Let me set the scene.
It was my friend Jenny’s birthday, and there were three of us girls out on the town celebrating. We’d done some significant pre-gaming, so by the time we reached the bars we were boozy enough for Jenny to declare: “I don’t want to pay for ANY drinks tonight!”
“Done,” I told her as we climbed to the rooftop patio of a popular bar in town. Once we reached the pack of bar-goers, I surveyed the scene.
It was only two seconds before I spoke again: “Him. That guy. That guy will buy us drinks all night.”
Sure enough, he did. And then? We said thanks, hugged him goodnight, and never, EVER saw him again.
Now, am I proud of this situation? No, of course not. My girlfriends and I were drunk and being stupid, and we took advantage of this poor guy.
However, it’d be naïve to think that we’re the only ones who’ve ever engaged in that sort of bad behavior. That very scene is one that plays out every single night in every single bar across the country–and hell, if you’re reading this, you’ve probably been that guy at some point.
So, how did I know in only two seconds which guy in the bar would be my mark? Read on to learn what he did wrong so that you can avoid repeating his mistakes in the future.
Clue 1: He was in a big pack of guys
The guy we chose to approach in the bar that night happened to be part of a birthday pub crawl with about a dozen other men. For a man at a bar, this is unideal. If you find yourself in a pack like our target was, you better hope you’re extremely socially adept. There are several reasons for this:
Women will never, ever approach a gigantic group. It’s legitimately too scary of a proposition (more guys to be worried about getting roofies from).
Unless you’re the most attractive or the most socially capable of your friends, you will be lost in the crowd. That means you won’t look like a person that a girl wants to talk to, which can then have the effect of making you feel shitty about yourself. When you feel shitty about yourself in a bar, you give off needy vibes, which NO ONE LIKES (just think about all the times you’ve felt pity for the tubby girl with the hot girlfriends who no one is talking to).
All of that ultimately cements you as the guy who needs a girl to talk to instead of the guy who wants a girl to talk to, and women hate that. We want to feel like you had an option and you chose us, not like you didn’t have a say.
How to avoid this scenario:
You want to be with only one or two other guys if you’re planning on being successful with women. A smaller number of guys is less intimidating to women, both when you’re approaching and for when you’re being approached. You will also not risk blending in too much among your friends.
Clue 2: He was wearing a leather jacket in September
There is nothing inherently wrong with leather jackets, but with the guy we conned into buying us drinks, it definitely told us something. In the part of the country where I reside, it’s still pretty warm in September. The month does not necessitate a leather jacket.
But it’s not the fact that the jacket was weather-inappropriate. It’s the fact that this guy was the kind of guy who would choose to wear a leather jacket despite it being too warm because he’s getting dressed up to go out with his friends. There was something about it that broadcast an inability to be on top of it, socially-speaking.
And if you broadcast that you’re not on top of it, socially-speaking–you might as well just hand the women in the bar your wallet and credit cards.
How to avoid this scenario:
Don’t wear big plaid patterns, socks with sandals, pleated pants, cargo shorts (unless you live in Florida), the aforementioned weather-inappropriate leather jackets and any other clothing that would paint you as a chump. Read men’s fashion blogs like Dappered.com for other helpful tips on how to dress yourself.
Clue 3: He was watching the bar TV instead of socializing
Bars have TVs; TVs show sporting events. It’s natural to take a gander at the score from time to time. But we knew this guy would buy us drinks all night because instead of talking to people around him, he was staring fixedly at whatever was on the TV screen.
You… you just can’t do that, guys. You might as well be wearing a T-shirt that says “I’m uncomfortable and I don’t know how to talk to women.” Your bearing and gait are shouting as much to all of the people in the bar. And when that’s what your body language is saying, we know that you’ll just be so grateful to talk to us that you’ll definitely repay us in beers.
How to avoid this scenario:
Keep your eyes on other patrons and allow yourself only passing glances at the television. Look for people with whom to start conversation (or for places in other people’s conversations where you can jump in). It can be hard work and it can feel a little awkward, but honestly, socializing is like any other skill set–it just takes a little practice.
I know I’ve made myself look like a callous bitch by writing this article, and maybe I am (or at least, I was at the time). But consider this piece me trying to make it up to all of the guys who’ve ever been snookered like this before. From now on, just pay attention to the little signals you’re sending through your behavior and your clothes, and you can avoid this fate.
Like P.T. Barnum famously said, there’s a sucker born every minute – but you don’t have to be one of them.
[Image via Shutterstock]
I want more like this!
Follow us on Facebook and get the latest before everyone else.