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10 Commandments for Dating a Bartender

by Melissa Allen Aug 23, 2018

Dating a bartender presents some very unique challenges, but we’re worth every single one of them. If you’re thinking of entering into a relationship with a bartender, here are 10 commandments we recommend you stick to.

1. Thou shalt not indulge in jealousy.

Even if the bartender in question isn’t a flirtatious type, they’re still surrounded by attractive people and alcohol every day. Coupled with the long hours and late nights, it can be hard on a relationship, unless you have a trusting partner.

2. Thou shalt not visit unannounced.

As a bartender, your bar is your home turf. If your tinder date from Tuesday drops by uninvited, it’s like an acquaintance knocking on your door out of the blue. It can be unsettling. Wait for the person to invite you to visit them at work. If they like you, they will. Once you’re in an established relationship, then you can set some ground rules for work visits.

3. Thou shalt not visit every shift.

Don’t be that significant other who always takes up a bar stool. Even if your bartender bae wants you to visit every shift, their coworkers certainly don’t. The reason: you probably aren’t getting charged and you’re taking bar real estate from paying customers. No one wants to be seen as a freeloader, so only visit once or twice a week, at most.

4. Thou shalt be independent.

The greatest challenge of dating a bartender is the schedule. Be prepared for nights on your own and weekend trips with friends instead of your partner. It doesn’t mean that you won’t see each other or travel together, but you will have more time on your own than if you dated someone with a similar schedule. See it as a blessing. You get plenty of time for your friends and yourself, and the nights you do spend together feel special.

5. Thou shalt have a flexible bedtime.

Be prepared to wait up for your special someone more than you’d like to. For bartenders, it’s hard to know what exact time they’ll finish work. If it’s a busy night or friends stop by and want to hang out, you can end up being at work hours later than intended. It can be hard on your partner if they have to get up early for their nine-to-five.

6. Thou shalt not make holiday plans.

Bartenders must barter for holidays off. If you get Christmas, someone will want Thanksgiving. Don’t expect to bring your new beau home for the holidays — at least not all of the holidays.

7. Thou shalt not be a bad tipper.

A dealbreaker for most service industry-types. Shell out at least 20 percent when you’re together.

8. Thou shalt be neither alcoholic nor teetotaler.

The heavy drinker/bartender relationship is quite common because you likely met at the place where you both spend most of your time — a bar. However, it’s a highly problematic dynamic and is best avoided. The non-drinker/bartender relationship is more navigable, but it can be difficult if your partner has a passion for cocktails, wine, and beer that you cannot share with them.

9. Thou shalt be fairly social.

Bartenders know a lot of people. It’s a byproduct of the work we do. When you’re dating a bartender, be prepared to run into people they know everywhere. It can be exciting and annoying in equal measure.

10. Thou shalt save up those sick days.

Because our schedules vary, it can be difficult for bartenders to make plans, but we do love spontaneous adventures. Monday beach days or impromptu day trips give us life. Be ready to play hooky on occasion.

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