He got drunk

We chat at 1 p.m. today.

Hi Meredith,

I'm 33 and going through a divorce (amicable, fortunately) and dating again for the first time in over 10 years. I thought I'd give online dating a shot just for fun to see what happens. Truthfully, I wasn't expecting much, especially since 90 percent of the messages that I got were either creepy, suspected spam, or both. But I thought that at the very least, the experience would make for some hysterical stories to share with friends over wine. Enter "Robert." He messaged me and I realized pretty quickly that we had a lot in common. We emailed back and forth several times, and each time the message revealed some other unique common interest that we shared. We went hiking on our first date and had an amazing time together. Based on everyone else's online dating experiences, I was shocked at how well it went. Since then, we've spent a lot of time together and I've grown to really like him. That was a little over a month ago, and overall we've had a great time together.

Within a couple weeks of dating, my initial attitude of wanting to keep things casual changed to being excited about the idea of being in a relationship. That being said, there have been some red flags that have come up and I'm on the fence about whether I am overreacting. I should mention that my ex-husband didn't drink at all, so I know I am sensitive to drinking in general. The other night, Robert came over to make dinner together. Within an hour of arriving, he had drank one huge cocktail (like 8" tall) and three beers, and made a comment about feeling drunk. I asked him if he drank to get drunk regularly, and he said usually once or twice a week. Robert proceeded to drink three more beers and another huge (and much stronger) cocktail even after I made it clear that I had no interest in spending time with him drunk. We literally were about to go to bed, and he commented on his father hitting him as a child (something he had not revealed previously), and went to get another beer. It was all very sad and upsetting to me. At the end of what I was thinking would be a romantic night, I went to bed upset and angry and Robert instantly fell asleep. Even after six beers and two large cocktails, he was not slurring his speech or stumbling around, and it was really shocking that it didn't affect him more. He has also told me that he's on anxiety/depression medication, which based on my limited knowledge of it is not something you're supposed to mix with heavy drinking.

The next morning, he apologized after I brought up what happened, but also seemed to think that I must be overly sensitive to drinking given how my ex didn't drink. I am concerned and am trying to figure out what to do now. He's a really great guy and we have a ton in common, but I have no interest in being in a relationship with someone who drinks that much on a regular basis. I think that setting rules like a drink limit at my apartment are pointless because I'm guessing it would result in him drinking more when he's alone. What are your thoughts? Do I suggest we try being friends? See if it happens again and then address it? I want to talk to him about it and explain how much of an issue it is for me, but I want to be careful so he doesn't get defensive. I just don't want to give up too soon on this guy.

– Anonymous


This isn't going to work. (Sorry.) If he's telling you that he "drinks to get drunk" a few times a week, and you're already considering an alcohol limit for your apartment, this relationship is doomed. He's been honest about his lifestyle and it doesn't match yours. It's disappointing – he sounds pretty perfect otherwise – but this is a deal-breaker you can't ignore.

For the record, the thing that bothers me most about that night is that you told him you didn't want to spend time with him drunk, and he continued to drink. He continued his behavior even though he knew it made you uncomfortable.

You can wait to see if it happens again, but the talk seems like a better idea. Just know that it'll probably be a breakup talk. You'll basically be telling him why it isn't going to work.

Readers? Is she over-sensitive? Should she see if it happens again before ending the relationship?

– Meredith