There’s no doubt about it: sobriety has earned a new kind of cool. If you’re tired of hangovers and drunken sex, maybe now is the time to join the growing numbers of people going sober as the wellness and lifestyle choice.
You must have noticed people all over London shunning nights out at the local for healthy smoothies, hangover-free brunches and wellness retreats? For 30-somethings today, it’s become somewhat of a faux pas to drink. While our parents’ generation considered booze cool, we think it the opposite. Instead, connection, authenticity, and mindfulness are what’s catching on – which has HUGE benefits for your dating life.
If you feel daunted about the idea of dating without the confidence-boost that can come with cocktails, know that yes, you can date without alcohol. It might just be the best decision you’ve ever made for your love life. Here are a few tips is you’re considering trying dating sans alcohol
5 Things You Need to Know About Sober Dating
1. Dates don’t have to involve ‘grabbing drinks’
When you’re sober dating, it can feel like everything revolves around drinking. But you don’t have to fall back on the coffee shop date; get creative and suggest a walking route around a part of London you’ve never been to (or, even better, a part you know well so you can show your date your favourite hidden gems).
Try a museum or gallery or simply choose a public area where you can people-watch together. After all, the thing about a brilliant date isn’t necessarily what you’re doing, but the chance to communicate and get to know who you’re with.
As a dating coach, I work with people curious about sober dating to explore a few date-friendly coffee shops, juice bars, or cafes with evening hours. That way, when you suggest coffee after getting that “Drinks tomorrow?” text, you can simply say, “There’s this amazing organic juice bar in Camden. 7pm?”. This reply is better than ‘How about coffee?’ which can be perceived as, ‘I’m not that interested in you’.
Once you open your mind to what a date “should” look like, the possibilities are endless. London is one of the best cities in the world to explore with your date, so be imaginative.
2. Reveal only as much as you want
Choosing to be alcohol free can leave some people confused and asking a lot of questions. Major drag! Decide ahead of your date how much you want to give away about your sobriety. Never feel pressured to respond in a certain way.
Depending on your own long-term goals—whether you’re looking to permanently quit or take time off from drinking – a simple “I just don’t” or “I never feel good after drinking” usually does the trick. Say what you want to and what feels right, and remember that if somebody’s weirded out, they’re probably not for you.
3. Date deliberately
If you’re the type to accept any and all invitations to go out for drinks, and aren’t too picky about the company, sober dating could change all that. On the hunt for true love, you may have slept with people you weren’t really interested in or sat across from dates for hours even though you felt no chemistry.
With sober dating, the substance that matters the most is the personality of the person you’re choosing to spend time with. This is a clear-headed chance to be deliberate about who you are getting into relationships with instead of just waking up in them.Asa Baav
4. Hello real sex confidence
Feeling comfortable being naked without the bravado that can come with alcohol can be an adjustment. And if you feel uncomfortable being naked in front of someone, it could be a sign that you’re not quite ready to have sex with them yet, no matter how body-positive you are. Either way, you’re bound to be more in tune with the messages your body is sending now that your mind is clear.
In sobriety, the act of sex itself might be approached in a different way too. Instead of an impulsive decision, there might be more of a buildup, and a thoughtful graduation to a deeper and fuller relationship when it’s the right time.
5. Feel for true connections
Dating is a two way street and sober or not, you need to actually get along without any, erm, lubricant. Don’t worry about the conversation drying up on the first date; when you’re sober and really connecting with someone, you’ll have even more amazing conversations about the universe, TV shows, travel and food. Even better? You’ll actually remember them the next day.
Don’t let the disappearance of alcohol hold you back from meeting people, discovering fun activities in London, and trying new things. Remember, being booze free and feeling healthy will actually liven you up – not the opposite!