I’m a bartender who’s witnessed countless first dates — here are all the things you’re doing wrong

  • As a bartender, I’ve witnessed countless first dates play out in front of me.
  • I’ve come to learn several mistakes people make on their first dates, like getting too drunk, underdressing, or not having enough money to cover the bill.
  • Here are the biggest mistakes I see people make on first dates at bars.

Something a world-famous bartender recently said on bars and dating culture stuck with me.

Jim Meehan, the author of “Meehan’s Bartender Manual,” said that in the early years of his career, bars weren’t where people went on dates, but where they went to find dates.

Nowadays, online dating has changed the game. And as a bartender in the age of dating apps, I’m grateful that I’m spared the horror of seeing real-life Tinder swiping in front of my eyes.

But one painful ritual I’m frequently audience to is the cringeworthy first date. I’ve witnessed countless first dates play out from behind the bar, and I’ve gotten a sense of what works and what doesn’t from both parties.

These are the worst and most frequent mistakes I see people making, and what they could be doing better.

Know the kind of bar you’re going to.

Know the kind of bar you're going to.Nathan Klima for The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Because of apps, most of us go in relatively blind to first dates — we haven’t met our match in real life.

But that doesn’t mean you should go in blind to the bar too. You don’t have to be the person who didn’t make a reservation, or is overdressed or underdressed, or isn’t ready for the sticker shock of the menu. I’ve seen all of the above, and other than being small-talk fodder for the date, it’s not a good look.

Scout a place on a day before the date. Make sure you know things like the likelihood of a wait, or if the atmosphere is entirely too romantic, or too loud to hold a conversation.

But be cautious of overfamiliarity.

But be cautious of overfamiliarity.Reuters/Bernadett Szabo

It’s also funny to me when people take different dates, week after week, to my same bar.

We bartenders won’t do it on purpose, but you are running the risk of having us inadvertently reveal your penchant for dating around, which also might not be a good look.

“Hey there. Same as last week? Old-fashioned for you and a Bee’s Knees for the lady?”

In my effort to flex my ability to remember your face and drink order, it’s not uncommon to accidentally reveal you were here last week with someone else — someone who in this case apparently likes to drink a Bee’s Knees.

Check your card balance beforehand.

Check your card balance beforehand.Shutterstock/svershinsky

Always check your card balance before you go out to make sure you have enough to cover your bill. Or if you’re out of town, make sure your bank won’t lock out your card for security reasons.

I always try to be discreet if I can tell someone is on a date when their card is declined, but if you don’t have cash or another viable card, that date you intended to treat may end up footing the bill. Awkward.

For goodness sake, tip 20%.

Always tip your bartender 20%. No matter how the service was. Every time. Whether you’re on a date or not. But especially on a first date.

Because even if waiting tables or making drinks isn’t your date’s current profession, you never know whether they were a former service-industry worker and will be sensitive to the issue.

I can almost guarantee they’re going to check to see how much you tipped. And a good tip will show them you acknowledge the hard work that goes into a service-industry job, which usually comes with a base rate below the minimum wage.

A tip higher than 20% would be, ahem, uber-classy and demonstrate generosity.

And if you know that your date has worked as a bartender and still don’t intend to tip 20%, just stay home.

Side note: If a customer gives me their phone number while I’m bartending but tips less than 20%, I’m immediately throwing it away.

Don’t get wasted.

Don't get wasted.Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Garden & Gun

This one probably speaks for itself.

I remember a gentleman once showing up early at the bar for his date. He pounded two double vodka sodas by himself. He pounded another double vodka soda when his date left, after an awkward hour of squinting, swaying, and not saying too much.

It’s also pretty awkward to get cut off by the bartender on a date with someone new, as happened to me just a few weeks ago. After balking and accusing me of simply not wanting to serve him, the young man — yes, it’s usually the men over-imbibing — left a one-star Yelp review about it.

I imagine that being cut off in front of your date is less embarrassing than falling down the stairs at a three-story bar, so I maintain that I was helping him in the long run.

When it comes to conversational faux pas, oversharing is a big one.

When it comes to conversational faux pas, oversharing is a big one.Chris Hondros/Getty

I’ve seen more than one dater’s eyes glaze over as their date regurgitates a spectrum of emotions on topics relating to their exes, drug use, daddy and mommy issues — the list goes on.

It’s one thing to have a back-and-forth where you’ve connected on deeper, emotional topics on a first date, but when it’s a monologue, it’s like watching a therapy session — a really awkward therapy session.

Daters often have go-to topics, like travel and television, but miss cues that their date doesn’t care.

Daters often have go-to topics, like travel and television, but miss cues that their date doesn't care.NBC

Even traditionally “safe” topics, like travel, can go awry when daters use it as a conversational crutch.

From polling other bartenders, I can say the television show most heavily abused as a first-date conversation topic that goes absolutely nowhere is “The Office.”

So if your conversation is going this way: “Have you seen ‘The Office’? No? Well, there’s this scene where …” Stop at the word “no.” Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

A lot of conversational topics are fine with a good mix of questions. But some daters I see are like trial lawyers: They cross-examine their date.

A lot of conversational topics are fine with a good mix of questions. But some daters I see are like trial lawyers: They cross-examine their date.Getty Images

I’ve seen a lot of dates become deeply uncomfortable because they start to resemble a job interview.

Often, the questions are too probing and invasive.

If you’re trying to figure out your date’s marriage goals, bank account, and family disease history on the first date, you probably won’t get a second.

Don’t bring up your conspiracy theories on a first date.

Just don’t.

Or maybe do. They’re loads of fun for me to hear.

The best so far was a guy on a first date revealing he believed that “the moon is a man-made construct” — a serious level-up from the “we faked the moon landing” theory. Not as good as the “moon is made of cheese” hypothesis though.

Don’t misrepresent your physical appearance.

Don't misrepresent your physical appearance.Reuters/Jonathan Alcorn

I remember one incident where a guy was so freaked out by something that as soon as his date went to the bathroom, he had to tell the bartender I was working with: He thought his date looked great, but her dating-profile pictures must have been at least 15 years old.

People may be judgmental jerks about your appearance. But some won’t be. Misrepresenting yourself, on the other hand, perturbs everyone.

Don’t mansplain things to the bartender to try to be impressive.

Don't mansplain things to the bartender to try to be impressive.REUTERS/Marko Djurica

I think it’s a good thing when a couple on a date can make good conversation with the bartender. People reasonably make character judgments about others based on how they treat those serving them. Warm conversation can go far.

But men in particular are enormous offenders of bad bar chatter with the bartender on dates.

Sharing an enthusiasm for spirits, asking questions, and even sharing some information is fine. Giving condescending sermons on things I already know, like the difference between bourbon and rye, do not impress me and do not impress your date.

Likewise, don’t order an overly complicated drink to flex on your date.

Likewise, don't order an overly complicated drink to flex on your date.Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

The look I will give you while I make your Ramos Gin Fizz — an eight-ingredient cocktail that requires so much shaking that some bars just use a blender instead — will indicate to your date that you are a bona fide jerk.

Especially if I can tell you ordered one in an attempt to seem impressive.

Don’t act accosted by small grievances.

Don't act accosted by small grievances.Getty Images

Any time I’ve been serving or bartending and a dater bickered over trivial bill errors (that often weren’t actually errors), I usually notice a curled-lip response from their date.

You don’t look assertive. You look cheap and petty.

Likewise, don’t send back a drink when it’s not exactly to your liking. Suck it up.

And men especially, don’t act so affronted by a “girly” drink.

And men especially, don't act so affronted by a AP/Chris Pizzello/Invision

Don’t insist that I pour a cocktail meant for a stemmed coupe into a rocks glass in front of your date.

Plus, as I have in the past, I will make the next drink three times as effeminate just to make you reveal your fragile masculinity all over again.

Finally, if you insist on doing any of the above, don’t sit in front of me.

Finally, if you insist on doing any of the above, don't sit in front of me.Sarah Jacobs

Please, spare your bartender. We aren’t like servers. We’re stuck in front of our well.

And you always seem to insist on sitting right in front of us.

Sure, witnessing the schadenfreude can be entertainment. But it’s mostly just cringeworthy.

 

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Bailey – Chapter 2 – Twas the Night Before Christmas…

I confirm with Bailey that we are still on for 3:30. I think it’s cool to be meeting a girl for the first time on Christmas Eve. Just something romantic about that.

I close up the salon around 3pm that Sunday. I figure I’ll head over to Dan Dan early. It’s a cute Asian bar/restaurant around the corner from the salon. I walk over and figure I’ll get there early for a pre-game glass of wine to take the edge off. I’m looking forward to meeting Bailey. I go in. She’s already at the bar. Wow, a girl that’s early. I like that.

I greet her and she looks cute. We shake hands and decide to move to a quiet corner of the bar near the wall. It’s cold out and I don’t want her to be chilled every time someone comes through the door.

There is some woman working the bar not my buddy. I ask where he is, and she says he doesn’t work Sundays. I order a chardonnay and she the Pinot Grigio. We start chatting. I review some points on her profile that I really liked. The banter is going well. I notice on several instances that she is touching me. That’s a good sign. If a woman touches you, she definitely likes you.

This is good.

We order a bowl of their famous noodles. It’s big enough to split. She forgoes the chopsticks for a fork. I think our date is going well. I love meeting a new girl on Christmas Eve!

We exchange stories and she’s loving the noodles. Surprisingly my buddy Nate shows up and he’s here to work. I’ve known him for years and I always usually follow him to wherever he’s tending bar. He comes over and greets me by name. This always makes me look good to whomever I’m with. It’s good to know people in the hospitality industry.  When you go to wherever you know people you get the hook up. Men define themselves normally by what they do. Women on the other hand define themselves by who they know. I know so many people around the city, it wields power when you’re out on a date. It makes her feel she’s with a man of substance and importance in his surroundings.

I eat come of the noodles but Bailey pretty much polishes them off. She must have really loved them! She also appears to want something else. I hand her the menu and she goes with the shrimp pot stickers. I normally go with the pork but let the lady have what she wants.

She orders another glass of wine and I do the same. The pot stickers come out and Bailey rips into them. I’m good with what I’ve had and doing just fine with my wine.

We’ve been here for about two hours. It’s a solid first date. I tell her I’m ready to wrap it up and she has to go pick up some gift cards and visit her grandmother. I think that’s sweet and she calls for an UBER.

I pay the bill. It’s not bad. it’s the holidays and I asked her to come here. She doesn’t live in the city so she did all the traveling and I want to pay. Maybe Bailey can be my new affair.

I settle up and we go outside. I thank her for a lovely evening. I want to see her again. We agree to meet up again and go on another date. I have an idea and I tell her I’ll be texting her. The car arrives, we hug and she’s off.

I later get a text from her thanking me for the evening and that she is home safe.

So maybe I’ve got a new fun girl to hang with but only time will tell.

 

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What Happens to Your Body When You Give Up Alcohol

Here’s how a substantial phase of sobriety could affect your immune system, sleep, and even your skin.

“Giving up drinking doesn’t make you live longer. It just makes it feel that way.” That’s one of my dad’s favorite quips should his consumption be brought into question. The truth is that however much you enjoy the taste of alcohol or the way it makes you feel, in almost all respects, it does bad things to your body and brain. I experienced firsthand the upgrades that can happen when you stop drinking for a while when I got in shape last spring. Granted, giving up booze was just one of the behavioral changes I made, but I couldn’t help thinking it was particularly significant one. Here’s what science has to say about that and other things that would likely happen to your body when you give up alcohol.

Your immune system will be more effective

Drinking too often and too much is closely associated with several immune-related health effects. What’s “too often” and “too much,” you slur? Well according to the National Institutes of Health, it’s more than four drinks on any day or 14 per week for men; and more than three drinks on any day or seven per week for women—figures that manage to be either sexist or bad math or possibly both.

On average, drinkers have a higher susceptibility to pneumonia and other respiratory disorders, a higher likelihood of getting complications and poor wound healing after surgery, a higher instance of sepsis and certain cancers to name a few. “[Giving up alcohol]…will strengthen your immune system and make it easier for your body to fight off infection,” says Kristin Kirkpatrick, a registered dietician with the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. Kirkpatrick cites a 2015 study that showed that alcohol overexerts immune pathways, which in turn decreases the body’s ability to defend against a number of adverse invaders.

And you don’t get off lightly if you only go big every now and then. A study published in the journal Alcohol found that a single episode of binge alcohol intoxication leads to overexertion on the immune system and inflammation. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above. (Typically this happens when men consume five or more drinks or women consume four or more drinks in about two hours.) The good news is, if you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, your immune system’s response will buck itself up after you give up the sauce. “What’s not clear is how long it takes the body to strengthen after alcohol is taken out and what frequency of drinking relates to this decrease in immunity,” Kirkpatrick tells me.

You’ll eat less, or at least with more intention

According to a study in the journal Obesity, the drunk munchies may be due to alcohol heightening the senses. Researchers found that when people received an intravenous alcohol infusion equal to about two drinks, they ate 30 percent more food than those who received a saline solution. Their conclusion? Even mild intoxication can increase your brain activity in the hypothalamus, making you more sensitive to the smell of food and prompting you to eat more. Another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that alcohol is often linked people overeating and having a poor diet.

You’ll sleep better

I go to a party, I have a few drinks, and before long I’m out of gas and ready for bed. I get home, zonk out immediately only to find that I’m wide awake at 5 AM and unable to get back to sleep. Sound familiar? “Alcohol is a depressant, meaning that it slows down the body and naturally makes you sleepy,” Kirkpatrick explains, adding that booze is also associated with disrupted sleep because the body is working overtime to metabolize it. A few drinks will usually help you fall asleep quick but once you’ve metabolized it all, you’ll likely wake up or have a poorer quality of sleep.

A review of 27 studies backs up Kirkpatrick’s analysis that while booze may help people fall asleep more quickly and deeply at first, it’s not a prescription for restful and recuperative shuteye. When people drink, their sleep gets fragmented, which means they wake up more often in their sleep rather than sleeping through the night, says Amarjot Surdhar, an addiction psychiatrist at Northwell Health. “People feel generalized fatigue and malaise the following day after heavy drinking,” he tells me, adding that a suppression, delay, and reduction of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep is another way that you’re doing your brain a disservice. The REM sleep cycle is believed to stimulate the central nervous system, restore brain chemistry to a normal balance, and help us form new memories. If your REM sleep gets messed with, you’ll likely feel like crap the next day.

You’ll decrease your risk of getting certain types of cancer

In its Report on Carcinogens, the National Toxicology Program of the US Department of Health and Human Services lists consumption of alcoholic beverages as a known human carcinogen. In particular, alcohol appears to increase the risk of head and neck cancers, esophageal cancers, liver cancers, breast cancer, and colorectal cancers. There’s also mounting evidence that booze is associated with increased risks of melanoma and of prostate and pancreatic cancers. Conversely, putting a plug in the jug can decrease those risks.

Quitting booze could impact fertility in women

While pretty much everyone’s on board with the idea that getting wasted when your baby is gestating inside you is like, not cool, alcohol’s effect on fertility is less talked about. In one Danish study, the alcohol consumption of healthy women who were trying to conceive was monitored. Booze was measured in standard servings: 1-3, 4-7, 8-13, and 14 or more units per week. Women in the highest alcohol consumption group (14 units or more per week) had 37 pregnancies in 307 cycles, and those who did not drink had 1,381 pregnancies in 8,054 cycles. These figures equate to an 18 percent decrease in the probability that the women who drank more would conceive.

The study’s authors note that the consumption of fewer than 14 servings of alcohol per week seemed to have “no discernible effect on fertility.”

And decrease the likelihood of damaged or malformed sperm in men

A 2017 study found that while alcohol didn’t alter sperm density, it did increase the production of sperm with particularly large heads containing potentially damaged DNA. Authors of that study recommended that “men who plan to father children stop drinking alcohol at least three months before engaging in sexual intercourse that may lead to pregnancy.”

That rec might seem a little drastic since research has shown that it’s heavy alcohol consumption that can significantly affect sperm quality, says Michael Reitano, New York City-based urologist and physician-in-residence at men’s health startup Roman. Small quantities of alcohol can indeed have some effect on the shape of sperm but many large studies have determined that moderate alcohol consumption does not affect fertility, he tells me.

Your skin will likely look better

Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it makes you pee out more liquid than if you drank water. Pissing in double time prevents your body from extracting water from urine in the kidneys. The result? Dry skin that can appear lusterless or ashy. “A moderate drinker will most likely not see a detrimental impact on their skin from having a drink once in a while,” Kirkpatrick says, but cautions that that excessive drinking is can lead to the desertification of your face. What’s more, booze also decreases the body’s production of an antidiuretic hormone called vasopressin, which helps the body reabsorb water. Cut the drinking out or down and you’ll improve your skin’s appearance in short order, she says.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Tales of Rock – 5 Respected Musicians Who Were Actually Terrible People

Some musicians just have a freakish amount of talent. Most of us learn at a young age that we are not those people. The realization probably came as soon as you were old enough to read social cues and you tried showing off your amazing talents to anyone except your pet. (Daisy is a very good dog, but maybe not a very good judge of musical ability.) Those who do have that freakish amount of talent are the singer-songwriters, the people who can play any instrument they pick up, the ones who get lost in the music of their own making whether they’re in the studio or on stage. There’s something almost magical about listening to a true musical genius, and they’ve definitely earned our respect. But it’s easy to forget that behind all that music is a very ordinary person, and sometimes, that ordinary person is a terrible human being.

1. Johnny Cash’s troubles with women

5 Respected musicians who were actually terrible people

There’s a lot of dark stuff in Johnny Cash’s life, but let’s talk about just how horrible he was to women. Vivian Cash’s book I Walked the Line: My Life with Johnny was a heartbreaking tell-all detailing how she continued loving her husband even through the drugs and the affair with his more famous second partner, June Carter Cash. It was Vivian who gave him four daughters, raised them, and who stuck with him through the worst of the arrests and the accidental forest fires (via USA Today), but Johnny gave all the credit to June.

Behind closed doors, June Carter didn’t actually have it any easier, in spite of the storybook romance performed in the public eye. Biographer Robert Hilburn (via Esquire) says he was stunned when he found out Cash had cheated on her when she was pregnant with son John Carter. There were more than a few women, but the one that had to hurt the most was June’s own sister, Anita. John Carter has also gone on record talking about his parents’ less-than-perfect marriage, and has said (via Reuters) his mother’s drug addictions and descent into paranoia came from a near-constant fear he was cheating yet again. That fear spread to their son, who grew up well aware that his family could fall apart at any time because his father couldn’t stay faithful.

2. Chuck Berry’s icky past

5 Respected musicians who were actually terrible people

Chuck Berry was a legend who helped shape rock and roll, and when he died in 2017, The New Yorker described him as “a proud and difficult man” who “was also a genius.” He also once punched Keith Richards in the mouth for touching his guitar while they were getting together to organize Berry’s 60th birthday party. That’s the attitude that got him into all kinds of trouble, and Berry even had a name for those incidents: his “naughties.”

It started when, as a teenager, he did three years in a reform school for stealing cars and a bit of armed robbery. Fast-forward to 1962, when Berry was 36 years old. He was tossed in the clink for violating the Mann Act, a law that prohibits taking a woman across state lines with “immoral” intentions. Oh, and the girl was 14. He served 20 months of the three years he was originally sentenced to (via NPR), getting out because they appealed after the judge made racist comments.

Let’s not forget about the 1989 accusations, either. That’s when law enforcement raided his property and found a few weapons, some pot, and videotapes of women in what they thought was the privacy of bathrooms and changing rooms of his properties. The official suit, says Riverfront Times, accused him of filming women in compromising positions for “entertainment and gratification.” Berry’s camp eventually settled, but that seriously tarnishes any legacy.

3. Lead Belly’s penchant for violence

5 Respected musicians who were actually terrible people

Lead Belly died in 1949, and if you don’t remember him, you should at least be glad groups like Creedence Clearwater Revival and artists like Bob Dylan didn’t forget him. Even George Harrison once said, “No Lead Belly, no Beatles.” You know the songs he recorded, too — like “The Midnight Special” and “Goodnight Irene” (via The Telegraph).

Huddie Ledbetter was born in 1888, and he picked up the name Lead Belly in prison. He did several stretches in jail, starting with 30 days on a chain gang in 1915 for getting in a particularly violent fight. Two years later he was arrested again, this time for killing his cousin’s husband and nearly killing another. He was pardoned in 1925 but went back in jail in 1930, this time for stabbing and what Black History Now says was “assault with intent to murder.” It was during this stint he was discovered by a pair of musicologists who were recording songs for the Smithsonian, and Lead Belly recorded hundreds for them. The rest of his life was a combination of performing at venues of all sizes across the country, and more time in jail. There was another stabbing incident in 1939, assault in 1940 … you get the picture. He was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease only months before he died from it, and he left behind an incredible legacy. And some dead people.

4. Elvis’s underage flings

5 Respected musicians who were actually terrible people

It’s impossible to describe the effect Elvis had on music history, so let’s get right to the dirt. He was 21 when he became ridiculously famous with the success of “Heartbreak Hotel,” and after that, all bets were off when it came to how far he was going to go. Along with the fame and fortune came the admiration of countless women, but according to biographer Joel Williamson (via Broadly), there was a particular type of woman Elvis liked: the really, really young ones.

The right age to be an Elvis girl was 14, and when the 22-year-old megastar went on those early tours he took along a little group of 14-year-olds. Williamson says he was a huge fan of tickling and wrestling, along with everything else short of actual intercourse. Future wife Priscilla was 14 when they met (he was 24), and just what went on behind closed doors is debated. What’s not debated is that he lost interest in her after Lisa Marie was born, and went on to court another 14-year-old named Reeca Smith.

There was a bit of violence in Elvis, too. Years later, he was engaged to a 21-year-old who claimed he once pulled out a gun and put a bullet in the headboard of the bed she was sleeping in, saying it was “an attention getter.” The Guardian says in between those major relationships there were a ton of others, many with underage girls who preferably had tiny, tiny feet.

5. Frank Sinatra’s destructive temper

5 Respected musicians who were actually terrible people

Frank Sinatra was iconic on stage, but there was a lot of shady stuff that happened off-stage. Let’s talk about one part of that: his temper. According to The Telegraph, it was so bad that one of his wives once described him as a sort of Jekyll-and-Hyde character, and there’s a whole list of physical altercations he was involved in. First, the ones where someone got seriously hurt.

He punched a reporter in 1948, eventually settling the assault and battery charges filed against him. He was staying at the Beverly Hills Hotel when he threw a phone at a random businessman who was also there, and cracked the man’s skull. He nearly killed his then-wife Ava Gardner by throwing a champagne bottle at her so hard it cracked the bathroom sink.

Sinatra destroyed an insane amount of stuff, too, usually in fits of rage. He took a knife to a Norman Rockwell painting and shredded it, threw a malfunctioning TV out a window at Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, and smashed a car radio when The Doors’ “Light My Fire” came on. GQ says some of the stuff that met an untimely end under his boot was pretty priceless, too, like the Ming vase he destroyed at a Hong Kong hotel after someone missed a lighting cue. That’s what happens when you get too used to having things your way.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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5 Things He Needs To Feel Before He Can Fall In Love With You

Want to be in love forever?

If so, you first need to know how to recognize the real thing, since often, it’s the woman who sees it before the man.

As a relationship expert and love coach, I’ve found the primary indicator of real love is when your body, your heart & your mind all converge on the same undeniable truth: this man was made for you.

There’s also an unflinching awareness that you were made for him.

Basically, if you would bet your life (and his) that no other woman could ever love him better than you, then you’ve found the One.

But, let me warn you. Love is not easy. Once the starry-eyed phase has progressed into the inevitable power-struggle, that’s when the real work begins.

But it’s good work, and it provides the most direct access to intimacy.

Relationships are the most intense personal growth workshops that exist.

They’re the places you dive deep into your darkest shadow work. Love is not for the faint-hearted; it’s a gladiator sport. And that’s why I’m such champion for the highest, most resilient form possible, True Love.

You need a relentless, unshakable force strong enough to keep you doing the intense self-inquiry required to make a partnership effective, long term.

Your partner, if right, becomes a mirror for your magnificence and your myopias. A long-term relationship demands that you die into a more expansive version of you, and it can be terrifying (to your status-quo self).

Only True Love is strong enough to withstand the uncontrollable urge to run, to leave when it gets too hard.

And that is the point. Love is a sacred crucible for self-actualization. I believe it’s our fastest access to transformation.

This game is about rolling up your sleeves and getting down to those wounded areas in the basement of your psyche that you’ve been avoiding your whole life.

Here are some common reasons why you may not have found lasting love or marriage. Yet.

Listen for which statement(s) might apply to you:

  1. You treat men as if they’re more important or less important than you (both are equally dangerous & produce the same result, ie: he doesn’t feel met).
  2. You believe someone should love you “just the way you are” instead of seeking a partner who will stand for your greatest self.
  3. You want to be rescued—physically, financially, emotionally, intellectually.
  4. You’re riddled by shame, fear and hopelessness; you think true love is a fantasy that doesn’t exist.
  5. You’re desperately attached to being married with kids by a certain date, and looking for a good enough husband. Being in love is less important that being married.
  6. You’re unwilling to look at your own patterns that interfere with true intimacy.
  7. You’re ashamed of sexuality and have loads of unexplored guilt around it.
  8. You’re disconnected from your feelings & don’t share them openly with yourself or partner.
  9. You’re addicted to control and secretly want to have more power than he does.
  10. You’ve forgotten you’re a goddess, a creatrix and a high priestess deserving of love. If you don’t know you’re a Queen, you’ll never find your King.

These are the unproductive beliefs I had once, and often find in my female clients.

If any of these statements resonated for you, pay close attention to the rest of this article. If you don’t get these identified and handled, you may keep doing the same things over and over and never find your life partner, or worse.

 

If you want to have your dream guy fall in love and stay with you forever,

He has to experience the following five things first.

1) You as THE safest place for him to go on the planet.

Your arms, your eyes, your lap, those have to be a refuge for him. It can be a scary world to your partner’s inner child. If he doesn’t feel safe in your presence, he will not choose to build a life there, you can never be “home.”

However, if you become the safest place on the planet for his heart’s secret needs; he will never leave. You’ll continue to win over every other woman. Wherever his novelty-seeking eyes wander, he’ll always be called back to you.

 

2) He wants to feel like a hero.

This requires you to surrender to his strengths, wherever they are. Men want to feel trusted by their woman, that’s what they interpret as love.

This means you must learn to lean into his unique wisdom, his power and his support.  Trust is not earned, it can only be granted. Believe in his desire to serve you, nourish you and push you toward your wants.

Look for the hero in your partner, acknowledge, revere & appreciate that aspect. Men fall in love with the woman who lets him be her hero.

 

3) He wants to feel praised, not put down.

With your partner, reward good behavior and ignore bad behavior. What you put your attention on grows—it doesn’t matter if it’s positive or negative attention.

Do not use leverage, criticism or manipulation to get what you want; rather, invite a new behavior by making requests laced with trust and desire.

This is the feminine way to influence, seduce rather than coerce. Men hunger to be acknowledged for specific things, and in public, if possible.

Also notice how your ego may hold you back from sharing empowering, affirming feedback with your man, as an attempt to maintain leverage and power.

Power is not the currency of true love, open-hearted transparency is.

 

4) He wants to have a great sex life.

Keep developing yourself and your sexuality so you can share a non-shameful, exciting sex life. The litmus test of a relationship working long-term is their sex life. Sex makes or breaks relationships.

Like food, it’s not a luxury, it’s a staple and must be made a priority. If you want a guy to choose you to sleep with for the rest of his life, you have to learn to enjoy sex, share your needs, wants and fantasies, and be open to hearing his.

Constantly re-invent your sexuality together. Until these primal issues around sex and shame are explored openly with surgical sensitivity, they will haunt and undermine your relationship.

 

5) He wants to hear your truth.

Share your fears, pain, desires and dreams with him; in particular show him your humanity. He’s looking for a place where all his emotions are safe to land. If you cannot own and express your own emotions, you definitely won’t be able to help him with his.

 

For any relationship to really work, you have to get good at ‘feeling’ (not thinking what you feel, but actually feeling sensations in your body, in your somatic space). Many men don’t know how to feel their feelings and they’re unconsciously looking to their woman to teach them.

A man falls in love with the woman he feels most alive around. A woman creates a field of aliveness when she’s experiencing and expressing her emotion, without justification.

Learn to identify, map and name your emotional states, then practice sharing them. This can be scary, but it’s a crucial skill if you want to connect with your partner’s heart.

 

Now that we’ve explored the main experiences needed for a partner to surrender, we shall invoke the last requirement of a love that lasts forever- Faith.

Having Faith

Faith is the umbilical cord that connects you and your lover to each other and romantic success. Faith has no reasons, proofs or justifications.

It’s a blind resolve based on nothing but the unwavering belief in something you find true, good and beautiful.

Faith requires an unreasonable audacity. It is something you create in yourself, by yourself.

When you forget all the reasons for your love, or cannot feel the encouraging emotions in your body, faith is the only thing that keeps you going when the situation seems dark and hopeless.

Cultivating faith is a muscle and it must be practiced individually and privately when doubt tries to creep in.

As a woman, you are the emotional leader in your relationship, which is why it’s important to master these skills if you’re committed to a love that lasts.

Some things cannot be learned, except through creation. I invite you to take on becoming a creator of love, even in the face of fear.

True Love requires only one thing: that you believe in it.

I know somewhere deep inside you is an ember that burns with the knowing that true love exists; let’s blow on that ember & make a fire that fuels your own private fairy tale.

You can never have what you don’t believe in.

So believe.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Lovely Lauren – The Most Beautiful Bartender I Ever Met – Part 3 – The Interview

Phicklephilly: What’s your favorite movie?

 

Lauren: Almost Famous.

 

Phicklephilly: Good one. Have you created any signature drinks at Stratus?

 

Lauren: Yes. i brought a grapefruit gin fizz to stratus. I love to make it for our clients. It’s deliciocious.  You should let me make you one, Charles.

 

Phicklephilly: Let’s make that happen, Lauren.

 

Lauren: Sounds good, Charles. (smiles)

 

Phicklephilly: What brought you to Stratus, Lauren?

 

Lauren: I was working at another venue and someone scouted me on Facebook and they hire me.

 

Phicklephilly: You had mentioned Nursing in our initial meetings.

 

Lauren: I’m not going there.

Phicklephilly: Let’s quickly and deftly switch gears here, dear. What are your thoughts on the world of mixology?

 

Lauren: I’ve never referred to myself as a mixologist, not that I don’t get creative behind the bar. There are so many aspects…. technical, personality, and creativity. When I think of the word mixology i just think of mixing drinks. I’m a bartender and being a mixologist is only a small part of what I do on a daily basis.

 

Phicklephilly: Which do you prefer?

 

Lauren: Bartender for sure.

 

Phicklephilly: How has the job changed since you began, Lauren?

Lauren: When I first started there were new technical things I had to learn. But now I can focus on the more creative and elegant aspects of my job.

 

Phicklephilly: How have you changed since you started?

 

Lauren: Oh, I was really naive at first. I definitely never realized that it’ a whole show. I was always affable but every part of the job i a performanance. The more I do it the more I see it as a career. I’ve met so many people that are on so many levels of the industry.

 

Phicklephilly: What do you see trending now in the way of drinking?

 

Lauren: Oh my gosh….Fireball! We don’t serve it but the kids love it!

 

Phicklephilly: Best customer?

 

Lauren: Best is on a Friday night. They know what they want, the money is out and we make it happen. Weekdays… social… try new drinks. I love a client that wants to try new things!

Phicklephilly: Worst?

 

Lauren: Someone snapping in my face: “what’s your cheapest and strongest drink?”

 

Phicklephilly: Ooh brutal. What’s the bst tip  you ever got?

 

Lauren: I was bartendeing with another employee and she didn’t want the table. It was outside on the deck and I took it. It was was my first ever. The bill was $50 and the tip was $300!!!

 

Phicklephilly: Have you served any celebrities?

 

Lauren: Yes. Several athletes. I don’t remember their names. I once served Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bad Company at Stratus.

 

Phicklephilly: Nice! Where can we find you on the other side of the rail?

Lauren: Morgan’s Pier down on the river. Outdoor, sunny skies and by the water. Very chill and a fun place to be in the summer. I also like North Shore Beach. Again, it’s a low key bar with a pool in the city where I can chill and relax.

 

Phicklephilly: What’s your favorite color?

 

Lauren: Purple. I’ve always felt purple, but when it comes to clothes, I love the color black.

Phicklephilly: Black is slimmimg, not that you need it.

 

Lauren. You’re funny.

 

Phicklephilly: Who is your favorite actor/actress?

 

Lauren: No idea, but again, Lucille Ball.

 

Phicklephilly: She is and was amazing. The first of her kind. What’s your favorite beer, wine and cocktail?

Lauren: Victory Summer Love, Yards Saison, and Savignion Blanc. It’s so light and refreshing!

 

Phicklephilly: I LOVE Victory Summer Love in Spring and Summer too!”

 

Lauren: It’s SO good!

 

Phicklephilly: Do you consider yourself a salesperson at Stratus?

 

Lauren: I would consider myself an honest person. I will stand behind something I truly feel is great. If you don’t like what I made for you, I’ll make you something else.

 

Phicklephilly: What’s your favorite food?

 

Lauren: Sushi. Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

 

Phicklephilly: Have you ever had to memorize a load of drinks?

 

Lauren: Every night, Charles.

 

Phicklephilly: What is the most stressful… worst job you’ve ever had?

Lauren: Working at a nightclub where I had keys and it was just a crazy scene. (I should have gone deeper here)

 

Phicklephilly: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”

 

Lauren: Hopefully with a college degree and in a career I’m passionate about.

 

Phicklephilly: Who is your role model?

 

Lauren: Lucille Ball. (Wow… again)

 

Phicklephilly: What’s your super power, Lauren?

 

Lauren: If looks could kill… I have an evil look.

 

Phicklephilly: Okay… I get that.

 

Lauren: What’s yours…? (giggles)

 

Phicklephilly: Turning alcohol into regret.

 

lauren: Ha ha ha You are killing me, Charles!

 

Phicklephily: It’swhat I do, dear. What’s your spirit animal?

 

Lauren: Definitely a dog. I love to cuddle but I still have the power to bite your head off.

 

Phicklephilly: Noted… What’s your dream destination?

 

Lauren: New Zealand!

 

Charles: Is there other life in the universe?

 

Lauren: If it’s happening here on earth, I feel that it must be happening somewhere else too.

 

Phicklephilly: How lucky are you, and why?

 

Lauren: I feel extremely lucky andhave gotten opportunities that people have been kind enough to grant me. I am very grateful. I feel very fortunate, Charles.

 

Phicklephilly: Are you a hunter or a gatherer?

 

Lauren: A gatherer. (I should have expanded on this one too)

 

Phicklephilly: Desert Island. You can only bring 3 things. What do you do?

 

Lauren: I would have to bring my friend Liza who I’ve known forever. She works for NASA. Jiro from Jiro dreams of sushi so he could make me the best sushi. Oh and lots of razors…. because I hate being hairy. (Again… I should have delved deeper here)

 

PhicklephillY: Do you like cereal? If you were a box of cereal, what would you be, Lauren?

 

Lauren: Honey Bunch of Oats! Because you get so many flavors in one box. So many variations, and when you get to the root of it… that’s me.

 

Phicklephilly: Best human trait?

 

Lauren: The will to survive. (Could have done so much better on this one)

 

Phicklephilly:  You’re the new addition to the crayon box. What color are you?

 

Lauren: Oh course, purple, Charles. You asked me that already. ha ha

 

Phicklephilly: Movie about you. Who plays you, and why?

 

Lauren: Oh, Lindsay Lohan. Have you seen Georgia Rule?

 

Phicklephilly: ha ha okay… yes.  What’s the funniest thing that happened to you lately?

 

Lauren: Yea… I went to a musical festival. I ended up in lying in a blow up baby pool full of stuffed animals. No water, dude.

 

Phicklephilly: hahhah ha that’s insane. have you ever been on a boat?

 

Lauren: Yes! I went kayaking last week. It was one of the most fun days of my life!

 

And it ends there…. I think I could have gone so much deeper, but it was her first and my first interview. It was never published so it go buried. But I believed that it was always good and she was a lovely girl so I’m very pleased to immortalize Lauren forever here on Phicklephilly.

I think she’s married and lives in New York now.

Lucky guy!

 

What a lovely girl!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Lovely Lauren – The Most Beautiful Bartender I’ve Ever Met – Part 1

Look at our Lauren. So pretty. A lovely queen.

Let’s go back to 2013. Let’s go back to a time when I worked for a start-up site. Let’s go back to a time when I really believed the words people told me were true. That there were investors and we would build the company I worked for.

We would build this company into an international brand and it all was all a lie.

It happens in business.

We decided to write some articles about some of our paying clients on our drinking publication. It’s a magazine to show you where to get happy hour and places to go drink.

People… we have YELP for fuck’s sake.

I did what I could for this publication. When I was hired I thought this was going to be a well-funded brand that was about to go national, but we never got the funding and in the end I was fired because they could no longer afford me.

I loved working there, but my goodness, guys.

We had a great client that I acquired. Stratus.

Amazing rooftop bar. Kimpton property. They were paying us every month and we went to see them about their new mobile bar options.

I asked the general manager if there was anything he wanted us to write about.

He said go in there.

He waved me away to the private room Vapor.

I walked to the room and entered.

 

And that’s when I met Lauren.

 

I laid eyes on Lauren and she was one of the prettiest girls I’d ever seen.

I mean… Lauren is absolutely gorgeous.

She’s pretty, fit, and so affable.

I think. This is it. The perfect interview and photo shoot with this lovely woman.

My boss is with me. This is a rare paying client. He’s taking photos. The pics are good. I hope I don’t look too old with this hot baby.

 

I write up a bunch of questions. I’ve never done an interview before. But I try to write an interesting conversation with a beautiful lady for our paying client.

 

Lauren comes to the office so I can interview her.

We’ve already taken so many hot pics of you. I appreciate you coming in to do the interview.

I’m so excited to meet her. This is the hottest bartender I’ve ever met.

Now she’s coming to the BNY Mellon Center to come to our trick/phony rented office at our little drinking publication. (Without investors, we’re doomed in this business model.)

Sweet Lauren shows up. She’s wearing a tank top and a pair a daisy dukes and its killing me.

Her legs are spectacular.

She was great in her photo shoot. Her forced shoot. Pimped out by her manager and us.

I feel bad for the first time at my job at the publication.

Sad thing is this work will never be published.

It’s a fun amazing interview with a smart, pretty girl. When I turned it in to management at the drinking publication, they told me they wouldn’t publish it because it wasn’t a match for the ideology of the site.

This breaks my heart. We have a paying client that asked us to write a piece for them and put it in our magazine.

I loved meeting Lauren and interviewing her, and I thought it would be a really great article that our readers would enjoy.

Something new and different with a pretty lady that would get people excited to go to Stratus at 5th and Chestnut and support our paying client.

But no. Our publisher turned it down. I think he liked it but that wife of his would have freaked out about us talking to hot women. I really believe that.

 

But…

I recently found the interview and all of the photos.

I want to honor lovely Lauren and publish it here.

So please enjoy meeting the prettiest and most charming bartender I know here on Phicklephilly.

Thank you Lauren, and I’m sorry about all that nonsense in the past.

Hopefully my followers will enjoy your story.

Tune in tomorrow for more…

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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