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Question: Dating a Bartender


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Question, ENAers:


One of my female friends was wondering about this and I thought it was a good question.


My friend "N" is dating a bartender. He works at his family-owned restaurant/bar. This is all his family does for income and it's a fairly new restaurant (it's been around only 2 years or so) and so its success is obviously very important to his family. He is 28 and my friend is 27.


Anyways, the guy she is dating is very clearly into her - he wants to spend all of his free time with her, and is very helpful to her around the house, etc. (she is a single parent too and he's great with her son). And he has expressed a lot of interest in getting to know her more. He calls and texts her frequently and spends most of his free time with her.


Anyways, the other night, he told her that she should come in and visit/surprise him some time at the bar - and then told her that if she sees him flirting a bit, she shouldn't be upset, because he's just trying to "set the atmosphere" a bit. He told her that he will hug girls that come in at the bar or flirt with them and may even take some numbers but will never call them or "grope" them or do anything else. He even went so far as to compare his job to that of being a stripper - he has to be a showman of sorts, bring a lot of business in, etc. He told her that he hates this work and wants to get out of it but his family is depending on him.


They have been dating enough that he has actually slept over at her house a couple of times but they haven't actually had sex or anything, because she wants to wait and not be exclusive yet, but this conversation has thrown her off a bit. He has in fact expressed interest in making it exclusive with her and has indicated he would be patient with her and would give her time if needed.


Any thoughts about this?? My first instinct is that I felt like he was full of it, but I know him personally (have known him for a few years, not all that well though) and he's been telling his best friends that he's really into her and may even be falling for her, and every action of his indicates that he really cares about her quite a bit ... but she's just really not comfortable with his bartending/flirting to make good income/tips.



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I would trust him.


He sounds like he's being totally honest. I don't think a cheater would give that kind of explanation.


Flirting is a talent that some men possess. It's understandable that he would use that talent.


If he was being sneaky, he wouldn't ask her to come and surprise him. And if he was a cheater, he would stop flirting when she came in rather than warning her that he "flirts."


He sounds nice.


I think if your friend has any issues about it (as in feeling humiliated for other people to see him flirting with other women), then that is more to do with her and her concerns of what other people think and she should decide if that is a problem, and if it is then maybe they're not a good match.


I don't think a relationship with a serial flirt could ever work unless there was a lot of openness, communication and trust. If she likes him, maybe she just needs to take it slow, and see if that trust can develop.

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I don't think flirting is a big deal. The only thing that strikes me as a little odd is him getting phone numbers from girls. That's unnecessary IMO.


Oh. I skipped that detail.

If I were dating someone, and we'd decided it was exclusive, I might ask him to draw the line at taking numbers (that is, when it's for dates).

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I have a female friend who works at the night club. Her bf is the manager of the place, as well as a bartender, mood setter etc. She met him when she was applying for a part time job. She's 23 and he's 27. He used to do hard drugs and was generally seen as a player. I kept telling her to not even try, otherwise it's gonna be all trouble. But I was wrong, to my surprise!

He completely changed for her. He quit drugs, he focused more on his job and did everything possible to keep her by his side. They've been together for 2 years now. She first worked as a waitress and now she is bartending and flirting. What i'm trying to say is that, flirting, hugging, cheek kissing blabla is all part of good mood setting and indeed, good business. If you haven't worked in those sectors (night clubs, entertainment) then it's obvious you won't get it. Try to put yourself in their shoes. The boss says do it, then you do it, because the higher are the tips the higher is your income. Nobody is sleeping or having sex there, so for the love of God, give the guy a chance.

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Everything he says is true. I bartended through college, and have recently started again. Part of the job as a male bartender is to get female customers in the bar and keep them coming in (female clientelle brings in more male clientelle). This means having a certain image, and flirting with the clientelle. It can be fun, but is almost always just business. It's bad for business if you actually try to sleep with bar clientelle often (although this certainly can happen).


Some women can handle it better than others. I've dated girls that completely understood the job, and we never had any problems because of it. I've also had at least one nightmare relationship where the girl didn't get it, and essentially stalked me at work, and berated girls talking to me to make sure I was faithful (this relationship didn't last long after that).


Saying all that, many bartenders would never cheat on girlfriends; but the bar gives the guy more opportunity to cheat than other jobs (and some guys cheat no matter what job they have). So basically she has to decide if she's confident enough in herself to handle it at all, and if so how trustworthy this guy is.

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