21 and Up: Drinking and Dating

21 and Up: Drinking and Dating

Having a great time on a date or at a party can mean partaking a few beers or margaritas for our 21+ college-aged readers. We’re not talking about dancing-on-the-table, singing bad karaoke drinking. We’re talking about one or two drinks on a date or at a party.

We don’t talk about drinking and dating very often, but we want all of our readers to be safe if they choose to partake of alcohol. So, we came up with a few things to think about when drinking around a potential date.

1.    Have two other options for a ride home. Have a Plan B and a Plan C, just in case. You don’t want to be locked into going home with your date when doing so could cause you to make choice that your completely sober self would not make. Whether it’s jotting down the number for a taxi company or letting a sober friend at a party know that you might need a ride, having backups will help you make a decision that is safest for you.

2.    Know your boundaries and stick to them. Before you meet up with your date, think about how you expect the date/party to go, what you hope will happen and decide what you are OK or not OK with happening. Happy hour isn’t the best time for making significant decisions. When alcohol is involved, it’s best to have a plan.

3.    Don’t use alcohol as liquid courage. If you’re going on a first date or attending the same party as a crush, don’t look to alcohol as the magic liquid to give you courage. What’s meant to be will be — regardless of if you confess your deepest feelings at this party. Keep in mind that if what you want to happen works out, you’ll be spending hours together completely sober — so it might be best to start now.

4.    Be mindful of how much you’re drinking. Really, though, dates/hangouts are not the time to chug anything (except water, of course — get your eight glasses in). Getting sloppy is not only a bad start to a relationship, it’s just plain dangerous. Keep track of the amount you’re drinking — remember this can be harder to do with mixed drinks, so be careful. Watch the drinks get poured and pace yourself. If someone’s pushing drinks on you, remember it’s your body and you call the shots (no pun intended) when it comes to your comfort level.

5.    Resist the temptation to be a social sipper. We’ve all been there: nervous, wanting to impress your date, constantly sipping at a drink to avoid awkward silences. It’s tempting to use alcohol as a means to “loosen up,” but avoid the temptation. You don’t need alcohol to feel good about yourself. You are cool, funny and smart and your date will see that.

Drinking and dating are often intertwined after you turn 21. Remember, you deserve to feel comfortable and safe when dating. You always have the right to leave a situation if you’re not.

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