A comment was posted on one of my earlier blogs regarding the use of alcohol as a confidence booster on a date. Anything like this I may have said was probably along the lines of “If you are so nervous that you are about to choke on your soup and cause a scene straight out of Mrs. Doubtfire, better to have a glass of wine than to get the Heimlich maneuver from your waiter, or worse, your date.”
But let’s take this opportunity to talk about alcohol consumption and dating. Because as behavior is affected, and in some cases, our personalities, by the consumption of alcohol, it is important to talk about it as a legitimate ingredient in the dating recipe.
Drinking too much on a date, or out, can be catastrophic for either sex. This is why it is important to constantly be aware of, and monitor, your alcohol intake.
First of all, one glass of wine does not equal an entire bottle. Don’t let nerves carry you into gulping down your beverages like a frat boy doing a keg stand at Harvard-Yale, because you will be drunk before you can say, “Boo.” And once you can’t see straight, you can’t see straight.
Watching alcohol intake is particularly poignant for women, who are affected by alcohol faster and more potently than men. Particularly if one is drinking on an empty stomach, the gracious lady in the pencil skirt and Gucci heels may be tripping over a chair on her way to the restroom before she knows it. So ladies, even if your date is still drinking, once you know that you have had enough, say “Caput.” If you feel awkward without a drink in your hand, ask for a water or a seltzer with lime. Whatever you do, do not try to match the alcohol intake of your date. Remember, he could weigh twice as much as you, which means he can consume twice as much.
Even if you are not drinking on an empty stomach, say a dinner date perhaps, it is still important to watch alcohol intake. Because let’s face it, how much do women really eat on dates anyway? Two bites, maybe three? This does not actually constitute putting food in your stomach, and it will not temper the effects of a significant amount of alcohol.
And in respect to a woman’s acute alcohol sensitivity, I advise men to be clear to a woman about whether she should be expecting dinner or just drinks.
There is nothing worse than taking a woman out who is expecting dinner (and therefore, hasn’t eaten), and then just ordering drinks. She will be unpleasantly inebriated within an hour, and may even end up falling asleep on the table on the hour and a half mark. And don’t ask a girl on a drink date, if you are trying to assess whether to take her to dinner from drinks, “Have you eaten?“ unless you preface it with, “I’m starved, have you eaten?“ Because even if she is hungry, a girl will never say yes to the first question, not wanting to put you in an awkward position. But also don’t take a woman out to eat if you have already eaten- she won’t be comfortable ordering and eating alone while you sit there across the table foodless, regardless of whether or not you plan on picking up the bill.
If you don’t want to take a girl for a formal dinner, try a tapas bar or a dessert date: both casual replacements for a dinner that won’t center the night around drinking, which as we said, can be catastrophic.
Why is that? For both sexes, drinking excessively on a date may cause you to say or do things that under normal circumstances, you never would. And most of the time these things are not advantageous to you or the potential relationship on the table.
This may be hard to remember while you are sipping down one yummy martini after the next, but it is quite easy to comprehend when your phone never again receives a call or text (ok, or bbm) from that person. Could it be because you drank too much and ended up rambling on and on about your ex for the entire night? Or the threesomes you had on college spring break in Mexico? With two locals? If you are thinking, Yikes!, right about now, you are one hundred percent on target.
Alcohol can also cause two people to become sexual before it is good for their relationship, setting up a sexual standard for the rest of their dating relationship (if there is one), that is nearly impossible to change.
So rather than making a date drink-centric, save your face and your wallet by taking her out on a date that is booze-free.
Women love plays, and movies, and mini-golf, and concerts, comedy shows and gallery openings- some may even like Yankees games, if you are lucky (and not from Boston)- and he list goes on and on, particularly in New York.
Taking a woman on an alcohol-free date shows her that you are confident about yourself sans alcohol, and that you are actually trying to get to know her (and not trying to get her into bed). These types of dates, which require more thinking, also indicate to a woman that you are cultured, well-rounded, and resourceful.
Need ideas? Three of the nicest dates that I have been on have been: a) a ghost tour of Boston, b) sharing a chocolate ice cream waffle at Max Brenner’s (although the guy did turn out to be a jerk), c) grilling smores at an Asian barbeque restaurant, d) holding hands at a Feist concert.
So stop drinking and get thinking! Your dating life, and your dates, will thank you.