How Do You Flirt? (Part One: Bar Banter)


On Saturday I went to an awesome loft party with Jess Downey, a dating blogger who has crazier dating stories than I do! Walking into the party, I felt good. I’d spent 2 hours in the gym, gotten a pedicure earlier that day and I was wearing my convertible dress from Igigi in the one-shoulder version.

As we stood at the bar waiting for our drinks, men began to approach us. It was then that I realized how long it had been since I’d been out in the bar scene without Robert. Men were flirting with Jess and me and for a few minutes, I forgot how to flirt in a bar. At first, I let Jess do most of the talking. She’s adorable, she’s got a great energy about her and she’s very approachable. Guys were coming over and saying silly/witty/funny/random things. We’d laugh and then Jess would retort with her own humorous comments.

But I felt weird because I was no longer fluent in flirty “bar-banter”. Bar banter, is that kind of funny/sarcastic way that strangers of the opposite sex interact at a bar. It’s often short sentences that are yelled into someones ear over the music. Once a punchline is reached, everyone laughs and then prays that awkward silence doesn’t follow. Here’s an example:

Guy: I can’t believe they only have one bartender here

Girl: Me either, he’s making some complicated drinks!

Guy: I know– I say, he pours us all shots and we call it a day!

Girl: I’m down!

(laughter) (maybe even a high-five)

These are the conversations that “we met at a bar” stories are made of. There’s no substance, no real understanding of who the other person is… but somehow people translate this into dating situations. A few drinks later my Bar-Banter skills came back after a few conversations and I was holding my own while playing wing-girl for Jess. But then I remembered that bar-banter never appealed to me, it actually used to drive me a little crazy.

As a single girl, Bar-Banter is technically awesome! Being approached by a guy, laughing at his dumb jokes maybe even letting a guy buy me a drink or dancing with him felt good and of course, I always wondered if it would lead to something more. Turning Bar-Banter into something more (i.e. a phone number or a date) is even more difficult and honestly, I forgot how stressful it all can be.

Are you fluent in “Bar-Banter”? Do you enjoy flirting with guys at bars?

  • Anonymous

    Maybe you can find out more about guys before you even get to the bar?

  • Vanessa

    I usually don’t go to bars actually, I prefer to go to cafes, which are a lot more appropriate for conversation. So no, I’d say I am not fluent at all in bar-banter. The few times I went to a bar or club, it was fun, but it was mostly about dancing!

  • Memphis own Shining Star

    Oh how I wish I was. I usually the one that can never hear the guy to even pretend ads though I am interested nor do I do well at all with casual conversation. Surelly this is something I have been working on, lol.

  • Molivinlarge

    I excel at bantering in most situations. Over the phone with clients and customers, at a restaurant with waiters and waitresses, even with my friends. Bar-Bantering however is another playing field. If I feel confident in the situation, I’m an excellent banter-er. But if I suspect nefarious purposes (i.e. like I’m the grenade that someone’s taking on for the team), I’m curt to the point of rudeness and remove myself from the situation. But honestly, as I get older and am more willing to engage in bantering in the time it takes a bartender to get and fill my order, the more annoyed I get at how seriously guys take it. I’m making conversation to pass the time, not because I want to go home with you. Ugh.

    • Elle

      This. Yes. I only talk when spoken to. But my cheery-time-filling-politeness almost always gets misconstrued as interest. Bars I’ve encountered tend to house trash, so I wouldn’t look for numbers there anyway. This more applies to grocery stores, restaurants, gyms etc.

  • Aly

    I have always been very good at the bar-banter and my thin friends are always very amused/interested/shocked at how easy I turn bar-banter into a phone number or date as I am a psp. I am just a very social person and am quick on my feet, but I was recently informed (last night actually) that being a good bar-banterer can make for a bad wing-woman, and that I need to be less quick/witty/interesting