Dating a bartender

Think about how you met him: you were probably a cute woman flirting with him from across the bar. You’re the one whose phone number he didn’t throw away.

Do you really think you were the first and last one to do that? I’m reminding you of this because you’ll need it to boost your confidence when the realities of dating a bartender sink in.

You may think at first that what goes on at the bar doesn’t bother you.

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"Having a bartender at home is about as fun as it sounds," says our contributor (and former Managing Editor) Carey Jones.

During recent snowstorms, Carey says, her bartender boyfriend concocted seasonal blood orange-cranberry daiquiris "and experimented with numerous hot toddies; during the holidays we had fresh eggnog better than anyone's." An amazing home bar is a big side-benefit: "We have the most absurdly well-stocked liquor cabinet, with hundreds of bottles, every imaginable shaking/muddling/juicing implement, a dozen kinds of bitters.

And his experiments are all around the house—right now there's Sichuan peppercorn-infused white rum, a barrel-aging mezcal-Scotch cocktail with about 10 weeks on it, cardamom simple syrup and rosemary honey in the fridge." This sort of working at home sounds pretty appealing: "Also fun: sitting on the couch while he develops a cocktail menu and brings over new drinks for assessment every 15 minutes. If your partner works nights and you work days, you may never see each other.

It's fun to collaborate, too; I feel very cool when I come up with an idea that makes it onto his list, and even cooler when I name it! "I date a day-walker," says Maxine Sharkey Giammo, a bartender at Sarma in Somerville, MA, "so I mostly see my boyfriend angelically asleep when I get home." Giammo doesn't recommend that bartenders date other bartenders, though: "At our best, we are slightly dysfunctional, overthinking, highly social introverts, which is a ratio I wouldn't raise to the 2nd degree." Others say bartender-bartender relationships are ideal: Claire Sprouse, who can be found at San Francisco's The Hideout at Dalva, says dating a bartender works out: "Our relationship is easier to navigate since we both have similar schedules, appetites for destruction, and an understanding that a little winking across the bar at guests is just part of the job and part of the fun." Not sure you could handle a bunch of bros trying to get the attention of your lady friend instead of just admiring the skillful way she carves ice spheres? If you get together with the bartender at your favorite neighborhood joint, and then things don't work out, you may have to break up with the bar.

Would you flip out over a gaggle of girls giggling at your man's jokes?

Don’t think you can just step into a relationship with a bartender the way you would a relationship with any man.

Bartenders (particularly cute ones) lead a unique lifestyle.

[Photograph: Wes Rowe] Valentine's Day has us thinking about romance.

And to us, there's nothing more romantic than a captivating conversation over cocktails.

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