When I think of the phrase "first date," several things immediately come to mind — jitters, small talk, and drinks. During a first date, you're focused on getting to know this perfect stranger, being charming, and enjoying yourself, but you might also be distracted by thinking of how many people around you are wondering if you guys are on a first date. Well, they might not be wondering — they might know! There are tell-tale signs signs it's a first date, according to bartenders. Of course, obviously being on a first date isn't a bad thing. In fact, it can sometimes earn you goodwill from your bartender in the form of an extra stiff pour!
While the bartender is mixing up your Greyhound or Tennessee Mule, they're also noting your body language, conversation, and general vibe. I love people-watching as much as the next gal, and I love trying to scope who's on a first date when I'm out for drinks. I spoke to several bartenders across Los Angeles who happily shared the clues that reveal you're braving a first date and even though I fancy myself a pro at identifying first daters, some are pretty surprising.
It's a dead giveaway when a guy leaves his car keys on top of the bar where the girl can see them and be impressed by his fancy car.
The guy tries to guess what the girl likes to drink and she always says he's right. Even if she clearly doesn't like her drink and doesn't finish it, she's always like 'how did you know?'
On first dates, people are physically awkward, like they sit up too straight or avoid eye contact with their date. If they order drinks and I ask them if they want food, that's always fun because they're awkwardly trying to suss out if the other person likes them enough to stay for food.
Shots, Shots, Shots
If someone comes in and orders a shot and then is joined by a date, they're 99 percent on a first date or one percent about to be dumped. I guess if it's two shots, they're 100 percent about to be dumped.
Sizing Up Your Wallet
I can tell if it's a first date when the guy orders a cheap beer and the girl orders an expensive cocktail with fancy vodka. If she orders something much more expensive than his drink and then watches his reaction, I think she's figuring out if he's comfortable, money-wise.
Asking Detailed Questions About Wine
Guys try to impress their dates by asking specific questions about wine like what red blends are the most complex. I think he's trying to sound interesting and cultured. But if he was cultured, wouldn't he already know which red was complex?
Confiding In The Bartender
I can tell it's a first date when one of them straight up tells me it's a first date. Usually when one of them goes to the bathroom the other person acts all confessional and sometimes even asks how I think the date is going, or if the other person is cute, or if I think their date likes them.
If someone comes in wearing jeans and Converse and the other person shows up in a dress with stilettos, it's usually a first date. Couples usually dress similarly, and people on first dates have different ideas of what the night's going to be, so their clothes are kinda mismatched.
While some of these behaviors might make you roll your eyes at your date — like asking detailed questions about wine or leaving the keys to their Audi in plain sight — they're all done with the same goal in mind... to impress you. First dates can provoke anxiety, after all it's like a job interview but with emotional stakes. All the bartenders I spoke to expressed compassion for the first daters they've served, so keep in mind that your bartender is rooting for you to have a great first date, or at the very least, enjoy your drinks. Cheers!
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