Why Do People Hate On Bars For First Dates? I Think They’re Great

When it comes to the dreaded first date, I have more experience than I even want to admit. Some people are all about meeting for a quick coffee and others love grabbing dinner, but I prefer going to a bar. I know it’s boring, but here’s why I really love drinks dates:

  1. Coffee dates don’t even feel like dates. I’m all about coffee (and as a writer, I think it’s illegal for me to hate the stuff) and yet I think coffee dates are the worst. I hate how super casual and brief they are and how it feels like I’m just grabbing a cup of joe with a friend and not a potential love interest.
  2. The date can be as long or as short as I want. If the first date sucks (as it often does), I don’t have to sit through an entire meal with a stranger that I have zero interest in seeing again. I love that a drinks date can be merely an hour if it’s horrible and several if things are going really well.
  3. A second dinner date is a no brainer. If the stars are aligned and the universe is smiling at me, the date will go well and we’re going to set up a second date. I always suggest meeting for dinner the second time I hang out with a new guy. It feels like a super obvious way to take things to the next level (actually ordering food instead of a glass or two of wine) while still taking things slow.
  4. It’s easy to suggest a second location. A drinks date is really flexible and if the date is going great, it’s easy to suggest grabbing some food at a nearby restaurant. That’s pretty much the best way to figure out if a guy is interested as well.
  5. I can learn a lot about a guy in a few hours. My drinks dates tend to last an average of two hours, and I usually find out everything that I want to in that time period. I can ask the guy about his job, where he grew up, his hobbies, etc. If we click, it’s pretty obvious and we can definitely spend a few more hours together the next time. Plus, if we don’t get along at all, then at least I didn’t waste too much time.
  6. Not drinking is one of my deal breakers. Call me super picky… or agree with me. I tried dating a guy that didn’t drink any alcohol at all and it ended up being a disaster. It was impossible to find things to do together since grabbing a drink at a pub on a Friday night is such a common date idea. When I suggest meeting at a bar for the first time, I find out pretty quickly if the guy drinks or not.
  7. It’s interesting to how much someone drinks. On a recent date, the guy got there early and was two-thirds of the way through his beer by the time I arrived. He ordered three more beers and it was just a lot for a first date (or anytime, really). Usually, the guys that I’m into order a beer or two and I have my own two-drink maximum for a date.
  8. It feels more romantic than an activity date. Some people are super into actually doing something on a date instead of just staring at the other person across a table. I get that… in theory. In reality, I don’t want to go for a walk or to an art gallery or a film festival with a total stranger. That’s my idea of hell. Anytime I’ve gone on an activity date, I feel like I’ve just made a new friend (and none of those dates went anywhere). Grabbing some drinks is casual but still feels more romantic than other types of evenings.
  9. I have a handful of good first date spots. I like suggesting the first date place because it’s the one thing that I can control. After being single and dating a lot for several years, I’m over taking the subway for an hour to meet a guy at a cool hipster bar that he deems the best ever. I would rather go somewhere convenient because if things go south, I can get home easily and safely.
  10. Guys tend to relax more with some alcohol. If a guy is stiff and awkward with a beer in him, I know he’s not for me. Eating a meal with a stranger can be the very definition of awkward and sharing a few drinks is chill and simple. Most people tend to relax and show me their true selves on a drinks date and I love that. After all, getting to know someone is the entire point of a first date.
Aya Tsintziras is a freelance lifestyle writer and editor. She shares gluten-free, dairy-free recipes and personal stories on her food blog, ahealthystory.com. She loves coffee, barre classes and pop culture.