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A Recent Date: Do You Mind If I Drink?

A Recent Date: Do You Mind If I Drink?

I had a very interesting lunch date recently with this very beautiful Indian woman. A friend of mine thought that I would enjoy meeting her and set the two of us up. Why did he think I would like her? (1) He thinks she’s awesome  (2) He knows that I am very attracted to Indian […]

Antidepressants Personal Issues

I had a very interesting lunch date recently with this very beautiful Indian woman. A friend of mine thought that I would enjoy meeting her and set the two of us up.

Why did he think I would like her? (1) He thinks she’s awesome  (2) He knows that I am very attracted to Indian women (the love of my life is Indian) and (3) There is almost nothing that I find more sexy than a woman who meditates. She meditates. (Meditation is a huge part of my life and is something I first started doing in 1991).

Even though I knew almost nothing about her, the conversation flowed pretty effortlessly. Aside from the meditation, we are both very into yoga and eating healthy. This was the first woman I’ve met in a long time who thought it was fantastic that I eat almost 100% organic. That kind of surprised me. Normally, I don’t get that reaction. What I tend to hear is “isn’t that a little extreme” or “don’t you ever want to go to a nice restaurant with your friends?” or “you can’t be so rigid.”

I went on to tell her that eating organic for me is much more than keeping toxic chemicals and GMOs out of my body. It is about supporting the organic food product companies, restaurants, juice bars and farmers that do business the right way. Every time I spend my money on food, I am voting organic and making a statement with my dollars.

The conversation inevitably turned to my experience of being on Prozac for nearly 11 years, which I went off of in 2001. It took a brutal 3.5 years to recover from the medication, and I thought about taking my life all of the time. Waking up in the morning was the worst part of the day, while going to sleep was my favorite. I just wanted to stay asleep forever.

One unintended side effect of Prozac was that it numbed me emotionally. When I was on the medication, I was never happy and I was never sad. My emotional range was severely restricted. Thus, the only way I could feel something was by getting drunk. Needless to say, I drank a lot and developed a real problem. Fearing for my safety and after far too many times of blacking out, I quit drinking in 1999 and haven’t touched a glass of alcohol since.

When my date heard all this, she quickly asked “does it bother you to be with a woman who drinks?”

“Not at all,” I replied without hesitation. Just a few minutes before, she mentioned that she loves drinking wine with dinner but never gets drunk nor loses her sense of control.

Later that night and the next day, I felt very bothered by how I responded to this question. It was very much of a knee-jerk reaction and wasn’t well-thought out.

Drinking is a very sensitive subject for me. I have a drinking problem and do not like being around alcohol. However, alcohol is a “me” problem. Most people have no issue with it, but I do. In the past, dating a woman who does drink has been complicated.

A few examples: I had one girlfriend, where there were lots of problems in the relationship, and every time she drank I got upset. Her drinking made me feel very unsupported and just exacerbated the other issues we were having.

I had another girlfriend, where there were very few problems in the relationship, and when she drank moderately it was not a huge issue. I didn’t love it but put up with it.

So, my lunch date’s question and my immediate response got me thinking again about whether drinking is now going to be a major obstacle when dating a woman. What I have concluded is this.

If I am with a woman and we have an absolutely great time together (lots of fun, no drama, tons of shared interests and values), then I will just deal with it if she is a light drinker and does not get drunk in front of me. So, if everything else is great, I will not end a relationship simply because she consumes alcohol. No, I don’t mind if she drinks.

The same cannot be said if she is not willing to share in my organic food lifestyle. That’s a deal-breaker.


  • Max Goldberg says:

    Hi Tancie,

    My response to you is now up at

    Live well,

  • Max Goldberg says:

    Hi Tancie,

    Thanks so much for your comment. You bring up a great point here and I am going to dedicate a separate blog post to it. Hopefully, today or tomorrow it will be up on the site.

    Check back in for a response!

    Live well,

  • Tancie says:

    Hi Max,

    We met outside the yoga/organic grocery shop on 13th street a few months back. I just thought of you and wanted to pop over and see how things were going when I discovered this post.

    Very interesting, as I too have been in a similar situation with men who have chosen to stop drinking, and have had to decide if that was a deal breaker or not for me.

    I have a question. When you say that ‘if she drinks I will deal with it’ it sort of presents the woman’s drinking as something negative that needs to be dealt with – but I need to say that drinking is not negative for everyone who does it. I could be reading too much into what you wrote – but my point and question is – why would it bother you if someone else, who you can not control, has alcohol?

    Isn’t your decision to not drink about you, or is it about you and society and alcohol in general?

    My father does not go near alcohol because his mother was killed in a car accident when he was a young boy. The driver in fault was drunk. This has tarnished his relationship to alcohol and those who use it for life. Because of this, I do not use alcohol around him out of respect for his map of the world, otherwise I drink at my own discretion.

    I do think it is unfortunate that alcohol is pushed so heavily in society, constant invitations to ‘happy hours’ and how it is such a focal point in social situations, but I have to say that when I choose to avoid it, I just shift my focus and spend time with friends who don’t drink or drink less.

    My point is, if you are really uncomfortable being around alcohol that is totally 100% fine. Own that. There are plenty of women who are sober as well. The comment about ‘ I will deal with it ‘ feels off balance to me, as if you’ll sit through it but you won’t like it, and that is a recipe for resentment. Guaranteed. I’m just saying, take responsibility for it 100% and avoid women who drink. What do you think…?

    I am honestly curious about this…

    Thanks! Tancie

  • Geyla says:

    Gosh, the memories…

    Amor, Truth and Laughter = Enriching Life


  • Max Goldberg says:

    Hi Sylvia,

    Thank you so much for kind words!!! I am so happy you feel inspired. It is important for me to share my story and let everyone know what happened when I went off of Prozac. You’ll be able to read more later this year when my memoir comes out.

    I am not sure just yet if she is my soul mate, as I only have met her once, but I have plans to see her again within the next few days. However, you never know.

    I appreciate your feedback and stay empowered!!!

    Live well,

  • Sylvia Lim says:

    Wow! Congratulations on kicking Prozac and meeting possibly your soul mate! Don’t mind those who criticized your organic lifestyle. There are A LOT of people out there who feel exactly the same way you do. We are grateful that you are saying what we wanted to say, but can’t because we are afraid of being judged. After reading your blog, I feel inspired and empowered.

  • Max Goldberg says:

    Hi Kris,

    Thanks for your words!!! And, yes organic is “the” deal-breaker. Glad you have a great situation for yourself out there in San Diego.

    Looking forward to seeing you in a few months at Expo West!

    Live well,

  • Max Goldberg says:

    Hi Lisa,

    I agree with you. The values have to be shared, otherwise it won’t work.

    Hope all is well in the organic food world in England!

    Live well,

  • Max Goldberg says:

    Hi Helena,

    Thanks so much for the kind words. Very interesting to hear about your learning and how you what you have wanted has changed over time. That happens to all of us as we get older, doesn’t it? 🙂 We want different things and get much more clarity as we age and gain experience.

    Live well,

  • Max Goldberg says:

    Hi Christopher,

    I think I get what you are saying but not 100%. Nevertheless, it seems positive and I appreciate your words!!

    Live well,

  • Max. Great post. I date a woman that has been sober for 5
    years. I am a very light to no drinking person just out
    of personal choice. I just out grew it. But what I see
    is that most people, about 80% of my friends have
    what I would call a problem. From rehab to heavy social/frequent
    drinking. I think so many people are on the scale.
    But you are right. Organic is a deal breaker. :).
    I’m lucky there as well. I say go for it with the new
    Lady. She sounds perfect.


  • It seems to me that the balance lies in relationships based on shared values while respecting the individuality of the other.

  • Helena says:

    Great perspective, Max. You’re really good at knowing what’s best for you. I enjoyed reading about this date. This woman sounds awesome – interesting & thoughtful to ask you this question.

    I used to be turned on by men that were avid readers & also into exercise. Back in the day. Fast forward to Now I want to be in a relationship where we celebrate each other as we are with an underlying premise of “you’re beautiful as you are, and as you are we can love each other and continue to grow individually & together & I trust that you’re always expanding into your best self…” Interestingly I find that feeling this way about my own self is the most important thing. That said – I love being in an interracial relationship and I’d probably be super elated if I met a gorgeous man who was into the Abraham-Hicks material just like me.

    Happy 2011 🙂 Keep up the awesome blogging!

  • I think there’s a very clear difference for you between what are at heart practical issues (the personal problematic issue with alcohol) and value issues (your organic lifestyle). It’s important to defend your values, but when issues that, no matter how severe they may potentially be, are at heart practical, become deal breakers, you put yourself in a very difficult position. All of which is just to say that I think you’re looking at this the right way.

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