9 Dating Tips From London Bartenders


Guest post: the experts at datingvip.com ask London bartenders to name the rookie dating mistakes they’ve spotted on the job.

Although more and more singles now prefer to meet people online, bars remain ground zero of the dating scene. Every bartender has seen some dates go well while others end in flames. No one has a better perspective to see the rookie mistakes that guys make on dates and the pro moves that lead to a good time for everyone.

Here are some reliable do’s and don’ts from London bartenders who have seen it all.

Rookie mistake #1: Trying too hard

Rookies focus too hard on trying to present themselves as confident and likeable. Everyone – including your date – can tell when you are presenting yourself as something you’re not.

Bartender’s advice: Tone it down. Be yourself. You’re there to meet people, to make friends, to make a connection. Stop worrying about how she sees you and focus on having a good time. You’ll be much more interesting that way.

Rookie mistake #2: Paying with plastic

At some point in the evening your date may decide she’d like to leave with you. The last thing you need at that point is to invite her to reconsider as the waiter disappears with your card for endless minutes. And what if your card is declined for some reason? Disaster.

Bartender’s advice: Pay subtly with cash. You’ll get out the door faster if you pay with cash, but don’t show off by flashing a big wad of bills – that’s a real turn-off. Tip your bartender or server generously but not so much that it’s obvious you’re trying to show off. And don’t make a big deal out of calculating the tip. Do the calculations quickly in your head.

Rookie mistake #3: Checking your phone

When you pay more attention to your phone than to the woman sitting across from you, she is justified in thinking you aren’t really interested in her.

Bartender’s advice: Leave it in your pocket. You’re allowed to ignore a text-message chime or an incoming call. Concentrate your attention on your partner. That demonstrates that the call is less interesting and important. She feels respected and valued.

Rookie mistake #4: Treating servers with disdain

In the movies, mobsters show how important they are by treating the people around them disrespectfully. In real life, snapping your fingers to get a waiter’s attention or making snide remarks to the bartender just make you look like a jerk.

Bartender’s advice: Befriend your server. If you have treated your server respectfully and tipped well, you may be surprised to find him acting as wingman. When your date sees the bartender treating you with friendly respect, she’ll conclude that you are a man worth knowing.

Rookie mistake #5: Being over-eager

Yes, you want to make a good impression. You want to tell your date about yourself. But bartenders say too many men interrupt their dates. “That reminds me…” shuts down your date’s story and makes her feel you aren’t interested.

Bartender’s advice: Listen. Every woman fears that she won’t be respected by her date. Show that you are interested in her life and her ideas by listening respectfully. You would be surprised how rare that is.

Rookie mistake #6: Bad-mouthing your ex

You probably have some super-funny memories of your ex that you are dying to share. They paint her as crazy and show how you were a model of perfect patience and rationality. But your date won’t see it that way. She’ll just imagine that one day you’ll be talking about her that disrespectfully.

Bartender’s advice: Show some respect. Instead of your ex, talk about someone you admire. Or tell your date about the progress one of your subordinates is making under your mentorship. Show that you are capable of admiring and respecting others.

Rookie mistake #7: Travelling in a pack

When a woman sees you sitting at the bar with a bunch of guys, she is naturally defensive. Groups encourage bad behaviour in men – competition, showing off, and worse. It’s a red flag.

Bartender’s advice: Go out with other women. When you show up with a bunch of women from your office or bowling team, when you are part of a mixed-sex group, you’re demonstrating that women enjoy socializing with you. They find you an okay guy. That makes you seem safe and interesting.

Rookie mistake #8: Being crude

You would be surprised how many men have a drink or two and then feel it’s appropriate to tell a dirty joke to someone they’ve just met. Lots of women enjoy raunchy humour, but not with someone they’ve just met. It sends a bad message.

Bartender’s advice: Be interesting. Did you read something interesting on page four or five of the paper? Have you just finished a good book? Show your date you’ve got a bit of depth.

Rookie mistake #9: Interrogating her

Men who lack social skills know they are supposed to show interest in the women they are talking to, so they turn the conversation into a game of 20 questions. That puts women on the spot – it feels less like a date and more like a job interview.

Bartender’s advice: Have a real conversation. A conversation is like a dance. You take turns leading, and for everything to work out well, your partner follows. You can ask follow-up questions, but give her a chance to ask questions too. You can share stories or memories as long as you don’t monopolize the discussion.

BONUS DOWNLOAD: Our ‘Dating Essentials’ document lists 30 of the most common mistakes that scare women away.

It also includes 5 body language hacks that will melt her heart and our step-by-step guide of what to say to a woman you just met. Fantastic if you’re always lost for words.

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