Dear Ibby, I'm so confused. Do girls want you to buy them drinks at the bar or not?
Wait, I'm confused. Do girls want you to buy them drinks at the bar or not? I feel like that's the move, but it never seems to work. What am I missing?
I mean ... are you over six feet tall, hilarious, smart and so attractive it's actually kind of embarrassing to look at you?
Then, yeah. We'll take a double whiskey-vodka.
And if you aren't? Then ... also yeah.
Fucking buy us a drink! We're always more than happy when our physical appearance makes men want to spend money.
However, the important thing to remember is that you're buying us a drink, not buying us.
So often, men think that buying a bar chick a Red Bull vodka means they're entitled to our time or attention. That's a pretty hilarious concept if you think about it — you're essentially saying our time is worth what, $4.50? Maybe $12 if you're in a balling-ass artisanal whiskey bar who puts — gasp — orb-shaped ice in the tumbler?
Being valued at those prices is not the best feeling and can be really off-putting for a lassie, especially, if she didn't specifically go out to meet assholes like you at the bar. It's just not that attractive of a gesture.
In fact, to us, a strange man buying us a drink feels exactly how parents feel when their kid hands them some dried macaroni art still dripping off the printer paper with Elmer's glue ... or like when your cat is courteous enough to vomit on the floor next to your bed instead of your actual bed.
Plus, you've got to think about your end game here. What are you going to do after you buy her a drink? If you answered "have a personality and be respectful and engaging," you answered correctly. Congratulations! You win a brand new knock-off iPad!
But for real — you can't just buy her a stupid IPA and expect her care one micron about you. You still have to be a cool human who's worth her time to make the drink worth it. So, be that, and as long as you don't assume whatever lady you're liquoring up owes you anything for the gigantically chivalrous task of having someone else pour shitty lite beer into a glass and handing it to her, then you're cool.
An infinitely better option is to start talking to her first, make an positive impression, go get yourself a drink, and then casually ask if she wants anything. That way, since you're leading with yourself and not the pathetically trite "gift" of free alcohol, she's more likely to want to spend time with you while she's drinking that drink. In doing that, you can still do the gentlemanly drink-buying dance while successfully avoiding putting a price on your interaction.
... None of this advice applies when we're talking about Four Loko, buy the way. We want all of that.