Sunset over Cabo Frio (the Cold Cape), Brazil

Sunset over Cabo Frio (the Cold Cape), Brazil
where the warm north Altantic meets the cold south Atlantic. picture (c) phil marks 2009

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Alcohol and Drinking

This is a challenging area. Alcohol leads to so many problems - physical and mental health, violence, relationship issues and so on. That said, I like a drink myself, and I know it makes me more argumentative.

As to online dating profiles, then if the profile says ‘never’, then it can mean usually one of three things:

- a religious issue or belief
- a reforming alcoholic
- a spouse, lover or very close relative has been an alcoholic
- just at Christmas, or, really, never
- a complete lie

OK, I know that's five!

I did once meet someone who was on her third marriage. Two former husbands had died of alcoholism and the third (separated) was also an alcoholic. I think you’ll have guessed by now that she was a reformed alcoholic and she had not had a drink for many years.

If you are an alcoholic, then admit it (to yourself first, that's the most important). It’s not fair to imprint your own challenge onto somebody else without being upfront about it. Of course, if you’ve answered ‘yes’ to that question of mine, then you are at least half way to dealing with it.

A dear friend recently told me a story about a guy having a first date with a lady – she’d brought her two young children along to the beach where they met. Then the man suggested that they get the children some ice cream. He had no change so gave the lady a £20 note. She left the children with him and went to get the ice creams. Some time later when she had not returned, he said to the children that he wondered why the mother was taking so long. They said “she’s probably in the pub”. They eventually found her, she’d drunk the £20, and was in no fit state to look after the children. This was a first date. What should he have done? Well, he called the police because he didn’t think he should be responsible for the children, who obviously knew that their mother had a problem. First date, phew! at least he found out early.

It’s a tough issue to deal with. On the other hand, I did enjoy ‘Leaving Las Vegas’ – Nicolas Cage made up his mind how he was going to go, and just went ahead and did it!

I guess that this means that if someone said in their profile that they drink frequently, then that can mean that they are just a frequent drinker, borderline alcoholic or over it? I drink 3-4 bottles of wine a week (no other alcohol) unless I'm sailing (less, less!). I don't drink every day either. So, I would describe myself as a frequent drinker, but not alcoholic.

In conclusion though, if you start with deception then it's hard to break it and own up, so don't go down that road.

Deception? That reminds me of someone I met and was quite keen on. She said she was an experienced sailor. After a few meetings she owned up and said that she wanted to learn to sail. I could just about handle the fact that she was a psychiatrist (not that I've got anything against them, it's just the thought of being under the mental microscope all the time that what? - made me feel uneasy I guess), but I couldn't handle the fact that she had deceived me in her profile. Credit for owning up, but the damage was done - an experienced sailor was (and is) important to me. As I said way way back in this blog, deception is not unusual in profiles. I wonder how much that is a reflection of life?

Despite all that, alocohol is a great relaxant, and if you are just getting to know someone then it helps lower the barriers, physical and mental.

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