Guest Post by: Johnny B.
I’d not dated anyone in a very long time. Friends encouraged me to try out online dating. I joined a dating site that was inline with my religious beliefs, thinking I’d connect with someone who was not an alcoholic or at least who drank occasionally. To my surprise I actually connected with a really charming lady, the deceptive alcoholic that almost lured me into what would have been a miserable relationship. Luckily for me I was able to see through the illusion of who she presented herself to be and see the budding alcoholic within.
The First Date
Our first date was incredible. Early on in the evening she confessed to me that she liked to have wine with her dinner sometimes and asked if I’d be okay if she ordered a glass. I told her I had no problem with that and made it clear that I didn’t ever drink. There was a look of disappointment on her face when I said that. Our conversation seemed to flow effortlessly during dinner and the brief walk in the park afterward. At the end of the date we both expressed that we’d like to connect for a second date.
The Second Date
Date number two was where the real red flag popped up in plain sight. Sadly though, I was so overtaken with how well the first date went, I brushed the flag under the rug. I guess I overlooked the flag because It had been so long since I’d dated and I really wanted this to work because the chemistry on the first date was utterly amazing.
We met for lunch. She arrived at the venue before me and was seated at a table when I arrived. There was a mixed drink on the table. She said she had ordered a margarita to take the edge off of being a little nervous about connecting with me again. “It’s early afternoon and she’s drinking the hard stuff already; she might have a drinking problem”, I though to myself. This second date adventure with the deceptive alcoholic (alcoholic in denial) was amazing. We talked nonstop again, fully engaged with the wonder of how much we had in common. We had it all going on, great conversation, physical attraction, humorous bantering and religious commonality.
The Third Date
We met at my church for an evening service. During the service she said she really liked the church. Afterward we went to a restaurant to get a light bite to eat and converse for a while. She ordered a mixed drink again. The chemistry again was amazing between us. At this point I was starting to think drinking was a way of life for her. I was also falling in love with this beautiful conversationalist who I shared so much in common with.
The Fourth Date
We had arranged for me to pick her up and for me to text here when I was on my way. I sent the text and got no reply. I had about a half hour drive to her house so I waited about ten minutes and sent her another text. She responded then (or at least I thought it was her) with this message, “okay, I’ll head home. I’m out drinking, LOL”. Ding, ding, ding… the flag popped up with an astounding alarm within. When I got to her place she acted surprised that I was there and said, “I thought you were going to text me when you were on your way”. I replied, “I did and you responded”. With no acknowledgement of the event and without looking at her phone she rushed to her bedroom telling me she would be ready in a moment.
We Go Out To Dinner
I’ll spare you the details and get right to the point. Sometime during dinner she looked at her text messages and said, “oh, yeah I was out having a drink when you texted me. That’s the kind of person I am, honest in telling you I was out drinking”. I didn’t confront her on the bizarre behavior. I just smiled and moved the conversation elsewhere. Oh, again we had an amazing evening with the kind of chemistry people long to have during a date.
The Fifth Date
We drove separate vehicles. She got so hammered drunk that I had to drive her home. The following day I picked her up and drove her to get her car. Alarm bells were going off louder than ever in me. Also, my mind was rationalizing that it was okay because on the other occasions when she drank she didn’t really get drunk.
Well, I’m sure you can see the picture as clearly as I should have seen it. The funny thing is that for me the picture of the budding alcoholic was obscured by the incredible connection we were enjoying when we were together. I found myself wrestling with my mind and my heart for several days after all of these encounters with an alcoholic. My mind would tell me that I was dating an alcoholic. My heart was telling me she’s just amazing. My hormones were screaming give her an amazing kiss. My emotions were being pounded back and forth like a ping-pong ball during an intense world class championship match.
Fast forward and eventually I ended the dating cycle. My emotions were in such turmoil because of the obscured deception that was before me. I was so close to falling in love with this woman. Once I ended the relationship my mind, heart, emotions and sex drive experienced welcomed peace.
I’ve been a member of the Al-anon program for many years, although I haven’t been to a meeting in over a year now. It was so strange that I could see the signs of alcoholism so clearly yet wanted the relationship to work. I guess I was just trying to give her the benefit of the doubt.
Luckily for me a good Al-anon friend attends the gym where I work out. One day we had a mini meeting before a workout class that we both like to take. I told him some of the things that were happening in the relationship and he was blatently honest with me. He said, “I’d never date someone who’s drinking like she is. It takes too much emotional energy and in the end becomes a real disaster. If you are hoping she will change, she won’t. She enjoys drinking too much. Can’t you see it”? His words really pulled me out of the denial I was starting to live in. Later that day I made the firmdecisionn that I was going to end the relationship.
I am so thankful that I did not continue down the path I was on. Now that I am totally disconnected form the alcoholic situation my mind has been much more at peace.
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