- Gender and Relationships
First Date: To Drink or Not To Drink
You want to put your best foot forward, but you also want to be able to relax. You want to impress but not distress.There are some things that are black and white. If you’re driving you aren’t supposed to be drinking. If you aren’t a drinker, then you certainly shouldn’t drink, or do anything that you’re not comfortable doing for that matter. But if you are at least a social drinker, is there anything wrong with having a drink on your first date with someone?
DRINKING FOR COURAGE
We all remember Sex and the City Episode #47 “What Comes Around Goes Around” where Miranda is on a first date with a hot detective. He’s so good looking that all the women in the restaurant are turning to stare at him. Nervous that she isn’t good looking enough to be with him, she starts drinking for courage and compensation. Several martinis later, Miranda is bombed, and dragging him into her bed. In the morning she discovers he’s left her literature for Alcoholics Anonymous. (Note he didn't give her that pamphlet before he got some.)
The problem with finding your courage in a few drinks is that you can also find yourself too courageous. Your inhibitions can be lost but so can your ability to walk, speak, and think clearly. And a first impression can't be erased.
ANYTHING IN MODERATION
I think if your date is in a setting where alcohol is available, from a hockey game, to a restaurant, to the opera, indulging in some spirits is acceptable and enjoyable. And it is true it might take the edge of the first date jitters.But let's be clear that I am not suggesting you show up on your first date with a bottle of tequila, a couple of lemons and camcorder. (Mmmm, 1986. His name was John. But I digress…)There is a difference between indulging in a good bottle of wine with dinner or a few beers at the game, and doing body shots with Cabo Wabo.
All I’m saying is you might want to think ahead about the impression you want to give. You want to think about your safety, where exactly you’re going, how you’re getting home, and if you ever want to see this person for a second date.There is a huge difference between enjoying a few cocktails, and getting blasted. Anything in moderation, especially while you're getting to know someone.
Here's some food for thought. It might be very wise to honestly evaluate what you’re like with a few drinks under your belt. Remember that is the first impression with which your date will be left. Do you smile and talk, and loosen up? Do you hurl? Do you become the life of the party, dancing on the bar and playing truth or dare? Have you won wet t-shirt contests you don’t remember entering? Do you cry and talk about how your father never loved you? I can't stress this enough: Once you make a first impression, you can’t take it back.
You might want to decide ahead of time instead of on the fly what you’re going to do. Setting a reasonable limit shows good judgment and moderation. Something reasonable might be 2 – 3 glasses of wine during dinner, then coffee. That way, later on when you’re comfortable and chatty you don’t have to worry about assessing yourself. You can just cut yourself off before anything embarrassing happens. Only you know your limits. Moderation is different for everyone.
Since I always preach honesty and communication, this HUB is going to be no different. I don’t think it should be a problem for you to ask your date ahead of time what the plans are. For example you could be honest and say you’d like to have a few drinks, and if he would like to have a few cocktails also, you’d just like to make sure you’ll be taking a cab and what the arrangements are.Ask yourself what you’d think if your date had a drink. Then ask yourself what you’d think if your date had a drink too many. Gage yourself accordingly.