How to Pick Up at the Bar

and not look like a complete sleazebag

Written by Darren Tanguay

First and foremost I believe that we should establish the most important ground rule of all when attempting to meet someone at the bar.

"Don't try to pick up what you can't pick up!"

It seems as though it's a fairly simple and self explanatory rule, yet time and time again I've seen people overlook it (much to their own dismay in the long run). Learn from other peoples personal experiences in this regard. Take me for example:

One time I was at a local drinking establishment that I used to work for and I got drunk to the point where the pole on the dance floor was starting to look fairly attractive. I met a girl that wanted to take me up to her hotel room and I agreed. Not five seconds after walking out the front door I got a call on my cell phone from my best friend telling me she was a very heavy girl. To this I replied, "No, no it's ok, she's fine". Needless to say, he got a call back the very next morning and all I had to say was "You were right".

That event earned me the nickname Lowered Expectations for obvious reasons. Trust me when I tell you, you do not want to be that guy.

With the most important rule now hopefully tattooed onto your brains lets move on shall we.

Suggestion # 1) The more you drink the better your chances are? Not so much.

This comes right back to our golden rule. If you get too hammered, you never know who you will wake up next to. To reiterate, this is a potentially very bad thing! Don't get me wrong, the sun shines on a dog's ass every now and then. Who knows, you may wake up next to a super model, but if I were you, I wouldn't take that chance, again.

Drinking too much also turns any decent guy into an inarticulate smuck. The problem comes down to a matter of perception. When you've had too much to drink, what you think is coming from your mouth and what you are actually saying are two very different things. As an example you may think what you're saying sounds something like this:

You are perhaps the most beautiful person that I have ever seen. If I had not stopped to meet you right at this moment in, I'm sure I would never have forgiven myself.

In reality what she probably heard was:

Hey baby, you're kinda hot. Wanna come see the back of my 92 Tempo.

To be quite honest, this is not the desired effect. What you want to do is have a FEW beverages such that you loose a LITTLE (not all) of your inhibition. By doing so, you will be loosing a portion of the self consciousness that would normally hold you back from going up and saying hello to somebody new. It is a well known fact that ladies find confidence attractive, but you have to know where your limit lies. Every single person is different. This is something that requires practice.

Suggestion # 2) Don't be the cool guy

The guy who is acting to cool will often miss his opportunity. This recently happened to me. I was at a night club when a very attractive girl gave me a second look that almost sent her to the hospital with a broken neck. Apparently (or so I was told) she looked me up and down like someone who had just broke up with a vegan that she was dating for six months and I was a 16oz. rib-eye steak. At this time I tried to give her "the nod" (what a classic I think I'm cool but really not move). It must have seemed to her that I was shy and starring at my feet. Simply put I was playing it way too cool and missed my chance. Had I maintained eye contact and flashed a smile I'm sure I'd be sharing a much better story with you right now. Well, at least better for me and less humorous for you.

Ladies are not interested in the guy who is too busy playing it cool to notice them. They would rather make a good non-verbal connection at first. This means looking them into the eyes (not the chest, there will be time for that latter) and flashing a quick smile. If she smiles back, then latter on you follow this up with a neutral conversion where you get to know her better. The occasional compliment doesn't hurt, but do yourself a favour and don't compliment her ass. Keep in mind that when I say "follow this up with a neutral conversation", this means you'll accidentally run into latter, on the other side of the bar and say something like: "I'm sorry but I couldn't help but to notice you earlier". Don't be the guy that tracks her down like a stalker, chances are if you do it will be over before you even open your mouth.

Suggestion # 3) Dancing is a great medium to get to know her better

You can take her out to dance floor and enjoy 2-4 dances without needing to have an in depth conversion. Maintain eye contact on occasion (once again, it's not yet the time to stare at her chest). Continue to give the occasional smile. Enjoy the music, but don't dance like a jackass; that is pretty much an instant turn off. Since you are not starring at her chest or ass for that matter, don't shoot yourself in the foot by starring at some other girls on the dance floor. Doing so will be equally as damaging to your efforts. The final thing you should not do while out dancing for the first time is start grinding up against her. There will most likely be time for that later if all goes well. She'll let you know when the time is right.

The beautiful part about dancing is that it works up a sweat and makes you thirsty. After the dance floor, it is not inappropriate to ask her if she would like to get a drink. If she says yes, offer to pay but if she tries to pay you offer once more. If she insists a second time, let her. Then latter that night, make a point of trying to pay her back by buying a round for the two of you. This does not mean you should get her so inebriated that she would go home with the bar stool if it made a pass at her. Doing so will often result in self sabotage. Queue her friend to sweep in and take her home before you can even get a phone number. This is where your jaw drops to the floor and at the same time your buddies are laughing their asses off at you in the corner.

Suggestion # 4) Don't be too forceful

As mentioned earlier, ladies find confidence attractive, but over confidence is a huge turn off. Towards the end of the night (assuming she's still given you the time a day), is when you should ask if she'd like to go out for a slow dance. At this point it should be nearing closing time. After anywhere from 1-3 slow dances together, it's time to leave the dance floor and gauge how well you are doing. For the most part asking if you can call her sometime is appropriate.

Some girls will not write their number down for you but instead make you remember it. In this case, the second she walks out of sight, you punch it into your cell phone, or ask the bartender for a piece of paper and a pen. Nothing is worse than having a night's efforts go to waste because you're so dumb you forgot her number. In the rare case that you have been receiving a good vibe from her all night long you can prolong asking for her number, instead ask if she'd like to get slice of pizza. This typically works very well.

At any time if she says no, don't push the subject. Instead downgrade your request. If she says no to her number ask if you could get here e-mail address instead, remember slow and steady wins the race (same applies for the bedroom, but that's neither here nor there).

After everything is said and done, if you do strike out on the evening, just remember you need to try if you want to succeed. The year that Mark McGuire hit the most home runs is also the year he averaged the most strike outs. You need to swing without fear if you want to hit the long ball. The fact that there were allegations surrounding performance enhancers is entirely irrelevant. If anything you can consider alcohol to be like your own personal performance enhancer. Until next time, get out there give it a swing.

As an aside, if closing time has come around and you have not made any head way with the ladies that evening, it's not the time to start. Do not be the creep who goes trolling for booty five minutes before close by prowling around the dance floor. If you do pick up at this time, trust me when I say, that's not the type of girl you're interested in.