Is it Ever Okay to Show up Intoxicated to a Date?

I’ve been talking to my friend about a date she went on over the weekend. It was a first date and she met the guy on a dating app. They met up at a Mexican restaurant in Cambridge, hung out there and then ended up going to another bar nearby for drinks and appetizers. Sounds like a good date to me.

Apparently it wasn’t.

While the guy himself sounds like he was okay – aside from how loud he talked – the problem seems to be that he was… as she put, “tipsy”, and as I’m inferring, drunk. He was overly enthusiastic the whole time they were together, and asked her the same question four to five times. He even invited her to pregame and hang out with his friends later on that night…

What’s the big deal? We all have a drink or two (or more) on a date. It helps with nerves, makes us looser and more agreeable, and sometimes even more interesting. Sometimes. But I’d like to point out that these things are often times our own perception of our behavior. Someone else might see us as a loud, drunk person stumbling all over ourselves. And I will be the first to say: That’s not attractive.

I remember when I first started dating in the modern world of swiping, I would have two or three drinks on the date. It made me more comfortable and as a person who is sometimes uptight, it helped when meeting new people. But I will say none of those dates ever resulted in more than one or two dates.

And now that I think about it, a guy I went on a date with in December actually came to our date stoned. It was a first date. While we were at dinner, he told me he had smoked not one, but two blunts before before meeting me. The date was fine, and I forgot that he wasn’t sober and looked past a few things that later I would realize were red flags. I would’ve gone out with him again but he turned into a crazy person over text a few days later.

So (Carrie Bradshaw voice) is it ever okay to show up intoxicated to a date?

There’s a pretty big difference between having a few drinks during the span of a date and pregaming the date itself. From what I can tell, pregaming the date is exactly what this guy my friend went out with did. That is not okay. And needless to say, my friend was not impressed.

I’m going to go with no… and here’s why.

Taking the edge off is one thing, but there is certain behavior we tend to revert to when we’re drunk or stoned. Talking very loudly is kind of awkward and can make the other person uncomfortable. Of course drunk behavior is all very individual (I get responsible and flirty), but if you’re trying to put your best foot forward, going intoxicated doesn’t set you up for success because you’re not presenting yourself as you actually are.

When you’re drunk, etc. you’re not able to fully focus on what is going on. If you’re really wanting to connect with the person you’re out with, being drunk and not remembering that you’ve asked them the same question five times is going to make them feel like a) you’re not paying attention and b) you didn’t care enough about the date to be in a state of mind that would actually allow you to connect.

Lastly, if you wouldn’t want someone to arrive under the influence to a date with you, you should definitely not show up to a date drunk or high. The nice thing about grabbing a drink or two with someone you’ve been talking to on a dating app, or met in the coffee shop, is that you’re in this weird dating thing together. You’re both nervous and if anything, you should get drunk together, bond over margaritas, and tell each other embarrassing stories from when you were in middle school and only wore black and pink and for some reason arm warmers.


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