Here’s a great letter that I got this week inspired by all the talk around here on great bars for getting laid. I totally heart this person for sending it. It’s so brave and honest! I need more letters! Please send them—I guarantee a response. And I won’t even use them in the column if you ask me not to. Send your questions/thoughts to:

Hello Dr. Lisa!

I am a regular reader of the Bushwick Daily and a single twenty-two year old, so naturally I’ve been keeping up with the dating posts about meeting in bars and whatnot . . . but I’m sort of sick meeting guys while I’m intoxicated. If I intend on trying to meet someone on a night I go out I try to at least stay at a three-drink max in order to keep my cool and not drool all over my possible lover, but then life happens and more friends come out and I end up going over the original limit I set for myself and either meet an asshole, the TOTALLY wrong person, or no one at all.

Because of this I’ve been trying to see if I could possibly meet someone at a coffee shop or cafe, like in the dreams of my sixteen-year-old self. Of course that puts me in an awkward spot. I’ll go to somewhere like Little Skips or KAVE and read alone or draw, and then look around to try to find a possible target. I’ll find one, then think of all of the ways I could talk to him or approach him or possibly bump into him. Then, all the bad scenarios will run through my head like me tripping or him having a girlfriend. So, alas, I am empty-handed. Do you think there is a better way I could meet someone while sober? I normally wouldn’t be so eager but it’s coming up to three years on being single and a couple months since I’ve been in the game so I cannot help but feel as if I need something. Anything . . .

Also, I am not picky, nor do I find myself to be ugly. I do have glasses however and that may make some guys back off or have me attract the ones who tell me I remind them of a hot teacher or librarian.(Possibly one they have encountered growing up, which is kind of creepy and a whole other topic.)

Possibly could you dive into other alternatives for someone like me? Someone who has no self-control when she is out with her friends and doesn’t want to bring home a huge mistake and instead would absolutely love to meet someone while sober.

Lastly, not to flatter myself, but if you end up writing something about this, would you keep out my name? I have too many friends who would completely shame me if they saw this.

Thank you so very much!

 (Name Withheld by Request)


First of all, Name Withheld, I’m sure you are voicing the thoughts/predicaments of many Bushwickians. I agree, after all this drunken booty talk, it’s time to look into just meeting someone when you’re not drunk. Before I make suggestions of good places to do so, I want to address some psychological issues I see may be lurking for you—and I’m not saying I’m right, but good food for thought.

You say, you cannot control your drinking. Red flag alert! But that’s so obvious, you don’t need a self-proclaimed psychotherapist to tell you that’s a trouble-starter. I’m not judging you on how much you drink, just that you don’t feel that you can control it. So think about getting some help with that while you’re still in your early 20’s, before you get older where it’s not age appropriate to get shitfaced.

It sounds like alcohol is the fuel you need to get up the courage to meet people, since you mention the fears you imagine while approaching someone while you’re sober. Yes, it is harder to act unrattled on coffee, but with a little practice, you could be getting a self-esteem award! One of the most helpful things to keep in mind I think, is to practice being open to meeting people in general, wherever you are. If you learn to make conversation with little old ladies on the subway, people in line at the ticket counter, as well as the bus driver, you are way to chatting up anyone, which includes cute men. Remember, you are now adult enough that it’s okay to talk to strangers (just don’t get in cars with them).

All-in-all, this seems like classic low self-esteem syndrome, fear of being judged harshly by mean girls and other “experts.” Screw them all! You are your best expert!

The reality is, yes, everyone in this town has likely gone overboard at one time or another on booze and let’s not forget—drugs. I know some of you take drugs, which I don’t endorse, but I still won’t tell your mother about it.

I think it would be great if we could all hang out more sober, so here are some suggestions. And if you have one, we would LOVE to hear it—send it to me or post in the comments.

First of all, bear in mind, all daily activities are FREE dating opportunities. Laundry, vintage shopping, walking, library browsing. For instance: One of my favorite first dates was when my date and I went into Kmart and bought each other gifts for $5 or less. (I’m now married to the guy.) Here is a couple of other ideas:

• Movies: Although movies are often followed by food and alcohol, it will be much harder to drink seven vodkas in a dinner hour. And now you have a built-in conversation topic!

• Coffee Places: Of course, and you don’t need help from me on this.

Art Galleries: Just don’t go to the openings, although it’s hard to get too plastered on a limited amount of cheap wine.

Dollar Store Crawls: There is a world of inspiration in these places, and it’s such a wonderful part of Bushwick. The bigger the store, the better, I think.

• Bookstores: Here are the most popular ones in Bushwick.

Nature: Nature is sexy. Haven’t you ever had sex outdoors?

•  Totally Fun Volunteer Work: It involves walking dogs for fun!