Sunday, November 11, 2012

Random Bar Guy

One of my good friends, we'll call her M, has a knack for picking up random guys in bars, through sheer will and exuding some kind of random bar guy scent, meaning she didn't have to do anything and they would seek her out. She had better luck than another good friend, who we'll call Lucky. Lucky, I have personally seen get picked up at an ATM, in a food court, and on the street by perfect strangers. M simply enters a bar and proceeds to be pursued by a random bar guy or random bar guys. That is, until she married a very un-random, very un-bar guy.

The question of the day is, can you sustain a relationship with a guy you met in a bar? In M's case, she would spend a couple of dances with them, and then disappear.

In my single days, I tried an experiment. (And by "single days" I mean a couple of weeks that I was single between my ex-husband and ex-boyfriend, but that's another story) I have a good friend, Brian, who I used to go out to bars and clubs with occasionally. I am the kind of girl who loves t-shirts and jeans like no other. When I went out, I would wear my Converse All-Stars, a t-shirt and jeans. I have been seen in a corset, still with jeans, and heels, in jeans, with a t-shirt, but those were special occasions.

Since I was newly single, I asked Brian something like this, "If you saw a girl in a slutty shirt with lots of cleavage in a short skirt, and a girl like me in a t-shirt, who would you go for?" knowing that some guys like the t-shirt girl. Brian, being honest, surprised me. He said, "It would depend on her face. If she looks approachable, I'd go for it." This was bad news for a girl whose "normal" face looks mad or annoyed, and who usually actually IS mad or annoyed.

So I started the experiment then next time I went to a bar. I did wear a tank top, because Brian said shoulders are sexy, but I have no cleavage, so I didn't really feel like a sell-out. Fortunately, I wasn't with M or Lucky, so I stood a chance at meeting someone. I stood at the bar, near my girlfriend, but staying open, and kept what I think was a "pleasant" expression on my face. And let me tell you, this took some serious concentration and constant awareness of my face. I made eye contact, and gave my number to three guys that night. Brian was appalled. Apparently what he hadn't told me is that you shouldn't give your number to strangers.

Anyway, I went home that night, thrilled with my experiment, and that one of those guys was actually "kind of cute." But the experiment was over, it was too much work. However, the kind of cute guy pursued me, and long story short, we dated for about a year and a half, and it wasn't great, although I did grow a lot in that time.

So back to my question: Can you sustain a relationship with a guy you met in a bar? Did I or didn't I? I almost married him, but it would have been a huge mistake. But we dated for over a year. But it ended.

Here's what I think. This guy was looking for a relationship. I wanted to re-marry, but wasn't ready so soon after my divorce. Should he have been looking for a relationship in a bar? I don't know. But I think not. Because I am a pretty honest person, but I believe we both started the relationship in deceit. I pretended to be a pleasant person, and he pretended to be an open person. I learned more about him that night than I would learn over the next year. He learned that I am not a naturally pleasant person, I tend to use my annoyed face most of the time, and he found me unmotivated. (But for the record, he was wrong about that, because I got a great job and a Bachelor's degree, adopted two kids and got married within a couple years of meeting him)

So random bar guys can be fun, as M will attest, but the bar is for the random people, not for the relationship people. Because it's hard to build a relationship with the girls with the shoulders and the pleasant face when she really just wants to slip back into her t-shirt, jeans, and fuzzy slippers.

Did I mention the fuzzy slippers?