really drunk kid I absolutely did not know from England tried to get to know me biblically, in public, with the line, “It’s okay, I’m British.” This is not actually ‘okay’ by any means, even if you’re Russell Brand. This guy just flung himself onto me while I was minding my own business. Seriously, I was in the middle of a maraschino cherry binge (this is why I like bars, I think), when he essentially jumped me in the middle of the room. I had to try to push this dude off of me as he was getting way too grabby in the bathing suit areas and a security guard, luckily, came over and escorted him out of the establishment. Pretty tricky Very Special Episode Stuff to say the least. The lesson here is that being British does not make you Colin Firth. Being Colin Firth makes you Colin Firth. And even Colin Firth should get to know me before he tries anything.
3. Don’t Be Anyone but Ryan Gosling (This one is obvious. I know.)
Not being Ryan Gosling can really screw up anyone’s game. Guys can saddle up to a girl and lay out a really magical “hey, girl” line and have it go nowhere, only for the girl to respond, “I’m sorry. Who are you?” Here’s an example of something that happened to me two weeks ago as I sat eating a pile of maraschino cherries off of a napkin (a favorite bar pastime of mine, maybe I’ve mentioned before?):
Guy: “Hey, girl. You like dem maraschino cherries, yeah? You like to eat them? That’s real sexy-like.”
Me: “I’m sorry, who are you?”
Guy: “Brad. Can I buy you a drink, cherry bomb?”
Me: “I’m waiting for my boyfriend.” (read: this is technically true as I am waiting to finally meet my next boyfriend.)
Guy: “Hey, girl. Just one drink. I like your bangs.”
Me: “Thanks. I have to pee.”
This is the part where I physically got up and gave up like, six maraschino cherries that the bartender gave me, all because this guy was not Ryan Gosling. Maybe a side note of this can also be don’t call a girl, “Cherry bomb.” A side note of this for me might be, “stop eating so many maraschino cherries.”
4. Don’t Be Creepy
General overview? Perhaps. There are plenty of ways to be creepy, but I’ll list the biggest offenses I’ve encountered so far for you:
• Your hands probably shouldn’t be wet, sticky or super warm when you shake hands with a girl you just met. But I think this is kind of an overall Life-Tip, too.
• Maybe don’t call her nick-names immediately because that’s super weird unless you’re Ryan Gosling (see #3).
• Don’t use baby talk. Baby talk is the creepiest thing a dude can do short of using their accent as an excuse to sexually harass a lady (see #2). I am not sure when the all the dudes in the world collectively got together to decide that baby talk is a sure-fire way to a girl’s heart, but I think they should rethink their decision in a big way.
• Don’t admit to Googling the girl (See #5).
5. Trying too hard
Look, I don’t care if you work for a phone company or your dad’s newspaper or if you drive an ’89 Honda and not a Porsche. Just be real. Don’t lie. Don’t fake anything if you’re actually interested. Don’t force the flirting. Just have a conversation. This means you’re also not pontificating about yourself for an hour. I went on a date about a month ago with a dude who admitted to Googling me, (which, side-note, is super creepy, so don’t admit it [see #4] ) and then proceeded to not ask me a single question about myself. And then I fell asleep on the date at the table during dinner while he spoke (which coincidentally, might be the #1 thing you shouldn’t do on a date). It was just one of those head-nods when you rest your head in your chin, like in history class in high school or something, but still. That’s a true story. Things didn’t work out with the guy. If you wondered.
While these tips are for people of the dude variety, these are also good tips for girls so they know what to watch out for when out and about. Seriously, go for broke girls. Don’t put up a with weirdo who speaks in baby talk- unless you’re in to that, of course.