If you have ever tried to buy a drink for a stranger, you are aware of how awkward the situation can be. Even if you get past the first step, the follow-up can be nerve-racking.
“Do you smile and wave when the person gets the drink or do you act like you do not notice? Who should get off their seat and talk to the other person first after the drink has been accepted?” asks Timothy Akuguzibwe, still dating.
Akuguzibwe says he has only seen such moves in movie scenes where somebody buys a drink for a stranger and they go on to become lovers, business partners, or even best friends though this has not happened to him in real life since he fears being embarrassed.
To Chris Mugyenyi who is in a relationship, buying a drink for a total stranger creates a minor sense of obligation to the person who receives it. He explains that buying a drink for a woman is probably the most tried and true, time-tested method of approaching a woman though he says it is still not easy. He adds that it is a generous gesture that shows you are willing to spend a little money on her.
“If it is well planned, this move can win you big connections which can lead to something bigger. But there is a potential for rejection too, even a big theatrical rejection with the drink being thrown in your face,” he notes. However, Mugyenyi says there are way you can handle the situation.
Make use of the bartender
Fred Mubiru says it is important that you make use of the bartender such that he can inform you about the woman you are interested in. “In most cases the bartender has information about who is around, who did not come with company and could probably be in need of some company,” he says.
He adds that it is important to first scout the woman out a bit and see what she is drinking, then order her favourite drink. “This is good when done well, but if you do it awkwardly or with the wrong type of woman, you will come away looking like a stalker.
Perhaps an easier way is to just walk up and ask whether it is okay to buy her a drink,” he adds.
Read the scene
“Do not buy a drink for someone who is already on a date. If the recipient is visibly engaged, leave them alone. And if someone is already drunk, they are no longer a viable option for receiving another drink, or for your advances,” says Mugyenyi. He adds that if you want to buy a drink for someone who is otherwise occupied, hold off on your introduction and instead, ask the bartender to point you out upon delivery, and then do a chill acknowledgement just like a gentleman.
Do not stare
According to Mugyenyi, buying a drink for someone across the bar is fine as long as you do not stare at the person when she receives the drink. “When the person eventually catches your eye, a casual nod works fine. When the person is done with the drink, make your way over to see if he or she would like a refill. This all, of course, depends on a person’s demeanor, so read the situation carefully,” he advices.
Mubiru says it is advisable to contact a stranger whose drink is almost half way. “Not everyone wants to double fist. Wait until the recipient is nearing empty before you offer to buy them another drink. If you rush them through their first drink, it will seem like you are trying to get them drunk and take advantage of the situation,” he notes.
Understand that buying a woman a drink is a way to scope people out, and learn more about them. Once you realise that it is not such a big deal and a sure way of getting a date, it becomes a lot more understandable.
Pick the right girl
Not all girls will be open to being offered a drink. If you notice that the girl’s answers are short, that she’s displaying closed off body language, or if she’s clearly busy with something else, she probably doesn’t want to be bothered with a drink.
In terms of green lights, if you notice that she’s smiling at you, actively engaging you in conversation, or straight up flirting with you, she probably will be okay with it.