These are understandable concerns. It is no fun to be involved in a relationship with an alcoholic. It is better to know before you get too involved, whether your prospective partner is drink dependent.
It may save you a lot of heartache down the road.
Signs That you may be Dating an Alcoholic
If you think that you may be dating an alcoholic then there are certain signs that you can look for in their behavior.
These signs do not necessarily mean your dating an alcoholic but they are indicators that he/she most definitely has a problem with drinking and may well be alcohol dependent.
SOME SIGNS THAT YOU MAY BE DATING AN ALCOHOLIC
Your date makes excuses to drink - good news, bad news, indifferent news, your one month anniversary etc.- anything is a reason to drink.
Your date only wants to go where it is possible to drink. Parties, bars, friends’ homes etc. are O.K. The cinema, a hike in the mountains are avoided.
Your date has a high tolerance to alcohol. They can drink a lot without becoming drunk.
Your date becomes very defensive when questioned about their drinking habits. Often they will become verbally aggressive and sometimes physically aggressive.
Your date often smells of alcohol when you meet. This is because they are probably drinking BEFORE they go out on a date with you.
Your date suffers from mood swings Typically the alcoholic is cheerful, talkative and affectionate when drink is at hand. If there is no drink available they are tense and preoccupied....preoccupied about when the next drink is coming.
What can I do If I Suspect I am Dating an Alcoholic?
In all honesty?
Yes, in an ideal world you would say thank you but no thank you.
Getting involved with an alcoholic will always end in tears. Because the alcoholic already has a date and his or her name is alcohol. And, unfortunately for you, alcohol is THE ONE AND ONLY for the alcoholic.
You will always come off second best. Alcohol will always be the priority of the active alcoholic.
But we do not live in an ideal world and many people fall for alcoholics. It can be very hard, especially at the beginning of a relationship,to leave someone you really care for, even love because he/she has a drinking problem.
It is easy to kid yourself and say that it is just a phase they are going through and that they will stop drinking.
Not possible I'm afraid. The active alcoholic will never stop drinking unless he or she wants to, no matter how much they profess their love to you.
If you do decide to continue dating an alcoholic then it is important to set boundaries. These are behaviors that you will not accept from your date. Tell your date what you expect from him/her (in a moment of sobriety) and the consequences if the behavior is not followed. It is very important that you do not enable your alcoholic boyfriend or girlfriend.
If you are happy being second best then go for it. But if you want something better for yourself then I would say to you, bite the bullet and get out while you can.
However, if the alcoholic in question says they want help then by all means stand by them, but it won't be an easy journey.
If you or someone close to you wants help and advice on quitting drinking then take a look at the following pages:
Unless an alcoholic (or any addict) wants help then don't even bother trying to help them.
You cannot change another person unless they want to change.
Trying to help an unwilling alcoholic will only enable them to fall further into their alcoholic abyss.
All you can do is inform them about alcoholism (why not direct them to the alcoholism guide), tell them how you feel about their drinking and then let them do what they will with the information.
Serial Daters of Alcoholics
There are men and women who always seem to choose a partner who has issues with alcohol.
Some might think it strange that such people do not learn from their mistakes and try and hook up with moderate drinkers or teetotalers.
So why do they do it?
Many serial daters of alcohol addicts grew up in an alcoholic family system. One or more of their family were drink dependent and had to be looked after.
The serial dater was the one who looked after the alcoholic in their family. Therefore from an early age they learned to take care of people. It was a survival technique.
This behavior is then taken into adult life and the individual is constantly looking after addicts to 'take care of'. Read codependency in relationships for more on this form of behavior.
Usually it is a subconscious act and those doing it are unaware of the patterns they are following.
If you think you might be a serial dater of alcoholics then it is important to get counseling or therapy.
Counseling is when you talk, usually one-to-one, with an independent professional about yourself, your problems and your history.
Counselors are independent and do not judge. They also have no emotional investment in your life and so can give unbiased and detached feedback.
Counseling/therapy is a good way to identify issues that are leading you into destructive relationships with alcoholics or other addicts.
Loving an alcoholic is one of the most painful things you will ever have to cope with. Yet, it doesn't need to be, C.P.Lehman in his book, Help Me! I'm In Love With An Addict gives you the strategies that will enable you to find happiness and get your life back on track...as well as other skills that are crucial when attempting to cope with an alcohol dependent.
Deborah Morrow, M.S. Addiction Psychology, is the director of treatment programs for The Alcoholism Guide website. In her practice Deborah provides on-line coaching and support for those dependent on alcohol or who require other services such as relapse prevention or court mandated services. (Read More)