An experience a friend of mine had recently, while kicking back at a bar drinking with a few of his friends, and chatting up the occasional girl or two in range:
“... but then a really pretty babe saw me who had already agreed to meet me for a date. She came up and said ‘Are you Will?' And I said hi. She was like ‘Are you here like all the time?' and the bartender was like ‘oh yea, he's here a lot.'
Later I got a text from her saying: ‘I'm not going to be able to meet you for our date, and I can't reschedule. Best of luck!'
Lol. Oh well. I never thought socializing at night would ever work AGAINST me, but I guess there is a first for everything!”
Definitely a bummer (and actually pretty rude). Highest admiration to my friend for taking that with the kind of poise and elegance he typically does. If you're not fully attuned to the social dynamics at play here, in addition to being hurtful, rude, and flighty, it can also look downright random.
It's obvious there's some kind of value judgment going on: “Oh, you're a regular? Oh... erm... uh... yeah, I can't see you again. Have a nice life!”
A big enough value judgment to totally flip her from, “Sure, let's go on a date and see where it leads,” to, “Erk – no.”
Yet, there's more at play here than meets the eye, and the value
flop is only a part of it.
So what's so bad about being a regular, anyway?
The Base Level Value Judgment
Let's talk about the value judgment going on here first.
There are a few different ways a woman can receive you when she finds out you're a regular at a bar or club, and it depends on a few things:
- How experienced at nightlife she is and how she feels about it
- How new to this venue in particular she is
- Her age, and what exactly she's looking for
Each of these things impacts her assessment of your value as a potential mate to her, and each for its own reasons. Here's how they work:
Experience Level: three (3) potential scenarios here:
She's new to nightlife, and aspires to be a part of it. In this case, your value goes up, as you seem like someone who can help pull her into it and help her acclimate to it as a tried-and-true veteran. You are already good at what she aspires to be good at
She's inexperienced at nightlife, and holds it in disdain. This is the girl who's only in the bar because her friend dragged her along. If you're a regular, you might as well have just announced that you and she are total opposites: while she looks down on nightlife and regular nightlife patrons, you yourself are a regular nightlife patron. Major value hit
She's experienced with nightlife. In this case, you being a regular is something that communicates you're on the same level as she is – you're not a newbie or a passerby. You're relatable. That normally lends you value... although it depends on the situation (more on this below)
Newness to the Venue: three (3) potential scenarios here as well:
She's new to the venue, and doesn't like it. If you're a regular in a venue she dislikes, it's pretty obvious that you have bad taste in venues and probably everything else, too. Automatic relatability fail here, as you get associated with whatever it is about the venue she finds distasteful – if it's a sleazy dive bar for instance, you're a sleazy dive bar regular. Ick. Or if it's a pretentious nightclub, you're a pretentious nightclub regular. No thanks
She's new to the venue, and likes it. Your value is sky high; here's someone holding all the keys to the venue, who's friends with the staff, and knows this place like the back of his hand. You're worth getting to know at the very least
She's a longtime regular herself. Oh... how come you haven't met before?? Well, this is fun – the two of you obviously have similar tastes. The BIG question here is how this interacts with what she's looking for and what stage of her life she's in... we'll go a lot deeper into this a little later on in article
Age and Objective: three (3) potential scenarios here:
She's young and looking for fun. You're pretty likely to get a value boost by being a regular here, much of the time. Clearly you like to party, and especially if she likes this venue, you may well be a prime candidate for that
She's older and looking for fun. This one's the same as the last; no difference, actually
She's older and looking for something serious. Major value hit for you here; she's looking for a serious boyfriend, and you're a nightlife regular? She immediately knows that what you're looking for and what she is are almost certainly not in alignment
What about younger and looking for something serious, you might ask? Younger women who want something serious don't go to bars. They meet men through their social circles, at work, etc.
Why do older women who want something serious go to bars, then? Either because:
They're “recovering party girls” who have spent years meeting men in bars and nightclubs and parties, so that is where they go to hunt for men even when what they now want is commitment, or
They've waited too long to snap someone up, and now all the men in their social circles are married off and they aren't having any luck going other places to meet men. So they turn to the nightlife scene and cross their fingers
If that seems like something of a double standard – she's a party girl (or “former” party girl) and a nightlife regular, and now she's penalizing YOU for being a nightlife regular, tough cookies. She's looking for what she's looking for, and if you throw off signals that imply you aren't what she's looking for, she's going to want to abandon ship.
Why Are You a Regular?
Now, there's another value judgment that happens here too, and it's tied to how your being a regular is framed; are you a regular because you're a person of value, or are you a regular because this is just where you go to spend your money and engage in television-staring and idle chit-chat?
Especially if a woman is past her mid-20s, she's reaching a point
where she expects high status men to be busy, ambitious, and
accomplished, and someone who regularly hangs around shooting the
breeze with his buddies in a bar, whiling away the hours, gives the
exact opposite impression of that (whether he's actually already
successful or not).
In this case, the bartender didn't do my friend any favors. He could have said:
- “Will's practically the honorary owner of this place” or
- “Will's a pillar of our community here – he's vital to us” or
- “Every time Will stops by, I give him one on the house –
way of luring him back”
... anything to build up his value and make him sound like a high value man, really.
Instead, the bartender went with quite possibly the lowest value way he could have put it: “Oh yeah, he's here a lot.”
Didn't use his name. Didn't make him sound like he's there because he's wanted. Didn't do anything to imply he's a person to be respected and honored.
Just made him sound like an ordinary, average, low value guy who hangs out there. He's just a barfly.
No wonder she left with a bad taste in her mouth.
I've had a few bartenders slime me like this before (usually if they were angling for the girl I was talking with), and that usually spells the end of my time frequenting that venue, personally. A bartender has a position of authority in the bar, and he can BUILD YOU UP or TEAR YOU DOWN. And he knows it. There are a few oblivious bartenders out there who will fumble you up out of sheer butterfingers, but most guys who've been bartending for 6 or more months in relatively busy bars where various courtships go on get razor sharp social skills in a hurry.
I guarantee you this bartender probably knew exactly what the score was when the girl walked up. When a girl walks up and says, “Are you here like all the time?”, she's preparing to reject you if the answer isn't awesome.
She's winding up the pitch; all she needs is the right signal that her read is on the mark and not off base.
In this case, the bartender signaled her to throw.
I wouldn't go back... but that's just me. Unless you're best buddies with the owner, you have no control over who the bartenders are, and a man in a position of authority who's going to actively run cockblock game against you is just not a situation you're doing yourself any favors by repeatedly putting yourself back into. There are too many cool bartenders out there who will make you sound awesome for frequenting their bars and keeping them flush with tips instead to worry about hanging around someone petty who's going to throw monkey wrenches into the gears of your seductions.
There's one other consideration here, too – if the girl in question observed my friend chatting up other girls (as he had been doing), she'll come to the natural conclusion that these are his “hunting grounds” and he regularly comes here to look for women.
If she hasn't slept with him yet, this makes him look low value and kind of ineffective. So this guy comes out here, flirts with girls, collects a bunch of phone numbers, texts with them, and then... does it all again next weekend? He must have a low batting average.
This effectively functions as anti-preselection; rather than
someone who's doing great with women, he keeps trying, but he's not
getting anywhere fast. If she was curious about him before, this can
lead her to reverse her decision in a heartbeat: “Oh. I guess he's not
as sexy and powerful as I thought,” and at that point you're toast.
“Oh... I'm a Regular TOO...”
However, value judgments are just the half of it.
Even if you'd get a positive value judgment for being a regular – you can grant her social status and help her get into an environment she wants to get into – you may still have her opt out of dating you anyway due to this last reason.
And that's if she's a regular, too.
Why would that have any impact on things? Doesn't that mean you're probably reasonably compatible if you both like coming back to the same place again and again?
Remember what we discussed way back in “The Secret to Hooking Up with Friends”? About how women sleep with men on the periphery of their social circles... NOT the guys who are close friends, frequent associates, or otherwise “fixtures” in their lives?
Guess what you are if you're a regular at the place where she's also a regular?
That's right... a FIXTURE...
And that means she's going to be running into you... a LOT...
And it also means that if you get to know her, and become emotionally invested in her for whatever reason, you now suddenly have the power to impact her social life in a potentially very negative way.
Let's say a girl and a guy are both regulars at the same bar. They meet, and decide to go on a date. The date's just okay, and she's not really feeling it, so she decides she doesn't want another date and just doesn't text back.
Oh! But there he is again at her regular bar the very next Saturday. And now he's walking up to her... awkward...
Him: Hey, Casey, did you get my texts? We should totally hang out again! You have to let me know when you're free.
Her: Oh – hey Gary! Yeah, sorry, I've been super slammed with work this week, I'm way behind on responding to texts. But totally – I'll text you!
And now he's watching her like a hawk all night.
She wants to talk to some other guys?
[text from Gary: So who was that guy you were just talking to?]
She accepts a drink from another guy?
[text from Gary: You know, if you're not interested, you can just tell me to my face]
She leaves with another guy?
[text from Gary: I didn't realize what a slut you were. I'm glad we didn't hook up]
Any wonder why a girl who's a regular doesn't want to have anything to do with a guy who's a regular?
If she's young and inexperienced, she may still go for it anyway. But once she's had an experience like this, she learns to avoid fellow male regulars at the venues she frequents like the PLAGUE.
Male regulars are the destroyers of venues for her. It only takes one of these guys to make a bar, club, lounge, or other nightlife venue completely un-frequent-able for her.
Doesn't matter if you're “cool”. Most guys are. Most guys will take it like a man and not turn into insulting, whiney, emotional, poor excuses of men – or get abusive or stalkerish.
Some men do. And these few bad apples spoil things for the whole bunch. Unless she's convinced that you are her next Mr. Right, she's not going to risk ruining a venue she likes for you, because she has no way of knowing whether you're a normal person or a bitter, vengeful victim who will seek recompense from her if he feels like he's been snubbed.
It's not worth losing a fun place that provides her as many new men as she wants to meet to take a chance with just one of those men, even if he seems pretty cool.
In this case, it's easy to feel offended, but she's just protecting her downside. The sooner she can bail once she's found out you're a regular at the same place she is, the better.
Strategy for Regulars
Of course, there's no need to swear off being a regular somewhere just because you're afraid of losing access to the female members of the bar who are regulars... OR the girls who are looking for something serious, or hold bars and clubs in disdain, or think poorly of you for being a regular when you should be too busy conquering the world to be sitting around in a pub pounding back pale ales and making small talk with pals several times a week.
In fact, I strongly recommend
you become a regular at the places you find you a.) enjoy most and b.)
most often get great results with women at. There's no reason not to
milk a venue like this once you've found
your niche – so long as it stays good, it will very often
easily provide you a steady stream of new women who are just your type.
Instead, you just need to be a little more strategic, is all.
Here's what I recommend:
Don't get pinned as a “regular”: being the guy with connections who's well-liked there? That's cool, especially if she's younger or new to the venue or new in town. Being a “regular”? This you do not want, because it sounds like you have lots of free time and waste it just hanging out (that means: you're not busy with ambitious projects... not busy juggling all the women who are chasing after you... and not really all that excellent or exceptional or enticing compared to the men who are; you're not among “the best”).
If she asks if you “come here often”, just tell her you come here when you “need to take a breather from life” or something along those lines – it sounds mysterious, and makes it sound like you are busy with whatever ambitious projects (or women) you have going on. It's also better if she runs into you out alone; a man who frequents a bar by himself is a question mark to be figured out... a man who hits the bar with his pals is just another guy following the herd (it seems like).
Separate your pick up spots from your hang out spots: building on that last, maybe you just like to head out and shoot the breeze with your buddies and kick back some beers. Nothing wrong with that. However, make sure that the places you predominantly do this at and the places where you really go hard on meeting women are different... otherwise, the restrictions can be like social circle x10. Because a bar where you and she are both regulars isn't just a social circle... it's a social circle where you both meet people to date, and often. She'll be even more on-edge about having anything happen with another opposite sex regular because of this.
Don't revisit the same venue if you have pending girls from it: here's a rule I've long held: do not revisit the same venue again if you have a girl (or two) from it pending that you haven't slept with yet (and you still think you have a shot to). I'm religious about this. I assume that EVERY girl I meet at a bar or a nightclub is a regular there. No exceptions. Even if she says she never goes out.
Why? What's so bad about running into her again at the same place? Maybe you can actually take her home next time, you say!
Here's the problem: if you didn't pull her the first time you met her in a bar/club, you probably aren't going to pull her the second time around. Especially if she now knows you're a regular, and you now know that she is. But there are a few more reasons, too:
You're now obviously actively “hunting” – she might have imagined that your first meeting was just chance, but now it seems that you go out to get girls... which she probably assumes high value guys don't do. High value guys are just out and about and happen to fall into sex with women almost accidentally – at least, this is how women often assume it must be, how romance novels usually depict it being, and how the men who are most talented with women make it look like it is
It's now a party date – and the same reasons for why you should never, ever take a girl on one of these (unless you're the gambling sort or you just don't care about the girl very much and want to see what happens) apply every bit as much to meeting her out in the venue as they do to specifically meeting up with her there on a proper “date”
She might not respond the same way – partly because of the value hit you might take from being a regular, partly because you may just be off or different, or partly because she might be chatting up another guy (or even just finished publicly making out with one) and now it's just awkward and weird... and that won't be forgotten when you text her 3 days later trying to still set up that date you talked about the first time and acting like nothing happened
You will probably start chasing – it's almost impossible to avoid it; you feel like she's “yours”, after all the work you did to get her phone number and agreement to a date the first time around, and now she's distracted by all the bright lights and loud music and handsome men and you've got to re-interest her all over again. There goes her interest in you... not to mention, there goes the whole rest of your night
You will inspire her to MAKE you chase – women in bars and clubs love attention and validation; no two ways about it. So what happens when a girl runs into you again in a venue and she knows you like her but (because you haven't slept together yet) she's still holding the cards... instinct kicks in, and it's time for you to work for it. No smart woman is ever going to pass up the chance to make a man she isn't totally sold on yet (which she won't be about you, unless your game and fundamentals are absolutely ace, and even then sometimes not) compete against other men and see who emerges the victor... or if both look bad, and she's just dodged a bullet. How a man handles such a situation is a great indicator about his true mate value
I lost girls I probably should've ended up with early on from not
following this edict. And I've had a few girls that I've violated it
with and still managed to take home at the end of the night, usually
after demonstrating a Herculean amount of reserve and aptitude as I
remained nonplussed while she flirted or made out with other guys, and
simply chose my moments to advance things and pull. Those make for fun,
triumphant memories... but I'd probably have had a much easier time of
things just meeting up with them on a date instead.
Avoid getting pinned as a regular, avoid using your hangout spots as your pick up spots, and avoid frequenting venues you have girls “pending” from, and this will never be an issue for you.
If She Treats You Like a “Regular” Anyway
Here's your fire extinguisher, in case you mucked it all up and now she's treating you like a regular she needs to avoid like the plague.
How would I respond to a text like the one my friend Will received? Like so:
Her: I'm not going to be able to meet you for our date, and I can't reschedule. Best of luck!
(if you read this article and it's 2017, “lolwut” will probably be played out, but just replace it with whatever trendy, short “haha, um, that makes absolutely no sense, are you bonkers?” phrase is in fashion)
And if she delivers a similar sentiment in person, your response is, “Umm... pardon?”
Essentially, she's suddenly flipping on her earlier position without warning or explanation, and doing it in a panicky, value-destroying way. She's doing it in a way that takes value from you, and if you respond like a normal guy:
- Yield to the frame: “Okay, I understand...”
- Rage against it: “Screw you, you dumb sack! You're ugly anyway!”
... all you do is confirm her decision to axe you.
But if you treat her like a creeper with low social IQ, it plunges a splinter of cognitive dissonance into her mind that she's all but forced to continue the discussion with you in order to resolve.
You just keep your responses very short, quizzical, and disbelieving, treating her like a retarded child babbling nonsense at you until she starts explaining herself. If that sounds incredibly dismissive, that's because it is; she's just done you an incredible insult, and you've got to make her feel the pain of violating social norms very strongly here and apply the right amount of social pressure to get her to get her treating you like an intelligent human being who deserves enough respect to talk plainly with.
At that point, by the time she is speaking more plainly with you, so long as you continue to act nonplussed and make her continue to explain herself, you'll be able to see her visibly become less and less certain in her decision that you are someone best avoided, and can sometimes effect a turnaround:
Her: I'm not going to be able to meet you for our date, and I can't reschedule. Best of luck!
Her: Sorry, I'm just really busy.
Her: I can't date right now.
You: Doesn't make sense
Her: What doesn't make sense about it?
You: I'll call you
At that point, you're in a dialogue. (You'd call her, talk to her in your sexiest voice, and then do your
absolute DARNEDEST to a.) set her mind at ease, and b.) get her out
IMMEDIATELY before she changes her mind back again... which she will,
most assuredly, unless you see her in person and make something happen
then and there)
It won't always go exactly like that, but by the time the house is burning down, that's your best shot at getting all your valuables out before the roof collapses.
However, the goal is not to end up in situations where you need to rescue your valuables from a burning house... it's to not let the house go on fire in the first place.
And to do THAT, all you must do is follow the rules of the regular:
Don't get pinned as a “regular”
Separate your pick up spots from your hang out spots
Don't revisit the same venue if you have girls pending from it