There’s No Such Thing As A Free Drink & They’re Not Worth The Hassle

Getting random dudes to buy you drinks might seem like a great deal. It’s kind to your bank account and validates that you’re looking hot AF tonight. But if you break it down, you’re actually getting the raw end of this deal. Buy your own drink and skip the hassle for these 10 reasons:

  1. Time is money. It’s not actually a free drink if you feel obligated to drink it with him. If he buys you an $8 beer and then you feel like you have to sit with him for an hour while you drink it, not only is that not free, that’s actually less than minimum wage a lot of places. You probably would have been better off picking up an extra hour at work and using that money to pay for your own tab.
  2. You’d have more fun hanging out with your friends. Being guilted into hanging out with the dudes that are buying drinks means you’re missing out on fun with your friends you actually came out to spend time with. Your best memories are never going to be about the nights you saved 60 bucks on booze, they’ll be about something great you did with your favorite people.
  3. Bailing on the conversation is super awkward. Do you leave as soon as the drink arrives? Do you stay until it’s done? Is there, like, a 5-minute cushion you have to throw in to not appear rude? Are you expected to come up with an excuse to bail? What if he orders another round? Ugh, so many questions and so much awkwardness. It’s most likely going to end uncomfortably no matter what your strategy is, so save yourself the trouble and turn down the cocktail.
  4. You’re headed for a hangover. When accepting free drinks, it’s hard not to cave and do more shots than you intended, drink something you usually wouldn’t, or end up mixing tequila with the whiskey you had earlier. All regrettable choices in the morning. Avoid the hangover by staying in control and staying accountable for your tab.
  5. You may be insulted when you leave. Unless he wanted to buy you a free drink with literally zero strings attached, which almost never happens, he will most likely be unhappy when you’re ready to bail on him. He might insult you for using him or taking advantage, which is all BS, but why risk getting a bunch of insults thrown your way when you’re perfectly capable of funding your own night?
  6. He’ll feel you “owe” him something. He might feel like you have to repay him somehow, using guilt and manipulation to get what he wants. It could be your company, your phone number, or something more sexual. You obviously don’t owe him anything, but how is saving a few dollars worth putting yourself in this position?
  7. You’re missing opportunities to meet other people.Being trapped in a convo with the rando who bought you a drink means you aren’t free to mingle and meet whoever you want. There may be a guy you actually really like or your new BFF out tonight, but you’ll never know if you’re sitting around with moneybags.
  8. It gives the impression that you can be bought.A drink in exchange for a little conversation seems innocent enough, but what if you end up liking each other? You’ve set a precedent that your time can be bought, and that’s not the best way to start out a relationship.
  9. He might expect you to buy the next round. So you’ve suffered through a dull conversation, fake laughed at his crappy jokes, and now that the drinks are empty, he tells you to buy the next round. What the hell! Now you’re only breaking even and you’re not even having fun.
  10. He can be difficult to ditch. After escaping the interaction that got you the free drink, he still might follow you around the bar like a lost puppy and cock block you left and right. What fun for you.
  11. Yes, some men are way too mature to act like this, but a hell of a lot of them aren’t, too. You don’t need the hassle, so just turn the free drinks down and enjoy the independence that comes with funding your own evening.
Holly Harris is a freelance writer, full time student, and mommy to a toddler sass monster. In her (nearly nonexistent) free time, you can find her lifting something heavy in her home gym or chugging vodka sodas with friends. She contributes to several other sites, including Elite Daily.