Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

16.22 27 May 2021


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A Moncrieff listener is getting on great with a woman he has recently begun dating... but he's finding it "increasingly difficult" to deal with the fact that she doesn't drink.

It's So You Think You're An Adult, where Barbara Scully and Declan Buckley join Moncrieff to offer advice to the nation.

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So You Think You're An Adult: 'My new girlfriend doesn't drink... is the relationship unsustainable?'

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The dilemma

Since things have started opening up over the past few weeks I have begun dating a woman I met on Plenty of Fish. On paper we're a great match...we both work in the arts and enjoy similar things. She has a good sense of humour, which for me is crucial. However, one issue has arisen which, perhaps to my shame, I'm finding increasingly difficult to resolve.

She doesn't drink. This wasn't a problem for the first few dates as we went for day-time walks. But the past couple of occasions have involved dinner in our respective apartments. I brought a bottle of wine to her place and had to drink it all myself. Now it turns out that she doesn't like pubs and I love pubs. The problem is I am really attracted to her but this issue is niggling me...is the relationship unsustainable?

Barbara's advice

"No, not necessarily... it's not unsustainable. But I kind of understand his predicament.

"It's definitely more fun drinking together: not necessarily drinking to get drunk, but the 'sharing a bottle of wine' thing.

"It is a social thing... you always feel a bad sad when you're drinking on you're in. It's also tied in so much in our head to the idea of romance.

"He is going to have to change his mindset a little bit... but if all the other things are there... he can make that change.

"He can't really evaluate it [until the lockdown is over] and social life goes back to normal. [Myself and Declan] both agree on that conclusion... hang on for the minute."

Declan's advice

"I get it: when you're out socialising, a person not drinking changes the dynamic. The person who is drinking can feel the person who's not drinking is a bit on the judge-y side... whereas the person who's not drinking is probably just bored.

"The thing about it is... to extrapolate that out into a whole relationship make-or-break scenario is really odd. It makes it sound like you're drinking all the time.

"It's like going to pubs is what he puts down on his CV under interests!

"When you're sitting down watching Netflix or going for a walk before going to the pub... that's the bit where you'll see whether the relationship is working.

"The fact that they're not interested in the pub might just mean you need to go the pub with someone else."

Main image: File photo. Picture by: Jens Kalaene/DPA/PA Images

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