Not drinking and dating
And I’ve never carried around the temptation on a tray since.
When 17-year-old Quattro Musser hangs out with friends, they don't drink beer or cruise around in cars with their dates.
I should have known to bring decoys filled with Coca-Cola and water, instead—even though I knew that wouldn’t solve his drinking problem. I should have broken up with him after he downed those mini bottles.
Up until that moment, I’d seen and heard enough signs and glimpses of his drinking-induced temper: the times he’d been curt for no reason (alcohol), more impatient than usual (alcohol), oh, and after hearing the story about the time he punched his cousin (alcohol).
—and more conscientious when meeting guys offline—did he just down four beers in an hour?
I also decided to reframe future first-date activities, suggesting non-alcoholic date options.
More importantly, I’ve prioritized what’s important to me when it comes to a partner, and broke an unconscious pattern of my own.After going on a sober date with someone new, it was then good to go on a drinking date, so to speak—or to a place where alcohol was in the background, not the foreground, to see how the guy handled it. I wasn’t there to judge other people’s drinking, but rather to take control of my own issues with dating men who drank beyond what I was comfortable with.In the years since dating my ex, my radar drastically improved.Plus, his face was flushed in most of them, a drinker’s blush on his cheeks. Guys like my ex were charming, nice and fun—until they didn’t know how to stop drinking and “a couple drinks before we go” turned into nearly a half-bottle of whiskey for them and a half-finished glass of wine for me.
They say we date who and what we know—consciously or unconsciously. My parents divorced when I was three and I didn’t grow up knowing my father.We were on Sunset Boulevard amidst a crowd of jovial Alice in Wonderlands and men dressed as The Golden Girls. She “stopped by” a lot, particularly when I was not around. He flipped my plastic tray and sent the bottles flying. The next morning, I said good-bye to him for good and made a vow to myself: no more alcoholics, and certainly no more enabling such guys by carrying around a tray of their vice. A few months earlier, when we had started dating, I ignored the hints that he was an alcoholic.