Why should you go to a bar alone?
Reason #1: You and your four best friends dressed up on a Friday night in a crowded, sweaty bar filled with dozens of drunk bitties is not good odds. Dating is a numbers game. Put them in your favor.
Reason #2: While going to the bar alone is not weird (keep saying it), people don’t traditionally do it, so it will be noted by people who respect confident, interesting folk. These are the people you want to want you.
Reason #3: What do you have to lose? The answer is: the cost of 1-3 beers, pride (if you happen to run into an ex), and time if it doesn’t work out. You’d lose way more than that trolling through Match.com after Pad Thai and a bottle of wine on a Wednesday night.
What to do when you get there:
Step 1: Do not tell anyone that you intend to go to a bar alone. They might say “That’s weird,” or, “Do you think that’s safe?” or, “Can I come?”
Step 2: Select a venue that’s guaranteed to be crowded with the stereotypes of your choosing. If you live in a hipster hood but prefer to date Harvard types, be sure to travel.
Step 3: Aim to arrive at a post Happy Hour time on a sensible weekday night. So, Tuesday or Wednesday at 8pm.
Step 4: Sit at the bar (never at a table) and order something respectable (read: not pink). Note: It is critical to tip the bartender well. If the first person who sidles up to chat is a douche, you want the ‘tender in your corner.
Step 5: Engage in some form of banal activity that prompts curiosity but not intimidation. So — yes to notes for the fun, freelance article you’re writing, no to notes for the miserable, required CPA exam you’re taking. Your move is to be casually reading and jotting things down while maintaining a look of coy openness to the question, “Hey, what’s that you’re working on?”
Other options: real estate listings, movie script, book with lots of pictures. Not options: sudoku (nerd), nail polish (priss) your iPhone (too typical).
Step 6: Set a time or drink limit and do not move. Your mantra: this is not weird. Think of the bar as a much-more-fun coffee shop. You would have no problem at all sitting alone at a Java The Hut sipping coffee and reading the paper (if you would, get over it). The bar is just like that but people get drunk, feel bold, and talk to each other.
Step 7: Repeat steps one through six until you meet the person with whom you’ll spend the rest of your life. When people ask you how you met, make something up. Nobody wants to meet the love of their life in a bar.