Because a bartender’s schedule usually consists of late nights and weekends, I’m used to being on a different schedule then most everyone I know. I’m at work when nearly everyone else is off, including my significant other. That fact can make dating a bit of a challenge. (There’s a reason bartenders usually date others in the service industry.)
Being on opposite schedules from your S.O. can feel like you’re in a long-distance relationship. Finding the balance between sleeping–including with one another–and spending quality time together can be a difficult but rewarding task.
–Distance makes the heart grow fonder
Like long-distance relationships, when you date a bartender, it’s difficult to carve out time to see each other regularly so you rely heavily on phone calls and text messages to keep in touch. But to me that can be sweet. The calls and messages aren’t your mundane, “What’s for dinner?,” but more likely full of, “I miss you; can’t wait to see you again.” or, “Last week was amazing!” But it has the advantage of not actually being a L-DR, so you know you’ll actually see them the next week.
Plus, I loved the pop-ups, when whomever I was dating would decide to pay me a visit at work. Those are awesome when your relationship is healthy. I’d get a mix of emotions, pleasantly surprised, slightly coy, excited, and a little arrogant, showing off behind the bar for my special audience of one. Locking eyes and exchanging winks between customers, or sneaking away to flirt or make out for a second made my work night enjoyable.
One of my s.o. got a kick out of customers who would sit next to him and, not knowing who he was to me, would talk about how sexy they thought I was! He’d tell me about these instances after my shift and we’d laugh about it together. It takes a certain type of confidence to do that. Some distance makes the heart grow fonder because time to miss your each other makes each encounter feel important. You don’t have time to get sick of each other.
–Be prepared to sleep a lot
Sort of like jet lag from a 23-hour flight, that first day off after my strenuous work week was always spent in bed. I’d be completely wiped out. Not to mention, everything on me hurt–and I do mean EVERYTHING–from my feet, ankles, and knees to my hips and back to my elbows, wrists, hands, even fingers! The last thing I’d want to do was move, not even to go to the bathroom, let alone put on clothes and venture outdoors. My eyeballs, ears, and throat weren’t spared either, so I rarely if ever, talked on the phone, turned on the tv, or lights. But a warm body wrapped around my aching bones, kissing my sore skin and whispering sweet nothings was always welcomed. Plus, because we’re on totally different schedules, a lot of our time spent together was when one of us was already in bed. It’s hard to match off days and times.
I’ve had some significant others that didn’t seem to mind; they’d lay with me til the sun went down (I’d usually begin to come back to life by then, cuz, you know, being a vampire and all.) I’ve also dated people who had trouble dealing with it. They couldn’t lay around in bed all day, or would wake me up to eat, watch a movie, or want to get out and go somewhere. They took offense that I didn’t feel like talking or took it as me not wanting to be around them. They never quite got it, which means they never quite got me.
–You have to have lots of trust and understanding
Like most L-DR, you have to have total trust and understanding for a relationship with a bartender to work. Already the tight schedule makes spending an abundance of time together unlikely. Add to the mix that you know bartenders come in contact with A LOT of people, it’s easy to become suspicious or jealous. Sort of that “When the cat’s away, the mouse will play” mentality, bartender’s are often thought of as promiscuous partiers. While that may be true for some, the majority aren’t. It’s still a job.
Similar to the way a plastic surgeon doesn’t get excited by every set of boobs he sees, bartenders barely notice customers the way you’d think. Even when it looks like they’re flirting, the truth is people don’t tip unfriendly bartenders. But when a bartender has someone great and trusting to call our own, we’re actually quite faithful. Just like with a long distance relationship, to date a bartender, you have to trust that out-of-sight doesn’t mean out-of-mind.
-Vacations will be on weekdays
I’ve taken a few nice weekday getaways. While most jobs give paid vacation days, or keep the usual M-F work days, as a bartender, if I take a weekend off, I’m losing money. You can forget about that weekend trip to Chicago or 5-day cruise. But a 2-day trip on a Monday-Wednesday is always ideal. The perks: it costs less to travel on weekdays, and there will be less people when you get there so nothing will be crowded.
My point is it takes a special kinda person to be in a long-distance relationship, or to date a bartender. Not everyone is cut out for that lifestyle. But both can be exhilarating and worthwhile with the right attitude, trust, and an open mind.