If he or she has more than two drinks on your first date that’s a bad sign. If he or she has four or more drinks in a short period of time, that’s a bright red flag. Especially if he or she holds it well (doesn’t behave like a drunk).
Someone who drinks frequently will need to consume more alcohol to feel its effects. People with high-stress jobs are frequently functioning alcoholics. That’s not someone you want to get involved with. On the flip side, anyone who drinks less than two full drinks on your first date gets points for behaving like a gentleman or a lady.
If your date has three drinks and he or she hasn’t waved any other red flags that could just be a yellow flag. If you think you’d like to see him again, make a note to closely observe his behavior around alcohol. If he seems fairly tipsy that’s actually a good sign that he does get drunk off three cocktails. Of course getting drunk on the first date is a red flag in itself, but he may have just been nervous and got carried away. There’s probably no harm in giving him a second chance if alcohol isn’t an issue for you. But if that behavior continues, it’s a deal-breaker.
Drinking is very social, and when you’re attracted to someone, it’s easy to get swept up into the moment. Many relationships begin by talking and drinking all night and then falling into bed for hot, drunken sex. If you don’t have a problem with alcohol, you probably won’t see that as anything to worry about. In fact, you’ll probably be excited you found a great connection.
But be careful, alcoholics can be friendly, outgoing, and the life of the party—all coping skills they had to learn to cover up their deep shame and unhealed pain. When intoxicated, they can become an open book. It’s easy to mistake that behavior as emotionally availability. Especially for women who are nurturing by nature, it seems natural to feel compassion for an emotional guy. Particularly if he’s really hot. You get drawn in before you even have a chance to recognize what you’re in for. What you really need to do is run in the other direction.
Read more about how to recognize unhealthy behavior and how to create a healthy, long-lasting relationship in my book: Giving Up Junk-Food Relationships: Recipes for Healthy Choices