The dating game is not a safari

While eating lunch yesterday I came across an opinion piece in Redeye by Zack Stafford.

The piece, "Finding love in a drunken place" almost caused me to squirt coffee through my nose and choke on my food.

Poor mournful Zack went on and on about the trials, tribulations, and travails of finding a "partner" while out drinking with his friends. He referred to his weekend carousing as a "Love Safari" and "hunting".

Zack, "Love Safari" and "hunting"? What century do you live in son?

Zack, women do not want to be hunted by groups of raging hormone predators then dragged back to the man cave by the drunkest strongest one.

After downing drinks and shots all night, spending way too much money, the poor lads usually went home, "tails between our legs. Tacos and water in hand. No potential romantic interest in sight."

Is it any wonder why?

Zack, the only women who date drunken losers are drunken losers. Zack, its guys like you and your friends that make straight women go drinking and dancing in gay bars. They feel safe and know they will not be hit on by drunken bums.

As a public service to Zack Stafford and other like minded young losers, I would like to offer some avuncular advice.

Go out alone. Forget the friends. If you are seriously looking for romance, the last thing you want is a bunch of your buddies hanging around acting like immature sixteen-year-olds looking for their first experience.

People want attention spent on them, not your friends and them. You are looking for a partner not a female addition to your posse.

"As a young single person living in a major city, it seems like every weekend I’m expected to dedicate myself to long nights, too many drinks and fuzzy memories."

Zack, my boy, you sound like a drunk, not a dater. You are not expected to "dedicate" yourself to stupidity. That, "random cutie by the bar wanting a vodka tonic with a twist" will kindly take your free drink. She will then ignore you and your friends.

You are with your friends on the way to getting sloshed. She is not looking for a drunk. Go out alone.

Do not go out on weekends. Go out during the week. Save the weekend to date the young ladies you meet during the week.

Instead of going on a safari, from bar to bar, drinking up your finances buying drinks and shots for your loser friends, find a few upscale places. They are women friendly. Single women feel comfortable going there alone.

Seek out places where there are as many or more women than men. Places where business or professional people hang out. They cost a little more, but since you are alone and trying to impress a lady, you will not be drinking as much. You will also not be buying drinks and shots for that pack of jackals you normally hang out with.

Forget all those destination places where the music is loud, the women are "wild", and the booze flows free. You know, the club scene. That is a waste of time and money. The club scene is only for people who want to be seen.

Go to places strictly to socialize at first until you are well known  by the bartenders. Just have a few cocktails and tip well. Bartenders, once you get to know them, will tell you what night the most single women are likely to come in.

Bartenders will introduce you to young ladies too. They know who the lonely hearts of both sexes are. It is in their best interests to make people happy. Make friends with bartenders.

Dress nice, even if you are wearing jeans. Be a conversationalist. Talk and listen. Make friends at the places you hang out at. People may just introduce you to some a single woman.

Go out later, after dinner hours, usually around 8-9pm. Places are quieter and people are usually looking for some social contact versus hunting for hook-ups. Some people come out just for a few drinks or a nightcap on their way home from someplace else. You will be surprised who you meet.

Please, no cliches, like "Do you come here often?" "What's your sign?" Or, "Are you an angel cause I feel like I just died and went to heaven". Just introduce yourself and let things take their natural course. Be yourself.

Don't just buy the lady a drink. Ask. Ask nicely. Ask after you have been conversing for a while or if her glass is empty.

Speaking of conversation, it is a two way street. You talk, you listen, you respond. Avoid talking about work or what a hot shot you are around the office. Do not constantly talk about yourself. Try to find things the two of you may have in common. Listen as much or more than you talk.

Order drinks you can sip. Act like a gentleman instead of a hormone raged alcohol fueled great safari hunter. Be polite. Please, thank you, sir, ma'am, etc. Smile. Be pleasant. Be patient.

Other tips? Look for events. There are plenty of charity, fashion, and other events going on every week in Chicago. Many have reasonably priced tickets with nibbles and sometimes an open bar. They are a magnet for single people. Just be sure you check the dress code. Dress appropriately.

If you meet a person and think there is some kind of attraction ask her for a date that weekend. Dinner, lunch, brunch, movie, gallery opening, sports game, whatever. If you were listening to her close enough you will know what to ask.

If all you want to do is go out and get drunk with your friends, there is nothing wrong with that. Have a good time. If you are seeking romance you have to act like an adult, not a college frat boy. Do not mix romance with drunken revelry.

The dating game is not a safari. Stop hunting like an animal. Start acting like a man.


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