Drinking and dating. It is a pairing that's nearly as synonymous as peanut butter and jam.
Whether you've been sober for some time or have just quit drinking, the thought of dating can seem daunting. Think about it: dating culture heavily revolves around alcohol. “Grabbing a glass or two sometime” has become the go-to date option. That isn't to state you cannot possess a great dating life while sober. It's just dependent on approach and perspective.
Having only been on the other side of the equation — on dates with people who don't drink — I've spoken to a number of my sober friends for insight. If you are dating while sober, here's a few tips to bear in mind.
- Mention it inside your profile & keep things light.
If you don't drink, be upfront about this. Sometimes the best way to avoid any potential awkwardness around the first date is to either mention it in your profile inside a fun, lighthearted way (“Into: Parks and Rec, guacamole & adventures. Not into: booze, bars & bros”) or in your initial messages having a prospective date. Example: a good friend of mine is sober so when we started hanging out, she messaged me and said, “FYI, I do not drink but I still love to have fun” — and she or he was right.
- Take charge of the conversation.
Yay! They're asking out. Boo! They want to go for a drink. This is the perfect moment to take the reigns and allow the body else know what your location is. It's not necessary to enter into a long explanation as to why you do not drink. Instead, just say something similar to, “that sounds awesome! I'm not really into bars, but there's this place I understand that has killer desserts/coffee/curry etc.” If a person is thrown off from your disinterest in drinking, they are not the right person for you anyways.
- It needn't be an offer breaker.
Decide what exactly you feel confident with when it comes to dating and booze, and respect those boundaries you set for yourself. For instance, you may simply want to date other sober people (if that's the case, mention it inside your profile!) or maybe, dating somebody that drinks is certainly not big a deal for you personally. Remember that there's a huge difference between somebody that enjoys a glass of pinot noir with dinner and someone who considers tequila shots and keg stands a suitable Wednesday morning activity.
- It's only awkward if you make it awkward.
Everyone has different, often complex reasons why they don't drink. Simply because you're interacting with someone online does not mean that they're eligible for your lifetime story. If you do not feel like getting into the reasons why you don't drink, just don't. Keep to the strategies above. You can share your reasons if/when you are feeling you can rely on them. Don't seem like you have to apologize for or explain your sobriety. Are you going to – simple as that.
- Use it as being a litmus test.
The friend who I mentioned above says she used to use her sobriety like a litmus test when she met potential partners (she's now happily engaged). If the guy thought it was weird that they didn't drink or designed a big deal about her sobriety, she knew he wasn't the right person for her. If a person comes with an issue with your sobriety, that says more about them than it does in regards to you.