Can I buy you a drink

I am currently in the longest and most serious relationship of my life. And I’ve come across a few circumstances I’m not sure how to address. Now, this has little to do with my boyfriend—who we’ll refer to as “A”—the issue isn’t him, but rather me. Or society. Or both? The thing is, I’m beginning to find myself constantly asking, “How am I supposed to act now that I’m in a committed relationship?”

You see, last weekend I was out and about in Minneapolis with friends, boyfriend included, and I was asked by a couple of the male bar-goers if they could buy me a drink. Now, I was there with my guy and he had literally just walked away. I mean, these random dudes HAD to have seen that I was with someone.

So, what was their motive here? I’ll try and paint the scenario for you.

The base is booming and the bar is filled with House music. Sudden beat drops mixed with muted conversations crowd me as I’m sitting on a bar stool, A’s arms wrapped around me. He steps away to chat with some of his friends and within seconds I’m approached by a guy. “Hey, can I buy you a drink?” Immediate response from me: “No thanks.” Random dude, “Are you sure, you look kinda lonely over there.” Me (surrounded by friends), “I’m good, thanks.”

So that time I said no. Honestly, I usually say no. Even when I was single, I didn’t want to feel like I “owed” someone something just because they got me a $5 drink. But sometimes, if the guy talked to me before immediately trying to buy me alcohol, I’d say yes.

What is proper etiquette here? Do I have to fall into society’s and the common male’s expectation behind buying a girl a drink? What even is the expected end result? Single or taken, I’m not going home with them. Can you accept if you are in a relationship? Or if you are single but still totally not interested?

Now, I must be completely honest and say that I met my current boyfriend and the last guy I dated in a bar. And they both bought me a drink. In the defense of my current argument and question, I spoke to each at least 30 minutes before the offer and went home alone. I in no way gave them a chance due to their willingness to buy me a cheap drink at the bar.

My question is about society and the male expectation behind buying a girl a drink. What do men expect to get out of it? Can you accept if you are in a relationship? Or if you are single but totally not interested? Isn’t it their prerogative if they want to waste their money buying you a drink? Maybe I’m totally naïve in thinking some men just don’t expect anything in return. Maybe I just look broke and in need of a glass of wine. Well, probably not. But for now, I’ll probably stick with saying no. I can still afford my own rum and coke.

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