Should girls with boyfriends accept drinks from guys at bars?

For us men, we’ll take any victory when we can get. We’re not like girls. We can’t just decide, “Okay, I think I’ll hook up tonight,” and then do it. We have to say, “Okay, I think I’ll hook up tonight. I hope the stars align.” And occasionally, they do.

There’s age-old cliché that goes something like, “You may have won the battle, but you’ll lose the war.”

I’ll take any goddamn battle I could get. For guys, the battle is the war. All we need is that one little small hook-up to instill some self-confidence, and then our dating life can come crashing down all around us right after that. That’s fine. We could lose the war even worse than Germany lost both World Wars combined, but if we had that one small victory along the way, then that alone is worth a Purple Heart.

It’s like the song, “I Just Had Sex” by the Lonely Island. Actually, it’s exactly like that. All you have to do is be smooth and charming enough for one night to convince to a girl to sleep with you, and then who cares what happens after that?

You did it. It’s over. You’ve won.

So when I’m out at bar, laying my sweet lyrical game, and I feel like a girl is receptive, it’s a nice feeling. I feel like a warrior, slashing down my foes by sword, slowly making my way to the castle to rescue the distressed princess.

There’s small things we strive for to make our way towards that metaphorical castle. Eye contact. Smiling. Extended conversation. Subtle touching. If you get three of those things, you move on to the next step.

That next step of course being to buy her a drink.

You know that part in war movies when the hero has to defeat the second-mightiest enemy? As in, the one who’s slightly bigger and more intimidating than the other generic bad guys, but yet, still very wimpy looking compared to the ultimate villain? Well offering to buy a drink is equivalent to taking on that second-mightiest enemy.

By offering, you are making your intentions extremely clear. No girl is naive enough to think you’re buying it for her to be nice. They know you want something in return. And let me give you a hint — it’s not another round.

And it’s not necessarily the fact that she accepts, but how she accepts. If you sense a momentary internal struggle prior to her response — even if she says yes — then it’s fair to wonder if she’s actually taken. But if there’s no hesitation, and you receive a smile, and she says “Sure,” then you’ve defeated that second enemy like a boss. You’re like Aragorn in Lord of the Rings beheading the orc king.

By the way, it goes without saying that you do not want to mention any of this analogy while you’re talking to the girl. That… would be bad.

So when she very happily accepts the drink, it should be smooth sailing from there, right?

Unfortunately, something I’ve learned in my experiences is that this is not always the case. Many girls who do have boyfriends still will accept that drink some of the time. It’s both a frustrating and upsetting part of the bar-mingling experience.

When she drops the “B” word, the very first thought that filters into the guy’s mind is. “Okay, so I’m not getting lucky tonight, and now I’m out eight bucks. Cool.” And the second-mightiest villain just came back to life and shoved his sword in your gullet.

Which leads to the ultimate question here — should girls who are in relationships accept drink offers from guys at bars?

I spent some time thinking about it recently. And I concluded that context is paramount when trying to answer this question. For example, if a girl is entwined in relationship, and happens to be out one night, and is approached a complete stranger who offers to purchase a drink — then in my utmost opinion, that girl has an obligation to say no. If she says yes, then that boyfriend is going to learn a lot about his girlfriend in the worst way in the very near future. Accepting that drink — again, in my opinion — is one notch below cheating on her boyfriend. Instead, she should respectfully decline.

But what about when a girl is given the offer by a guy who is in her current “group,” and by that I mean the circle of people she’s hanging out with. Most likely it’s a friend-of-a-friend who she only met that night, and thus he is ignorant to her relationship status.

And honestly, in this scenario, I really don’t blame the girl for accepting. Obviously, in an ideal world, she’d express her gratitude with the offer, and say, “I’m actually seeing somebody, but I would still love to have a drink with you,” and then even offer to pay. A decent fellow — myself included — would appreciate the candor and buy her the drink anyway. And then cry themselves to sleep later that night.

However, I can also understand why a girl wouldn’t do that. Maybe she’s uncomfortable being so open and honest. Maybe she is genuinely enjoying the gentleman’s company and doesn’t want to scare him off. Perhaps she’s just having a good time, feels a little tipsy, and wants a goddamn drink. All three are understandable. Although, the boyfriend wouldn’t be too thrilled with any of those. The dick.

Unfortunately, though, in all three of those scenarios, the loser is the guy. The poor, accursed guy. They’re the ones who actually do go home and watch The Return of the King on DVD. And the deluxe edition, at that.

But damn those movies are so good.

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