When a man walks into a bar

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Man at a bar in Melrose Arch Photo:Melissa Douman

Bars in recent years have become trendy hotspots and social hubs where men and women flock to not only for a good night out but also for the opportunity to meet someone special.

Unbeknownst to most there is a psychology behind the types of bars that people go to, the types of drinks that they order and also the clothes that they wear. Certain types of women get picked up by certain types of men and when one understands the psychological dynamic the prospect of hitting it off with a potential suitor found in a bar may seem bleak.

The picture that makes itself vivid in the mind when one thinks of a bar is the picture of what a bar used to represent- dirty, wooden floors, a karaoke machine, small dance floor, pool tables and a bar with a sticky wooden counter that serves beer, brandy, whiskey and similar hard spirits.

Though these bars still exist, the face of modern bars represent something different like fluorescent lighting, the latest music, and modern furniture that give the bar a minimalist yet trendy appeal.

Different bars cater to different groups of people. You get your sophisticated bar that caters to people who have established themselves in the working environment, who fit into the over thirty category. They would treat these bars like they would an expensive restaurant and get all dressed up flashing a lot of bling and perfuming the room with the latest fragrances.
Then you get bars that play soothing music and cater to the class of people who wear smart but casual attire and go there feeling a little more chilled out.

Different types of bars cater for different types of people like BEE bars that cater to the BEE group of people, your expensive bars that cater to the elite and your trendy loud bars that cater to a younger more carefree generation.

Though what is fundamentally significant to all these bars is the fact that every social bar is an opportunity to meet new people. “So depending on the type of male or female attention one is hoping to attract, the selection of bar is very important,” explains Melissa Card a Psychologist.

s6000146.jpgPhoto Melissa Douman

What one needs to consider when going to a bar is the type of attire that one dresses themselves in as this says a lot to the opposite sex. Kyle Williams, a 26 year old I.T specialist says “that it is important to know that when one wears a very skimpy outfit, a man hoping to get lucky that night will probably target that female first.” There is a general consensus by most men that a suit on a women doesn’t get her very far either as men do not like too much to be left to the imagination. The general rule of dressing says Card is that “if you are going for short on the bottom, be sure to cover on the top and if you are going for a plunging neckline, be sure to cover up on the bottom.” A jeans and a t-shirt gives a guy the impression that you are the girl next-door and no man is looking for the girl next door in a bar, says Ebraheim Cajee, a manager at a popular cocktail bar.

“The types of drinks that a woman orders in a bar should also be taken note of,” says Card who explains what each drink means:

200570367-002.jpgPhoto courtesy of Gelty images

Ordering a glass of wine as opposed to a bottle gives the man the impression that the women is pretending to be something that she is not. This more so in your elite and sophisticated bars because their immediate impression of her is that she can’t afford to buy the whole bottle. On the other hand the woman may just not have somebody to share her bottle with.

A man views a whiskey drinker as a woman who knows what she wants out of life and this suggests to him that she is probably ready for a stable relationship whereas Brandy is viewed as a harder drink than whiskey, a woman who loves her brandy creates an impression in the guys mind that she could possibly be an alcoholic.

For most men, a woman who orders a beer at a trendy elite social bar is just uncouth.

Cocktails are a safe choice of alcohol as advertisers have made them trendy and they seem to be the preferred choice by both men and women.
However like a woman who orders vodka (martini drinkers), flamboyant cocktails suggest that the woman wants to let loose and express her wild side that has been dormant for a period of time.

Virgin cocktails do not necessarily reveal that the woman is a virgin, but rather that she is conservative and may be a little less free than a flamboyant cocktail drinker.

Pretentious people who are not yet comfortable with their individuality and who have not really developed a taste for alcohol may go for well-known cocktails like Cosmopolitans and Apple Martinis because this is what shows like Sex and the City depict to be cool.

A woman who is serious about her social life will order a specific type of drink and unconventional drinks like Martini Rossoues and Caiperhinia reveal that the woman has acquired a taste for that drink because she was brought up on it or that she is a-typical. This type of women embraces her uniqueness and individuality and is looking for a suitor with his own sense of individuality.

Another feature commonly found in a bar is the pick-up lines used by men and women alike when trying to snag their potential suitor.

Ladies outside the barPhoto Melissa Douman

Women who succumb to the charm of a pick up line are also categorised says Card who explains that there are three categories of women prone to fall for one.
The vixen is the type of woman who believes that she is attractive and will therefore feel inflated when a man approaches her. She will act surprised and charmed by his attention but secretly she had already spotted him before he approached her and therefore has manipulated him into approaching her. “Men read body language not words,” says Card. She is the type of women who went to the bar without the intention of spending any money but would still get to drink on someone else’s expense. She is the type of women who would play along with even the crudest pick up lines like “Gee, that’s a nice set of legs, what time do they open?” says Card.
The borderline woman is the kind of woman who appears normal and cool in a bar but is borderline neurotic or psychotic. One should be weary of this woman as she appears to be the perfect girl, not over the top or the faded wall flower. Her temperament is cool and fun. When a man takes this woman home he needs to be very weary of how he breaks her heart for she is the type of woman who will take a key to the guys car and write the words “BASTARD WHO CAN”T BE TRUSTED” on its body.

Then you get the Sweet woman who will generally fall for the charming guys who flatter her telling her that she is sweet and beautiful and wonderful. On these types of women Jonathan Druoin a 21 year old law student would use his favourite line “Am I dead angel? ‘Cos this must be heaven.”
This is the type of thing a dependent woman wants to hear because she is afraid of being alone and desperately wants to be loved by any man who is willing to love and adore her. She cannot be without a relationship for too long because the relationship provides her with a certain sense of security emotionally and materially.

girl-in-bar.jpgPhoto Melissa Douman

If there are categories of women who succumb to pick up lines, there must be categories of men who use them.

The narcissist is the type of man who is out there to make himself feel happy and make his ego feel good. He preys on vulnerable and dependent women as they often do what he wants and strokes his ego. The narcissist is not interested in the woman’s hopes and dreams and her emotional needs. It is all about him and this makes a dependent woman, his target.

He is manipulative in his words and actions. In the beginning will tell the women nice things and flattering things to make her fall for him. He will be the sweetest man until he has his claws clutched firmly into her and then slowly will start manipulating her and shooting down her hopes and dreams, making her believe that whatever he says is right until he has got her right where he wants her as the wilting wallflower who dresses to suit him, speaks to praise him and wakes up at the crack of dawn to decorate his breakfast table with food that he likes.
“Stay away from this man,” warns Card. “He is not the kind of man any woman should be dating.”
Though a narcissist is attracted to strong and opinionated women, they pose a challenge for him, one that he must overcome. Statistics show that between 40-45% of these relationships end up in divorce.
The Narcissist should he end up marrying a dependent women, will be happy because he knows that she will always be around. But the probability of this man cheating on her is high as he would get bored of her lack of opinion. What makes things worse is that he is most likely to cheat on her with someone much younger than she is meaning that she wasted all her good years on a man who loved himself.

The Charmers are the ones women should really be weary of as they are “the naughty ones of society,” says Card. They would use lines like “Can I flirt with you?” They often have the rough and rugged appeal and seem very smart upon meeting them. They will hit you with the smoothest and coolest lines but this is because they are street smart and often have a little education. They look for women who emulate the kind of man that they would like to be. They would also be inclined to go for the type of woman who resembles a motherly figure for them, says Card.

Another thing to take notice of the next time you decide to go to a bar.

s6000147.jpgPhoto Melissa Douman

Women generally go to bars with other women when they are hoping to meet a potential suitor. There is safety in numbers and therefore the average number of a group of women in a bar on a social night out would be five.
Card says that “women are strange creatures. You will find that in the group, there is a pretty girl, mediocre looking girl and a rotten looking girl.” The pretty girl knows that she is pretty, acts pretty, dresses pretty and generally has no problems meeting men. The mediocre looking girl is often jealous of the pretty one but pretends to be the nicest friend in the group. She compensates for her lack of prettiness by acting as the mediator between the pretty girl and the rotten looking girl. She is nice to the rotten one so that she shows her humanitarian side and will even find someone to hook the rotten girl up with.

Ladies outside the bar

This tendency is rife in teenage girls as they are generally insecure about themselves and where they fit in, but because women are generally insecure about their entire package, this tendency sometimes sticks with them into their adult years. This is not a conscious effort to be this way or choose friends in this manner but generally because women want to feel secure about themselves, they will adopt this tendency.

For men the group number is lower. This is not because men don’t need to feel safe, it is because men do not really like rejection and the higher their group number, the harder they take the rejection. “Men are shit scared of women and fear being rejected by them. They would sometimes therefore go for the rotten looking girl so that they have a lower chance of being rejected.” Says Card

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Photo Melissa Douman

Though more and more people migrate to bars in the hope of improving on their social life, or even meeting someone, it doesn’t mean that they fit into any category, be it their attire, choice of beverage or the company that they keep. What women and men alike should really be weary of is the fact that with the evolution of the bar came the evolution of the pick-up line- Normal people do not use pick up lines.

Body language speaks a thousand words and if you are hoping that a man or woman returns your interest, make eye-contact with them and then flash a smile. If they ignore you chances are that they are not really interested. If they smile back, it means that you could take the first step and gradually make your way over to them and initiate conversation or that they may gradually make their way over to you and say “Hello”.

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