On the Rocks 

Finding "love" at the club

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It starts with a glance and a slow roll of the head from her feet to her face as he checks out his target. Locked in a stare, his laser-beam eyes ask her, "Come here often?" She looks down, around and to her friends – anywhere but at him. His death stare is embarrassing her. "It's in the bag," he motions to the little red devil on his shoulder. She cringes, while the tiny white angel on her shoulder holds back the urge to scream, "Not a chance in hell, creep!" Ah, love!

When it comes to meeting people in a bar, guys and girls are rarely on the same page. Some nights you want to find love and other nights are reserved for getting drunk with your friends. How often do the stars align for would-be sweethearts? By no means am I an expert on the subject, but it sure is fun watching the two worlds collide. Here's a few of the techniques I've seen (sometimes) successfully used to find love in the club.

The staredown: If someone's not interested, they'll just beeline it to the bathroom, pretending not to see the suggestive glances and Medusa-like stares coming from the guy six feet down the bar. If they are interested, this is by far the most successful technique I've seen to pick somebody up – a strong, confident look and a smile go a long way for a girl who's not distracted by her friends. There's no one pulling her away, no fake boyfriends for her to clutch to her side. It's probably the easiest time to exchange phone numbers. Now, it may not be the real number, and even if it is, she may not even answer the next day, but by-golly you got that number, and that's half the battle.

The group-on-group: "My friend John likes her, Brian likes your other friend, and I'm really into you," says the confident one of the group. Whether you send your wittiest friend into the lion pit as bait to attract the members of the other group to yours, or you approach as a team, group-on-group matchmaking is a great way to meet new people. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work out for everyone involved. What do you do if your wing man screws it up, or worse, she really likes Brian, I like John, and my other friend likes you? There aren't exactly take-backs when you put it out there so bluntly.

The diamond force field: A diamond used to be a sign of a taken lady. Worn on the wrong hand, it was still a shield from unwanted drunk callers. These days, left-handed bling is just a challenge – a temptation for someone who's not quite convinced that you're done playing the field. A married lady at the club always attracts a few unwanted suitors, especially if she's sitting at the bar solo, but nothing compares to the gaggle of girls who flock to a good-looking, ring-wearing gentleman. They're ruthless.

The send-a-drink-over: People always say, flaunt it if you've got it. In the bar, you've definitely got it – more booze than you know what to do with. So, sending a drink to your target can work like a charm, as long as you're not cheap. Like I said, I'm no expert, but sending warm well tequila or splitting one shot two ways (which I've seen hundreds of times) doesn't impress a girl like you think it will.

The after-the-bar roundup: Blendr must be blowing up at 2 a.m. in Orlando. As the bars let out, the streets are filled with a sea of frisky drunks searching for that last opportunity to find an escort home. If you don't believe me, stand outside of any downtown bar after last call and watch the show for yourself. Try leaving ... alone ... or at least without a catcall sent your way, a new friend eager to be your bodyguard or a clever 21-year-old on a bicycle chariot circling your every move.

As unsuccessful as most people are at finding "love" in the club, it's not impossible. In fact, I've seen it happen. Here's to Valentine's Day, and to hoping this week is your week for getting lucky. Cheers.

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