5 Signs You're Dating an Alcoholic

Man drinking.
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Are you dating an alcoholic? While you and your partner may both enjoy drinking, it's important to be able to recognize the signs that your partner may actually have a drinking problem. And in order to help yourself deal with the reality of the situation, as well as help your partner going forward, you should look for these five key indicators that you're dating an alcoholic. 

1. Your Partner Drinks Alcohol at Every Social Activity 

One of the tell-tale signs that your partner has a drinking problem is that he or she will drink at every social engagement and event—even at those that don't merit or even include alcohol.

For example, while your partner may certainly want to down beers at a birthday party, he or she will also drink at other occasions and activities that have less to do with alcohol, from children's swimming lessons to hiking excursions. And in many instances, your partner may bring a flask with him or her in a coat pocket or purse to use at his or her leisure. Your partner may even seek out events that are alcohol-centric and where day-drinking and heavy drinking are more standard, such as tailgates and sporting events. 

2. Your Partner's Irritable When Not Drinking

Another clear indicator that you're dating an alcoholic is that your partner becomes visibly upset and frustrated when he or she's unable to drink. You may even see a much angrier and darker side of your partner when he or she realizes that he or she can't drink at that particular time. For instance, your partner may suddenly become enraged when he or she learns that there's no more beer in the house or that the last bottle of whiskey was already finished by someone else.

Your partner may also lash out at the mere suggestion that he or she doesn't need to drink right now. 

3. Alcohol Has Already Negatively Impacted Your Partner's Life

An additional important sign that your partner may have a drinking problem is that excessive drinking has already caused notable disruptions and disturbances in his of her life.

For example, while your partner may laugh or brush off the fact that he or she was so hammered that he or she missed a flight, blew off a work commitment, or woke up somewhere without his or her wallet, these kinds of stories are commonplace among alcoholics. Since alcohol plays such a heavy role in his or her life, it's not surprising that other aspects of his or her life can become negatively impacted by these kinds of drinking tendencies. 

4. Your Partner Uses Alcohol as a Crutch

If you're wondering if you're dating an alcoholic, another clear indicator is that your partner looks to alcohol as a coping mechanism. Many people with a drinking problem rely on alcohol to numb their feelings and help them to deal with stress around them so that they don't have to think about or confront what's actually happening in their life. If your partner uses alcohol as a way to cope and turns to the bottle in order to deal with his or her work problems, family problems, loneliness, or simply the ups and downs of everyday life, your partner may have a drinking problem as well.

5. Your Partner Tries to Hide His or Her Drinking Habits From You

Have you ever found empty bottles of alcohol in your trashcan and don't know how they got there?

Have your wine or beer bottles ever gone missing without a trace? A tell-tale sign that you're dating an alcoholic is that your partner isn't really telling you how much he or she's drinking each day. And this lack of honesty can make its way into other aspects of your relationship, as your boyfriend may lie about his whereabouts to cover up that he stopped at a bar on the way home from work, or your girlfriend may fib about how many drinks she had while at lunch with friends. When your partner feels compelled to lie to you about his or her drinking habits and chooses to betray your trust, these are the unfortunate characteristics of an alcoholic.