Can I Buy You A Drink?

This is a guest post by dating coach and blogger Nick Sparks. Check out his blog, Just Living the Dream, and a list of his services on this page and a review here. Nick is based in Chicago.

If there is one thing that gets under my skin when guys say it, it very well could be the uttering of “can I buy you a drink?” or one of it’s variants.

Jesus, is there any other way you can connote less value or make her feel like you’re just not good enough for her?

Let’s look a these in a bit more detail:

What you say: “Can I buy you a drink?”

What she hears: “Can I buy you a drink? I mean, please? Would you honor me with the privilege of spending $5 so that you can enjoy an alcoholic beverage and possibly get more intoxicated so that you actually find me interesting? I realize that you’re far too good to actually talk to me, however, if you actually allowed me to spend money on you it would bring me great pleasure.”

What you say: “Can I take you out to dinner sometime?”

What she hears: “Oh man, I know you wouldn’t actually like to spend any more time with me, however I would like to humbly ask your permission to be able to purchase a meal of food for you. Nothing would make me happier than doing so and even though you probably don’t want to… I’d thought I’d give it a shot and ask anyway.”

What you say: “Can I call you sometime?”

What she hears: “Talking to me just now wasn’t that exciting. With that in mind, I know that speaking with me again is not something that would be high on your to do list. Because of that, I feel it is necessary to get your authorization before attempting such a bold move that is normally way outside of the things that I am confident enough to do on my own… and I have a small penis.”

Ok, you get the idea. Asking her permission to do something completely gives her all the power and lets her know that you really don’t think you’re good enough for her. You’re taking yourself out of the game before it even starts.

What thoughts should be going through your mind then? Some examples are: “She is having a great time talking to me. Nothing would make her happier than to see me again. I am the most interesting person at the bar. She actually should be buying me a drink for the privilege of my time. She’s going to be wondering if I’ll actually call her again after tonight. I don’t need permission to see her again since I already know there’s nothing she’d like to do more.”

Now I’m not saying be a cocky dick. I simply over-did my “what to think” list just a bit to prove a point. Have some self confidence man. Even if you don’t actually think you’re the most interesting person at the bar, tell yourself you are, act as if you are, and after a while you’ll actually believe it and your subconscious will control your body language so that this is demonstrated to people you talk to. It’s amazing what a little positive thinking can do.

If you ever find yourself remotely close to saying anything like this, stop, go to the bathroom, splash some cold water on your face, and get your head in the game. If you have the right mindset then asking permission for her company should never cross your mind. If you convey confidence strong enough, it will be her asking you if she can buy you a drink.

And by the way, a gin and tonic would be delicious.

  • Hot Alpha Female

    hahah awww the sarcasm just kills me .. its really does.

    You know what Nick. What you just said is about right.

    Girls hate being asked for permission. It basically sets you up for being a victim of puppy syndrome.

    You know .. where the girls KNOW that she can get you to do anything that she wants .. and you will still listen and follow her around like a lost puppy.

    Seriously … guys just need to grow some balls. Have the confidence to know that THIS girl is INTO you and so whatever you say .. goes …


    Hot Alpha Female’s last blog post..Do Guys Really Like Plus Size Chicks?

  • girlg33k

    That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Personally, I *like* men not assuming they have me from the word go. Somebody asking if they can buy me a drink does not make me think they’re wusses, they’re (mostly) just polite to ask. By the same token, ‘can I call you some time’ to me, is not a feeble way of asking my permission, only a nice way of saying ‘hey I think we got on well would you like to talk again’? Guess you guys in the States are just a lot more jaded…

  • cheekie

    I have to agree with girlg33k on this one.

    I like manners. I like non-assumptions.
    I LIKE a guy asking. Didn’t we have this discussion a few posts ago???
    It doesn’t make a guy a wuss to ask, nor does it mean that I will take advantage of him and assume he is a puppy.

    Nothing wrong with a bit of humility, sincerity and politeness.
    The guy who asks for my number or to buy a drink is certainly got a better chance with me than the guy who walks up and assumes it.
    In fact, I can tell you right now, about 100% more of a chance.

    Guess if the girls you ask take advantage of this, you had better be more choosey about who you approach huh?

    Did chivalry die somewhere and I wasn’t sent the obituary?

  • Nick Sparks

    Love you HAF,

    And girlg and cheekie, you’re right, all girls want is a nice guy… why don’t guys ever believe that?

    All kidding aside, I’m not saying that a guy should “assume he has you” from the get go and also I’m a huge fan of chivalry.

    My point is that after he’s had a chance to talk to you and her to know you for a bit, he should have the confidence in himself to not question whether or not the girl he’s been talking to actually wants to continue interacting with him and to know that she’d like to speak with him in the first place not just because he’s bribing her with a drink.

    I very much appreciate politeness and chivalry, however I’m speaking more to the inner dialogue in a man as to whether or not he feels worthy of her in the first place and chose to do it in a sarcastic/comical way in order to leave a stronger mental impression for a guy rather than just saying, “have confidence in yourself”

    I do love your guys opinion and addition to the convo. You know more about women than I do.

  • Honey

    Nick, I think you’ve got a point here and I’m glad you clarified. Assuming that you’re worthy and that the other person wants you (and it’s not all about chasing her…though obviously you can reverse the pronouns pretty easily) is what is going to get you someone awesome in the first place. And taking charge avoids this conversation:

    “What do you want to do?”

    “I don’t know, what do you want to do?”

    “I don’t know, what do you want to do?”

    Um, I want to punch you in the face for not having an opinion? Yes, yes, that’s what I want to do. Definitely.

    Honey’s last blog post..Weekend Roundup: Sunday School Edition

  • cheekie

    Definitely, thanks for clarifying that. And it’s true, no matter how hot, how confident, how practised we all are, that little kid voice comes in “Are you sure? I mean reaaaaaalllllly sure? What if he/she rejects you dumbass?”

    You have to learn how to work through that voice. Although part of the game is the not-knowing.

    And for the record, yes, if a girl is still talking to you a drink into it, chances are you are pretty much in. Not ‘in her pants’ in, but definitely take it to the next level in.

    Honey, GOD I HATE those convo’s!!! lol.
    “what do you want for dinner?” “i dunno, what do you want” “well I dunno, you are the lady, I always let the lady decide”
    Gimme a break. Pick a frickin restaurant and unless she’s diabetic/vegan I am sure it will all be just fine guys. LOL.

  • The Dateable Dork

    Here’s my take:

    I get totally turned off my the “can I buy you a drink” lines because they seem a bit feeble and, depending on the guy, even a little creepy. With that said, I don’t want an arrogant jerk to approach me either. Nothing is worse than an over-confident bastard who assumes that I’d give anything to have the honor of sucking his dick.

    Soooo… what am I looking for? I nice guy who I can actually have a decent conversation with (hard to do at bars in the first place), who will let me pay for my own drinks. If things go well, we’ll exchange numbers. Plain and simple.

    Guys – just be yourselves. No shit, no lines, no games. Seriously.

    The Dateable Dork’s last blog post..Tales from the dumpster

  • Lance

    I got no problem buying drinks, really, I buy them all the time for my friends and girlfriends. But I’m not using that as my opener! Which I think is kind of Nick’s point. Imagine walking up to a hot babe you’ve never met in the bar: “Hey, I’m Douchebag X, I’d like to buy you a drink.”

    “WTF? Douchebag X? Who are you? Are you trying to get me drunk?”

    Low value, supplicative, unattractive, unskilled. C’mon, a cheesy pickup line is better than this. At least cheesy lines are funny! You want to give her value, and that value should be something compelling about your personality OR a connection you’ve made about her, ie a cold read. The value you give shouldn’t be an alcoholic beverage…fucking LAME. Is that what you’re saying, my looks are worth a $5 mixed drink?

    If you’re going to make a first impression, do/say something fun, and let that convey your true colors. You shouldn’t HAVE to buy shit to impress someone, because you can impress her with YOU.

    After you’ve hooked and made the connection, buy all the drinks you want, at that point you’re just being generous.

    Lance’s last blog post..Weekend Roundup: Sunday School Edition

  • The Virgin

    Years ago when I was just coming out of nice guy recovery, I was out at a bar with a friend and he asked me why I wasn’t with anyone. I told him that no girls were talking to me. “Gah, that’s not what you do,” he said. “You gotta talk to them, and buy them a drink.”

    I watched him buy some drink for some chick (who already had enough drinks bought for her that she could open her own bar), basically a group of guys were trying to get her to flash but she suckered all of them out of drinks is all. My friend went home emptyhanded and even in my sympery, I knew better. “Nice job,” I said. “Fuck you,” he replied.

    The Virgin’s last blog post..The Japanese restaurant date

  • Honey

    Haha, Dateable dork! Your comment reminded me of being at a bar one time (actually, Lance, I think it was Antigua) and this guy bought me a drink. We were taking the stairs to another section of the bar when he whipped out his dick! No lie. I pushed him down the stairs and ran away as fast as I could.

    I could never figure out why he did that. Did he really think one drink would make me suck his cock? Had it worked for him in the past? Was he just playing the numbers game, i.e., eventually, if I buy a girl one drink, she will suck my cock in a club as dozens of other people walk by…

    Honey’s last blog post..Weekend Roundup: Sunday School Edition

  • cheekie

    omg. that has happened to me as well!!!

    unfortunately not anywhere as glam as Antigua. just some club. booze = bad judgement. I just laughed and walked away, leaving him ‘hanging’…lol

    and I would much prefer some guy to come up and make conversation rather than buy me a drink any day. I am pretty damn good at buying my own drinks….

    we girls are good at putting up the ‘don’t even think about talking to me’ wall. it comes in handy, but I guess we have to remember it can make for a very scary approach for most of the ‘nice guys’ we say we want.

  • dadshouse

    Nick, you’re right on with this advice. Guys should never ask “can I …?” Show more confidence than that! And I agree, you don’t have to purchase time to talk to her by buying her a drink.

    How about saying “We need some drinks. What are you having?” That shows you’re confident and in charge, but also respectful of her tastes. And it doesn’t ask her permission for anything. If she doesn’t want the drink, she can say “nothing for me.”

    dadshouse’s last blog post..An Online Dating Success Story

  • Honey

    dadshouse, that’s exactly what I thought when I read this post. I remember once having a shy girlfriend who was in awe of the fact that I always managed to make new friends when we went bar-hopping. One day she said, “Honey, how do you meet these people?” I said, watch this. I walked up to a group of guys and said, “I’m Honey, I’m drinking Miller Lite” as I took the last sip and threw the empty bottle into a nearby trashcan. One of the guys–mind you I hadn’t even found out their names yet–went to get me another one. Now, while obviously that doesn’t always work and could have backfired in a major way, it does go to show you how much confidence accounts for success in interactions.

    Honey’s last blog post..Speaking the Same Language

  • Lance

    Nice! My response would have been, “Cool, I’m Lance, walk to the bar with me, you’re going to be my girlfriend for the next 5 minutes…”

    [run Tim’s 5′ girlfriend routine]

    Probably somewhere in there you end up buying both of us a proper beer, like Bass Ale, and we end up making out in the corner.

    Lance’s last blog post..Speaking the Same Language

  • The Virgin

    >And girlg and cheekie, you’re right,
    >all girls want is a nice guy…
    >why don’t guys ever believe that?

    Heh…right on, Nick. It’s one thing to appreciate a guy who is “polite.” It’s another thing entirely if she’ll actually sleep with him or not.

    The Virgin’s last blog post..My first pornographic movie

  • Honey

    And you know what, Lance? I wouldn’t mind at all :-)

    Honey’s last blog post..Speaking the Same Language

  • The Dateable Dork

    Hahaha, no shit!!! That has certainly never happened to me, and I’ve gotta be honest, I’m a little jealous! Not so much of the dick-in-a-bar thing, but of the great stories that come out of it. Dear lord, what has the world come to when I guy will literally just whip it out and expect you to drop to your knees after one drink? Guys, are you serious??? Lance, please redeem your gender here…

    The Dateable Dork’s last blog post..Tales from the dumpster

  • Brad

    Ha… great topic.

    Two things.

    1. If you’re buying a drink to buy time and attention… you suck. But, if you’re buying a drink for someone to help increase the energy and fun… no strings attached… go for it.

    It’s all about intent. Women know when you’re “buying” attention. Now, if you can buy… say “great to meet you, have a nice night” and be fine with that… that’s a different story all together.

    2. Asking someone “can I call you later” depends on your status level in the conversation and the woman’s nervousness around you. If she’s a little nervous (it happens :) ), or if you have TONS of status (local celebrity), many times you need to bring yourself DOWN a bit and be aware of intimidation factors.

    Other than that… lead until she objects. Don’t ask. State.

    If you’re getting a drink… it’s “Let’s get a drink” not “can I buy”… (then play a game of guessing the drink and busting on her for what she drinks… fun times)

    Out to dinner it’s “Let’s go to (blank)?” not “Do you want to go to (blank)?”

    Great topic… I need to pop by more often

  • Lance

    Dude, that guy was me. We had sex in the bathroom later on. Honey forgot to mention that part.

    Lance’s last blog post..Speaking the Same Language

  • Hot Alpha Female

    Thats my point. Guys shouldn’t need to buy attention from a girl by asking her if she wants a drink.

    Like have an interesting conversation with me, challenge me. Because then you are setting yourself aside from the rest of the pack.

    Anyone can buy me a drink .. wat’s so special about you?


    Hot Alpha Female’s last blog post..Talk is cheap and so are YOU!

  • Nick Sparks

    Awesome point Brad.

    Sometimes if I feel a girl is a bit shy or intimidated I’ll coyly ask her if I can call her sometimes with a devilish smile on my face.

    Honey and Lance, love the sexual tension. You can cut it with a knife on this discussion board.

    Nick Sparks’s last blog post..Bootcamp Announcement!

  • Gunner

    Good article :)

    Gunner’s Pick Up Diary

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