As a fresh-faced 21-year-old, I’m new to the bar scene. I’m still learning the ins and outs of nightlife but have managed to nail a few of the basics, such as:

-Tipping the bartender generously might get you a free round

-Opening a tab is easy—remembering to close it is not

-You make more friends in the line for the ladies room than you ever did at summer camp

There’s one thing, however, I am still pretty unsure about.

Guys ordering drinks for girls is a customary mating ritual in the bar setting. In very few places across this country do people buy things for total strangers. You don’t see guys putting quarters in a cute girl’s parking meter, or covering the cost of their groceries. But girls can slip into a sexy dress and head to the bar with little to no cash on them, knowing that simply catching a guy’s eye is as good as a part-time job.

So here is my question: If I see a cute guy at a bar, can I buy him a drink?

My inclination is that I should just go for it. It’s a bold move, but if the guy I’m interested in can’t handle a little female independence, I’m probably not really interested! However, I can’t help but wonder…is it a little too forward?