Dating sober isn’t always the easiest thing to do. A large part of modern dating often revolves around socializing during the evenings, which in turn can often involve meeting at a bar, or over food. However, this fact doesn’t mean it’s impossible, or that you should give up on the idea of dating while sober. The biggest hurdle that many sober people will face when dating is telling their date that they’re sober. This can be awkward and difficult to get out, and you don’t always know how the person is going to react. The important thing to remember is that if this person is truly a good match for you, they will accept you as you are and support you no matter what.
You’re Not Alone
The good news is that there are plenty of sober people out there to date. If you’re looking for a sober love match, there are so many different online dating sites that cater to the sober population to choose from. When you use sites like these, there is no door for you to hide behind or anything dramatic to unveil, everyone there is on the same page.
If you’d rather date the old fashion way or aren’t necessarily looking for someone else sober, it can easily feel like you’re the only sober single person on the planet. In reality, you aren’t along in your sobriety. Drinking and dating aren’t a match made in heaven, and other people are starting to catch onto the benefits of dating sober. Nearly 35 percent of people on a first date said they don’t enjoy drinking while dating and never have a drink on their first date.
Benefits of Dating Sober
Writer and editor Laura Barcella put it best when she said, “The biggest benefit of not drinking on a first date is that you see everything clearly, so you can more honestly assess whether you're having fun and enjoying the person you're with. There's no false insta-chemistry or beer goggles.”
There are many benefits of dating sober that make it worth your while. The most difficult part of the sober dating ritual is telling the person you’re with that you’re sober. While a seemingly daunting task, with a little strategy and practice it can become second nature. Below are five great ways to let your date know you’re sober so you can both enjoy a fun and romantic alcohol-free evening together.
- Always Be Upfront About It: No matter how nervous or hesitant you may be, you should always be upfront with your date about being sober. You owe both yourself and your date the courtesy of telling them this important fact about you. It’s not fair to blindside your date with this information halfway through. Plus, getting it out of the way at the beginning or even before you go on the date can make it much less awkward during dinner when you politely decline to see the wine list.
- Tell Them You’re Doing it For Your Health: A lot of people, when you tell them that you’re sober, want to know why exactly. If you aren’t ready to dive into the nitty gritty details of your sobriety, you can always tell them you’re doing it for health reasons. You don’t have to feel bad about lying to them, because being sober is incredibly beneficial to both your mental and physical health.
- Let Them Know You’ve Embraced the Sober Lifestyle: When you tell some people that you’re sober, they may think you’re doing it for a short period of time or it’s just a fad that you’re going through. Make sure you’re open and honest with your date and let them know that your sobriety is a long term lifestyle commitment that you don’t plan on changing anytime soon.
- Explain Your Drinking Past: If you’re feeling comfortable with your date, it may be a good idea to let them in a little on your past experiences with drinking. Giving your date some context as to why you choose to be sober may increase understanding and willingness to accept and support your choices. Explaining your drinking past to your date is also a way to let them know that you’re a human who makes mistakes, but that you’ve learned from them and your past doesn’t define who you are today.
- Tell Them You Don’t Like the Person You Are When You’re Drunk: If your date thinks you’re funny and charming while sober, let them know that they definitely would not have enjoyed the drunk you. Telling your date that you didn’t like the person you were when you were drunk can help them understand your choice to get sober and appreciate how your lifestyle has led to the likeable date sitting across from them.
Remember that while telling your date you’re sober upfront is a great strategy for clearing the air, different people have different styles of sharing their sobriety. If you’d rather wait until the topic of sobriety comes up on its own on the second or third date, more power to you. Just remember that most dates, unless carefully planned, will include some interaction with alcohol so be prepared to have an answer to the common question of "Why aren’t you drinking?"
However you decide to tell your date you’re sober, keep in mind that avoiding this topic will only make it worse when you eventually have to come clean about your sobriety. Being open and honest with your date can make your night go so much smoother and ease your anxieties about dating sober.