Dear Bartender: So here is my situation: Yes at the local bar where my friends and I go all of the time I have a huge crush on the bartender! I know, I know avoid at all costs! However, he happens to be friends of my friends as well so he isn’t just some random bartender.
Anyway I let him know I was interested (getting drunk and giving him my number – I know mistake number 1!). I didn’t expect anything when I woke up the next day, I even felt a little dumb about seeing him again, but now every time I come in to his bar he hugs me, usually doesn’t charge me, tells me not to tip him and sometimes when I come to the bar to order a drink he will just lean over the bar to kiss me on my cheek! Even if the bar is packed he will take time out to talk to me or if I’m leaving, to leave the bar to give me a hug goodbye! And even when the bar is packed, I will look over at him and well catch each other’s eyes.
The other night when I came in he was just managing the bar so he wasn’t technically bartending. He came over and sat with me and talked to me all night. And we talked about real substantive things – like books, religion, etc. Then my friends were going to the store and I had mentioned I needed cigarettes and he just gave them money for them and asked my friends to buy them for me (he even knew what kind I smoked). When I was leaving he tried to get me to stay but I needed to wake up for work so I left. However, he hasn’t tried calling me or even asked me out.
I dated a bartender/bar owner for a long time so I get it: you’re a bartender. Your job is to flirt with pretty girls, make them come back, buy drinks etc. Girls try to hit on you all the time. But this time I think the guy may really be into me but I don’t know how to take it outside the bar where he works. I think he just takes for granted that he will see me at the bar at least once a week! Or maybe this is just an ego thing because I made it apparent I was into him? I’m not sure – am I confusing the signs? Is he just doing what a bartender should do? When is it bartender etiquette and when does the bartender ever like the girl?
Dear ‘fused: You’re confused for a very good reason: this guy is doing everything he can think of to ‘fuse you. God knows what his agenda is but he’s sure not trying to be your boyfriend. Don’t tell him I told you, though, or those free drinks will disappear quicker than you can do a shot of Key Lime Pie.
He’s playing games. It’s his job. You know this already.
And, maybe I’m being too cynical here, but… that part about not tipping? He only means for you to tip him more subtly.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not as if I or any other bartender hasn’t hit on a customer and meant it once or twice. It’s just that, when we do, you won’t have to ask if we’re serious.