Buzzkill: What to Do If the Guy You’re Dating Doesn’t Drink

Most women I know aren’t interested in dating boring prudes that shy away from a good time. But just because he doesn’t drink doesn’t mean he’s a huge bore.

You’re all aware of, and on the lookout for, the dreaded guy who drinks too much. Getting into a serious relationship with someone like that is always a bad call. But what about the guy who drinks too little…or even not at all? Is there something wrong with him? Will he go to bars and clubs with you? Is he even capable of having fun or does he just leech it out of the room? What if you both go out with your friends and he’s standing in a corner drinking a club soda and lime, looking like an abject loser?
And the most pressing question of all: when I get drunk…is he judging me?

We all feel uncomfortable when someone we know—a friend, a significant other, the poor bastard that drew the short straw and has to be DD for the night—isn’t drinking up a storm with everyone else in the room. It’s not just about whether they’re having fun, it’s about whether they think you’re an idiot for just having danced to Shakira’s Hips Don’t Lie on the dining room table. And when this person is a boyfriend, well, you’re that much more aware of what he thinks, and that magnifies how weird you feel about the whole situation.

It’s likely you found this out quickly, within the first date or two. Either he didn’t order a drink after you did (awkward) or he outright told you he doesn’t imbibe, like, at all. The first step is to figure out whether or not you can live with his reasoning. You may completely understand where he’s coming from if he grew up in a broken home with a violent drunken step-dad. Or that he has a family history of alcohol addiction. You may not get it if he says his religious beliefs forbid him even taste the stuff. If the guy made a change to his life because of something you understand, don’t write him off.

The next step is to see how he acts around drunken people, both in a crowd and even when it’s just you. Invite him to a bar with you and do your thing (aka drink like you normally would). Watch how he acts through the night. Important: don’t listen to the voice in your head saying “oh, he’s not having fun because he’s not drunk.” Instead, ask yourself whether you’re having fun with him. If he’s cool and he’s making you laugh, why does it even matter? If he isn’t having fun, I guarantee you’ll get the hint. You’ll be bored, which 99% of the time means he’s bored, too.

Lastly, if he’s acting normal at a bar and not bashing people just because they’re hammered, then he’s a keeper. Even if he says he’s uncomfortable around people at bars, that doesn’t mean he’s uncomfortable around you after having a couple glasses of wine. He may find drunk men to be threatening but you just look cute to him. In order to find out, you have to test the waters, and that means withholding judgment until you know for sure.

Have You Ever Been in This Situation?

Tell me your experiences with men who don’t drink. How did it work out for you?

Gregg Michaelsen

Gregg Michaelsen

Gregg feels that coaching has chosen him. He grew up just as many others – in a dysfunctional, but loving family. After going through twelve years of his own failed relationships, he decided to try and decode dating for men and women. That elusive older couple sitting in the park holding hands gave him hope!

Gregg began his journey into understanding the mistakes we make in dating and how to fix them by interviewing thousands of people – happy couples, unhappy couples, singles looking for ‘the one’ and everyone in between. He reviewed his own dating experiences and combined all of this information into his series of dating advice books for men and women.

Gregg Michaelsen

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