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Let’s Tell People We Met in a Bar

Updated: Jan 29, 2019

Originally published online under Zoosk: The Date Mix


Online dating still has a stigma for some people. They think of it as advertising themselves for sale. We think it’s much more civilized than some other ways of meeting people, but one night we had the opportunity to see if a more traditional pick-up method worked any better.


My girlfriend and I (fearless duo) were at a local restaurant for happy hour and as it so happened, she noticed a guy at the other end of the bar, drinking alone and alternately watching the college basketball finals and looking at her.


“He’s looking again. Check him out. I think he’s cute but I can’t really see him (she needs glasses but refuses to get a prescription---more of that aging denial stuff).

“Oh yeah, he’s cute.”

“I think he’s too young though.”

I took a quick glance. “No he’s not. He’s your age. And he’s cute.” (No matter how old women are, we still call men we’re attracted to “cute.”)

“Well he keeps looking down here.”

“You think he’ll come over?”

“I have no idea.”

We finished our drinks and paid our bill. Debi asked the bartender for a pen and jotted something down on a cocktail napkin.

“What are you doing?”

Instead of answering, she leaned over to the bartender.

“Would you mind giving this note to the guy down there at the end of the bar when I leave?”

The bartender was nonplussed. “Sure I’d love to play matchmaker for you.”

We sauntered out.

“I can’t believe you just did that.”

“I’ll probably never hear from him.”

The next day she got a text.

“I’m the guy at the end of the bar from last night. Yes, I’m single and yes, I’m interested.”


They texted back and forth. He invited her for a glass of wine. Teeny red flag---the invitation was for 7pm but specifically did not include any mention of food. Just a glass of wine. Kind of a weird time to pick, we thought. No biggie. There would probably be appetizers, once they got there.

He was still cute when she saw him up close; a relief. He talked about his business as a tennis instructor. Never married (red flag). No kids (red flag). Over to her. Debi’s life is full, kids and grandkids, a variety of different jobs and businesses; her stories are many. She noticed he yawned at one point.


By 7:45, there was no mention of food. By 8pm, the glasses were drained and Debi was starving. No conversation about seeing one another again. No chemistry. One and done.


Just like our book (Secrets of Dating After Fifty: The Insiders Guide to Finding Love Again) says---all you know about someone when you meet them in a bar is that they’re cute and they drink alcohol.


Karen Haddigan is the author of Secrets of Dating After Fifty: An Insider’s Guide to Finding Love Again.