My Girlfriend Drinks and I Don't: Everything You Need to Know AboutShe drinks because it's her choice. You don't because you have chosen not to do it. It's all about a person's freedom. However, you can be a bit concerned about her health if she drinks too much. But if you are moral-policing her, you need to stop that ASAP.
Drinking is a very personal lifestyle choice. If an adult person decides to drink, you are no one to stop them from doing so.
Your girlfriend drinks, and you don't. Did she ever force you to drink with her? If the answer is "no," you should worry about her drinking. She is just living her life. Deal with that.
However, drinking is fine as long as it is done in moderation. Let's be honest here. It is not good for one's health. If you find her drinking too much (more than what her health permits), you will need to have a talk.
But before that, you need to know the reason behind her drinking habit. Here's where I come to help. I will walk you through some possible reasons behind her drinking, what you can do about it, and what you absolutely should not. Read on.
Why does she drink?
There can be myriad reasons for drinking. Whatever it is, the act itself is her choice. She chose to drink because she thought that it could help her in some way.
But if you see her crossing the limits of danger, you can attempt to help her, and to do so; you will need specific reasons. I have enlisted some possible reasons behind a person's drinking habit. Let's explore.
#1 She started drinking early
She started drinking right after she reached the legal age to do so. She doesn't remember a day without a bottle on her counter. She drinks but is almost never drunk. She is basically Penny from The Big Bang Theory.
Just like Penny, she started drinking early, and now alcohol is her most trustworthy friend. At times she even drinks during the day. But whatever she does, she does it in moderation.
You might feel like she drinks a lot. But, had she ever been drunk around you? If the answer is "No," then I don't think you have a problem here.
#2 Everyone in her family drinks
She learned it from her family. They probably have a wine cellar in their basement. She has been drinking in moderation for a long time now. She can distinguish the tastes. She loves trying out new things every now and then.
Like Veronica Lodge from Riverdale, her family introduced wine to her. They created that expensive taste she has. If you ever visit them, they will try to introduce you to the world of fine wine. However, you can always say no to things that make you uncomfortable.
If she is from a family of wine-makers, she can never say no to alcohol. That is absurd. In that case, you will either have to accept the fact that your girlfriend drinks or say goodbye to her for good.
#3 She is dealing with trauma
She started drinking as a result of a trauma. She was not able to deal with it as a sober person. Alcohol helped her numb the feelings for some time.
The first time it happened was a few years ago. Now that she knows what makes her distress go, she drinks. She drinks whenever she gets that searing headache from all the overthinking. It soothes her nerves for a while. But when it wears off, she gets back to square one.
This is a vicious circle she is in. She is trapped and probably needs professional help. If she never talks about her trauma when she is sober, she is trying to suppress it, and that too with alcohol.
#4 She is addicted
Only one explanation is there. She is addicted to alcohol. She drinks all the time. Have you ever seen her without a bottle or a glass in her hand? She is basically like Fun Bobby from F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Her entire personality stems from her drinking habit.
If she is funny with a drink in her hand, it's probably the drink that is cracking the jokes. Look for jokes when she is sober; if you can't find any, then congrats, your Fun Bobby hypothesis is correct.
Have you seen her behavior when she finds nothing to drink? If she turns aggressive and starts breaking the empty bottles, or if she sits down in a corner, crying inconsolably, she is definitely addicted and needs expert help and your support.
#5 She sleeps better when she drinks
She is severely insomniac. Drinking helps her sleep better. It deals with her constant anxiety over things she can't control. She craves the dizziness that comes from drinking.
She probably discovered the soothing nature of drinking one time at a party. Since then, there has been no looking back. Whenever she feels overwhelmed with all her anxiety, she drinks to calm herself down.
A good night's sleep is more important to her than all the added health issues that alcohol consumption brings with it.
#6 She writes better when she drinks
She is a writer. But a while ago, she faced the worst writer's block. For a budding writer, writer's block is the worst possible thing. She stopped writing. Nothing, not even a speck of an idea, would come to her mind. Her keyboard stopped for days, collecting dust.
She only started writing after that party at her friend's place, where she was too drunk to even stand up. She insisted you take her back to her place, and well, that night, she wrote an entire short story.
She believes that alcohol brings out her creative side. It helps her write and, by extension, brings money into her bank account (a major part of which goes into buying more alcohol).
What to do?
If she is drinking in moderation, without even getting tipsy, you have nothing to say. If you want to stay with her, you will have to accept her this way. Otherwise, breaking up is always a valid option for each other's sanity.
As I have said earlier, if she seems addicted, you can only attempt to help her. Here is what you can do.
#1 Talk to her when she is sober
If you think she is gambling with her heath with all that drinking, talk to her. Don't accuse her of what she does. Just ask her if she is aware of all the ill effects drinking can have on a person's physical and mental health.
If she is not much aware of the ill effects of drinking, tell her how it worsens one's health. But talk to her when she is sober. Bring up case studies while you do so. Talk about that one friend who ended up at the emergency for drinking too much.
You can also talk to her about how uncomfortable you feel around people who drink. If you are a recovering alcoholic, your case would be stronger.
#2 Distract her with activities that don't include drinking
Don't take her to places where she will find alcohol easily. Distract her from drinking with activities that are the farthest from it.
For example, you can take her for a vacation at a serene campsite at the foot of a mountain. A remote place like this won't even have the basic amenities, let alone alcohol of any kind.
She will not feel good about the sheer lack of alcohol in the first few days. But once she learns that it is not an option, her irritation will probably wear off. She will try to focus on the beauty of nature and the time spent with you.
A few days away from drinking might break her habit of drinking all the time. But this cannot be a permanent solution. The moment she returns to her apartment in the city, the first thing her hand will look for will be a bottle, followed by a wine glass.
#3 Have your dates in good, old non-alcoholic diners instead of posh restaurants
Go for your dates at non-alcoholic diners, like Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe from Riverdale. That place was a haven for non-drinkers.
However, you can only do this until she realizes your plan one day. When that happens (that will happen, for sure), talk to her about your limitations and how uncomfortable you feel when someone drinks.
If you have a trauma related to alcohol, you can even share that with her. She will definitely understand your position and may not dink near you ever again.
If you feel uncomfortable around the idea of drinking, this is the best thing you can do. You can't possibly stop her drinking habit. All you can do is stall that for a while.
#4 Take her to a doctor
If you think her alcohol addiction is getting out of hand, talk to her about it and if she feels comfortable, take her to a doctor.
Addiction is a sensitive situation, and one needs to deal with that with expertise. Who is a better expert than a doctor? Do what the doctor recommends and help her through the process of rehabilitation if you truly love her.
#5 Spend more time with her
She drinks probably because she feels lonely. She feels she is alone with all her problems. As her partner, it is your moral responsibility to support her in times of need.
Be a good listener and hear her out. Listen to what she has to say about her life and the perennial problems in it.
If she feels that someone is always by her side, she will probably quit relying on drinking to make her feel better in distressing times.
Spend more time with her. Go on dates, movies, and vacations. Visit your common friends together (of course not in a bar). Have a movie night at home where you cook dinner for yourselves, together, instead of bringing take-out all the time.
What not to do?
There is a fundamental difference between trying to help someone and moral-policing her. If you have a problem with her drinking, don't be around when she drinks. That is not the only attribute she has as a person.
You can do a lot to help her if she is addicted. But if she is not, there is a lot you should not do if you want to be in this relationship. Scroll down to know more.
#1 Don't ever ask her to stop drinking
Not just drinking; you can't ask her to stop doing anything. She drinks because she is a responsible adult. She knows what to do and how to conduct herself when she gets drunk.
When it comes to health issues, she probably knows what happens when someone drinks a little too much. She is aware of the implications.
Asking her to stop drinking would directly translate to your lack of faith in her.
#2 Don't make her feel bad about drinking
That is worse than drinking itself. Don't make her feel bad about her drinking habits. She knows what she is doing. This is not the Puritan age (a time when having fun was banned). She drinks because she feels good about it. Don't be such a killjoy.
She feels happy when she drinks. If she is an impressionable person, making her feel bad about drinking can compromise her mental health. Remember, there is a reason she started drinking in the first place.
Therefore, before making any kind of sweeping comment on the fact that she drinks, try to say it aloud, in your head. Choose your words carefully.
#3 Don't ask her if she is addicted (that will be a super-absurd question)
If she is addicted to alcohol, it will be reflected in her behavior. You cannot just go and ask her if she is addicted. That will be super absurd and damaging for the relationship you have with her.
If she drinks responsibly, asking her this question would be a stupid thing to do. Instead, you can sit and talk to her about the problems you feel around someone who drinks.
If you are a recovering alcoholic, it will be easier to plead your case. You can walk her through all the health implications of excessive drinking. You can show her what addiction looks like by sharing your personal experience with her.
A first-hand account of alcohol addiction will definitely make her think twice before indulging in more and more drinks with each passing day.
#4 Don't hide her bottles
You see this in movies and sitcoms often. Anon-drinking friend often hides their alcoholic friend's bottle to "help" them. I should tell you; that is anything but help. It is the perfect recipe to make her furious.
She bought the bottles with her own hard-earned money. Hiding or throwing them away would mean a financial loss for her. She can take this in a really bad way, which as a result, will affect your relationship.
Don't overstep in matters that are beyond your hands. She buys her own drinks and experiments with cocktails because that's her hobby. That's what she likes to do. Did she ever force you to drink? If the answer is "No," then you should not force her to stop drinking either.
#5 Don't blame her near and dear ones for her habit
She could have learned about drinking from her friends or her family. Drinking is not a bad thing. You can't judge her or her family and friends based on the fact that they drink.
You can't handle yourself once you are drunk. That is probably why you don't drink. You may not have liked the taste of alcohol. None of these matter to them. They love drinking. It is a way for them to bond.
Every family get-together at your girlfriend's place contains a lot of alcohol consumption, and everything is restricted to good taste. Not every person who drinks alcohol ends up in a bar fight. That is a biased way of looking at things.
If you constantly blame her family and friends in front of her for nothing (drinking is not a fatal flaw), she will grow weary of you, and after a point of time and this will lead to a bad breakup. If you want to keep her in your life, don't act hostile towards her near and dear ones.
To sum up
Drinking is a choice. While you are a non-drinker, your girlfriend might not be one. She has the right to do whatever she wants, and you are no one to stop her.
As long as she is drinking responsibly, without hurting a living being, it is not your business to stop her in any way. Even if she is corroding her health with all the drinking, you can only attempt to warn her. Trying to dictate what she does can backfire in a bad way.
If you really want to be in this relationship, you will have to accept her the way she is. Her drinking shouldn't be a problem if you are really into her. However, if it is a problem, then you will need to rethink this relationship.