You’re Never Going to Meet Your Future Spouse in a Bar

It can seem like there is only one socially acceptable place to meet people: bars. The thing is alcohol, loud music, and crowds don't encourage serious relationships. Stop putting all your luck in the local watering hole and you might finally meet that certain someone.

It’s strange when friends in relationships ask me (Single McSingleton) whether I’ve been out trying to meet people, citing bars and night clubs as example venues to meet the opposite sex. They always say, “You have to get out there.” Just what exactly is out there? And if it involves hanging around dank pissholes on Saturday nights, cradling a warm beer into the wee hours of the morning while talking to a guy who more than likely will not remember my name in 24 hours, I’ll happily re-claim my single status next year on my taxes, thanks.

Whether you’re a single man or single woman, you’ve probably experienced this conversation at some point, and if you’re like me, it makes you want to scream a little. Since when did bars become the end-all of relationship-starters?

Don’t get me wrong. It’s fun to go to a bar to dance and have a few drinks, and yes, by chance, you might meet a nice chap or gal in a bar or nightclub, but no one ever looks around a bar and thinks to themself, “Yep. The man/woman of my dreams is somewhere around here.” [Puking in the toilet].

Here’s why you’re never going to meet your future spouse in a bar:

1. The bar/nightclub scene just doesn’t seem to nurture relationships.

Ever try having a conversation in a loud bar on a Friday night? It just doesn’t happen. Words get misconstrued, and instead of figuring out whether someone is worth talking to, you’re simply trying to decipher what they’re saying. If only bars had subtitles.

»Better option: Going to friends’ houses/parties. The atmosphere is still fun, but you get a chance to actually talk to someone in a quieter setting.

2. Alcohol makes everything look better.

“Coyote Ugly” is such an excellent phrase. The animalistic thought that someone experiencing a one-night stand would rather chew off his own arm than wake the undesirable gal sleeping on said arm is pure poetry. Alcohol does make everything seem better–life situations, outlooks, and yes, people. You can’t start a relationship when you’re both intoxicated. It’s like trying to get a laugh out of someone who’s high.

»Better option: Try coffeehouses. If anything, coffee makes people more perky and alert. You won’t be slurring your words (unless it’s Irish).

3. People who frequent bars often seem to be after one thing.

With alcohol and music flowing, bars can heighten a hookup culture, which is probably why your friends suggested “getting out” there to begin with (they just want to get you laid–thanks, friends!). If you really are looking for a serious relationship, getting involved with someone who’s just in it for the night might not be the best start. However, if you’re only in it for that duration, too–by all means!

»Better option: Meet people through friends. They’ll know you better than anyone else, exactly what you are looking for and what you aren’t (at least if they are good friends, they will).

4. Sometimes bars just aren’t conducive to creating romance.

There is a distinct smell I like to call “bar”; it’s a combination of fried food, basement, alcohol, with just a dash of cigarette smoke (and even if you live in an area where smoking isn’t allowed in bars anymore, that smoke smell from years of wear-and-tear will ALWAYS be there). Sure, guys can get aroused in a snowstorm with Ellen DeGeneres, but for women, sometimes bars in general are a turn-off.

»Better option: Try a wedding. Everyone’s in the mood for romance at a wedding. If you’ve been invited to one and you don’t have a date, abide by Kosmo Kramer’s rule: “I must be unfettered.” Bonus points if you can dance.

5. Bars don’t guarantee you’ll have the same interests.

Striking up a conversation in a bar can sometimes be painful. What do you talk about? “I like your beer?” It’s not like bars give you a lot to start with, as opposed to say a yoga class where at least the two of you enjoy doing the same thing. One of the great things about bars is that they attract a wide variety of people, but the double-edged sword is that either you’ll have something in common with these people or you won’t. At least when you do something you enjoy you’ve got a jumping off point, and you can narrow the playing field a bit more. Unless of course all you enjoy is drinking–then you’re good to go.

»Better option: Join a sports league or take a class in something that you’re interested in.

This isn’t to say that meeting the love of your life in a bar isn’t at all possible because surely many long-lasting relationships and marriages have started from a chance meeting at such an establishment. However, restricting yourself to only looking for someone special at a bar severely limits your options. If meeting your significant other in a bar were that easy, every “Guy walks into a bar” joke would end with “and meets his wife!”

Megan McLachlan currently resides in the Pittsburgh area where she freelance writes, drinks coffee, and obsesses over popular culture. She was an English major, but doesn't think she wasted her life. Yet. Her blog is


  • Reply April 21, 2011


    I enjoyed the article, but I have to say my parents met in a bar. And a large portion of my meaningful relationships began at the Hawk n Dove in Washington DC over a beer and discussion of the day’s events on The Hill.

  • Reply April 21, 2011


    I married a girl that I met in a bar.

    We’re currently divorced after 5 years.

    • Reply October 5, 2017

      King Mercury

      American women will divorce you at the drop of a hat! You lose your job, your pay gets cut, you can not afford that enormous luxury McMansion she wants, you can not afford that expensive, souped up McLaren, or even she meets a rich man with a massive luxury grand palace, several luxury sports cars, even a supersonic rocket car, a luxury cabin cruiser the size of the Edmund Fitzgerald, a 10-figure income, and more, that’s it, the marriage is over. American women expect the man to be Superman in their life, always able to afford the entire world. They are no less spoiled and rotten than Veruca Salt in the 1971 movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”

      • Reply October 14, 2017

        They Really Do

        Most american women are real whores anyway since they love to sleep around every time.

  • Reply April 21, 2011


    I generally agree that bars are not a great place to meet the love of your life. My best friend meet her husband at a bar. She was meeting some friends after looking at colleges and that’s where she met him. But he was one the friends’ friend that she was going to meet… if that makes sense.

  • Reply April 21, 2011

    L M Fogel

    “Ever try having a conversation in a loud bar on a Friday night? ”

    Some bars are chill and quiet they are not *all* loud.

    “Going to friends’ houses/parties. The atmosphere is still fun, but you get a chance to actually talk to someone in a quieter setting.”

    I can’t *demand* my friend throw a house party. I would always prefer a house party over a bar…provided my friends are throwing house parties on a weekly basis…regrettably house parties come less than once a month and for some people…never. If you are depending only on house parties you may only have 5-6 of those a year while I can go to a bar more frequently than that giving me more opportunities to meet people.

    “they just want to get you laid–thanks, friends!”

    The only way I have initiated any commitment from a girl is by sleeping with her.

    “Meet people through friends.”

    Once again I can’t demand my friends introduce me to single available women. I can’t go to a guy, girl or couple I know and say “hey can you introduce me to or provide for me a variety of single women who would be interested in what I have to offer”?

    “sometimes bars in general are a turn-off.”

    You are at the wrong bar.

    “Better option: Try a wedding”

    How do I generate a wedding? If someone extends me an invite to a wedding sure I’ll go in an effort to meet someone…unfortunately I can’t demand friends throw weddings. For me wedding invites come once every two years…giving me one opportunity every two years to meet someone. That ain’t often enough.

    “Bars don’t guarantee you’ll have the same interests.”

    Yeah well neither does coffee shops, weddings house parties, construction sites.

    “you’ll have something in common with these people or you won’t”

    I agree. Focus on the people you have something in common with…pass on the ones you don’t.

    “Join a sports league”

    That suggestion has come up and I agree with it however once you put in an attempt on the two girls on your team and get rejected what does that leave you with? A sports league with two dried up prospects and no subsequent ones.

    Bars aren’t perfect but you can visit them any night of the week and generate a serious volume of leads.

    • Reply December 8, 2012


      I agree with almost everything you have said here. I think long term relationships that start in bars are extremely uncommon.

    • Reply August 12, 2015

      Mark Myers

      As a guy who met his wife of over 11 years at a bar, I agree with everything you say. I did the sports league, the cooking classes, the art classes, all of it, frankly, those strategies are often very overrrated, especially, as you say, once you either realize the two girls on your team a.) already have boyfriends, b.) are not interested in you, or c.) are not interesting to you.

    • Reply June 18, 2018


      Bars are the worst places possible. It is tragic people cannot function without oriented their “social life” around alcohol. High-quality women will not go to those places.

  • Reply April 21, 2011


    Hey LM,

    The idea is to try the other alternatives when they’re present, obviously you’re only invited to so many weddings and have access to so many house parties.

    From some of your comments (leads, sleeping with women to initiate a relationship) it seems like you’re working from a volume approach, meeting as many people as you can with the intention that you’re bound to meet the right person. I think the idea of this article is more about upping the quality of people you’re surrounding yourself with, that is, people you’re more likely to be interested in. It’s not necessarily a better way, just different methods for different people.You mentioned that house parties don’t guarantee the same interests, but a house party thrown by one of your friends will have guests that are all friends of the host, or friends of friends of the host. Same sensibilities, etc. That’s much better than you’re going to get a random gathering of 100 people at a bar.

    For me personally, I’d rather go to 2 house parties, a wedding, and a coffeeshop a couple times a year, than default to a bar every week. I know I would get burned out pretty quickly.

    Certainly people meet others in bars and some start fantastic life-long relationships, I think for the most part, the point of this piece is pretty spot on.

  • Reply April 21, 2011


    Hey LM, who peed in your corn flakes?

  • Reply April 22, 2011

    A guy who knows

    Nah man, LM’s got it. Everyone pisses and whines about the “bar scene”, but the truth is, no one wants to be there. It’s where people go to meet other people. If “Meg” spent more time there, she’d eventually bump into Mr. McInterestingStranger too. Meeting someone in or out of a bar doesn’t change that person… As LM points out, you’re simply increasing your odds by putting yourself out there to a higher volume.

    This article is just one sad list of defeatist stereotypes.

    Also, I’m calling Meg out on her coffeshop advice — like you really want to be bothered being chatted up by every hyper-caffeinated guy that decides he fancies you. At least on alcohol he’ll probably forget who you were once you slip into the crowd.

    • Reply April 23, 2011


      Hey man, I’m all for having a discussion about ideas, but don’t be an asshole. If you don’t like what we’re doing here, you’re welcome to not read it.

      It sounds like you’re in the same volume approach, which is fine, but as I already said isn’t for everyone. And as a guy who is in a 5 year relationship (a guy who knows?) I can tell you I’m not interested in most of the girls that go to bars to meet people. Sure, my girlfriend goes out to bars, but it’s highly unlikely I would ever meet someone like her at one. Unless of course I take the volume approach and meet one of her type out of 100 women I’ve approached, which not only requires a lot of effort, it is the most inefficient way to meet people.

      Completely disagree on your anti-coffeeshop advice. It’s about being a normal person, starting conversation, seeing what sticks. Meeting new people. If a guy goes up to girls and “hits on them,” yeah, that would be annoying. A Primer man doesn’t need to use pickup lines, he’s himself, starts conversation. This kind of guy is going to be in a healthy, long relationship much faster than a guy using Game methods or trying to impress women with lines. You have to ask yourself, would you really want to be with a woman who was swooned with how you introduce yourself? Sounds like a pretty mediocre woman.

    • Reply June 18, 2018


      Being out with a bunch of other drunks. I would not bother with barflies. If you can’t function in life without alcohol, I don’t want you.

  • Reply April 23, 2011


    So basically, get out there

    • Reply June 18, 2018


      It doesn’t work.

  • Reply April 24, 2011


    Great article. One place you didn’t mention is places of worship. Churches, temples, etc… frequently have programs / groups for young people.

    • Reply June 18, 2018


      The operative word is “young.” If you are over 30, forget it.

  • Reply April 25, 2011


    Sounds like megan has been to the southside one too many times.

  • Reply April 26, 2011

    William H.

    This is a pretty decent post, albeit pretty cliche with it’s generalizations, but well meaning enough. The only real problem is that most adults can tell you in even a midsized city that one ‘Bar’ is completely different from another ‘Bar’. If your living in or near enough to a major hub for your area then the choices of going out can be endless and your night can differ wildly just 100 feet down the road in a different building.

    I think what’s more important in the end is being at a place your comfortable rather than forcing yourself to somewhere with the hopes of hooking up. As long as your were you want to be, doing what you want to do and open to meeting someone in the process your chances are a lot better. Be that a bar watching a band play and drinking a beer or a coffee shop reading the afternoons paper and sipping on your tea.

  • Reply April 26, 2011


    I just can’t take a woman’s advice regarding women seriously.

  • Reply April 26, 2011


    Daniel, really? Seems like they’d be the best to ask.

    • Reply August 12, 2015

      Mark Myers

      Gotta agree with Daniel, my female friends always gave me the worst advice, it was always what they thought sounded right, but not what I saw actually working for them with the men who caught their interest. Total “do as I say, not as I do.” And then because I am a “nice guy” they were always wanting to set me up with their friend who was “so sweet” who turned out to be far less interesting and attractive than the women I was meeting on my own. And then when I met my cute, smart, fun wife (now of 11 happy years) – at a bar – a lot of my closest female friends didn’t like her. It almost seemed like their advice was subtle sabotage to keep me single.

  • Reply April 27, 2011


    Bravo, Meg! Excellent article – well written. Sorry about the mean spirited barflys…sounds like some unhappy people that have mistakenly thought they’ve been successful! If bars supply such a “serious volume of leads”, then why haven’t you (LM) found one to strike up a relationship with, ,,,or maybe you’re just interested in “volumes”, not a special someone to spend time with. I feel sorry for you.

  • Reply April 27, 2011


    I agree with parts of the article, but does this person plan on taking their own advice as the single lady or does she plan on just telling every other single person out there what to do while she just sits around and waits for the right guy to come into the picture? I’m not trying to sound subjective or rude, but that’s just how I see the writer’s approach. It’s a bit “do this because I’m smarter than you” but other than being well written, it just sounds like someone not practicing what they are trying to preach to readers.

  • Reply April 29, 2011

    L M Fogel

    “then why haven’t you (LM) found one to strike up a relationship with”

    Because they reject me that is why. Girl after girl rejects my offers, rebuffs or declines. Getting turned down doesn’t bother me though because as soon as they do I walk to the next one standing 12 feet away and try again. It’s essentially the same as a door to door sales job.

    I’m confident if I talk to several hundred girls eventually one will be interested in what I bring to the table. The sheer number of girls I’m putting an attempt in on would dictate one will dig me.

    It’s like shopping a script in Hollywood. No matter how many times your script gets turned down you can always try selling the idea at the next place.

  • Reply April 30, 2011

    Andrew K

    It all boils down to what kind of person these people are. Only people I know that had any kind of relationship from meeting at a bar have been happily married for over 15 years. Odd enough, neither drink.

  • Reply May 1, 2011


    Your odds aren’t great if you are trying to meet your future wife in a CLUB, but bars are great. Happy hour with friends on a week night is better than any of the suggestions above. You have more people who you aren’t likely to run into anywhere else with your friends around (church is fine, but people get worried about extending themselves in such a sensitive environment). Plus liquid courage will increase the likely hood of you acting on your interests.

    I met my wife in a bar after work on a week night 6yrs ago. We have been married almost 4yrs, and we have a 4 week old baby together.

    • Reply June 18, 2018


      “Liquid courage.” Sounds like an alcoholic speaking.

  • Reply May 1, 2011



    That’s certainly a good distinction, and the idea is more about bars on a Friday or Saturday night, when a lot of people flood to them. Congrats on the family!

  • Reply May 5, 2011


    Glad I’ve finally found something I agree with!

  • I totally agree with the Megan’s point of view here. Sure a bar is a great place to hang out and meet people but I am not convinced enough that a bar is the right environment to find a partner to spend the rest of your life with even with some rare examples.

  • Reply December 5, 2011


    Hard to imagine why you’re single, Daniel.

  • Reply April 12, 2012


    I completely agree with Megan. I’ve done the “bar” scene for 6 years and never come out of it with a worthwhile relationship. I also advocate Dinner Clubs to meet people. It’s not as awkward since there are usually 10-20 people you get explore new places in your town and make new friends!

  • Reply July 6, 2012


    Have a look at this cool set of articles on how to approach women. All is possible!

  • Reply October 9, 2012


    Very true, bars and clubs are the last place I’d want to look for a life partner exactly for those reasons, thank you for the “better options”

  • Reply October 15, 2012


    I met my Fiancée at a bar, she is absolutely amazing.

  • Reply December 8, 2012


    I’ve never known anyone who met their girlfriend or wife at a bar or club. School and work seem to the the most common places and meeting through friends a distant third. If you are not in school and there are only dudes at work, it can be tough.

  • Reply September 25, 2013


    There were a study shows.. more than 65% of people met their the other half through social gathering places like clubs and bars.. :p Of course, it’s not always like that, but never say never.

  • […] I don’t know about you… but I absolutely cannot stand meeting someone from the opposite sex at a bar. Yaa yaaa, its an easy place to “meet someone” but I personally am tired of the same ol’ script… its the same with every person you meet. Maybe occasionally, you find someone who hey, sweeps you off your feet, but exactly how likely is it? And what are their intentions? Liquid courage? Maybe a quick one night stand? No thanks, I can buy my own drink, I rather hang out with the people I came with rather than think I can meet “the one,” dun dunnn dunnnn! Prove me wrong… but You’re Never Going to Meet Your Future Spouse in a Bar. […]

  • Reply August 6, 2014


    Remember the scene about this from Superbad? pretty much sums it up.

  • Reply June 22, 2015



  • Reply August 12, 2015

    Mark Myers

    Ha, my wife and I are celebrating our 11th anniversary this weekend, and are going to stop in at the bar where we first met. I’m going to read this article to her there.

  • Reply September 26, 2015


    Very hard to meet a good woman today that is Not very high maintenance, independent, selfish, spoiled, and very greedy, which is a very excellent reason why many of us good men are single now.

  • Reply October 10, 2015


    That is the worst place of all to meet a nice one there, that is for sure since most of them are so very drunk to begin with.

  • Reply December 25, 2015


    I am not even sure why someone would go to a bar to meet their “dream mate.”

    What about church, a social club, or even volunteer job. Better chance of meeting someone for a serious relationship at one of these places.

    • Reply December 25, 2015


      Definitely true. What kind of social clubs are you thinking?

    • Reply December 8, 2016

      King Mercury

      In church, there are about 75 men to every one woman. Church women are either little teenage girls and children, wrinkled 80s and 90s years of age women who look like a prune, already taken, or are morbidly obese. Also, co workers are NEVER allowed to date each other per the boss’s rules.

      • Reply September 26, 2017

        The Very Sad Truth

        So very true.

    • Reply September 26, 2017

      The Very Sad Truth

      Even that doesn’t work unfortunately anymore the way that women have Changed for the Worst of all these days.

    • Reply June 18, 2018


      The problem is those venues are virtually impossible to meet anybody who is unattached.

  • Reply December 26, 2015


    Well that is very Obvious with the kind of women that are out there these days that are real Losers to begin with.

    • Reply June 18, 2018


      If you want to see “loser,’ look in the mirror. Woman-haters are guaranteed to be poor prospects for women.

      • Reply April 4, 2019

        Well I Agree

        Said the idiot herself.

  • I agree with Colt’s reply below. The Article is a good read but you can’t judge people by just looking at the places they go or hangout.

  • Reply July 27, 2016

    King Mercury

    Actually, you’re NEVER going to meet a loving spouse in the United States of America anymore!

    Americans are spoiled and evil to the core. American culture is fake, inauthentic, toxic, soulless, disconnected, plastic, and superficial. Nearly 60 percent of American marriages end in divorce, roughly 9 out of every 10 divorces are perpetrated by the woman. American women deep down are actually ALL lesbians! And I can guarantee, if Trump wins and he deports all of the ethnic women, America’s divorce rate will shoot all the way up possibly to 100 percent.

    If you have enough money to do so, MOVE OUT of America if you want to meet women and that special one. You possibly could go for an American woman as an absolute last resort if you’re poor, but it is unlikely it will ever work out. In this toxic social dump, practically nothing works out anymore relationship/marriage wise.

    • Reply November 20, 2016

      Certainly Agree

      I certainly agree with your Comment. You really Nailed that one since Most of the women of today are Human Waste.

  • Reply November 9, 2016


    Well since there are many very Psycho women nowadays that like to Curse at us men for No Reason at all when we will try to start a conversation with them which does make it very Difficult too. Had it happen to me and my friends already. Then again, many women nowadays are Gay which it is a real shame since they’re such Pathetic Losers anyway.

  • Reply June 29, 2017


    Well that is very obvious.

  • Reply August 8, 2017


    Even in church it is very hard to meet women for many of us good men very seriously looking. When mass is over and where ready to leave which there were times when i saw this woman that i was hoping to meet since she had no ring on her finger which she told me to leave her alone and don’t bother me at all since she was very nasty too. I believe that there are so many women that have a lot of very severe mental problems and unfortunately hate men altogether which many of them are most likely Gay the way i look at it. Today most women don’t even have no respect for us men since they always look very depressed and very mad most of the time to begin with when we will try to talk to them. So it is very difficult for many of us men looking for love these days since most of the women of today unfortunately have really Changed for the worst of all. In the old days it would’ve been much easier finding love back then since it was a very completely different time which most of the men that were really looking for love never would’ve no problem at all. Now it is very obvious why our family members were very Blessed back then finding love with one another since it really was the good old days for them. Quite a change now unfortunately since it does really Take Two To Tango nowadays since the women of today are really to blame why many of us good innocent men are still single now.

    • Reply April 4, 2019

      Feminism Is Worse Than Cancer

      You certainly nailed it.

  • Reply September 26, 2017

    Obviously Not

    Unless you’re looking to meet a real Whore. NOT.

  • Reply October 14, 2017


    Well that is very obvious.

  • Reply October 18, 2017


    Anything can happen anywhere: but if one has such a closed mind & so many judgments… that is a sure route to loneliness, blindness and unhappiness.

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  • Reply May 2, 2018

    King Mercury

    Whether it be at church, a bar, a club, a beach, a concert, a shopping mall, or anywhere at all, American women are still the same nationwide. Toxic, hateful, totally unapproachable, and spoiled rotten with a horrible, terrible attitude. American women are raised and programmed, straight from early childhood, to hate all men and see them as rapists and sex predators loaded with STDs, serial killers, kidnappers, and even terrorists. And the ones that even do want a man, they are even brainwashed by peer pressure to only go for guys with immense, sprawling luxury mega mansions on 30 acres of land, big, loud, fast, sleek, expensive, souped up luxury sports cars, massive luxury yachts and cabin cruisers, and who are movie stars and rockstars making 8 or 9 figures a year.

  • Reply June 18, 2018


    The problem here is we have to quit socializing men and women to think they have to revolve their lives around alcohol and clubs. To me nothing is more depressing than being around a bunch of drunks. If you can’t function in life without being inebriated, then you aren’t worth bothering with. There is so much more to do in life than “hooking up” with somebody. BTW, the advice given here doesn’t usually work. I would have been greatly insulted if “friends” tried to “fix me up” with somebody. That would be the end of the friendship.

  • Reply October 18, 2018


    This is an entire article based on someone’s opinion, and it mostly judgmental from their standpoint. I know couples who have met in clubs and bars to later have successful marriages in life. Where you meet does not affect a relationship more than the effort you put into it.

  • Reply October 26, 2018


    This is so true! I gave up going to ‘clubs’ years ago. I never liked the idea of bars as I am not and never will be a drinker. When I did go to clubs it was not to meet my future spouse or even get a boyfriend. At the time I just went to hang out with friends. Now that I have The Lord in my life it’s just not my kind of atmosphere any more. My philosophy is that with time and patience a person could meet their future spouse at the GROCERY STORE. It’s not impossible.

  • Reply December 23, 2018

    Mark Gifford

    It doesn’ t sound very good when.people ask,”where did you two meet?” “We met in a bar doesn’ t sound the best.”.

  • Reply February 10, 2019

    Chris Bryant

    I met this girl in a bar. She would come around Every Sat and id chat with her like friends. Then she disappered for 3 months. Shows up one night and i was so excited to see her and she asked me to come to her house to have hang out for a bit. I didnt want to tell her i had a dui because ive learned girls dont want a guy who dont have a car. Finally after many questions, i told her. Everything was great, i was just about at her house everynight for almost 2 weeks. She eventually found out i was riding a bicycle. Im a traveler so i enjoy it. You see more nature and experience things. Well she started becoming distant. I would get upset and she said we really need to take thing really slow.Really slow? What does that mean? Eventially within the next few days it ended. I asked her if she was just using me. Never answered me after that. Its long story. What do you think might being going on here?

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