21 Mar 11

Sasha Speaks: Answering Your Most Private Dating Questions — Functional Drunk?

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Dear Sasha, 

I think the woman I’m dating is a functional drunk! What are the tell tale signs?

Functioning Drunk

Dear Hungover Lover-

Functioning alcoholics battle substance abuse issues just as badly as someone trapped in crack or heroin addiction, they’re just better at covering it up, and that’s the scary part.

The first thing you should look at is her group of friends. High functioning alcoholics (or HFAs) tend to surround themselves with other HFAs, that way it doesn’t seem like they have an issue because “everybody’s doing it.”

Next, ask yourself, does she obsess over alcohol? Is it the first thing she looks for when you go out for meals, does she plan her day around times and places where she can drink? Is liquor an integral part of her life?

When she does drink, can she stop at one or is it “just so good when it touches her lips” that she drinks to excess?
And when she’s had enough drinks to be drunk, does she appear to be operating pretty normally? That’s one of the biggest telltale signs; an HFA’s ability to mask their intoxication.

If the answer to those questions is yes, I’m afraid you’re dealing with addiction issues that run very deep and you’re in a terribly precarious position. Confronting an addict never goes well and you risk being exiled from her life simply for caring about her.

I have a very dear friend who is an HFA and has been for years. There’s no way to confront them without imploding the friendship and they’re have no interest in getting help. All I can do is love them and support them and hope that one day they decide to choose a different life path. But we aren’t dating.

Sadly, there’s no easy way to deal with the monster that is addiction so all I can say is I wish you and your girlfriend the best.

Good luck,

*Feel free to email us with any dating, relationship, love and sex questions you may have for Sasha.

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About Jennifer Kelton

Jennifer KeltonI did not wake up one morning and say “hey I think I’d like a man use my sweater like a towel, write a candid dating book, become a dating expert, the CEO and founder of a social dating site and have three blogs.”

All of this has happened in a slow burn and here I am. The good, the bad, the mistakes, way too many tears shed to count, lots of wine and oh my goodness a huge learning curve that leaves me much of the time saying, “I’m sorry but this is all new to me.”

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