Wanna go for a drink? Asking someone out for a drink is probably one of the oldest and most clichéd first moves when dating or showing that you want to be more than just friends with a person. Yes, I know lots of people will opt for a coffee, but just as many will interpret, or expect it to mean an alcoholic drink at a bar. But what happens if the suggestions of an alcoholic drink is a major trigger? Some people just don’t drink, either for health, personal or religious reasons. Sometimes those reasons might be something as simple as they are watching their weight and alcohol is loaded with calories. For others it might be due to an allergic reaction, many people of Asian heritage suffer from Alcohol flush reaction (AFR) or ‘alcohol intolerance’, believed to be due to a faulty version of the ALDH2 gene which breaks down acetaldehyde, a substance in alcohol. But it might be because they are recovering alcoholics and cannot risk slipping back into dangerous habits. Finding love in recovery in the West where alcohol plays a big part in courting, dating and general socialising can be difficult. But luckily the internet has a solution and dating without alcohol, like being a vegan or vegetarian, no longer makes you some kind of outsider, in fact it might actually have a whole heap of benefits.
Dating Without Alcohol (Benefits)
The guy orders a beer, a glass of wine for the lady. It’s so played out it’s almost comical. But you’ll see this scene reacted in bars pretty much anywhere in the world where alcoholic drinks are readily available (well, pre COVID times anyway). The benefits of having a drink while on a date mean you always have someone to do with your hands where you’re nervous, you can peel the label from the bottle of beer, reposition your wineglass. Reach out to take another sip from your beverage whenever there is an uncomfortable silence, or you need to break eye contact. And everyone knows that a couple of alcoholic drinks do calm your nerves, a few more help you lose your inhibitions, open up a bit more, probably become a bit more funny, but a few more after that and things might get a bit fuzzy. You might reveal a bit more than you should have done to a stranger on a first date, did you talk about your ex? Or maybe you can’t actually remember everything you said and did or maybe you embarrassed yourself in front of someone that you actually really liked. Or did you end up going home with that person when you promised yourself that that wouldn’t happen?
When you go a on a date where alcohol isn’t involved you are in control and you don’t wake up with a hangover and head full of fuzzy memories.
Sober Date Ideas
If your potential date suggests going for an alcoholic drink and you decline and they persist, that should probably be a red flag. Everyone has their own preferences and stepping out of their comfort zone can be difficult, but if they won’t budge on a small thing like this in the early days, you might want to consider the dynamics of any potential relationships with this person. However, if they are keen to embrace sober dating then there are lots of options avaiable to you both. In fact, during these socially distanced times, not sitting in an enclosed public space might be one of the best things you can do. How about just going for a walk? There are a number of benefits to a walking date, the act of walking with increase your heart rate sending more oxygen to your brains, making your conversation sharper, and helping to coaxed out that flirty back-and-forth. Even mild exercise will help releases endorphins giving you both a mild ‘buzz’ that you would normally have gained from a few drinks, but with the added benefit of being free and no hangover the next morning. Embrace the outdoor vibe, avoid the virus and go to an outdoor food festival, ice skating, an outdoor cinema screening or just do something you have wanted to do for ages but not found anyone to do it with yet. The sober (outdoor) world is your oyster!
Sober Dating Apps & Websites
While most people are aware that people of Muslim faith don’t drink alcohol, many of the major religions, while not prohibiting the consumption of alcohol, discourage it. Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism all discourage the drinking of alcohol, but that doesn’t mean you have to seek someone from one of these religions to avoid a liquid lunch date. There is a growing number of sites and Apps like Loosid, an App specifically designed for people ‘living and thriving’ with sobriety. This doesn’t mean that you have to be someone who is living a life battling alcohol and substance misuse, it can simply mean that you have chosen to live a life without drugs and alcohol, and would like to meet someone with similar life goals. Loosid is more than just a dating App, it is more a community and has been featured in major publications such as Forbes, Elite Daily, abcNews and Reuters to mention a few, and it’s not just a niche App, it has over 50,000 downloads on the Google Play Store and a similar number in the App Store.
The year 2020 will go down in history as the year with the most curve balls thrown at us in one go. While a whole host of bad news has filled out feeds, there has also been some positive events, with all this time in lockdown people have been focusing on self-improvement, learning a new language, getting fitter and healthier, renovating their homes and gardens, starting businesses, volunteering, and cutting out or reducing their alcohol intake. One thing the year that 2020 will be remembered for is that the notion of dating without alcohol is not only perfectly acceptable, it might actually be a move in the right direction.