Nowadays, drinking and getting to know someone new seem to go hand in hand. For most people, it probably feels unnatural to refrain from drinking on a first date. You might feel like you need some liquid courage to relax and have a good time when getting to know someone, but the truth is that drinking might be the reason you’re dating people who are completely wrong for you or ending up in relationships that are going nowhere.
Alcohol impairs your judgment. Do you actually like this person you’ve just started dating or is it the buzz from a few margaritas that makes you like him? Unless you spend time with him sober, you won’t really know whether you actually like him or not. You might just be feeling good from the tequila and not grasping the fact that the guy you’re with is actually a douchebag.
Drinking affects your ability to make good decisions. Yes, drinking can be a good ice breaker and help you come out of your shell, but as we all know, alcohol can often lead to making less than ideal decisions that you normally would never make sober. This can be really dangerous when you’re just getting to know someone because you don’t actually know them at all and what their true intentions are. It can lead you to be in a dangerous situation or just one that you don’t want to be in and that makes you uncomfortable.
You may think you’re more fun and outgoing after a few drinks, but it’s better to be the real you from the beginning. Sure, a good buzz can make you more confident, more talkative, and less likely to hold back… but it’s not a good sign if you rely on alcohol to get to know someone. You want to be with someone who loves you for who you really are, not who you are while drunk.
You might not be the best version of yourself after a few drinks. Alcohol affects us all differently and sometimes the kind of booze you choose to drink as well as what you’ve eaten that day can make a huge impact. We’ve all met bad drunks and acted in ways we were embarrassed to hear about the next day. If you need to drink to date someone, they might get to know a drunk you who isn’t one you’d soberly be proud of. You can’t control your actions and words while under the influence, which is kind of scary—you might be coming off as someone you’re absolutely not, which may be a turn off for someone you could’ve been really happy with.
You might waste time being in a relationship with someone you only like while you’re wearing beer goggles. It may take a few dates, a few weeks, or even a few months for you to hang out with him sober and realize that he’s completely wrong for you. That’s a lot of time wasted that you could’ve spent doing much more productive things, dating other guys or working on yourself. Sure, it’s fun to have a few drinks with your bae, but you also want to be able to like him while sober too.
It’s not always easy to transition into sober dates with someone once you’ve gone on a few alcohol-filled ones. Sometimes, the guy you’ve been dating is someone you could see yourself with sober, but it’s awkward and uncomfortable to try dating them without involving booze once you’ve been on a few drunk dates. If you had started sober, it would feel more normal and comfortable, but now that you guys have seen each other drunk, it feels strange to do something together without some kind of liquid courage.
If the guy you’ve begun dating wants to constantly drink on every date, that’s a red flag. Sure, it may seem fun, but it’s probably a sign he doesn’t really have his act together or is trying to fill a void in himself with alcohol. Is he the one constantly suggesting dates that involve alcohol, making it hard for you to say no? Maybe there are deeper, underlying issues there.
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. This isn’t saying you can’t enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, but just be mindful about your drinking habits and make sure they aren’t getting in the way of actually getting to know someone (and getting in their way of getting to know you too).
There’s more to relationships than finding someone to get drunk with. Although in this day and age, it may feel like relationships are basically about finding a good drinking buddy, but that’s not healthy or ideal for a long-term, happy relationship. Getting to know someone sober minimizes the chance of being in an unhappy relationship and forces you to come out of your shell naturally—without any liquid courage.
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