March 3, 2019

Sober Dating!

There are over 23 million Americans recovering from addiction. Some from alcohol, others from drugs, sex, shopping, and other vices.

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.

Find Sober Friends
Find Sober Friends

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.

Sober Dating
Sober Dating Is Fun… Really!

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.

Physical Activities

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.

sober sex

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?

Whether you’ve been sober for years or are considering the sober life, dating is stressful. But, it doesn’t have to be.

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.


  • Craig Beck ABNLP. ABHYP. DHYP. ICS

    Craig Beck has been an alcohol cessation therapist for twelve years. He has helped over 200,000 people using his personal experience and professional training in the field of addiction recovery.

    After struggling with his alcohol addiction, Craig went on a journey of self-discovery and learning, studying the underlying causes of alcohol addiction and how to overcome it. He has since become a board-certified Master Practitioner of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), The American Board of Hypnotherapy certified therapist, and an ICS-certified life coach specializing in alcohol addiction recovery.

    Craig's personal experience with alcohol addiction gives him a unique perspective on the challenges of quitting drinking. He understands the emotional and psychological factors contributing to addiction and knows how to help people overcome them.

    In addition, Craig's formal training and certifications provide him with the knowledge and skills to develop effective strategies and techniques for addiction recovery. The Stop Drinking Expert approach to alcohol addiction uses a unique combination of CBT techniques and NLP reframing.

    Craig's qualifications are evident in his successful track record helping people quit drinking. Craig Beck is the author of several alcohol addiction books, such as "Alcohol Lied to Me" and "The Alcohol Illusion".

    His website,, provides a comprehensive guide on how to quit drinking, including practical tips, strategies, and resources for recovery.

    Overall, Craig Beck's expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness are evident in his work, making him a reliable and trustworthy mentor and coach for your addiction recovery.

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