This is perhaps my longest nonpolitical conversation in the history of my Facebooking, and I thought it was interesting enough to post, with snarky humor and all. It’s about why I don’t date women who drink and the conditions under which that initial decision might change. I’ll totally understand if you don’t read more than this headline. I only added one photo to the story, anyway. And as we all know, we only read my blog for the lion photos. Enjoy!
ORIGINAL POST, FOLLOWED BY COMMENTARY/DISCUSSION
ACTUAL CONVERSATION I HAD TONIGHT WITH A GIRL FROM AN ONLINE DATING SITE. I KID YOU NOT. (Shortened, but not changed.)
Me: “I don’t date women who drink, and won’t ask them to change for me just so we can date.”
“Personal life decision based on faith.”
“I only drink rarely.”
“But you drink.”
“I feel like I’m being judged before you really get to know me.”
“You just said you drink.” (Am I supposed to find out her favorite color to know if she’s serious or not?)
“Yes, but you didn’t even give me the option to change.” (Why would I want you to change for me?)
I know people change over time. I might already have met the girl I’m going to marry. But today, it’s obvious that neither of us are ready to be who we need the other person to be to come together. My point to everyone who has ever pushed me on my opinion (And thank you for pushing me on my opinion! It means you love or respect me enough to question me!) is that when we become the right enough for each other, we will draw together as we continue to evolve and grow. But until we reach that point, we’re not right for each other. Never is “wrong” a permanent condition, but until it actually changes to “right,” it’s still wrong! That might sound confusing, but just think on it awhile and get back to me. Or to yourself, whichever is faster.
Beckie — Sounds good to me.
Ernest — I have met many women that act like what they think I want, then wake up and realize they are faking it. THAT is why I don’t bother dating someone if they are not already interested in the same things I am.
Christian — Right? It’s not about dating a yes-man or yes-woman, but at least someone who shares your values out the gate!
Ernest — yep, And I feel sorry for people that are so desperate they accept the pretenders they meet and force a relationship where it doesn’t exist. I have loved before, but accepted we were too different to succeed, on eof us would always be unhappy and resent the other.
Christian — Indeed.
Reese – Well…I kinda agree with the girl here. Maybe because I’m a woman? Maybe we women look at the conversation differently, but here is what *I* would think if a man told me this. He seems to be saying (in my mind) “whatever value you have as a human being, and whatever accomplishments, merits, intelligence, kindness or so on that you possess, all of that is worthless because of a behavior you occasionally engage in, and a behavior that I feel overshadows all other positive aspects of your being.” I.e. I would feel like he were saying: You drink, therefore your worth is nothing to me. Now, if the girl drank like a fish and it were a part of her daily life and infringed on her personality and abilities, sure, that would be different. But do you know her well enough to tell her that her drinking taints the rest of her person? I thing *thats* why she was feeling judged. Again, that’s just my perspective as a woman. Lol. We truly are from Venus.
Helen — I agree with Christian but I don’t drink either.
Ernest — I don’t agree with Christian on the drinking part, But I also understand where he comes from. Why would you force yourself to pretend you can tolerate a behavior your faith forbids? it is just as unfair to force him to accept that trait as it is to force another to give it up. therefore he takes the moral position of refusing to accept the relationship, knowing his position may cost him a great loving experience, but would cost him personally, and her eventually, because she would come to realize she changed for him, not for herself. I also suspect there might be more to the compatibility than just drinking.
Reese – I could understand that, and, of course, it is an individual choice (as an Ancient Historian, particularly in the field of the late Roman Empire, I find the argument of drinking wine being against the Jewish and early Christian faith humorous, but that’s a completely different discussion). What I don’t quite grasp is why she must give up rarely drinking when it should only be his own choice for he himself not to drink. Why would her occasional glass of wine have any impact on another’s faith? Likewise, if she rarely drank, it might not be an issue for her to give up drinking at all, and it might not be for him but a choice she might make for herself. But I agree, there is probably a lot more lacking in compatibility than this issue–it just happened to be the one presented.
Christian — My choice not to drink has far less to do with being Categorized as a Christian, which I am, and more to do with feeling called to a particular lifestyle within Christianity based on an old Jewish tribe known as the Rechabites, which were a nomadic tribe who never settled anywhere and never drank alcohol. Because I feel convicted to live that lifestyle, I don’t feel it’s as simple as dating a woman who drinks so long as it’s not around me, but that when I choose a best friend, a life partner, a lover and mother of our future children, that she, in some form, already shares the root values we both will live by.
It’s because of that that I won’t date a woman and then ask her to conform to what is actually a somewhat radical lifestyle, because while we’ll live in certain places for years at a time, so long as I feel called for this life, we’ll never settle anywhere completely. Drinking once in awhile or just not around me isn’t acceptable because it’s a lifestyle for my family, not just for me. That’s why asking her to give up alcohol as part of some kind of relationship evolution isn’t enough, because she’s got to be sold out 100% before she ever lays eyes on me.
I know this sounds extreme, but for me it’s important that I find a kindred spirit on the most important of values. That she feels called not to drink or settle in one place forever on her own accord, that for all the other issues and circumstances that we will most certainly compromise for each other, our root values will keep us focused on each other.
Amanda — christ turns water into wine, but your woman can’t partake? I don’t get it.
Corrie — You’re going to have a hard time finding a woman that fits what you want…but I think she’s out there. Let’s now just pray that she doesn’t turn out to have an after school hobby of axe murdering.
Corrie — Christian doesn’t drink. He wouldn’t go too well with someone who did.
Corrie — And one more thing…there’s nothing wrong with holding out for the one.
Christian — *blinks at Corrie* She’s the HIGHLANDER/?? lol
Lana — I was a social smoker when I met Tommy. He said no smoking. I said OK. I don’t feel like I changed for him, I don’t regret that decision, I have never considered myself a “yes-man”, I don’t feel like either of us compromised. It was something that was completely insignificant to me.
When your girl says that she “rarely drinks,” it is quite probably that it is insignificant to her too and that she could never miss it. I never considered giving up something you don’t care one way or another about as changing. It seems to me that you made an assumption about her based on what you know of other people and you never even gave her a chance. THere is a huge difference between her being perfect for you and her being completely perfect all around
Kristie — Ha! Lol. That’s awesome. Yes I did just bypass the whole conversation to comment on the “highlander” segment first. – Again it maybe the “woman” part, but where you wouldn’t want the woman to change for you (and I completely get that) don’t rule out someone who doesn’t quite “fit” what you want. I’m not saying jump in feet first with her, but you could meet that one girl who thinks she knows exactly what she wants, and then realize that she would do anything to be with you and change. Isn’t that a woman’s prerogative, to change her mind?
Bethany — Christian is saving himself for me. that is all.
Christian — I love you guys! If for no other wonderful reason than you all are willing to throw in your input, to think, to wage, to discuss! You all make me think, consider my viewpoints. Thanks!
@B – You know it.
Cara — I agree with your stance on this, Christian. While everyone has a choice of what type of behavior he or she engages in, we all also have a choice as to whether or not we choose to associate with people who engage in behaviors we do not. If something is against your moral code, there is no reason anyone should question you for not wanting to be in a relationship with them. Anyone willing to change for someone he or she doesn’t know, in my opinion, is not being honest with him or herself and that can lead to resentment in a relationship.
Ryal — I know how intelligent you are, brother; in fact that’s one of the reasons I enjoy talking to you so much more than most. Just be careful on restricting your dating criteria so heavily. If it serves a specific purpose in regards to observing faith-based precedents in your life then I’d wager it’s a worthwhile factor. Exceeding that however, and you could inadvertently alienate a woman who would be MORE than amenable (perhaps even enthusiastic) about embracing your point of view. Many people drink but few have any type of specific addiction or need. Give them a chance.
Trixie — I agree with Lana. (and not just because she’s family!) I was kinda of the same mindset, but she put it better than I could’ve! I think the baby has taken what few brain cells I had left!
Ryal — …but if they f**k up make sure they land on their ass when they hit the street.
Ramona — And there is ALWAYS time to grow.. You’ll find your soul mate. Or she might find you..
Lana — Conversations of this nature before a relationship even begins are rarely detailed. The answer “rarely” is good because it could mean: I grab a glass of champagne at the company holiday party hoping I will like this one and take about 3 sips and I don’t want to lie. I don’t party. It isn’t important to me. However, if you partake, I’m not against it. But if you are a big partier, then we probably aren’t a good match. (In which case, she could very easily give it up and “change” and not ever think twice about it.) It also could mean: I don’t really know what I want and don’t want to alienate anyone….. (a rather immature answer that you want to avoid.)…. or something is missing when I have a certain dish without a certain wine or I like my champagne at the company holiday party. Nothing wrong with it … even if it isn’t right for you. I think it is important that you discern the difference before you jump to judgment.
Amanda — I had probably the biggest problems with Christian’s ”wish list” for his future wife, but I can tell you with certainty that the ideals he’s stuck with all these years are not based on those ideals alone. And really, we all do this with one thing or another – there are simply some parts of our lives that we want to be parallel in our mate. It’s not about the drinking, its about a lifestyle. It took me years of discussions with him to understand that this was not a flippant choice on his part, but a need he has for this level of connection in his marriage. If God is who we believe Him to be, then we must know that He will bring to you the woman He has designed for you. She will be exactly what you need and you will know she is for you. There won’t be any hesitation or question. And I for one look forward to meeting her
Amanda — Although its not how you think it will turn out, this girl has one point – maybe if you went into detail about this particular thing, it would move her to desire that lifestyle, not just for you but for herself too. It is possible that a change on her part (or yours) to become who you want to be just happens to fit the plan of growing together to become who you want in each other. I know there’s a fine line in that and simply being who someone wants you to be, but even in marriage, you will find that certain compromises are inevitable since no two people are ever exactly alike.
Ramona — I knew my husband was my soul mate, not for who he was then- but for what i felt he was inside.. and the man that God has planned for him to become.. As a little girl i prayed over my future husband. Found out from my husband that when he was a kid a visiting speaker to his church had prayed over him about his future wife… That she be soft spoken but firm,:) i have the tape somewhere.. what I’m trying to say is I love my husband through the good and bad times and always willing to work on things that need it. I’ll be married for 10yrs in February. Hubs chose to stop drinking on March 1st.. and still hasn’t had a drink..
Trixie — @Ramona-That’s how I feel about my husband. We’ve only been married for a little over a year, but we’ve been together for 3-1/2 years. There are some things I prefer to be different about him, but I saw the man he is inside and just fell madly in love with him. There are many more things I would like to continue to change about myself, and I knew he’d be the 1 to help me do it.
Lara — I totally agree with Lana. I respect your decision to live a nomadic, abstinent lifestyle… and you’ll find more than a few women who are one or the other (I’m mostly nomadic and currently abstaining from most alcohol, but Terry snagged me… ;D). However, to completely shut down someone with whom you see some potential simply because she’s not EXACTLY what you want seems both short-sighted and narrow-minded. There’s a difference between discerning God’s will in your relationships and allowing the structure of your personal relationship with God to put up serious roadblocks to someone whom God really does want in your life. With Tom I made two changes in my attitude and lifestyle. First, I have ALWAYS had a height fetish and am not overly attracted to shorter men. Had I let that superficiality stand in my way, I would not be blessed by God to have my loving husband. Second, I had to decide whether it was more important for me to worship God the way I read my NIV Bible or to worship God together as a family and present a fairly united front by accepting Catholicism. If I hadn’t accepted to become Catholic, Tom and I probably would still have gotten married, but there would be a lot more tension in our relationship (instead the tension resides in my relationship with the Roman Catholic Church when I feel they do something doctrinally stupid, and which I can teach my kids as they become teenagers and thinkers to question or not, as they read Scripture and study their own faith). So in one rather superficial, and one extremely deep, way I had to either go against my grain and preferences OR miss out on God’s second greatest blessing in my life (the first blessing being life itself, and the body, mind, and soul He gave me). All this to say just think before you jump to a conclusion that you aren’t right for someone else – God MAY just be putting that person in your life to challenge you and force you to grow as a human being.
Lana — 2 girls you might not want to date:
1. ” I don’t drink ” (because I have body image issues and I’m obsessed with calories and I live at the gym and it is THE most important thing to me.)
2. ” I don’t drink ” (because everyone that drinks is going to hell and I don’t know why it isn’t outlawed.)
It is the WHY you don’t drink… or will be willing to stop drinking…. that is the most important thing. And I don’t think you ever got there. Getting to know someone takes time…. at least a second parargraph in the conversation.
Amanda — Agreed. Anything less than that IS judgement, no matter what your intentions are towards her or yourself. Don’t bend your absolutes but don’t let them keep you from truly knowing the source of another’s decisions that may seem opposite. Bc then you leave behind you a trail of women who have just a bit more of a distaste for men bc of ‘guys like you’ who jump to judgements before they get to the second paragraph.
Reese – LOL@ Lana. Aww, that’s a little unfair. Alcohol DOES have a lot of carbs and sugars and while this may not be THE most important thing in her life, she might be concerned with a healthy lifestyle that has little to do with body image directly (I’m on a Sugar Detox, for example, which removes alcohol as well and as a healthy person, I’ve restricted most drinking more and more over the years for health purposes.) But I agree with what you had said earlier in the conversation–for some people, giving up something that is “rare” in her lifestyle may not be that hard for her. To Christian Michael, I think the idea of the nomadic tribe is fascinating and I understand wanting to be with someone who has similar views and/or convictions. I would just be careful not to judge too quickly on behavior that people “rarely” engage in, or behavior that isn’t a part of their person or convictions. No one is going to be perfect, and even if she’s “perfect for you,” there still will be cracks and flaws. In relationships, there really is no perfection and no one can match one’s ideals perfectly because he/she is also their own person.
Lana — Ha Ha Reese! I agree with you. And I checked you page… Cross Fit it totally cool and I love Paleo too. I know many women that are trying sculpt their bodies in amazing ways and do amazing things and I impress myself weekly with the strength that I am gaining doing the little bit that I do with some diet changes. If my children were older and my hubs weren’t deployed, I’d be in the gym daily…. and I have a tremendous amount of respect for people that are able to overcome these same shortcoming better than me. However, that comment stems from a conversation that we had a couple of years ago where he was not to kind about overweight people, then skinny people, then incredibly fit people. Christ must be THE most important thing in Christian’s life and he may not mesh too incredibly well with someone that wouldn’t partake of his higher calorie indulgences….. It was about him.
I would love to hear about your cross fit adventures….. very cool.
Christian — I should say that if a friend I said no to initially changed in the course of our friendship (not to fit me, but evolved incidentally into the person I need, as I too evolve without doubt) then I’m open to considering something more with her. It’s not a: “You drink today? I will deny you forever.”-type thing. I suppose the key is understanding that the man I am today, I will not be tomorrow, and friends who may be wrong today might be right tomorrow. That’s why I’m always open to building friendships with girls I’m interested in but won’t ask to change. If I change, or they change, then I will never say never; I merely won’t say yes until both of us are in the right place to honor each others values as we pursue the the simpler, issue-based compromises that comprise a healthy relationship. (Values vs. Issues, to clarify.)
Katya — There’s a lot of comments on here, and I’m not going to read through them all, lol, so if I repeat something someone else said, I’m sorry. Christian, you are a wonderful, amazing, talented and intelligent guy. You shouldn’t settle for something you don’t want. BUT, being so direct about the drinking thing is just setting you up to be lied to. If a woman meets someone like you and really wants to get to know you, they are going to say “No, I don’t drink! Drinking is yucky!” or something like that (I was trying to immitate one of the ditzy girls you seem to be attracted to, lol) Anyway, she may never drink again during the length of your dating, but it wouldn’t be honest. Wouldn’t you rather have someone who is honest and says, “I drink occasionally, but I’ll tell you what, I won’t drink while we are dating out of respect to you?” I respect that you don’t want a woman to change because of you, but honey, it’s all part of the human experience. We change each other. Whether we mean to or not, we can’t help it. Dating is all about cost. What are you willing to spend to be with this person. For example, Cops were on my do not date list. But then I met Brad. So I knew going into the relationship, it was going to meant we’d spend a lot of time apart during deployments. Was I willing to give up what I wanted for someone i wanted to be with Yes! But I didn’t realize it would mean so much time apart while he was at home. So I had to readjust my thinking to deal with that as well. I gave up a promising military career and put my life on hold for 4 years to make our relationship work. Now, I have to go take care of my needs, so he has to deal with us being apart for 5 years. It’s not ideal for either of us, but it’s the cost of a wonderful future together. So if a woman is willing to put aside doing something she only does occasionally, it’s obviously less important to her than trying to see if there’s something between the two of you. All that aside, I believe God has the perfect person for you, and will give you what you need, I’m just trying to explain her point of view
Christian — If a woman is willing to lie about something so obviously important to a man she might really like, it’s very likely she’ll lie about other things, too. People like that will reveal themselves through conversation, interaction and partnering on projects. I fear little that I’ll ever honestly consider anyone so shallow, and should I be so deceived, I will not be forgiving. Would I forgive her? Yes. Forget such an act? Never. As for having Brad home and that he’s a cop, these are issues, not values. You both share the values necessary to share life. For me, this is such a value, and is so important, as to contest early, to know where she stands. Otherwise all my dating would comprise of the constant and selfish hope that the girl I date would change for me. How much time I’d waste always hope for a train not likely to come and not worth the cost! I will certainly change habits and compromise wants to be with my future wife, but not on this, for however lonely I might be in its meanwhile.
Reese – Sort of along the lines of what Lana and I were talking about, Christian Michael, you totally should be eating Paleo! If you’re into the nomadic lifestyle of our ancestors and practice some of their dietary choices, such as no alcohol, Paleo would fit right in with that, since the entire diet is based on nomadic hunting and gathering tribes. It would mimic the Rechabites diet pretty closely, although you would probably be able to drink non-processed and unpasteurized (raw) goat milk and cheese. It’s a high caloric and high good fat diet, just without all the junk that’s killing Americans slowly every day.
Christian — *sniffle* But I love the Sonic No. 1 with tots!
Reese – Lol. But if you’re adopting one part of the dietary lifestyle (no drinking), wouldn’t it make sense to keep to the others? I would argue that the hormones and chemicals in American food now a days affects you just as much as alcohol would, but because its on a daily level, most people don’t realize. Processed food, chemicals, and added hormones in our food causes depression, mood swings, fatigue, attention span difficulties, lack of sleep, etc. etc., all things that affect the body AND mind–just like alcohol. Why follow one and not the other?
Christian — I’d love to eat a healthier lifestyle, but abstaining alcohol has less to do with physical health. I hate cooking, thoug. I need to force myself to learn more, but that may not happen till I settle down after my hopeful commission.
Reese – You’re going for officer? Good luck! I’m sure you’ll be amazing at it. The best officers were enlisted first. As for the food, I think its more than just physical health. For me, it was also mentally. Before Paleo, I had horrible mood swings, bouts of depression, and cloudy focus. These are all things that vastly improved after I took out certain foods. It’s not just about what’s healthier for me, but what cleans my mind and allows me to be as mentally sound and capable as possible.
Christian — Thanks for the advice! I’ll have to look it up.
Jon — You are going to be a lonely old man! Why dont you send out a survey with your “I don’t” list and have the girls send you their “I don’t” list. Run it through a computer and Viola… perfec wifey!!! Cynical bastard ain’t I. Big picture, my friend. You are selfishly excluding everyone that’s tasted alcohol.(pretty much every German) Baby said she had to choose between being right or being happy to live with me – she chose happy(thank God!!!) You are choosing “right” which leaves little to no room for compromise. There are many more facets to a relationship than an occasional drink but If you feel that strongly, have at it. How long is your deal buster list??? This comes from the perspective of 1 falied marriage and a 2nd marriage – 17 faithful years. LOTS of compromise. Rigidity is great for steel girders but sux for healthy relationships. GOOD LUCK!
Katya — Just a thought, but have you ever considered going to an AA meeting to pick up a woman? They definately don’t drink (anymore), and believe in a higher power. Just a thought hehehe
Christian — … Fail, Katya. Lol
Reese – Why is that a fail? For one, she’s obviously not going to drink again, and its a life choice of hers, and it shows she’s trying to improve and change herself. I know many former alcoholics. My boss has not drank in over 20 years. It takes a very strong individual to realize they have a problem and then to fix it.
Christian — You don’t pick up chicks at a recovery program. The last thing any recovering addict needs is to associate recovery with a new relationship. Should the relationship fail, there’s a high possibility so will the recovery if that recovery is founded within the relationship. Thank you, Kati, for the creative thought, though!
Reese – Actually, a lot of people in AA meetings have been in the program for a long time and go as maintenance–sort of how one would go to church for spiritual maintenance. Many recovering alcoholics will continue to attend meetings for years, even decades. Its not true that individuals at meets are all recently recovered or just now overcoming the addiction. Also, its not true that just because someone had an issue that should something wrong happen in their life, they will immediately revert to their old ways. This is often the myths and stereotypes perpetuated by the media.
Katya — See? I may be on to something here (says the girl with a martini in her hand in her profile picture…)
Corrie — I think there’s too much thinking going on here
Big Al — Thank god we’re not trying to date cause I drink like a Russian fish. Oh, you only drink rarely? Sorry. Keep up or GTFO.
Big Al — Seriously, though. If you are too rigid, you’ll snap.
Candy — I think there have been several valid points made in this record breaking FB conversation. Christian, I completely respect you conviction to abstain from alcohol. As a Catholic I hold all forms of sacrifice and mortification to be holy and furthermore it makes perfect sense that you want your future wife to hold the same values through to her core, because it’s not about alcohol, its about God. But why can’t we ask people to change for one another? Just because someone changes while under your impression doesn’t mean they changed only for you or that they’re lying to themselves. When Billy and I met we both made dramatic changes for each other, and again redefined ourselves and our relationship when we had kids and I thank God everyday that he put Billy in my life to help me become the person I am and the person I will be. If he left today I would none the less continue steadfastly on the path we began together. Life is not static its about constantly being shaped under the lathe that Christ applies to us. If you meet a girl who is in many other ways fantastic and you really want to give it a shot don’t be afraid to ask her to follow you on the path to truth. You may, in that moment, be the lathe in Christ’s hands.
Christian — Good words Katie, and from all you ladies. I’m listening!
Katerina — Look, Hoss, this is a meaty piece of strand you got. I’ll read it one of these days ALL THE WAY THROUGH. I dig what you want… in short, I got it. I will caution you though, you mentioned you “might already have met the girl I’m going to marry. But today, it’s obvious that neither of us are ready to be who we need the other person to be to come together.” That got me a little. If there is a woman that you think may not be the one now but could be later… you best biscuit strut down there now and say something. If another man comes to claim her… well *shrugs* I hope you beat him to the punch.
Corrie — Here’s a debate for another time but I’ll say it…lots of guys have women friends that they could see as potentials or backups.
Corrie — Its just nature.
Katya — Lots of girls too for that matter