Should you buy her a drink? When to, and when not to buy a woman a drink at a bar

Buying a woman a drink can be a nice part of the dating ritual as the two of you get to know each other and discover more and more that you like each other.

It can also be a way to lose money trying to be nice for a woman who is using you to get something (wow, that sounded harsh). Or it can be a way to bribe a woman into spending time talking to you.

No man likes to be used for his money and taken for a ride, which is what it can feel like when a man buys a woman a drink, then she takes off after 5 minutes of talking, or worse, leaves right after you hand her the drink you just bought her.

There are women that will go out just to have guys buy drinks for them. They like to find a guy who will buy them drinks, and in some cases, that is even their M.O. when they go out.

And I think that’s fine. More power to them. If a woman wants to put her womanly charms to work, then she should go for it. This blog is, after all, all about putting our masculine charms to work for us. I may have plenty of double standards, but not about this.

Women have every right to get drinks bought for them by men that want to buy them drinks.

I’m just not going to be one of those men.

I will buy a drink for a woman when things are moving along, and we are getting to know each other more and more. I believe that this is part of being a gentleman, and just as I would open the door for her and make sure she is safe, I would buy her a drink.

Knowing the difference between these two situations is important. I’ve screwed this up plenty of times, and learned from it. This post is about what I have figured out.

Also, as a special bonus, I’m gonna give you the best choice when a woman asks you to pick a drink for her. If you have asked a woman what she’s drinking and she says, “just pick something for me”, you’re gonna want to read this part. That’s at the end, so make sure you read all the way through.

As a second special bonus, I am going to give you the best answer when a woman offers to buy you a drink.

Don’t be an infomercial salesman

Don’t exchange a drink for a woman’s time.

If I ever catch any of you approaching a woman and asking to buy her a drink right off the bat, I am gonna slap you.

Lead with personality, not bribes. I have a whole category on this blog about leading with personality.

So how is this a bribe? When a man offers to buy a drink for a woman right away, there is another request going on, and that request is that she talk to him for a while, so he can work his game get to know her.

In terms of first impressions, however, you can do better. It is much stronger to make women want to spend time with you because of your personality, energy, and humor than it is to have her talk to you because something is in it for her.

For some reason, I think of infomercials where if you order now, you will get a free set of steak knives! Talk to me for the next 10 minutes and you will get this free cosmo for no added charge!

Girls just want to have fun (and drink for free)

It’s been done before, and it will happen again. A man will approach a group of women, and one of them will ask him to buy them drinks.

Ouch.

Deep down, you know that this is a sort of a test. She’s either trying to use you, or poking at you to see if you will lose you cool and give in to what she wants.

I think most guys know at this point that she is not asking for a drink because she really likes you. She isn’t gonna hang out with you for the rest of the night and spend a lot of time getting to know you.

I have felt that bad little feeling in my gut when a woman asks me to buy her a drink right after I meet her. I feel like I would lose some of my dignity if I did buy her a drink, but there is this fear that the woman won’t like me if I don’t buy her the drink.

It’s a lose-lose situation, damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

So what do you do? The thing to do is to banter. If you can poke her right back, that is the best sort of response to this sort of thing.

A couple quick banter lines that can turn this around:

  • Oh, I could never let business come in between our friendship like that.
  • You know, they say Hitler bought girls drinks at bars before he started World War 2.
  • Sure, I’ll buy you one of every drink they have, but only if you promise to be a good girl and finish them all.

Or the ever popular (and stolen from my friend Joe):

  • You’re a drink.

By bantering, you keep the interaction moving in a fun way, but without giving in to her (unrealistic) request.

There are going to be women out there that are interested in men buying them drinks, for whatever reason. It’s fine that they do that, but you have to remember that it is fine that you aren’t the guy to give that to them.

As the romance builds, a little drink goes a long way

So when can you buy a woman a drink without it being a bribe for her to spend time with you or you caving in to her demands?

If you and a woman have talked for a while, you are getting positive responses, and the conversation has moved away from just surface level stuff and is moving further along, a woman asking you to buy her a drink is probably inviting you to spend more time with her.

She isn’t trying to use you or take you for a ride now. At this point the conversation probably feels like it is the two of you together on a date than it is two people at a bar that don’t know each other.

If a woman asks me to buy her a drink at this point, what I really hear is, “would you like to spend more time with me?”

She is not asking in any sort of judgmental way, or not to size me up, but in a way that conveys that she wants to spend more time with me.

Keep in mind that if you are at a bar, then the thing to do is have a drink. That is the primary activity that binds everyone together at the bar. If the two of you have finished your drinks, the obvious thing to do is get another.

A drink isn’t that expensive. It is probably $5 to $10, depending where you are. At this point in the relationship, the drink is a token. It is a step in the mating dance, the step when you show a little investment in what is developing between the two of you.

How much do you make her feel she is worth?

To get some perspective, imagine this from a woman’s point of view. You have met a man, you have shown that you are interested in him, and he seems to be interested in you in return. You would like to spend more time with him, and continue to get to know him…

… but he doesn’t even buy you a drink. He won’t even spend a few bucks on a drink for you. His $5 is more important to him than you are.

You aren’t even worth $5 to this man. How do you feel about this man now? Is he rude? Is he inconsiderate? Is he a cheapskate? Will he take care of you?

If you can tell that this woman is interested in you, treat her well. Show her that you are willing to invest a little back into this developing relationship.

Even better, lead the interaction, and offer to get her a drink if you are ready to get one for yourself.

If you are done with your drink, and you are ready for another, ask her what you can get for her when you go to the bar. If your interaction is moving along as far as it should be after this much time, that is a very appropriate thing to do.

“You choose a drink for me”

I’ve run into this, you are spending time with a woman, and it is time to get drinks for the two of you. You ask what she is drinking, and she says, “pick something for me,” or “I’ll have what you’re having.”

Not a lot of women like what I like to drink (Bourbon and Scotch). Buying her what I would like for myself probably won’t work.

What do you get her? Something fancy like a cosmo might be a little try hard or cliché. Wine is usually out of place at a bar, especially if you or she’s been drinking other stuff. Not all women like beer.

When I get this response, I feel like I am being tested. Am I going to be able to make the right decision? Do I know enough about women to know what they like?

Here’s the answer: get two Coronas.

Most people like a Corona. It is a lighter beer, and easy to drink. It comes with that lime stuck in the top, which is cool.

Also, there is a bit of a counter challenge in that. Can she hang with out and is she cool enough to drink beer with you?

What to do if she offers to buy you a drink

It is a wonderful thing when a woman buys you a drink.

Women, if you want to impress a man and make him like you a little more, buy him a beer.

If she offers to buy you a drink, say yes, thank her, and enjoy that drink, player.

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