She’s sober, I’m not. Would this deter you from starting a relationship?


scuba_steve94 asks:

Hi – this should be quick.

Started talking to this girl who I’m pretty into now, we’re not official yet but have gone out a few times. She tells me she doesn’t drink because of family history with alcohol and all. I don’t have a problem with this as I’m not a heavy drinker, but personally, I’d like to get drunk with my girlfriend every once in a while.

Would this deter you from a relationship with someone you liked?

Demetrius says:

This might sound a bit out of character for me but…yes, it would deter me from starting a relationship. Here’s why:

I’ll admit this isn’t something I’m particularly proud of but, I just don’t enjoy sober first dates. Now, that’s just me. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with sober dates, I just personally do not have a good time on first dates unless there’s drinking involved.  I can go on a sober date once I start dating someone, I’m actually not a big drinker unless it’s the weekend and that’s only if I’m socializing. It’s not like I drink explicitly to get drunk or anything, and I’m not saying it wouldn’t be possible to have a fun sober first date, but in my experience, sober first dates have just not worked for me. Maybe it was who I was with, or maybe it’s just me, but my experience has been that they’re just not my cup of tea.

Another reason is that the act of eating and drinking together is important to me in my relationships. I know that might sound silly to you, but there’s something about sharing food and drink together when you’re in a relationship that makes me happy. It’s why I can date a vegetarian (I can take or leave meat) but  why I probably can’t date a vegan. Sorry but I simply cannot take or leave ice-cream or pizza, despite the fact that I’m lactose intolerant, and not being able to split my favorite dairy based foods would just bum me out. Sharing food and drink is such a relationship-centric activity for me that I rarely if ever go to a new restaurants or bars when I’m single. If this post is making me seem weirder and weirder, trust me we’re on the same page. Being able to share a meal and an adult beverage with my partner is important to me for a lot of nonsensical reasons.

All that said, remember that this is just my opinion. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being sober, nor do I think that everyone in a relationship needs to be on the same page in terms of the food or intoxicants that they consume. I just know what’s important to me when I date, and sharing food and alcohol with my partner is something that matters to me in relationships, as silly as it might seem. Socializing over food or drink is something I’ve done since I was a kid, and I’m sure that has a lot to do with why it’s so important to me. No matter how far below the poverty line we were growing up, Soul Food Sunday was a big deal in my house. The biggest holiday for my family is, hands down, Thanksgiving. I might not get a call from my sister asking what I want for Christmas, but she damn sure will call me and ask me what dish I want her to make for me for Thanksgiving (It’s banana pudding, Nia. It’s always banana pudding). Some of my fondest memories with family and friends revolve around, you guessed it, food and drink. Whether its Spanish food at my aunt’s as a kid, (shout out to Titi Miriam for always having a slice of avocado ready to go with the arroz con gandules or arroz con pollo), making a signature jungle juice that I’ve brought to so many friend hangouts that when I meet friends-of-friends I’m often introduced as “The Weird Juice Guy”, or more recently, being invited to be part of my friend’s family’s annual trip for Korean food over Thanksgiving weekend. Socializing over food and drink are really, really important to me, and the act of sharing both in a relationship really matters to me.

Let me stop, because I’m getting hungry and now I want a drink. I probably couldn’t date someone who is sober, but again, that’s just me specifically. You as the question-asker came to the same conclusion, but my readers might not come to the same conclusion. I think when it comes down to it, you have to really think about how important it is that your partner does, or does not drink. This goes for people who partake in alcoholic beverages, and those who don’t. If you’re sober, can you date someone who drinks? Is it important to you in any way that they are or aren’t sober? If you’re a drinker, would you be okay taking your date to social events knowing that they don’t drink? You have to decide whether or not your partner’s sobriety is important to you, whatever side of the sobriety aisle you’re on. Drinking with my partner is important to me, even if it’s for a lot of superficial reasons, so I tend to avoid dating teetotalers. If you’re the type of person who values getting drunk with your significant other, you need to figure out how valuable that is to you. If you met the perfect person for you in every way BUT drinking, would you still date them? I can’t answer that for everyone, but I would suggest giving it some deep thought. I think a couple where one person drinks and one doesn’t can work, in theory, but it really all depends on how important sobriety is to both people in the relationship.

Good Luck Out There.

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