These people, like yourself, deserve a fun and fulfilling dating life.
But, sober dating is a lot different from dating while using. You don’t have the effects of your substance to keep the nerves down. You also have to confront the truth about your past and present.
If you’re at a loss for how sober dating works, keep reading. Here are some tips and ideas for a fun and drink-free dating life.
Get Comfortable with Being Honest
A crucial part of recovery is honesty and self-awareness. You know you have a problem and that getting help is beneficial. When you’re comfortable saying that to yourself, it’s easier to say it to others.
Your first date with someone doesn’t have to be the time to tell them you’re in recovery. But, you don’t want to wait too long, either. This is a big part of your identity right now.
Decide the language you want to use when you tell your date that you’re a recovering addict. Be as honest with them as you are with yourself.
And, be honest about what you want from a partner. Does their sobriety matter to you? Are you comfortable being with someone who likes to party every weekend?
When you start getting to know someone, try to be as honest and open as you can. It’ll save you, and them, a lot of confusion and temptation later on.
Embrace the Nerves
As you likely know, alcohol can calm the nerves and jitters of going on a first date. You may feel tempted to numb those feelings with a drink.
Stay true to your journey and who you want to be.
Here’s the thing about dating nerves: they’re part of being a human. They show that you care about your future and want whatever you’re doing to go well. They can also be an indicator of what your gut feeling is about a person.
Resist the urge to numb these nervous feelings. Lean into them. Embrace what it feels like to get excited and nervous for a date because you care.
Beware of Replacement Addictions
Just as you can get addicted to alcohol, you can get addicted to dating. The feelings you get when someone you like approves of you can feel like a high. It makes you want to spend all your time with them to get those feelings.
Self-awareness is key when sober dating.
If you start to depend on dating a person to feel good, there’s a problem. Co-dependency is a very real problem for recovering addicts.
Transferring your dependence from one substance to another, or to a person, isn’t healthy. Ensure you continue to work on yourself while dating. Learn to love yourself so you don’t need another person to do it for you.
Where to Meet Singles
The traditional places for meeting people, like bars, are usually triggering. Where can you meet other singles without the temptation of alcohol?
Consider sober dating sites. These are websites that aim to connect recovering addicts with each other. Or, with people that are comfortable dating someone in recovery.
You can also meet people in places that don’t serve alcohol. Join an intramural sports team or a book club. Get involved with your community and see who you run into.
Suggest Dry Date Options
When you’ve met someone that you want to take on a date, where do you go? The typical date setting is a bar for drinks. Or, a dinner where alcohol gets served.
To avoid saying no to a non-sober place your date suggests, the be the one to suggest a location. Here are some of the many options for a sober date night.
Go Out for Coffee
Coffee dates are completely respectable settings to get to know someone. Plus, many coffee shops make specialty drinks. Ordering a soy-milk chai latte feels more special than a black coffee.
Some cafes hold events or provide activities. Consider going to a board game café for some Scrabble. Or an open mic night at a café to see some live music.
Have a Picnic
Do you enjoy cooking? Prepare a homemade meal to take on a picnic date.
Pack a blanket and non-alcoholic drinks. Choose a pretty park or field to set up your picnic. This is not only a romantic and fun option but a sober one too.
If you met this special someone at a fitness class or sports event, plan a similar date. You could try a new fitness class and get green smoothies together after.
Or, you could go for a hike. Walks are a great way to get to know each other without the pressure of across-the-table eye contact. Physical activity can help with the nerves a bit, too.
Morning and Lunch Dates
There’s no rule that says dates can only happen after sunset. Breakfast, brunch, and lunch dates can be just as romantic.
Plus, many daytime dining options are temptation-free. For most people, business hours aren’t for drinking. You can feel less pressure to have a drink if you have errands and things to do after.
Have a Tourist Date
This is a really fun idea to surprise your date with. Try being tourists in your city for a day.
If you live in a city with lots of visitors, join a tour. Sit on the top floor of the double-decker bus and learn about your city. Learning new things together is a fun way to bond.
Interested in Learning More Sober Dating Tips?
Follow the tips above to get comfortable being sober on a date. And, for sober dating ideas that won’t trigger your temptation.
If you need help with your addiction recovery, Stop Drinking Expert can help. Click here to find out more, get our free ebook and reserve your place at today’s free quit drinking webinar.