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12 Signs You're Dating a Bartender

by Melissa Allen Nov 13, 2017

Bartenders are charming, fun, and can get you drunk for free — what’s not to love? Perhaps, the late nights, easy access to booze, and the constant attention of attractive strangers? Dating a bartender can be an adjustment, but we promise we’re worth it!

1. There is now an assortment of various-sized ice cube trays in your freezer.

There is a right way and a wrong way to enjoy your alcohol. If you are dating a bartender, you better be doing it the right way. That means sipping a nice whiskey over a colossal ice cube.

2. Your weekly alcohol intake has tripled.

You spend your Friday nights visiting your honey at work and you are always given the bottomless wine special. As well as shots with regulars, shots with staff, and that “just hang out for a while as we close up” beer. Stock up on morning green juices to counteract the effects.

3. Your kitchen is a graveyard of branded promotional bar tools and assorted junk.

Shaker tins, bottle openers, sunglasses, hoodies, even bicycles — liquor companies love to brand promotional materials and dole them out to bar staff. Every time your significant other comes home from working a private event or a brand party, you can expect a new “gift” to add to your collection.

4. Your neighbors are worried you are running an undercover Airbnb rental.

Dating someone in the service industry means having a frequent late-night visitor who shows up at your door at 2 AM on a Tuesday. Be prepared for some awkward roommate convos. Or keep the late-night visits to the weekends.

5. You have given up on the idea of weekend getaways.

Working weekends is part and parcel of most bar jobs. Weekends off must be conserved for weddings, vacations, or very special occasions. It sucks sometimes, but at least you have a partner in crime if you want to play hooky on a Wednesday.

6. You piss off your friends by constantly over-tipping.

When you date someone who lives off tips, you become hyper-aware of your own tipping game. Friends will complain about this. Nothing makes someone feel like a cheapskate more than a friend who tips 30%.

7. If a bar is busy, you order the easiest drink to make.

After you’ve witnessed someone you care about drowning in the weeds because a group just ordered ten mojitos during the Saturday night rush, you’ll never wish to inflict the same pain on another bartender.

8. You will have to win over the work family.

Co-workers in the service industry have a special relationship. Working long hours in a high-stress situation followed by partying after work forges a tight bond. Any serious contenders for relationship status must be carefully vetted. But once you’re in, you’re part of the family. That means free drinks for life, whether you like it or not.

9. You constantly have to explain to your family that your significant other does have a real job.

Let’s face it — restaurant jobs don’t always get the respect they deserve. Professional bartenders can make six-figure salaries at the right establishments, and many bar jobs require years of experience. You might see how hard your partner works, but you often still have to break it down for Mom and Dad.

10. You have plenty of time for your friends.

Too often people disappear into relationship-land when they start dating someone. The good thing about dating a bartender is that you usually have nights free to spend with your friends. Then at midnight, your friends head home, and you head to your boyfriend/girlfriend’s bar. Win-win.

11. The bar at your house is stocked with specialty liqueurs and syrups, like crème de violette, curaçao, and orgeat, but all of the actual booze has long been drunk.

The remnants of the time your bartender boo wanted to make Aviations. And from that tiki-themed dinner party with the Mai Tais. What to do with all those paper umbrellas?

12. When you go out on the town with your significant other, you get hooked up all night. When you go to the same bars on your own, no one recognizes you.

Sometimes it can feel like you partner knows every bartender in the neighborhood. But that’s just part of being in the industry. Bartenders can spot other bartenders a mile away. If you give it time, you’ll become more than just so-and-so’s partner.

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