“I could write a book about sober dating,” giggles Lesley. “I’m dating a sober guy now after a long relationship with a drinker. It’s so low-stress and fun and healthy and joyful and positive!” Lesley is 38 and her new man is 46. How did that happen as Lesley dated several 20-year-olds before she met this Main Man. He is more mature and he even swings by her house at 06h00 on a weekday morning to jump in the sea, watch the sunrise and grab a coffee together before the corporate working day begins.
Remember that sobre dating does not have to happen at night! When the world around you is sipping red wines and whiskeys and all you want to do is go home and die. Sober dating opens up an entire world of possibilities from hiking to the top of a mountain, swimming naked in a cold dam at dawn and running the dogs along the beach, to grabbing milkshakes on the go on the way to the zoo or ziplining across a mountainous forest.
This is Lesley’s story:
“Swimming, Strolling, and Stars: Adventures in Sober Dating”
In a world where dating often revolves around drinks at a dimly lit bar or a cocktail-fuelled dinner, the idea of sober dating might seem terrifying. It did for me after leaving a relationship after close to 20 years, five years after getting sober. That’s when I chose to embark on a new chapter, one that led me to the enriching world of sober dating. Here’s a glimpse into my journey, and why I believe sober dating could be the game-changer you’ve been searching for. The wonderful thing about sober dating is you’re completely in control.
- Coffee Talks that Brewed Connections – Coffee dates are my go-to choice for a reason. It’s a casual setting that allows you to focus on conversation without any alcohol-induced distractions. The result? Genuine connections and meaningful discussions.
- Diving into Love: Swimming Dates – We often underestimate the power of shared activities like swimming. It’s an intimate yet non-intimidating setting that allows you to be comfortable in your own skin. Experiencing vulnerability in this way can fast-track the process of getting to know someone on a deeper level. In the summer months, I managed to convince a few brave souls to take a dip in an icy tidal pool, followed by coffee.
- Strolls in the Park: Nature’s Playground – Nothing beats the simplicity of a walk outdoors. It’s an opportunity to engage in conversation, take in the beauty of nature, and discover shared interests. Plus, it’s budget-friendly and can be tailored to suit any pace, making it an ideal option for sober dates. Also, a win if you’re both dog people.
- Reaching for the Stars: Planetarium Adventures – A visit to the planetarium is a stellar choice for a date. It’s not only intellectually stimulating but also a unique experience that fosters a sense of wonder and curiosity. Sharing moments of awe and amazement can create a special bond between two people. This was one of the more unusual dates I went on but was really fun.
- Artful Encounters: Exploring Exhibitions – Art exhibitions offer a rich tapestry of emotions and perspectives, providing ample conversation starters. It’s a wonderful way to witness each other’s tastes, values, and interpretations of the world. This creative environment can lead to meaningful connections and shared artistic appreciation. Or not. But it’s something worth exploring.
- Dinner, or Not? – While dinners can be lovely, they aren’t the be-all and end-all of dating. Sober dating allows for a broader range of activities, breaking away from the traditional dinner-and-drinks routine. This opens up opportunities for more diverse and exciting experiences that truly reflect the interests and personalities of both individuals. I have become a complete early bird since getting sober so prefer daytime dates – it’s also less pressured.
- Taking Control, Gaining Insight – One of the most liberating aspects of sober dating is the sense of control. You get to choose the activities, the locations, and the pace. This empowers you to create an environment that feels safe and comfortable, allowing genuine connections to flourish.
- No More Stupid Mistakes – Let’s face it, wine plus dating usually doesn’t lead to the best outcomes. Sober dating eliminates the risk of making regrettable choices. You have a clear mind and a steady heart, ensuring that every decision is deliberate and authentic. And if you do decide to do something a little silly, it’s with your eyes open.
- A Sober Connection: The Ultimate Reward – My journey in sober dating led me to someone who shares my commitment to a sober lifestyle. This mutual understanding has deepened our connection and brought a level of trust and honesty that’s made it an incredibly easy and rewarding dynamic. I know for certain I will never date someone who drinks ever again. In the realm of dating, embracing sobriety has been a transformative experience for me. It’s opened doors to unique and memorable encounters, ultimately leading to a low-stress relationship that feels grounded and authentic.
Ellen is more cautious when it comes to sober dating. “If you do start dating, it would be better to date someone who has travelled the same sobriety road as you. My husband has always been sober and he definitely supports my sobriety but he doesn’t really understand what I went through to get here. For him, it has always been easy. I don’t know where you will find these people because people don’t really open up about these types of matters from the get-go.”
She is right, how does sober dating even begin if you don’t know the inner circles? Do you just join dating apps as Lesley did and wait for Mr Right or Ms Fine to arrive?
Mon is very cynical but that may be because she has a busy 4-year-old son and is a single mom: “Dating sober or drunk is a task on its own which I have no interest in taking on so it’s a no for me!”
These great tips about sober dating from Caggie Dunlop on Alcohol Change UK make sense:
- Let the other person know you don’t drink before the date.
- You don’t have to explain yourself.
- Being sober doesn’t mean you can only date sober people.
- You can be the one to make the first move.
- You eliminate the bad eggs much faster.
- Offer support to others who are dating.
Sober dating is not for sissies and you will need support to get out there and do it. Chat with us at Tribe Sober and find out if anyone else has tried sober dating, or meet your future date in Tribe Sober!
Listen to what Lily Shanks has to say about Sober Dating here. Lily is a recovering attorney who became a coach and one of the things that she helps people with is Relationship Coaching so today we’re going to focus on Sober Dating.
If your romantic relationships have always been lubricated with alcohol then this could be a skill you’ll need in your toolkit as you build your alcohol-free life.