It’s tricky to judge whether you’re dating an alcoholic in the early days of a relationship. Everyone is on their best behavior, for one. If the other person turns down a second drink, it may prove they don’t want it. It might just prove that they don’t want to make a bad impression.
You also don’t have a good baseline for the other person’s drinking. Some people can put down a few drinks and not think about alcohol again for 6 months. Other people stick to a moderate 1-2 drinks at dinner and some people drink all the time. There are warning signs that can cue you to a person’s alcoholism, and things you can do to help them and yourself, though.
Signs You’re Dating An Alcoholic
One key giveaway is that the person drinks at every event. For example, you go up to the lake and a six-pack comes out. You have a night in and a bottle of wine appears. You go out to dinner and they order a martini.
Individually, these things aren’t problems, but alcohol shouldn’t be a requirement for every event.
Another sign is that the person can always come up with cash for alcohol. Most people will trim alcohol out of the budget if they need the money for necessities. Alcoholics will skip car repairs, dentist appointments, or anything else that threatens their access to alcohol.
They go through huge mood swings, which often comes across like a personality transplant. Someone that you know as basically decent and nice becomes aggressive or even abusive. Mood swings like that paired with alcohol consumption is a clear sign that something is wrong.
Other signs of alcoholism in your partner might include:
- All of their friends are big drinkers
- High tolerance for alcohol
- They drink as much as they can afford at the time
- Highly emotional when drinking
- Family history of alcoholism
Getting Them Help
Getting help for anyone with an addiction is hard. The person with the addiction is often in denial. They’ll likely treat your efforts as a personal attack or judgment.
Try to keep the conversation focused on your emotional experience and how the alcohol abuse affects you. It helps demonstrate the consequences without making it an attack on the person. You can stage an intervention with friends and family members. If they’ll entertain the possibility of getting help, let them know there are many treatment options, including:
Taking Care of Yourself While Dating An Alcoholic
If you’re dating an alcoholic, you need to take care of yourself too. Alcoholics often show poor emotional maturity. They’ll expect others to support them emotionally or financially. In many cases, this burden falls on the people they date or marry.
Since you can’t control when the other person is ready to get help, you need to prepare for potentially difficult decisions. You may need to insist that you won’t see them when they are or have been drinking. If that doesn’t work, insist you take a break from each other. If all else fails, you might need to end the relationship to protect your own well-being.
It isn’t always easy to spot an alcoholic when you first start dating. If you start seeing the signs, though, you’ll need to make some choices. You can try to discuss it, stage an intervention, and tell them about the options. In the end, you may need to end the relationship if they won’t seek help.
Don’t let addiction call the shots for you or a loved one. You or your loved ones can beat alcohol addiction by getting help at a quality drug rehab. Call us at 866.262.0531 and start down the road to recovery.