When first starting to date someone, grabbing drinks & dinner is usually a go-to outing. Meeting for cocktails or coming over for a glass of wine are ways that couples who are getting to know each other can unwind together (if no one identifies as sober). But there is a lot of room on the spectrum between not drinking and struggling with alcoholism. What do you do when you realize ‘my partner drinks more than me?’
Read on for 3 things to consider when you recognize the difference in your and your partner’s drinking patterns.
- Difference doesn’t mean problematic. Just because your partner drinks more than you doesn’t mean that it’s a bad thing or that it’s a problem within the relationship- different just means different. It’s important to approach the subject with an open mind and get to know more about your partner’s drinking patterns and drinking history.
- Start with curiosity & observation. As you start to get to know your partner more and see their patterns of behavior when they’re drinking, you start to realize how alcohol affects your partner in different ways. Maybe they’re an angry drunk. Maybe they just have a few and know what their limit is. Maybe they’re a happy “life of the party” drinker. Maybe they get mean or say things they wouldn’t when they are sober. Notice how you feel around them and how they treat you after a couple of drinks.
- Don’t try to keep up. If you find yourself thinking ‘my partner drinks more than me’ there could be a pressure to ‘keep up’. Whether it’s internal or external pressure- there is no need for you to be at the same level as your partner if that’s not best for you. Know your own limits and implement boundaries to stay within those limits. You don’t need to go drink for drink with your partner if that’s not your pattern.
If a problem does arise, or you notice something that feels a bit uncomfortable for you- bring it up! Assumptions and expecting your partner to be a mind reader in any relationship is harmful. Start with observation, gather information, and then decide if it’s something you want to talk about or not.
As always, if you are in need of some help in communicating about difficult topics in your relationship, such as drinking patterns, our relationship coaching services may be of help. Please reach out – you don’t have to navigate this alone.