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Since my dating well has run a little bit dry lately, I thought I would run another romance experiment and report my findings. Last week I ventured into completely unknown territory and faced something I think many women might fear. I sat at a bar alone to see what would happen.

I decided to choose a hotel lobby bar I frequent with friends as my location since I knew there would be people around and that the bartenders are easy to talk to. So clad in a classic black dress and pumps I arrived at the Four Seasons Hotel bar at around 8:30 pm midweek and took a seat.  As soon as I walked in, I was a bit unsure about how to proceed. Should I check my phone constantly to make it seem as if my date was on his way? Or should I just hold my head up high and quietly sip my drink? I chose the latter, and ordered a vodka soda. After the first sip, a few more thoughts began to flood my mind. When I say flood, I truly mean flood. I almost felt myself breaking into a cold sweat. Do I look like a hooker? Are people assuming I am on the clock and meeting a man? Do I look like a desperate business woman trolling the bar for a midnight cuddle partner? I sincerely hope these were natural thoughts to have and luckily, they left my mind pretty quickly (or the alcohol just began to take effect).

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A little while passed, I made small talk with the bartender and people watched the patrons who roamed by. “Mind if I sit down?” was what I heard to my left. Yes, this line is really used in real life and not just in movies. The man looked a bit older than me, definitely over 40, but handsome and well-dressed so I smiled and told him to please sit. What I found funny was that his first question was not, “Why are you sitting here alone?” instead he asked what I was drinking, offered to buy me another one, and then asked me if I was staying at the hotel. Not having thought of a good story ahead of time, I explained that I was supposed to meet a friend who ended up cancelling last minute and didn’t want to waste a nice outfit and makeup so I decided to stay (I wanted to make it very clear that I was not an escort). His response was, “Well, I’m glad you stayed.” After that, the conversation flowed really well. He was single, visiting from Boston for work and was staying at the hotel and decided to go down to the bar to catch some sports highlights. We talked about business, my career aspirations, and traded jabs about each cities hockey teams. I really enjoyed his company and graciously thanked him when he paid for our drinks. The encounter ended with us exchanging business cards and agreeing to get in touch if we are ever in each other’s cities in the future. He was kind, respectful, and a nice man. While no moves were made (much appreciated by me), the way he casually ran a hand over my shoulder and upper arm as we parted ways was thrilling.

The entire experience was a bit scary at first but ended up being a wonderful time. Being somewhere alone takes guts, but I decided to go all in and take the plunge. Yes, I was scared for a few minutes but once I realised not everyone was pointing and staring at me, I was overcome by a sense of confidence that I didn’t know I had. Take note, ladies…there’s something very empowering about sitting at a fancy bar dressed to impress while surveying the scene. It almost feels like you are the one in charge and in control, and everyone else is merely a supporting player in your evening.  Not once did I feel uncomfortable, or as though I stuck out. In fact, sitting solo felt almost natural after a little while. I didn’t have to wait for my friends, or leave on their timelines, and it let me really let loose and enjoy the conversation I was having with the man I met. I find it funny how men can legitimately go to a bar alone to watch sports (a few others were doing the same thing) yet a double standard exists when you see a woman sitting solo. All preconceptions I had, though, vanished and I can truly say that I would do this again. Overall, it was a great evening and I am glad the experiment went well.

I would like to open it up to you and your suggestions for potential dating experiments you’d like me to try. I’ve had a wonderful time with my first two and would love to see what people are curious about, and who knows, maybe I’ll try some ideas and of course share my findings for everyone to enjoy!

Have you ever sat at a bar solo? Picked up a lonely business man? Please comment below!

Written by Cat