I love going to bars alone.
It was actually my coworker Zara who first encouraged me to do so. In her words, "trolling" bars without anyone else is an experience you'll never forget, and a skill you'll keep forever.
And oh, what a different world it is: You end up talking to people you normally wouldn't, get better at perceiving the world around you and, most importantly, learn how to be alone. It can be a blessing in disguise.
But if going to a bar alone freaks you out, you can still go with friends and take advantage of your single status. If you see a cute guy you like, they can egg you on to go talk to him.
See, the beauty about being single is you can pretty much do whatever you want because you're not tied down. You're only on your own time.
And we all know that once you get into a relationship, you'll eventually just want to spend nights in on the couch, anyway.
So while you're happily single, take advantage of all these things you can do at a bar:
1. Slip a guy your phone number.
So, you don't have a boyfriend: big whoop. This is the time in your life when you get to hand out your number to extremely attractive men. I've actually met quite a few guys this way.
Here's my tip for you: If you're eyeing the bartender, when the bill comes, write a cute message at the bottom, like "Thank you :)" (Yes, the smiley face is crucial, but a winky face will also do). Then, leave your number by your signature.
If he's not the bartender but a fellow patron, write your name and number on a napkin or coaster.
Trust me: You'll miss this part once you become old and boring.
If he rejects you or doesn't call you, who cares? There are millions of other men in the world, and if you don't want to, you never have to see that guy ever again. (ahem, there are a million other bars in the world, too.)
2. You can have your friend slip him your number.
Are you too shy? Have no fear: That's what friends are for!
My friend and I always play this game where I give the guys she's interested in her number, and she gives the guys I'm interested in my number.
There's power in numbers, my single friends. So use it to your advantage.
3. Practice your flirting.
There's no better place to practice your flirt game than at a bar.
All you have to do is find a guy you're attracted to, lock eyes with him and give him a suggestive smile or wink.
4. Take him home.
Once you've chatted with your eye candy over a couple of drinks — and you're into him just as much as he's into you — just take him home.
Yes, ladies, you should feel empowered taking a man home! Men do it all the time, so don't feel ashamed or dirty or whatever's running through your head for achieving such a small-but-mighty accomplishment.
If you can flirt with him to the point where you've got a man for the night, it's a great success.
5. Get to know the bartender.
The bartender is your friend.
Seriously: They will look out for you when you get too drunk, keep an eye on your drink when you go to the bathroom (so that you don't get roofied) and listen to all of your greatest stories.
When you're alone, you really have the opportunity to get to know the bartender. So take advantage of that.
5. Get free drinks.
Milk it, lady. MILK IT.
Befriending the bartender means getting free drinks tonight... and possibly, for all eternity.
And if you're not into him in ~that~ way? Don't worry. As long as you're clear about it from the beginning, he won't think you want more.
When I'm alone, I love to just sit at the bar and people-watch. It's fun to watch others get progressively drunker or witness the beginning of a fairytale romance. It's also amusing to just observe other single people chilling at the bar.
Just don't be a creep about it... duh.
Or get any form of work done that you need to catch up on. Bring your iPad, a book or whatever it is that keeps you busy, and get in the zone.
I like to go to bars and write because there's always so much happening around me, and that means endless inspiration.
If you don't want to be bothered, though, make sure you bring a pair of headphones. Trust me: No one will bother you if you have those bad boys on.
8. Treat yourself to a nice meal.
Sometimes, I don't even go to a bar to drink; I just go to eat.
Swanky bars usually have some pretty sweet food. The bartender will know which drink you should pair with your salmon, filet, oysters or whatever it is that you order.
Plus, there's nothing sexier or more sophisticated than a woman eating alone at a bar. It shows that she's confident, doesn't care what people think about her and isn't afraid to go after what she wants all on her own.
Your confidence will be contagious to everyone around you, and that's exactly what's so awesome about riding solo to your favorite watering hole.