Dealbreakers

My Conclusive Findings On Why I Can’t Date Non-Drinkers

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Drinking is part of my daily routine. It’s how I unwind, it’s how I socialize, and when I was a teacher, it’s how I de-stressed after work so I wouldn’t flip out on children and get fired. All of my friends drink. It’s what we do.

But the other day I started to wonder: is sobriety was a legitimate reason to not date someone? I’m a very open-minded person, but could two such different lifestyles be compatible enough for a relationship?

I’d like to think that booze and love are not mutually exclusive things — I want them both. “Would you like some booze with your love, Dave?” Why yes I would! The two go hand in hand, right? You’re out on a date, and you drink! You need to break the ice? You drink! You need to work up enough courage to even stand next to the man with the amazing ass at the bar? You drink. And then you’re still to afraid, but your friends push you, anyway.

Related: What Your Drink Says About You
Recently, I dated a ballerina who did not drink because (he claimed) it was not good for his ballet practice. Before I say anything else, I would like it to be known that I gave this man a real effing chance. I really opened up my booze-soaked mind to understanding someone willing subject to alcohol deprivation. When I was first telling my friends about him I would always save the sober thing for last:

Me: Yeah, so he’s surprisingly nice.
Friends: Good, you deserve it.
Me: And so genuine! I mean, I really think he’s an honest man.
Friends: Finally! Maybe he can repair the emotional scars from your cheating whore of an ex-boyfriend.
Me: Oh, and this is kind of weird, he doesn’t drink.
Friends: HE DOESN’T DRINK!? Get rid of him.

Turns out I should have gotten rid of him. Definitely should have gotten rid of him before he started crying on my bed; absolutely did get rid of him when I came home one evening to find him sitting outside my apartment door.

I want to blame his craziness on the Black Swan within all dancers. A friend of mine wants to blame it on his sobriety. She still holds that if he drank he would have calmed the hell down. Do what any self-respecting New Yorker does when he or she has unnerving emotions: drink them away.

Related: A Drink for Every Stage Of Your Relationship
But even without his craziness, were there enough problems with me, a drinker, dating a non-drinker — a beautifully fit, handsome, flexible non-drinker? My instinct is to say yes, for two reasons:

1. Some normally-sane people get wasted and act in ways that bewilder the beJesus out of the rest of us. This isn’t bad: it’s revealing. The crazy lurks just beneath the surface — and you have every right to see it.

2. It’s just embarrassing. For me.Does anyone really want to drag someone around to the bars who slowly watches you get wasted with their judgmental eyes? Hells. No.

My advice on this is to do as the ancient Greeks did. According to Herodotus,

“It is also their general practice to deliberate upon affairs of weight when they are drunk; and then on the morrow, when they are sober, the decision to which they came the night before is put before them by the master of the house in which it was made; and if it is then approved of, they act on it; if not, they set it aside. Sometimes, however, they are sober at their first deliberation, but in this case they always reconsider the matter under the influence of wine.”

Emphasis added by me.

Related: What To Order At the Bar To Impress Your Date
So, sober decision → drink → get wasted → orgy (optional) → make a new, drunken decision. And go with that drunk decision.

Next time you’re on that first date and find yourself the only one with a glass of wine, excuse yourself, hop in a cab, and hit the bottle with your friends. You’ll save yourself countless moments of sober small-talk and be in better, Greek-vetted company (orgy optional).

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