Humans are designed to love. We believe that intimate engagement between partners is the golden road to personal growth and development. We are committed to helping you achieve peace and life satisfaction in your relationships
Though substance abuse and socialization seem to go together, Dr. Paul Standal does not endorse nor encourage the using of substances when getting to know someone as a potential relationship partner. This is certainly true if you or your partner drink to excess. He finds that substance use covers important signals and possibilities between people. It also reinforces hyper-aroused states that cut out our more self-conscious selves, leading to potential conflict and bad consequences. Although alcohol can lubricate the social gears, making it easier to interact, it can also easily become a very destructive part of a relationship, even a limited one. Drinking while learning about someone can lead to habitual drinking, resulting in negative consequences.
Ideas for Interacting with Others without the Use of Substances
1. Going out for an alcohol- or substance-free meal or eating at home.
2. Doing something physical for a date, like hiking, biking or dancing. Keeping yourself moving is a shared experience.
3. Become a tourist in your own area. Frequenting a museum, festival or farmer’s market is a great way to share and get to know each other.
4. Volunteer for some activity and participate together.
If you find that you seem to gravitate towards situations in which you use substances to feel comfortable in social or dating situations, it is a good indication that you may be having substance abuse issues. On the other hand, dating someone where alcohol or drug use and getting high or drunk is a necessary part of the interaction for them to have fun, you may need to reevaluate the relationship; this is certainly a red flag for any further deeper, committed relationship.
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