Chaps always talk about how good it is to be single, but 87% of the time they are actually lying.
Sure, going to bars and clubs with your mates and hitting on women sounds like a blast. More often than not, though, those nights end with you alone in the line at Maccas and result in hellacious hangovers and a pillow that's soaked with the salty man-tears of despair and defeat.
The chances of meeting a lady you genuinely like are slim. The chances of ending up at an ear-drum-burstingly loud club wall-to-wall with dudes, spending all your rent money, embarrassing your friends, and waking up to the taste of kebab-with-tabouli-and-garlic-sauce in your mouth are high.
Let's face it. Unless you have the looks of Michael Fassbender or the charisma of Larry Emdur, girls are most likely to be repelled by your gawkish attempts at pitching woo.
Unless you're mega-rich like Mitt Romney, or have a glamourous profession like 'Urban List writer', you are going to have to spend a huge amount of time and effort just to convince some random mademoiselle that you are even worth talking to, let alone going on a date with.
But say you actually meet a nice girl, perhaps at Book Club or in your life drawing class, and she agrees to go out with you? The whole dating thing can be a bit of a chore, too. That sounds very cynical. It can also be joyous and life-affirming. But it can also be a chore. If you realise early on that there is no spark between the two of you, the whole situation can get plain awkward. If only there were some magical third party that could come in and sort out your date night, and your friends could come too, and they'd shout you a round of drinks. Oh wait, there is – Winger. Don't know it? You should. It's bloody awesome.
Anyway, back to this girl you met in rehab. You want to take her out somewhere fairly casual for a first date, without the pressure of the whole fancy dinner-and-a-show thing. You still want to impress her, though.
Here are our picks of some excellent Brisbane bars that hit just the right tone for a first date.
Tucked away in a quiet little corner of New Farm, Bitter Suite works very well as a relaxed spot for a bit of romancing. Friendly staff will make you and your special lady friend feel at ease, and there is a wide enough selection of beers and wines to make you feel even more at ease than is socially acceptable.
With its slightly hidden-away feel and cosy atmosphere, a few drinks at Cobbler could well set you on the path to future cuddles and kisses. For maximum results, time your visit to coincide with a live jazz performance. Also, if you're not a whiskey expert already, do some research beforehand so you can sound sophisticated when ordering from the knowledgeable bar staff.
Statler & Waldorf
Two fireplaces, craft beers on tap, and wonderful food options—what more could you ask for in a first date destination? Statler & Waldorf has a down-to-earth tone to keep things casual, but is classy enough to make you look like you know what you're doing. If your date doesn't have a great time there, the problem is probably you.
This downtown lounge is so stylish you would think they'd have trouble backing it up with substance, but they pull that part off to perfection as well. All you Don Draper wannabes out there should consider The Gresham if you want to make a sharp first impression.
Scrumptious southern US-style eats should warm both your little hearts as you embark on an evening of love, together. Your burgeoning fondness (infatuation, burning lust, whatever you want to call it) will only be enhanced by the pleasant surrounds and even pleasanter range of beers and spirits at this New Orleans-inspired joint. After three Sazeracs at Papa Jack's you'll feel like George Clooney in a hot tub. (Oh, and BTW this is also a Winger venue. Don't know what Winger is? Dude.)
So this young lady is a little bit special? You might consider taking her to Libertine. The beauty of this elegant Barracks establishment is that you can start off with some cocktails or a bottle of wine, and if things are going well (*winks) you can up the ante and indulge in some of the lavish dishes they have on the menu.
The Bearded Lady
The hip and often-rowdy Bearded Lady could be ideal for a meet-up if you don't want to come on too strong, too early. The lively West End bar can be enjoyed simply as a place for a drink and a chat, but if it's all progressing smoothly (*winks), there are plenty of nooks and crannies in the joint, featuring comfortable furniture for you to get snuggly on.
Want to come across as all sophisticated and romantic? The Bowery should do the trick. Dark and sultry, with live jazz during the week and DJs on the weekend, this Valley favourite is dripping with atmosphere. Buy her a couple of sumptuous cocktails and she'll think you're Dean Martin.
Centrally located watering hole, Super Whatnot is perfect for a casual after-work drink that could sorta maybe lead to something else. Find a corner somewhere for an intimate chat, or just grab a bite to eat and get drunk. Whatever blows your skirt up.
Show your new friend a fun time on your outing and you're already winning. And nothing says fun like Tiki. West End's Jungle bar is indulgently kitsch and undoubtedly the place to go for a rollicking good time. Just be careful not to fall in love after a couple of gigantic, gaudy jars of mixed spirits.
Need help in the dating department?
Speaking of dating… need some help in that department? Think I should be punched in the nose for suggesting all these great places when you still CAN'T GET A DATE to actually take to them? Well, what if I told you we could organise a great night out for you and two of your mates, match you up with three cute chicks, and send you to one of the best bars in town? You'd be keen, right? And we haven't even told you that we're shouting the first round. Girls + drinks + more girls + mates + fun. Why are you still reading this? Click on over to Winger and register for one epic party.
TUL Note: Hailing from the 'Paris of the South,' Bundaberg, Dan Colasimone is back in Brisbane after spending the better part of a decade living overseas. He also writes about sport. He once completed an Arts degree. Twitter: @DanColasimone
Image Credit: Pop Sugar