With or without alcohol, the dating scene can prove to be really stressful. When you don’t drink, it may feel even more complicated to navigate.
What is Dry Dating?
Dry dating means when you go on dates, alcohol isn’t involved. A lot of the dating world seems to revolve around going out for a drink, or having alcohol with or after dinner. Dry dating is a necessary part of sobriety, and fortunately this type of dating is becoming more mainstream. Dating without alcohol has its benefits whether you’re sober or not. though; people find that when they remove alcohol from the dating scene they don’t have to worry about putting themselves in dangerous situations or acting out of character. Oftentimes, dry dating also leads to more meaningful conversations, and you can decide if there is a real, genuine connection.
There are some things you’ll want to keep in mind. It’s important to be sure you're going out with someone who respects your choices, and who's following a path that works for you. Whether you're comfortable around others who drink, or you need to stay away from it completely, dry dating may be challenging, but it's worth it.
Challenges With Dating While Sober
Dating in general comes with its own challenges, and there are a couple of big hurdles to face while dating sober. Luckily, you can overcome both of them with strong boundaries and good communication. The first challenge is simply finding someone who shares your thoughts on sobriety, so you don't have to worry about situations coming up that may make you uncomfortable. The second challenge is finding things to do that don't involve drinking, especially if going out for a drink is common in your area.
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Tips for Dating Without Alcohol
There are some great ways to date and have a good time without involving alcohol. Here are our tips so you and your date can have fun and get to know each other, without the pressure to drink.
Choose a Sober Activity
Choosing a sober activity is key because it removes the stress of navigating around alcohol altogether. Plus, there are so many fun things to do that don't involve drinking at all! Consider kayaking, picnicking in the park, taking a walk, going to get coffee, ice cream, or hiking.
If you've struggled with alcohol you don't need to go into details with someone you just met, but it's helpful if you clarify that you don't drink alcohol from the go, even before you go on the first date. This sets the right expectation for the other person and communicates something important and non-negotiable about who you are. Honesty sets the right tone from the start and allows you to see how they respond, which is important. And remember: sobriety is a total asset! People who are turned off by it or place significant importance on drinking aren't going to be a match for you anyhow. Best to know right away!
Don’t forget to also be honest with yourself. If you have triggers that may come up on your date or after, make sure you know what they are and how to cope with them. For example, you might not be comfortable around alcohol at all, or you might need to avoid certain places due to memories. Don’t force yourself to struggle through a situation if it will set you back in your recovery journey. You want to feel safe around the person you’re dating.
Practice Self-Care and Mindfulness
A first date may feel stressful if you've used alcohol to calm your nerves in the past. Now you'll be looking for new tactics for sober dating. Breathing exercises are a good way to reduce the jitters, as is meditating, journaling, and talking to friends beforehand. These also work well if the date doesn’t go as well as expected. Remember that there will be better dates in the future.
Consider Sober Dating Apps
You aren't the only one who's out there looking for someone who is either living an alcohol-free lifestyle or doesn't place a big importance on drinking. Consider using apps like Loosid. Rather than use the more common apps to find a partner, consider using apps that are specifically designed for people focused on dating while sober.
Focus on Your Common Ground
Rather than focusing the conversation on alcohol, talk about your hobbies and interests, values, and about your goals. This way, you can you both see if there's a genuine and honest connection you want to pursue. If you both have a lot in common, whether or not either of you drinks may not be a dealbreaker.
We know dating can be hard but we have a community of like-minded individuals that get what you’re going through. The Luckiest Club community membership gives you access to daily meetings and a forum to discuss all things related to the sobriety journey. With meetings for men, women, the queer community, BIPOC, and more there’s a place for you! Contact us today to learn more.
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