We’ve all been there: that cute, tall, handsome guy behind the bar can at times seem utterly irresistible. He pours you drinks in the form of fruity cocktails and straight tequila shots, gives you a charming grin, and often even throws you a wink. Most importantly he’s a good talker and can make you smile, but STOP. Before you cross over that customer-server line, here are some things to consider:
You’re going to have to find a new bar. Or memorise his shift schedule. Unless you like the idea of spending every night together watching him while he works, you’re going to have to switch things up a bit and start drinking somewhere else. Finding a new place to hit the town with the girls can be a hassle and if you are really attached to said bartender, you might consider resisting the urge to go out altogether. If you find it too painful to choose another option besides your local, memorising his shift schedule is always an option, but then, of course, there’s his coworkers, the other bar staff who can easily recognise you and recount to him every little thing you said or did while out at the bar.
It’s his job to flirt with other women. Ooh. This is a biggie. How did you two meet again? You can’t forget that while he might be the most faithful loving guy when it’s just you and him, at work it’s part of his job to talk to people and many of those people will be other women. Take it or leave it, a big part of his job is to chat up women at the bar and make them feel comfortable. If you’re not ok with the idea of him pouring shots for the ladies and singing along with them to the latest Guetta song, you definitely need to look elsewhere.
Most, if not all, dates will take place after 2 a.m. And there’s not much you can do about this. One of the tricks of dating a bartender is manoeuvring around his schedule, which is often every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday… from like 5 p.m. till 2 a.m. While you can always meet him at work, chances are if the bar is crowded you’ll be sat on your own and your conversation will be anything but seductive and romantic. Rather you’ll be shouting to each other across the bar as he’s attending to other customers, yes female customers, and you’ll most likely be hit on by drunk single men. While waiting for him to get home is another option, most likely by then you or him will be passed out asleep and there won’t be much energy to make the sparks fly… there’s always breakfast, just good luck waking him.
“Said” dates will be at his bar…or other local places. When he does eventually get a night off, if he’s not too tired and bored of watching telly and relaxing on the couch, and you two decide to go out, most likely you’ll end up at, yep you guessed it: his bar. Why? Ever heard of free drinks? Many bartenders work in the same circles. They’re good friends with the other staff, they’ve previously worked at other bars, and they usually drink for free. Lucky you when you’re with him you’ll also often drink for free, but if you wanted to be treated to a classy night out, again, look elsewhere because it’s free pints of Fosters for you.
Much of your life revolves around drinking. Yay, it’s the weekend! What do you usually do at the weekend? Go get smashed at the bar. But, on those nights when you’re craving a relaxing night in, you’ll most likely find yourself back at the bar with your boyfriend and if the idea of doing shots offends you, you’re in the wrong relationship. When you’ve tried over a hundred cocktails (no matter how cheap or free they are) things can get old, and if you weren’t a big drinker, to begin with, you’re really in deep.
You know all the staff really well, and they know everything about you… Especially your sex life. If the thought of four, five, six or seven other men/women knowing intimate details of your relationship, in particular, your bedroom activity, bothers you, then stop right now. Do you have friends at work? I bet you do. And what of course do you tell those friends? Don’t expect your bartender not to do the same. Chances are they already know, if, God forbid you hooked up in the bar bathroom, but if not they will soon, as bar staff are often a very tightly closed group who like to share and share alike.
He has probably slept with other customers or fellow staff. This goes back to that little question of: How did you two meet? Since the answer is, at the bar, it is inevitable that you’re not the first one. Since his job is to chat to women and chatting to him certainly got you somewhere, chances are there were several other girls who probably were (or still are) customers. It’s to be expected you may find one of them sitting next to you at the bar and encounter some hostility. Another thing to consider is the closeness of the service industry. Many bartenders date within their field for the simple reason that schedules collide and they spend a lot of time drinking with fellow staff members after work. If Rosie, the barmaid around the corner, is giving you a dark look, you know why.
When you break up no drowning your sorrows at the bar. When you break up, and this is inevitable, you can absolute not, and must not, drink your sorrows away at his bar. A) he works there and will see you and B) so will everyone else. While you may still hope to work things out, the best time to do that is tomorrow morning, not in front of him at the bar.
You may have different career goals. Overall, there are many reasons you shouldn’t date your bartender. But the biggest thing to consider is the choice of lifestyle and personal goals. If you’re focused on a 9-5 job every day, or trying to progress up a very different type of career ladder, chances are it just isn’t going to work. Not only are schedules too varied to cope with, but life goals and passions may differ as well. If you see yourself as more of an occasional partier and committed hard worker, you may run into issues where responsibilities lie. Dating your bartender can be fun, but that’s probably all it should be. A night out at the bar getting a little tipsy can lead to some memorable experiences but at the end of the day, you two probably have different wants and needs from the relationship.
Disclaimer: The author would never think of sleeping with, let alone dating a bartender, nor does she think it is a wise idea to frequent bars – she also speaks from experience .