Ahhh, alcohol. The social lubricant. The best accompaniment to orange juice. The backstabbing BFF that convinces you to randomly revive the Macarena much to the chagrin of your less-than-soused drinking buddies beside you. With all the jitters from the mere thought of a first date, it isn't surprising to hear that (among non-teetotlers) most people like a lil' booze-sauce at these often awkward encounters.
Alas, as with everything that seems beautiful, there are inevitable downsides. As we previously mentioned, people massively judge a date's cocktail preference and the amount of alcohol consumed. (Interesting enough, the majority of women actually prefer their date to order craft beer while men prefer us to order red wine. Geez-us, we could all strike out before the appetizers even arrive!
Maybe that's why some of us are starting to play it a little safe in our wooing/dating habits. Dry bars—seriously—are on the rise in the U.K. right now. Fans of this fad say that these spots have a more relaxed atmosphere and it allows them to be social, but get home safely.
What does this mean for dating? Is our favorite pass-the-time past-time falling to the wayside? Recently, a Reddit user begged the question: why do we drink on a first date?
Our favorite answer hit pretty close to home:
It relaxes your inhibitions. Otherwise it's two people sitting there wondering how many things they are currently doing wrong or whether or not they're doing enough things right or shit how long has it been since I said something? Have I just been staring at her? Should I ask her a question? How's your water-- FUCK! Why did I say that! Like water has a fucking flavor! God damnit where's that waiter with the wine...— GetHisWallet
Other answers echoed this idea—it seems that alcohol makes people stress less and just have fun. Though, admittedly, user jaimenycricket confessed that she feared drinking beers. Why? She's afraid of farting in her sleep next to a possible Prince Charming! The horror!
Seriously though, we had to dig a little more to find the glimmering nuggets of truth behind this Redditers' statement. So, a lot of stuff goes down at the front of your brain—the prefrontal cortex—which controls your impulses. It's basically that teeny piece of whispering sanity that tells you not to dance on that table at your great-granny's hundredth birthday party (unless your great-granny was like mine, in which case, she'd want you up there).
Alcohol, on the other hand, affects the neurotransmitters up in there and tells them not to behave "normally," i.e. they're gonna neglect to tell you that your chair-grinding ways may not be kosher, and your self-control just unravels from there. All of the forbidden social cues are out the damn window.
If we listen to Reddit this means that dry bars eliminate a fear of farting (an obvious bonus point) but may also increase all other types of weirdness and internal anxious word vomit. If we listen to science on the other hand, we're all just actively bludgeoning our—perhaps—better judgment with booze.
So what's the lesser of two evils when trying to wield a first-time smooch?
Image: Drinker or not, this looks tasty. Courtesy of, Flickr.