Is one of the first thoughts that goes through your head regarding your upcoming Friday date at a favorite local restaurant, “thank goodness, because that’s $2 highball night?” It’s totally understandable. Meeting new people can be daunting. You want to appear to be the world’s most interesting man/woman, you want the conversation to flow effortlessly, you want to minimize awkward silences and occupy your hands (around the stem of a martini glass), and…what if the other person is boring?
We’ve considered all of the above, and decided to come up with some realistic tips to help you establish a healthy relationship with pairing dating and drinking. So sit back, take a drink (OF WATER), and read on:
Know Your Limit, Play Within It
It’s important to respect pre-existing boundaries, so if you don’t feel comfortable drinking on a first date (or at all), don’t do it! Even if your special someone is indulging in a few cocktails, don’t feel pressured to match them. If they seem really weirded out by your choice, they’re probably a jerk anyway so consider this a heads-up. If you are keen to have a few drinks to take the edge off, try not to out-drink your date. Keep the pace to about 1 cocktail an hour, but cap it off at around 3 in total if you‘re also eating a square meal. You’re probably at a restaurant or lounge, not a college hazing, so when you relax and focus on getting to know each other with clear heads, you will see if you hit it off without the false chemistry that comes from alcohol.
Make sure you have planned out a safe way to get home, so if you think you may be drinking, leave your car back at the ranch. Before you even head out, make sure you have eaten enough food so you aren’t working with an empty stomach. Also, keep a casual eye on how much alcohol your date is consuming. If they are getting a little fast and loose with the mojitos, you have every right to consider it a red flag. Sometimes people get a little nervous when trying to impress someone and might understandably get tipsy, but the “it’s 5 o’ clock somewhere!” attitude has a time and a place, and it’s not a first, second, or third date.
Keep It Classy
Stay away from shots with ridiculous names… and basically shots in general. Red wine has a bad habit of staining your lips to look purple and corpse-like, so might I recommend white wine, gin and tonic, or a vodka spritzer? For this tip, keeping it classy extends past the actual drink order itself. If you are out with your girlfriends after a few too many cocktails one night and feel the urge to let the person you are newly dating know that you’re thinking of them or want to see them, do yourself a favour and wait until the next morning. Drunk dialing/texting gets you attention in all the wrong ways, and can give the wrong impression to someone who doesn’t know you very well yet. If you feel your fingers getting restless, hand over your phone to a friend for safe-keeping.
Tricks Of The Trade
One of the best pro-tips out there is to alternate each alcoholic drink with a glass of water. This will not only minimize the likelihood of a hangover tomorrow, but will cut your costs in half! If you don’t trust your self-discipline, bring a small cash allowance for alcohol – no switching to credit card allowed! And last but not least; garnishes. It’s up to you whether or not you’re planning a kiss at the end of the night, but please don’t leave it in the hands of a blue cheese/roasted garlic stuffed cocktail olive.