When does alcohol stop being a social lubricant and start hurting your relationship?
The first few dates are always a little awkward, so there's no harm in a glass of wine or two — plus, it gives you some ready-made conversation topics: "I love this cocktail! Want to try it?" "Hm, it's okay, but I think I like mine better..." But after you've been dating a few months, is it normal to still be drinking every time you see each other? Not so much, I think. A glass of red wine with dinner is okay, but if you're getting tanked on the regular, you're probably uncomfortable or have something to hide.
Most people I know follow this general pattern: Drink while they're still getting to know each other, then slowly slip into a pattern of no longer needing alcohol to relax or be happy. Yes, there are definitely exceptions, and I have watched relationships disintegrate and fights occur because of someone's drinking. But on the whole, the more stable the relationship, the less alcohol.
Some sources, though, suggest this is far from the truth. A recent study shows that married women drink more than their single, divorced and widowed friends. Married men, on the other hand, drink much less than single men. Perhaps by the time they're married — rather than in a long-term relationship — people let down their guard once again?
We want to know: Since you started dating your current partner, has your drinking together increased or decreased? Why do you think this is?
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