If you have bartender friends, you probably see them more during the week than on weekends. You may also notice that family members who work behind the stick are often missing from holiday gatherings. That’s because bartenders work long hours and, typically, opposite schedules than folks with traditional office jobs. If you’ve ever dated a bartender, you’re probably hyper aware of this and may even have faced certain challenges because of it.
Generally speaking, bartenders are awesome people, so dating one can be a real joy. But there are certain things to know before taking the plunge. Here, six bartenders fill us in on what you should know before you date a bartender.
“Dating a bartender can be both fun and trying at the same time—not unlike any other relationship. The advantages: They are usually creative, open minded, fun-loving, adventurous, intuitive, worldly and great listeners. Certainly there are exceptions, but for the most part, I’d say that the majority of the men and women I know in the field possess a handful of these endearing qualities. The disadvantages: They work strange and late hours, are easily distracted, may be potentially lazy, might be a little too into ‘the scene,’ may compare every drink to something they made or had somewhere else, and can be players. A lot of these are generalizations, but I would bet that the bartender you’re considering dating falls into at least a couple of these positive and negative categories.” —Matt Seigel
“We work late nights and weird hours, so unfortunately this can be a damper on a relationship with people who live in the corporate office world. We don't understand ‘weekend life’ and love having weekdays off. Trying to date someone who works a traditional 9-to-5 is difficult because you will struggle to make plans together. The same goes for holidays. Bartenders like to work holidays because these are the busiest and best days to make money. So, sorry in advance if we don't want to run in the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 5K. We would rather work and make your weekly paycheck in one night.” —Morgan Zuch, Datz
“I can't speak for everyone, but I know my friends who work as bartenders are all very caring and passionate individuals. We work really hard and long hours, so it can be both mentally and physically taxing. I really value my days off and like to enjoy them with the ones I love or even like. I’m always tasting my cocktails for consistency behind a bar, so oftentimes when I’m off work, I don't necessarily want to drink. We are usually good conversationalists and have fun stories to share.” —Cody Goldstein, The Horny Ram
“Bartenders are humans. Just like anyone else, we work a job and hopefully we don't take too much of it home. We're not super humans, we're not all drunks, we're not all drug addicts, and we live relatively ‘normal’ lives. We arrive to our job, set up and provide hospitality. We have interests outside of our job and some of us even have pets! The major difference I can comment on between dating a bartender versus a non bartender: the hours. A lot of us—not all—work the night shift. If you can't handle the hours, that's cool, but it's like me stating that I could never date someone that travels 365 days a year for their job. It's all about preference. My girlfriend wakes up at about 3 a.m. (when I get home) from her slumber to have a conversation with me about our days and what's been going on. She's my champion and I'm incredibly lucky to have her in my life. She works 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., so occasionally she'll stop by the bar to say hi, but I'm usually too busy to have a proper conversation! The 3 a.m. conversation is where it's at, and I'm grateful.” —Natasha Torres, Bar Moga
“We're superb listeners and and have great stories. We're essentially the best value therapists on the market, so the guest narratives often pour in. Just do us a solid and wait a couple hours after our shift is over before unloading all of your issues too. Also, get comfortable with going out on offbeat nights. Not only do I work most Fridays and Saturdays, but I'd also rather pierce my nipples weekly than battle hordes of drunk weekenders.” —Eric Sadovnick
“We have very little time for date night, but when we do go out, expect to be shown a great time." - Ricardo Rodriguez, Lolo’s Surf Cantina