Does your bar reflect your dating life?

Posted at 12:20 PM Jan 26, 2010

By Andrea Grimes

Tim Rogers,
A favorite Dallas dive, The Goat
The sticky, sour smell of spil't beer. A jukebox stocked with Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison and Van Morrison. Buzzing neon lights. High Life on draft for $2. The dire need for a hovercraft in order to make bathroom visits tolerable. I love a dive bar.

I don't mean a "dive" bar. I'm not talking about a cool, hip bar that looks and feels a lot like a dive bar. I mean a place where, at 26, I'm going to be the youngest person there (either in actual age or life experience) by a decade. Dives are where I feel comfortable, and where I love taking my friends for long talks and laughs.They are, truth be told, where I would spend much of my time if I had the option.

I'm also a single lady who loves to date and hang out with cute boys, and maybe have one over for a whiskey or six every once in a while. However, few of the men I've liked or dated have preferred to hang out in my kind of bar.

In fact, there's a fair discrepancy in the kinds of places and things I enjoy and the kinds of people I interact with in those places and doing those things, and the guys I end up crushing on. Is this why I'm single?

Well, surely, that's too simple. I'm single because I like to be, and because I haven't found a boy that strikes my boyfriend fancy lately. But again, whither the men? When I was talking with my fellow Doll Susan the other day (admittedly, at one of Austin, Texas' excellent non-dive bars), we determined: I don't hang out in places where guys I tend to like hang out. I'm the dive bar or beer-packed pub girl, while my boyfriends have typically been rock-show, hipster-bar dudes. I also don't tend to engage in activities that are also engaged in by guys I tend to like.

For example(s): my academic field is anthropology, and I've yet to have a crush on an anthropologist. I consider karaoke my main athletic occupation, and I'll be damned if I've met a guy down at the 'roke bar with whom I want to sing "Let's Get It On." If I'm not singing 'roke or doing my homework, I'm doing stand-up comedy, hopefully someday professionally. And well, friends, let's just say that it's best not to shit where one eats.

Which is not to say that dudes who do karaoke or comedy or anthropology are lame or ugly--I would describe many of my dude peers in those activities and fields to be great catches. I'm just not into them. I tend to be attracted to guys who like and participate in things I either have a very small significant interest in, or actually kind of don't like. (See: marijuana, photography, poetry, science, noise rock, running shoes.) So, per Seinfeld, what's the deal?

Is this some kind of buried self-loathing? That I don't want to like someone who likes what I like? Or that I crave difference? What's your experience, Dolls? Do you find that your interests and the interests of those you're interested in (say it five times fast) are vastly different?


RachelB said:

I think that finding someone who has the same interests as you is kind of doing it backwards: you should find someone you like and develop interests together that you can share.

Example: I'm an outdoorsy type. Hiking, fishing, berry picking, shooting guns, all that good shit. My current boyfriend whines like a little bitch if a bee comes within a hundred feet of him. He'd rather be indoors in a museum. He once spent 9 hours in one. Nine freaking hours. It was a high point of his life.

He's not going to convert me to museum-going. And I'm not going to convince him to stop being such a pussy and just climb the goddamn tree. Instead, we try a lot of things that are new to both of us, looking for activities we can enjoy together. Watching Star Trek TOS, browsing used bookstores, making out in dive bars--stuff we didn't do before we met that can be "our thing."

Black Kristos said:

I totally love dive bars and can relate. I think in my 15 years since turning 21 I have met maybe 2 like minded dive bar ladies.

All in all, I guess this is a good thing. I mean, it wouldn't be a dive bar if the sort of people I date went there, would it?

Red said:

Interestingly(?), my longest (and wrongest) relationships were with men with whom I have a lot of common interests, but the dudes I fall madly, head-over-heels for, I have nothing in common with. I think having different interests keeps things fresh and interesting and non-smothery.

As to where to meet such guys, I have no effing clue. I can't even remember the last time I met someone who struck my fancy.

Andrea said:

"... it wouldn't be a dive bar if the sort of people I date went there, would it?"

Well put, Black Kristos!

timbizcut said:

My last partner was vastly different to both my own personality/likes/dislikes and to all of my previous partners. I read voraciously, enjoy things of an independent nature, games/music/movies etc., whilst this person (I'm trying to keep it gender neutral, damn its hard) was confused about the differences in dragons/dinosaurs, thought Shakespeare was a fictional character and once queried "Hitler didn't like Jews?". they also loved commercial r'n'b and reality TV. I think the reason I enjoyed the relationship so much is that I could never predict how they would respond to anything. I would be delighted/appalled a 100 of times per day. Not everyone wants to go out with a carbon copy of themselves.

Bobbyskizza said:

my girlfriend are generally into different things. i'm into gaming, comics, sci-fi etc and shes into beat poets, local history, wildelife. but we save those things for when we aren't togther, when we are together it all about our overlap, theater, movies and such. 4 years we've been doing this and it works out great.

Meg said:

Andrea, I'm in Austin too and LOVE true dive bars as well. I find that I don't really meet the kind of men I'd like to date at ANY kind of bar. In the end it's not really about the 'mutual interests' thing as it is that unexplainable connection, which you can't really filter for. FWIW, I moved to Austin in May of 08 and since then, I have only really dated guys I've met from, and I've had pretty good luck with it.
What are your favorite dives in Austin? Mine are Donn's Depot and Nunos (love the blues)...

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