First scenario: I will be using true-life stories in my examples so here we go.
A friend of mine was all excited about his first date with a woman he had met on a dating site. They shored up plans deciding to take his motorcycle, go to a restaurant/bar and after a quick bite, we’re going to have a nice ride in the cool evening summer air.
As they were having dinner, she was downing a rather large amount of alcohol. At first, he thought she was having fun and felt comfortable with him until she became noticeably abusive to the other patrons by both verbal and physical aggression, then turned to him and called him an asshole. My friend had never planned for anything like this to happen, so he was left with a bomb that was blowing up quickly.
As he tried to redirect her to the exit, she wanted to stay to have a couple more. She was already visibly drunk, and it was about a 40-minute ride to her home on the back of a motorcycle.
Let’s start sorting Adult Responsibility
When you don’t have a plan in place for these difficult scenarios, you’re left holding a bag that isn’t yours and trying to work things out in your head under a tremendous amount of stress. My friend felt that it was his responsibility to get this woman home safely as many would in this situation. After all, you don’t want to leave someone in a vulnerable position with no way home, right?
First, we are not adult babysitters for someone else’s bad decisions. This would be a deal breaker for me, and I would have left her drunk happy biscuit on the barstool after I called Uber and went on the evening ride myself, of course seething from what I had just witnessed.
Instead, he waited until she was ready to go home. Packing her sloppy drunk carcass on the back of his motorcycle praying she was still able to hang on and not pass out.
This decision put both of their lives in danger!
What could he have done differently?
They could have driven separately. This would ensure that if anything had become an issue either one of them could make the decision to escape the situation without feeling trapped.
As soon as he saw things were defying human logic he should have walked away. It’s easy for me or anyone else to be an armchair quarterback in this situation but when the mind and body are under an enormous amount of stress, we have a difficult time sorting things out. All rational thinking can be thrown out the window as we are pushed into survival mode.
No one would think they would have to be prepared for a scenario such as this, but it happens, and therefore it is so important to have the Uber app or Taxi service already uploaded to your phone. After mentioning this to him it hit him like a ton of bricks as the lightbulb went off a bit too late in this case.
Feeling trapped in a situation is exactly what will trigger a survivor! Heart rate goes up, breathing constricted as you’re doing everything to save the damsel in distress and exit the mess. Of course, she isn’t feeling a thing, he was!
His date did call him the next day. Thanked him and apologized for her behavior telling him she drinks a bit more when she is nervous.
So now let’s look at the date
She seemed like a good person, she was beautiful and was employed working with domestic violence victims. This was very disarming especially to someone who has been down that road before. This really hooked him, and our inclination is that someone who works as an advocate for others in need has an abundance of empathy and compassion for their human counterparts. As you see from the above story this is not always the case.
When you invite or are invited on a date you have no control over the other person’s behavior. We have this perception that everyone has boundaries and will act appropriately in public, especially on a first date. So, when they are acting like a fool, they are immediately giving you two choices. Flee the scene and save your dignity or stay and watch as things escalate. Adding alcohol to a burning flame just intensifies the carnage.
One thing I had a difficult time grasping in my own life is that alcohol is not an excuse for behavior. It intensifies the behavior that is already there. There is a reason people put out these incredible memes, such as “Not my circus, not my monkey”. It is so you can dig down in yourself conscious and grab something that makes sense in these circumstances if you find yourself unprepared.
There really was no emotional investment in this scenario but as you can see men will take on the role as a caretaker of sorts because it is the gentlemen’s way of doing things. Now, look at the many boundaries that were crossed while this was happening. See the safety and security risks?
Therefore, it is so important to have boundaries and a safety plan already in place so when you’re experiencing such a debacle you know exactly what to do without a second thought.
I understand that you may find yourself reading this thinking to yourself my God, I would have walked away immediately but you must remember that everyone is healing at a different pace and from a different framework, especially those who were groomed for this type of role since childhood.
Many of us have a difficult time processing what seems to others simple social situations. This is a very unbelievable scenario, but it happens all too often.