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Caution... Alcohol Makes Dating/Hook Ups Hazardous

At a party and met someone? You are drinking and feeling good? They like you, enough to hurt you?

Around this time last year I was asked to comment on an HLN story that took place in the Mid West. The story was about a hook up gone wrong when a man met a woman at a party and fell for her. They didn’t know each other, but they both knew the host. They were both drinking and seemed to engage with each other very well. When the party began breaking up and people were leaving, the woman asked the man if he wanted to go home with her.

The details of this part were a bit fuzzy; I am not sure if he didn’t have a car or what had happened. The woman had a history; apparently she hated men due to a previous relationship that had just ended. It is not known if her date knew, but it is assumed most likely he didn’t or he wouldn’t have gotten into her car.

It was cold in February, and halfway home on a desolate road she pulled a gun out of her glove compartment. She aimed the gun at him and told him to take his clothes off. He was drunk and scared and did as he was told. She then ordered him out of the car (it was less than 20 degrees). The guy tried to fight with her, but she had the gun. He was found around 4 a.m. by another person who saw a naked man wandering aimlessly off the road. This guy suffered from severe hypothermia, frostbite, and psychologically.

We hear frequently about people who have gone out on a date and drank more than they should have. It is never wise to mix drinking with dating. For one thing, even if you are normally a debonair, soulful, or eloquent person, you cannot pull that off when you are drunk. When someone is drunk they appear sloppy, unintelligible and repulsive no matter how good they look in the light of day. People who do not have your best interest at heart are alert to when someone is drinking, and they know when it is an opportune time to take advantage.

When you are drinking, all of the things you usually pay attention to with getting to know someone are clouded by your inability to concentrate and focus. When you begin drinking with a date, you basically are putting your life in the hands of someone else. If the gentleman I referred to above had been sober, he would have been able to see how this woman was out to punish all men. He would most likely have stayed away from her. When he pursued pressing charges, he had no recollection of what she looked like. When he met her sober, he reported that he had no idea what attracted him to her.

If you find yourself at an event with someone new and alcohol is part of the venue, make a plan prior to drinking.

1. If you want to enjoy a drink with someone new, limit yourself to only one if at all.

2. Know in advance one person you can call who will come and get you in the event you begin feeling out of sorts.

3. Don’t ever get in the car of someone you don’t know if you have been drinking. You are not thinking clearly at this point, and I have seen numerous bad outcomes from this one mistake.

4. If you are dating someone who gets drunk all of the time and always seems fun, know this up front. You are dating someone you don’t know. You know this person under the influence of alcohol. Part of the difficult treatment of alcoholism is people miss the drunk. The sober person may not be fun at all and may suffer from a depression that was medicated by alcohol.

5. Dating is fun, and you learn so much about yourself. The goal of dating is finding someone you share interests with and enjoying each other’s company. You deserve someone who finds joy in being with you as you do them. A drinker doesn’t find joy in the relationship. They find it in their drink.

Enjoy your single time, dating, and the company of others. This is a poignant time, and one that is looked back on with fond memories. When drinking is part of the mix, the memories may change from fond to heartbreaking. Many times you cannot “undo” the mistakes made while drinking on a date.

-Mary Jo Rapini

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