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cave canem

Teetotaler young adults--how rare?

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I can not think of any young people who do not drink at all but I do know many young people who drink very rarely.  I think she is going to have a really hard time finding a partner being that black and white about alcohol.   I do know many people who drank in college who no longer drink at all for various reasons.  I also know people who didn't drink at all in when college age but later started drinking at a later date.  So, it is really not as easy as finding a spouse who never drinks because people change.  It should be more about having a mutual understanding what each person's concerns are and find a compromise.

Edited by hjffkj
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I do not know anyone of college age who doesn't drink, and I'm the only person I know in real life of all ages who didn't drink. It's not at all common outside of certain groups. 

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2 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

 

Isn't there an old joke  about this? Like, if you take one Baptist fishing with you he'll drink all your beer, but if you take two baptists they won't touch it because they won't want to get caught by another baptist?

 

I live in the Bible Belt and I love this joke because it rings so true. I have one Baptist neighbor who has asked me to go to the liquor store for him. LOL. He is so afraid of being seen. Another neighbor told me she has a bottle of wine hidden and drinks it out of a travel mug because her husband gets mad. Yikes. Growing up I had Baptist relatives who kept liquor under their bed.

My dad is a teetotaler and he is Catholic. So you never know.

 

Edited by teachermom2834
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I do think the majority of people in college drink at least occasionally, but is she actually looking to get married in college? I'd encourage her to just live her life and do her thing, and not be overly worried about searching out marriage prospects. Long term, she may meet just the right person who also happens to not drink. Or she may discover she is okay with someone who drinks occasionally as long as it doesn't affect their home life, and that someone may be okay with not keeping beer in the fridge while still wanting to have a drink with friends after a round of golf or such. Most people do want the freedom to do that, along with having a toast at a wedding or New Year's or other special occasions. If she remains dead set on a complete teetotaller, then it's certainly possible she will have to deliberately seek out groups where that's common - certain churches or specific social groups. 

11 hours ago, StellaM said:

Tell your dd I totally get where she is coming from. I haven't drunk at all since my mid 20's - you wouldn't think it would be such an unusual thing.

But mid 20's is well after college, and these are college kids. 

2 hours ago, elegantlion said:

My parents, who were not strictly religious, rarely drank. I think the bottle of Boone's Farm sat in their fridge for a year at time.  

Boone's Farm?? It's no wonder they rarely drank, lol. 

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9 minutes ago, teachermom2834 said:

I live in the Bible Belt and I love this joke because it rings so true. I have one Baptist neighbor who has asked me to go to the liquor for him. LOL. He is so afraid of being seen. Another neighbor told me she has a bottle of wine hidden and drinks it out of a travel mug because her husband gets mad. Yikes. Growing up I had Baptist relatives who kept liquor under their bed.

My dad is a teetotaler and he is Catholic. So you never know.

 

The other one is that Jews do not recognize Jesus as their Savior, Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the head of the Church, and Baptists do not recognize each other at the liquor store. 

Meanwhile, I've been to a party for adults being confirmed, at an Episcopal parish, where wine and champagne were served by the priest afterwards. 

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15 hours ago, cave canem said:

Not good enough for her.  She can't stand the smell, doesn't want the substance in the fridge, just really against the whole thing in her family life.

 

My husband drinks very occasionally, usually in a social setting.  He doesn’t much care for the taste, but he’s not a teetotaler.  If it was important to me, he would be fine not having any at home.  I think being open to someone who would agree not to have it it the home, even if they might occasionally drink outside the home might expand her options. 

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2 hours ago, BeachGal said:

 

I don't mind if others drink around me at all.

My response is to those who are wondering if people abstain for religion. Sometimes it's for health. I don't mind if others make a different choice.

This is the case for dh and me, too - we don't drink, but it has nothing to do with religion.

I only know of one couple that doesn't drink for religious reasons, but I know quite a few people who don't drink because of the negative effects on health.

 

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I know zero male, college-aged teetotalers. 

I know one young woman in grad school who recently became one as well as going vegan. Possibly her bf abstains also, but I’m gonna say it’s way rare where I live. 

My parents are teetotalers, though and have been all my life. My grandparents were, too. 

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57 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

The other one is that Jews do not recognize Jesus as their Savior, Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the head of the Church, and Baptists do not recognize each other at the liquor store. 

Meanwhile, I've been to a party for adults being confirmed, at an Episcopal parish, where wine and champagne were served by the priest afterwards. 

 

Our Catholic school has a “Kindergarten Kegger” for the new parents to get to know each other.  Not on campus, but still.  The idea that Christians don’t drink is, um, foreign to me.   

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Believe it or not, we live in a dry county. There are several in our state. That's not to say you can't get alcohol, most of the surrounding counties are not dry and two of them have a liquor store literally just mere feet on the other side of the county line lol. But you definitely don't see as many drunken parties here as you do in the neighboring counties.

Dh and I don't drink because of the medications we are on. Ds21 has had drinks but doesn't go out drinking all the time. Ds19 and dd18 I'm sure have had drinks at their father's house but neither of them go out partying or anything like that. I don't see any of them becoming more than occasional drinkers because they all comment on what drinking has done to their father.

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58 minutes ago, Lawyer&Mom said:

 

Our Catholic school has a “Kindergarten Kegger” for the new parents to get to know each other.  Not on campus, but still.  The idea that Christians don’t drink is, um, foreign to me.   

I grew up Catholic in a very Catholic area and my sister went to a Catholic College. There was lots and lots of drinking, especially of beer.

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17 hours ago, KidsHappen said:

I don’t know any teetotalers at all. I have met very few in my life and certainly none at that young of an age.

 

Hey, you "know" me!

I never drank more than about half a glass of wine even during my misspent youth, and I drank my last alcohol right around the time I reached legal drinking age (so, 30+ years ago).

I don't like the smell, the flavor or the way booze makes me feel. Plus, I have seen far too many lives significantly affected in very negative ways by drinking.

Of my two now-adult offspring, one has an occasional sip of something when it feels socially appropriate, and the other doesn't drink at all.

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Dh and I are teetotalers; both of us had an alcoholic grandfather. Of our older adult children, as far as I know, two drink occasionally, and two do not. I don't know if this has changed, but I doubt it. Our college student goes to a Christian school where it is forbidden on campus, and I doubt if he will drink, at least not until he graduates, because he's kind of a stickler. Our high schooler--remains to be seen, but he has a health condition which makes it best if he never drinks.

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48 minutes ago, Frances said:

I grew up Catholic in a very Catholic area and my sister went to a Catholic College. There was lots and lots of drinking, especially of beer.

We have a beer/wine tent at the Catholic parish Fall Festival. 

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My sons are 23 and 27 and neither have drank. As far as they say now, they don't plan to. We have had too many people around us that don't know how to drink in moderation, and my kids have seen the results of that. While we are churchgoers, their decision to not drink isn't because of their religion. I personally don't drink because my father, then my stepfather, both have no will power when it comes to alcohol. My husband used to drink, but our kids never saw it. He has been sober for many years, so they just haven't seen it as a thing in our house. Thankfully none of my kids give a rip about being followers, so they never cared to do it just because everyone else does. 

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4 hours ago, teachermom2834 said:

I live in the Bible Belt and I love this joke because it rings so true. I have one Baptist neighbor who has asked me to go to the liquor store for him. LOL. He is so afraid of being seen. Another neighbor told me she has a bottle of wine hidden and drinks it out of a travel mug because her husband gets mad. Yikes. Growing up I had Baptist relatives who kept liquor under their bed.

My dad is a teetotaler and he is Catholic. So you never know.

 

In the ‘dry’ county I grew up in the saying was Baptists kept the bootleggers in business. 

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I have met a few people who don't drink. The Methodists of my grandparents generation, Some religions, alcoholics and people with trauma associated with alcohol, certain medical conditions or were very health conscious or athletes.  I drink very little and mostly turn it down when offered.  I think your daughter is focusing on one small relatively unimportant part.  Would she refuse to be friends with someone who are garlic or drank coffee.

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4 hours ago, katilac said:

I do think the majority of people in college drink at least occasionally, but is she actually looking to get married in college? I'd encourage her to just live her life and do her thing, and not be overly worried about searching out marriage prospects. Long term, she may meet just the right person who also happens to not drink. Or she may discover she is okay with someone who drinks occasionally as long as it doesn't affect their home life, and that someone may be okay with not keeping beer in the fridge while still wanting to have a drink with friends after a round of golf or such. Most people do want the freedom to do that, along with having a toast at a wedding or New Year's or other special occasions. If she remains dead set on a complete teetotaller, then it's certainly possible she will have to deliberately seek out groups where that's common - certain churches or specific social groups. 

<snip>

I've been reading this thread on and off during work breaks, but couldn't post. The bolded is truly *exactly* what I wanted to say.   

I do know one college-aged teetotaler, my son. He is 22, and does not like the taste of any alcohol he's sampled. However, he may not avoid alcohol forever. I have a few family members who are older who avoid alcohol because of their own past addiction, or a parents' addiction.  But, I don't know many colleges kids overall.

But really, she should just keep doing things she enjoys, in college and beyond, and not focus on finding a husband. I was single for a long time after my divorce at 24; I had a lot of fun hiking with the Sierra Club, going to baseball games and concerts with friends, traveling a bit on my own, going to movies and doing other things I enjoyed on my own. There were times I was a pretty heavy partier and drank a lot, but that was for a pretty short period of time.  Mostly I was just enjoying my life, friends, and work.  

OP, I'm not suggesting your daughter is desperate for marriage, so please don't read this that way. But, *I* was desperate for marriage and married badly at 22. I didn't remarry for real till I was 39. I would hate to see anyone find a partner that fits one area of their life, even one that seems very important, such as attitudes toward alcohol, and find out that it wasn't such a great match after all.  I do know some young people who want to get married young, in college or right after, and I tell  them all the same thing: there are worse things than being alone, and being married to the wrong person for the wrong reasons is very  much worse. 

Again, I'm not saying your daughter is like this. Just passing on experience.  

Edited by marbel
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My parents are teetotalers.  My step dad because he is a recovered alcoholic and my mom in support of him.  

In my childhood and up until my mom married my stepdad almost 20 years ago, my mom rarely and I mean rarely had alcohol.  Not because she was a teetotaler....it was just the way her life went....raising us on no money, living in a dry county....I remember just a few months before she married my step dad she and I had a glass of wine at my house.  It was nice.  But  she is very serious about supporting my step dad which I think is nice.

I do think teetotalers sometimes can be a little over zealous and rigid.....which is not the worst thing frankly.  But hopefully the OPs daughter can relax just a little.  

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7 hours ago, Frances said:

I’m the same, but since the agnostic part very rarely comes up in real life, I have no idea what people think when I don’t drink.

Interesting! Discussions and demonstrations of religious beliefs come up often around here.  I try to side step the conversation because I don't really want to get into it with people. 

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7 hours ago, Frances said:

I’m the same, but since the agnostic part very rarely comes up in real life, I have no idea what people think when I don’t drink.

Hmmm... when I  notice that someone doesn't drink (which I probably wouldn't notice unless I offered alcohol and it was refused) I don't think anything about their religion or lack thereof. I don't even jump to "they never drink" unless I'm told that they don't.  Sometimes someone who is normally a drinker just doesn't want to drink for whatever reason (medication, not in the mood, driving... the possibilities are endless).  

Most of the time, when people come to my house, I point them to the drinks table and don't even know if they took wine, sparkling water, lemonade, or what. Or mixed things together. 🙂

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8 hours ago, Scarlett said:

Or is it like me with toothpicks.?  They make me shudder...I believe if a person needs to use one it should be in private...not walking around with it hanging out of their mouth.  

As is so often the case, @Scarlett, I wholeheartedly agree with you!

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DH and I have never had alcohol, including during college (except he's had communion wine). No addictions in the family and no religious prohibition; we just don't want to. Have her look for serious students who get up early on Saturdays to go help Habitat for Humanity or something--they obviously don't spend Friday night drinking.

If there's an Alpha Phi Omega chapter (it's co-ed & community service oriented), she may find a couple of people: they're not allowed to drink as a group/at group events even if those over 21 do so privately.

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20 hours ago, Selkie said:

Dh and I don’t drink, either. We both grew up in families of heavy drinkers, so alcohol has no appeal for us.

Yeah, I was going to say, marry the son of an alcoholic.  My dh is, and he never drinks.  He saw the effects it had on his dad and his family, and he figured he probably had the propensity, genetically, to become dependent, so he just doesn't drink.  Unfortunately, he still has some of the baggage from growing up in that family.  😓

I don't drink, so it works out well.  I've never found any alcohol that I have enjoyed drinking.  I'm like your daughter--I can't stand the smell or the taste, so I'm not remotely tempted.  

My oldest son does drink some, once he turned 21 a year ago.  He is at a senior military college, and I think it can be a big part of the Corps there.  I would say there are definitely men I know who were bigger drinkers in college, and then really slowed down or stopped after they graduated.  I know a lot of people who rarely, if ever, drink, and it's definitely not a part of our social circle.  I'm sure your daughter will be able to find someone!  It's not a unicorn thing, I really don't think--at least once college is over.

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I had a whole list of requirements for my future husband back in my youth. The love of my life doesn't match that "perfect" list but he's amazing in so many ways that go past what I thought was important then.

My dad used to drink socially, but my mom felt that if you had any alcohol, you were a drunk, so he gave it up for her.

I don't think any of my siblings except one regularly have alcohol. In fact, I've never seen three of them have any alcohol. I personally don't like the smell of beer/whiskey or the taste of wine. But I'm glad I didn't completely write off my now DH based on something that doesn't really determine what type of a person he is.

DH & I joke that it was good that we didn't meet in high school. Neither one of us would have given the other the time of day. I was one of those girls he avoided as being shallow. I would have looked down on him because I was shallow and wouldn't have appreciated his worth.

OP, I hope your daughter is willing to keep an open mind about what the future holds. (I know some college males who aren't 21 yet who don't drink but they may in the future.)

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13 hours ago, Medicmom2.0 said:

I feel like attitudes towards drinking have changed a lot, too.  When I was growing up entrenched in the evangelical world, alcohol was absolutely forbidden. Not even champagne at a wedding was acceptable.

20 years later there just isn’t that attitude.  It seems to have shifted to a glass of wine with dinner, craft beer on a Saturday type of lifestyle.  I could be wrong, but I have just seen a lot of relaxing attitudes about alcohol in the Christian community. Drunkenness is not acceptable, but craft beer and classic wines are the hip thing to do.

one of my best friends in college had the same hard line—she did not want to marry a man who drank alcohol, ever. Part of it was religious and part of it was that she was convinced her non-religious dad was a closer alcoholic(he enjoyed beers with the guys on weekends, but she was so black and white that any regular alcohol consumption was alcoholism).   She also wanted a man with a commitment to no debt and similar educational levels and religious beliefs as her. It’s been 20 years and she still hold to her high standards. Unfortunately she has never met anyone who met them.

This is what I've noticed too.  The same people who were absolutely against any alcohol in high school and college are now finding it fine, if used responsibly.  I know very few people who are complete teatotalers, but if they are, it's more for family alcohol abuse problems rather than religious reasons.

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7 hours ago, marbel said:

Hmmm... when I  notice that someone doesn't drink (which I probably wouldn't notice unless I offered alcohol and it was refused) I don't think anything about their religion or lack thereof. I don't even jump to "they never drink" unless I'm told that they don't.  Sometimes someone who is normally a drinker just doesn't want to drink for whatever reason (medication, not in the mood, driving... the possibilities are endless).  

Most of the time, when people come to my house, I point them to the drinks table and don't even know if they took wine, sparkling water, lemonade, or what. Or mixed things together. 🙂

Me neither. I was just responding to someone who said people think she is very religious because she doesn’t drink and then are surprised to find out she is agnostic. With the possible exception of my brother, a fairly heavy drinker, who thinks I generally don’t drink because I’m too straight laced and uptight, I have no idea what anyone thinks when I say no thanks to the offer of a drink, and I honestly don’t care.

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I agree with the others that you daughter maybe needs to just find the right circle of friends.

And as far as a future spouse, she only needs to find *one* man who is a teetotaler.  He may be harder to find, but he is out there somewhere.

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I have no idea how many, but I am sure they exist. I wouldn't go around asking or expecting them to announce it.  I would just interact and make friends and leave the "selection" side of things for after I knew people better.  If your daughter consistently says no thanks to alcohol, like-minded people will find her.

(Isn't drinking alcohol illegal in most settings until age 21?  I mean I know people cheat, but there must be enough freedom to "not" drink given that it's illegal for most students.)

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On 8/26/2019 at 9:10 AM, alisoncooks said:

I feel like, in the last 10-15 years, I'm seeing social drinking much more accepted amongst my religiously conservative friends. 

 Also, I think the "mommy wine culture" has totally normalized drinking, as well.

I am a teetotaler, but I am okay with reasonable and responsible alcohol use, but I would probably define that very narrowly due to the number of people I know who really do drink too much even though they drink responsibly. I don't personally like alcohol.  I know a lot of people who are teetotalers, but I don't know that many that hold a hard line on it. For most it's a personal choice. I know a lot of people that will use alcohol to cook but not to drink. 

I've always known a mix of people with a mix of opinions on this, inside and outside of church. Many of the people I know who are both Christians (I am) and teetotalers are not theoretically opposed to the occasional drink but either have no desire to drink or have chosen to avoid it due to bad experiences in their families.

I think it's healthy that there is a broader view of drinking among some denominations, but I think it can lead to pressure for people who don't drink to adopt the habit (in some circles) to fit in. There is still a lot of pressure to conform in some religious circles. 

I have attended two Southern Baptist churches since college (was non-denom growing up), and they are both primarily tee-totaling. There are a few people who drink, and no ones makes a big deal out of it. Usually leadership is expected to not drink--in one church it's formalized, and in the other, I don't think it is. In that church, it might even be considered acceptable but not ideal to drink for leadership, but I am not sure. It is definitely a big thing to be Reformed and drink for some reason, but I do know a few Presbyterians that are dry. 

On 8/26/2019 at 11:51 AM, Ktgrok said:

Isn't there an old joke  about this? Like, if you take one Baptist fishing with you he'll drink all your beer, but if you take two baptists they won't touch it because they won't want to get caught by another baptist?

Our SBC church had a guest speaker who told this joke from the pulpit--it's become a favorite in our family. I had never heard it, lol! 

On 8/26/2019 at 12:23 PM, Medicmom2.0 said:

I feel like attitudes towards drinking have changed a lot, too.  When I was growing up entrenched in the evangelical world, alcohol was absolutely forbidden. Not even champagne at a wedding was acceptable.

20 years later there just isn’t that attitude.  It seems to have shifted to a glass of wine with dinner, craft beer on a Saturday type of lifestyle.  I could be wrong, but I have just seen a lot of relaxing attitudes about alcohol in the Christian community. Drunkenness is not acceptable, but craft beer and classic wines are the hip thing to do.

Yep. Honestly, I think this was the more traditional view for a long time, but when temperance became a movement, it shifted.

On 8/26/2019 at 2:12 PM, Ktgrok said:

The other one is that Jews do not recognize Jesus as their Savior, Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the head of the Church, and Baptists do not recognize each other at the liquor store. 

Ha! 

OP, maybe your DD will meet enough people who drink carefully/rarely that she'll find someone that she trusts regardless of their views on alcohol. Or maybe a light drinker that would agree to just not drink--lots of people abstain voluntarily due to positions in their church. While I am a teetotaler, DH is only one because of his current volunteering at church. Before that, it was a very rare treat for him. I always ask him to let me know if he plans to drink--I trust him, but I feel better if I know. I think part of it is due to unfair expectations I've had put on me. I once worked somewhere where alcohol was actually consumed on site after work once a month (sanctioned at a work function), and many Christians who worked there (big variety of denominations) drank lightly, but due to where I attended college, it was assumed I would not drink--people would sort of nicely flip out if I had an IBC rootbeer until they looked closely at the bottle. I had even been asked about my views on alcohol, so they knew I didn't consider it a sin to drink, just to get drunk. Ironically, my DH went to the same college, my co-workers knew it, but if my DH was at a work function of mine and drank, they didn't care. But I wanted to know he was going to in case I got some gentle flack about it. I never could figure that one out, lol! 

My teetotaler relatives are all over the map, but most just want a heads-up or a "Do you mind if..." before people partake at their home. If people aren't getting drunk or drinking a bunch, they don't mind. It's kind of telling who won't "ask" and who will--it says more about how they perceive the teetotalers than about the teetotaler's view of alcohol, IMO. 😉 (And no, it's not about them being considerate--there is more to it than that. Sometimes they'll leave a family gathering as a group specifically to have a drink clandestinely. Meanwhile, others who stayed at the event will ask the host teetotaler if they mind and then pop open a beer or have a glass of wine.)  

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5 hours ago, SKL said:

 

(Isn't drinking alcohol illegal in most settings until age 21?  I mean I know people cheat, but there must be enough freedom to "not" drink given that it's illegal for most students.)

 

A person choosing not to drink because it is illegal for them to and a person who is opposed to drinking are two very different things.  From the OP, it appears the dd is looking for a partner who has no interest in drinking and doesn't want it being a part of her future family life.  So, someone who refrains from drinking until 21 to obey the law isn't necessarily a good match for the dd.

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On 8/26/2019 at 12:58 AM, PeterPan said:

See, I'm so out of the loop, I don't even know what an alcoholic ice cream drink IS, lol. 

For example - 

Kahlua and coffee and really good vanilla ice cream - yum! 

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On 8/25/2019 at 10:58 PM, PeterPan said:

See, I'm so out of the loop, I don't even know what an alcoholic ice cream drink IS, lol. 

Look up grasshoppers, at least the ones made with lots of ice cream. It’s basically like a mint shake with some alcohol. Maybe they are more common in the Midwest where I grew up? It’s the only place I’ve ever had one, and then always shared among many people as a dessert.

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Seven Day Adventist don’t drink. My husband’s brother is an evangelist and abstain from alcohol for religious reasons but his dad keep trying to push beer on him 😞

My alcoholic cousin has an alcoholic dad who is very abusive when drunk so no guarantees that kids of alcoholic parents will be teetotalers.

My family of origin drinks a small glass of champagne or sherry to celebrate the New Year. Once a year drinking counts as teetotalers category for medical purposes. 

The young adults who are my friends’ kids all drink a little for Christmas and New Year’s Eve with family but don’t drink otherwise. My relatives who are young adults drink a little at relatives’ weddings but none of them drive (because their moms would be the designated safe drivers).

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1 hour ago, hjffkj said:

 

A person choosing not to drink because it is illegal for them to and a person who is opposed to drinking are two very different things.  From the OP, it appears the dd is looking for a partner who has no interest in drinking and doesn't want it being a part of her future family life.  So, someone who refrains from drinking until 21 to obey the law isn't necessarily a good match for the dd.

I understand that.  My point was that peer pressure sometimes makes people feel like they need to act against their personal preference re alcohol as with other things, but in a college community, people could, if they chose, fall back on the law to resist the pressure.

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