I recently got an email and I'd like to share it here because I feel this is an important topic that isn't talked bout very much. We'll begin with her letter:
I have two questions and they are related to alcohol. I stopped drinking almost two years ago for personal reasons but I don't subscribe to a "no-alcohol in my home or life" mentality. My family drinks, my friends drink, there is wine and alcohol in my kitchen and I don't have a problem with men I date drinking. My first question is, do you think it's okay for me to put "social drinker" rather than "never" on my profile? I feel like saying "never" makes me look like I'm not fun or that I'm judgmental. I worry that this is dishonest, but I really feel like saying "never" limits the amount of men who would be interested in a date.
I usually try to do coffee or lunch on a first date so that I can order an iced tea or non-alcoholic drink without raising any questions. Then if there is any chemistry and there's a second date, maybe dinner, I explain that I stopped drinking. That brings me to my second question. I don't think it's appropriate to get into the reasons behind my decision to not drink with someone I barely know, I just say "it doesn't agree with me." Do you think that is the right way to handle it? I was never a violent or belligerent drunk and I don't have a trail of wreckage that I'm trying to hide, but I know people can make any kind of assumption. My experience so far has been that older men don't mind me not drinking, but younger men (in their 30's) are a little put off. My approach right now is to just try and let my personality speak for itself but any advice you have would be appreciated.
I'm very glad you asked, this is an issue that is rarely talked about. And as I get older I realize that people don't need to know all of our personal details and your truth is your truth, they don't need access to any information that won't affect them or harm them. People like to judge other people, especially when you're dating. They want to size you up, figure out what's wrong with you and then they're off to the next person. So, the fact that you stopped drinking (first of all I applaud you) is a great thing. You do not have to tell a guy on the first date or even the second. I recommend just avoiding the discussion until you know that you really like the guy and vice versa. If I were you, I would say you gave it up because you wanted to. Say, that you wanted to be healthier and that you feel better than ever, so you're sticking with as long as you can. Period. Even if you end up dating the guy, if I were you, I'd still make that your new truth. Sometimes even saying: "it just didn't agree with me" could be construed as: I get crazy! At least that's how one might take it. And believe me, they are always waiting for the other shoe to drop. So don't raise any suspicion, make it no big deal :-)
Reasons why someone would mind, if you don't drink:
- because he can't take advantage of you
- because he wants someone to party with.
If he's a cool guy with good intentions he won't mind that you don't drink.
So that was my reply, but I still want to expand on this subject. I think especially if you're single and dating and going out on a regular basis, usually you're drinking. Drinking is a very big part of socializing. It's hard to go on a date (especially a first date) and not drink. It loosens you up, lightens the evening and can kick some chemistry into gear. But, it can also get in the way of having a clear rational perspective of the person that is sitting across from you. Let's face it, you wouldn't go to a job interview after you'd had a glass of wine? Nor would you want to interview someone for a job, after you've had a glass of wine. Why? Because it will impair your judgment and the way you communicate. It will impair the decisions you make. I think more people should not drink on the first few dates, so they can be at their absolute best. It's scary, I know! But, I do believe that being completely clear and fully present with someone, is really the only way to know for sure if this person is right for you or not. So if finding a meaningful connection is your goal, it's best to be sober and present in every way.
My top ten reasons why you should be glad you're single.
10. You can date, talk to and kiss anyone you want.
9. You can look any way you want to, any time you want to.
8. You look younger. Research has found single people look younger and are usually in better shape.
7. You can have sex with a different partner every night of the week, if you want to.
6. You don't have to deal with any relationship drama.
5. Being single means you are constantly meeting new people and going new places.
4. Your possibilities are endless.
3. You can take over the entire bed.
2. Your hand or your vibrator never disappoints.
1. The possibility that you could marry George Clooney or Cameron Diaz is still a possibility.
When I ask women to tell me what type of man they are looking for, they describe what all good fantasies are made of..tall, handsome, smart, funny, fit, wealthy. And basically, what they should just say is..."I'm looking for prince charming". Because let's face it..since we were kids..every happy ending was the average girl, damsel in distress, slave or princess..always being rescued and riding off into the sunset with prince charming. So, it has become in grained in our subconscious, when asked of our ideal man..to say, prince charming. But, I think the key is not that he is a prince or good looking, tall, smart, or George Clooney...the key to getting any lady, is the "charming" part. And if you're charming enough, she will see you as her prince..no matter what you look like or how much money you have.
So, I started wondering what is charm?
And here is what I've come up with so far...feel free to add your own ideas of "charm".
Confidence...combined with smart...quick-witted....polite banter.
I think is one form.
I think taking charge....combined with a big smile.....and an attitude of "Hey..Life's great"...is another way to be charming.
Not being needy or foolish or rude or too cocky or too nice.
A man who won't be taken advantage of...but, who also won't trick or take advantage of a woman. He makes a woman feel safe, protected. He can be funny, smart and counted on. But, can walk away without being mad or hurt...because...he's his own man.and doesn't need a woman to tell him that. Or validate his worth. He knows his worth; he's happy and secure..but, not cocky...or too cocky.
This is a very important question to ask. When you think of your future, whom do you see yourself with when you're 80? Or are you just thinking of "right now"? If it is your ego talking then probably you would say.."I see myself with someone fit, tall, great smile, loves rock music, owns the new I phone and is very very sexy.' And why? Why are those things the most important things to your ego? Well, because, the ego by definition means: An exaggerated sense of self-importance; conceit.
To put it another way: Are your expectations of a potential partner based on what is in your heart or is it based on how you want to be perceived by other people? Because I know when you're 80, you're not going to care if he was ever a rock star or if she was ever a super model. So think about what is really most important. If you're looking for a long-term relationship, then you have to be realistic. That means that you have to ask yourself, "If everyone on this planet looked the same and dressed the same and had the same income.....what qualities then, would I be looking for?" And do YOU have the same qualities to offer the other person? Because, if you're expectation is for a perfect model, then you also need to be a perfect model. Right? Let's face it, if you're over weight, average looking and don't have a lot going for you, other than you're a nice person...well, let's just hope and pray....you're not waiting for "George Clooney or Eva Longoria" to come along.
There are just as many women out there as there are men, who seem to have a strange sense of entitlement, when it comes to being choosy about a mate. It is great to be picky and have standards...but, make sure you are being honest with yourself and that your standards aren't higher than what you have to offer in return.
Be realistic and think outside of the stereotypes. Let go of unrealistic expectations, throw away your checklist and allow yourself to fall in love with someone's inner qualities. The only way to do that is by giving different people a chance..a real chance, it takes more than one date to fall in love, sometimes it takes ten, fifteen or even twenty. Love at first sight rarely happens, the best type of love is the love that develops over time and is based on the soul, not the outer shell.