Many times when you go on dates, your company might encourage you to drink. Someone asking to go out for drinks is standard in the dating world. Luckily, those who prefer a dry date are becoming more common.
Some people use alcohol on dates to calm their nerves, but other ways exist to get through these feelings. Plus, enjoying a fun night out without worrying about a hangover in the morning will make the experience so much more rewarding.
1. Find Ways to Relax
Meeting someone new for the first time can be nerve-racking, with or without alcohol. Drinking isn’t the best way to calm down anyway. You can prepare for the date with healthy strategies like deep breathing, talking to a friend or journaling.
If you’re worried about the location, do some research beforehand. See what the environment is like to know what you’re walking into. If it’s a restaurant, you can browse the menu and see if there are any mocktails you can indulge in instead.
2. Prioritize Your Needs
Drinking too much occasionally or over time seriously affects your health and body in many ways. Tell your date you like to avoid drinking and see their reaction. If they react negatively, it can be a sign you won’t mesh well in the first place. When both people show up sober, you can be fully present and remember what goes on during the date. You can also better judge whether you want to continue seeing the person.
Having a date that respects your decision will give you a glimpse of how they react to other needs you’ll have in the future. If they don’t respect your preference on the first date, it’s a significant sign they’ll do the same for any other boundaries in the relationship.
3. Get Creative With Dates
There’s much more to explore in the dating world beyond restaurants and bars. It seems like a safe option since everyone needs to eat, but why not get creative? Over 60% of U.S. adults need to engage in more movement. Try choosing a fun, active date where both of you can get involved — the activities can produce endorphins and boost positive feelings.
You can try going on a hike, bike riding or whatever sound like a fun date for you both. Getting active together can even boost intimacy and increase happiness. Sharing laughter and enjoyment of the activity will strengthen your bond.
4. Be Open and Honest
When you first meet someone, you don’t have to disclose everything about your life, but they may be curious about your decision to stay sober. Remember — you don’t have to explain anything if you don’t want to, but being honest and open helps the other person get to know you better. You can express how you like to date without alcohol since it lets you get to know people.
Many people find it surprising when someone is a nondrinker, so you will likely get questions about it. They’re typically curious about the choice and their reactions could reflect what their relationship with alcohol is like.
5. Be Intimate When You're Ready
Sometimes there can be a miscommunication about why you may be asked on a date. Whether you or your company are looking for something casual or more serious, it’s best to disclose the end goal of the date. Drinking dates can lead to getting intimate earlier than you expect. Alcohol is a depressant that numbs your body and insecurities, and can cause you to make decisions you wouldn’t sober.
Choosing to date while sober lets you take back control of clear decision-making. Whether you want to be intimate or the first date or not, you choose with a level mind without other substances influencing how you and your partner's date ends.
Date Sober for a Deeper Connection
Not everyone will be comfortable dating someone sober, which can be disheartening. However, remember that anyone who has a problem with your sobriety is not the person for you. Being the best version of yourself is all that matters. Follow these tips to make sober dating a breeze.
Written by Mia Barnes
Mia is a freelance writer and researcher with a passion for women’s health and wellness. Mia is also the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the healthy living online publication, Body+Mind Magazine.