A few beers downed, and the early-in-the-night inhibitions of a Friday can feel as distant as the sobering back-to-work shock of a Monday. When you’re single, booze-fueled missteps can lead to morning-after cringing. When you’re drinking for half of two — in other words, as part of a couple — the regrets of a drunken night can be rooted in true ugliness, often unleashed sans taste and tact. The aftermath can find you nursing that hangover in the doghouse, or sometimes homeless.
Unless you’re willing to make peace with abstinence, avoid committing the following faux pas while drinking with or around your lady (who, let’s face it, is no picnic either when she’s in the bag). For clarity, we purchased the word DON’T in bulk; you’re welcome.
DON’T Discuss the Relationship
A drunk man’s words are a sober man’s pain in the ass. Broaching a weighty subject like “where things are going” when your emotions are chemically enhanced means you’re likely to say something you regret or don’t mean. Sure, moving in together and having some babies seems like good times when you’re tipsy and blurry-eyed, but perhaps it’s not the commitment you’re seeking come the sober light of day. The guiding principle, here: Avoid any subjects you’re reluctant to broach sober. For example, saying you possess deep-seated reservations about our fundamental compatibility, while it seems heady and liberating under the influence, could easily find you confronted and forced to “choose or lose,” at a point when decision-making is already compromised. (Even if she doesn’t nail you for it that night and waits until a day or two later when you’re clear-headed, you’ll have already lost the upper hand by providing fuming time that could easily have been avoided.)
DON’T Rehash Last Week’s Fight
Yeah, she probably shouldn’t have insulted your best friend, but you’ve already argued and analyzed it into the ground, and done the mutual apologies and the make-up sex. (Plus, he is an idiot.) It can be hard to resist the temptation to bring up past grievances when your judgment’s impaired and the tequila’s making you feisty; you will, however, kick yourself later for having launched back into things. And no matter what, you’ll lose points for pettiness. So, try your best to divert energies elsewhere — say, to sex.
DON’T Apologize, for Anything
Yes, apologizes are, in theory, nice; in practice, they facilitate reconciliation only when the apologizer has thought things out and is genuinely repentant. If you’re tripping over your words and spewing out stutter-level low-detail (or no-detail) Sorry, Sorries for arbitrary past offences, chances are you will inadvertently invoke round two — or, let’s face it, five — of a long-standing fight. It will feel fake to her because it will be coming from a not-entirely-honest place: Dutch Slurrage. (You need it spelled out? OK. When you apologize, and she counters with a seemingly self-righteous, “Good, because that was bad of you, don’t do it again” and your latent anger gets triggered and you flirt with danger à la “And I’m also sorry you’re so sensitive” — yeah, that’s really going to end well.)
DON’T Flirt with Someone Else
Flirting can be fun and harmless and, particularly if your inhibitions are trashed, hard to avoid, even when your lady friend is on the other end of the bar. Nonetheless: Nothing brings out our jealousy and irrationality like funnelling cocktails down the ol’ gullet. Several drinks in, we most definitely will give you a hard time for that so-called innocent banter with the cute bartender. Tread lightly and remember Stephen Stills’ semi-cynical advice: “Love the one you’re with.”
Bonus DON’T, no extra charge!!
DON’T Accuse Her of Flirting with Someone Else
Yes, this is entirely hypocritical, and kind of paradoxical. But if you’re not allowed to flirt, neither should we be. Why the double standard? Well, there isn’t one, not really. Neither of us should flirt in the other’s presence. If we do, consider that, just as our jealousy is easily set off once liquor starts flowing, so might your less-than-rational paranoia about that scruffy dude to our right. Suck up your pride and, for the sake of avoiding a drunken scene that is sure to be sorely regretted on both sides, bite your tongue and let us bat our eyelashes at the odd bar mate. Nail us for it in the morning.
Image courtesy of A. Garden.