Fifty First (J)Dates: Can You Find Love in a Bar?

Aug 04, 2010 | Updated May 25, 2011

Sometimes, it's important to meet boys outside the context of JDate.

You can't hide behind the screen, or do two things at once, or pick your nose while IMing. Sometimes, you're just too muddled with flirts, weird awkward messages that disregard any and all social norms, and receding hairlines.

It's time for some fresh air. Literally. Get off your screen and out of your house and breathe in something that doesn't smell like three-day-old Honey Bunches of Oats. (Although those bunches are delicious, at any point.)

This past weekend I went out with some friends to bars in DC, and actually made a point to think about the guys I met there versus the ones I'd met thus far on the JDate Odyssey into the Deep Unknown But Actually Probably Not That Unknown Because You Share a Hebrew School Contact. I guess there is an advantage to meeting men online - you sort of have already cut out all the sh*t and know they're (probably) not looking for a one-night stand. Probably.

And then some of them might be looking for casual sex on JDate, but it's just not as likely. That just seems like too much work. (This works the other way too. Sometimes girls just want to...get 'er done. Which is fine.)

That's not true at a bar (or basically any other establishment...but bars in particular. Sweaty bars in DC summer are ripe with Jack Rogers. No honey, those are not acceptable night-time foot wear. Sorry.)

You know nothing about this prospective person, and you have no idea if they're single, attached, getting married in a lavish ceremony with a vegan menu in some random town called Rhinebeck, or just a cad looking to get laid. Dating sites eliminate a lot of the mystery, but also excitement.

During my anthropological study in boat shoes and headbands, we met a lot of hot guys. They were sort of douches. This could have been the guys we met (I am going to pretend im sooooo laid back, actually I work in finance but I wear backwards hats to bars to show that I'm anti-THE MAN). One particular group of gents were talking to us one second, and then just kind of peaced out, after one member of this delightful Preppy Poophead Party literally spit on the floor.

(I kid you not. I don't care if I resemble a rhinoceros with debilitating acne and a lazy eye, don't you EVER spit in front of a girl, on the floor of AN ESTABLISHMENT, again. Someone call the Health Department. Oh wait, this is DC.)

I know. It's hello Meredith, they weren't interested. Clearly.

I guess there's just sort of a certainty to being involved in a dating site, like you know immediately whether someone is interested in Tweeting with you for the rest of eternity/might want to get beyond a belching contest. Is that certainty and familiarity of being in a contained environment that everyone has actively come to for dating good?

Granted, if a bar "hookup" is what you're looking for, this was probably the place. I have a man with severely overactive salivary glands for you. And a penchant for bad South Park references. Oh really? A gay fish joke? How original.

I'm not sure I've ever met a guy I truly ended up liking in a "bar" situation.

Have you?

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