5 Top Tips for Sober Dating
We’re well in to Stoptober now and, whether you’ve given up the booze for a month or knocked it on the head for good, it could be having an affect on your social life. It’s quite easy to fall back on the Dutch courage that a large wine or three will bring out in you, to stem the nerves and to up your confidence, but it doesn’t need to be that way.
My conscious love life journey started when I became sober and it has given me the inner guidance to listen and feel what is right when it comes to my love life. I know sober dating can seem a scary thought but it means we waste less time, save energy and emotions on people that just aren’t right for us. I’m not suggesting you sign up to complete sobriety for the long term as there is definitely a place for mindful drinking but if we want to become completely conscious in our love lives the first few dates should definitely be alcohol-free.
Here are my five top tips to help you kick-start your conscious love journey of sober dating:
Honesty is the best policy when it comes to sober dating. I will always make someone aware of the fact I’m not drinking before I go on the date. That way if they truly don’t want to go on a sober date or date someone sober in the long term you have already saved yourself wasting time on someone who, quite frankly, wouldn’t have been right for you. When someone says ‘Shall we go for a drink?’ I always respond with ‘Yes but mine will be a ginger ale’. This then allows the conversation to open in a natural way without making it into a big deal. It’s best to manage expectations before you go, especially if they are planning the date. It will avoid you being taken to somewhere like a wine bar where they probably won’t have much on the menu you can drink and it won’t be enjoyable for either of you. Some people may not be on board with your new conscious lifestyle which is also fine, but laying honest foundations is crucial to setting you on the path to finding someone in total alignment with who you are.
Totally own the fact you won’t be drinking and feel confident that you will be turning up to the date being the best version of yourself. You want to create a healthy and conscious relationship and you will only do this by being healthy and conscious within yourself. This choice is something to be proud of and the person that is right for you will be intrigued, open and on board with trying a sober date. The more confident we are in our choices, the more confident and at ease others will be.
Sober dating is the perfect opportunity to broaden your horizons and do something different. It’s the chance to go bowling, play table tennis, challenge someone to a game of darts, play mini-golf, go axe throwing, pottery making, try an exercise class you have always wanted to do or go on a sober bar crawl. The beauty of not drinking is it makes you explore different things and gives you the chance to be creative instead of just going for a drink. The best bit? You have tried something new, truly connected with someone and wake up hangover free.
FIND A DRINK YOU LOVE
Not drinking doesn’t have to be boring as there are so many amazing alternatives that are just as interesting as the real deal. Finding a drink you love on a night out will make all the difference and even allow you both to try something different together. For spirits that taste like the real deal but without the alcohol, check out Lyre’s Spirit Co – whether your tipple may be pink gin, rum, or even triple sec – there’s something for everyone.
GO WITH YOUR GUT
Our emotions are our guidance system and are to be listened to and usually our gut feeling is the right feeling. When we become conscious with our lives we are able to tune into this more readily. Sometimes, situations just don’t feel quite right, no matter how much the person might seem perfect for us on paper. Since being sober I have found this invaluable when navigating my dating life as it allows me not to force anything with someone and just go with the flow. That doesn’t mean writing someone off straight away but it does mean using the initiative to walk away when the situation is no longer serving you. It gives you the strength to know when to call time on something instead of trying to make something work, or trying to make someone more ready for a relationship than they actually are. There is a massive value in just trusting the process and learning from our experiences, no matter how painful they can be.
To help you on your sober dating journey, here’s a collection of my favourite bars, serving great non-alcoholic beverages:
Want to impress? Look no further than The Artesian bar at The Langham. Savour classic and innovative cocktails at this chic and glamorous bar, with plenty of alcohol-free options. The head bartender loves to be creative so if they don’t have something on the menu you like, just ask and they will happily make something bespoke for you.
Want to keep your date on the right track? Head to one of London’s best secret bars, a 1940s Cocktail bar set in an abandoned train station located in Soho’s Kingly Court. Join the scoundrels for underground cocktails, delicious drinks and late night entertainment.
Want to experience new heights together? Radio rooftop is one of London’s most iconic venues situated on the 10th Floor of Me London. Showcasing striking views across London’s impressive skyline. With drinks such as ‘Collins Drop’ and ‘Zero Temptation’ it won’t only be the views that will want you to come back for more.
Emily Syphas is the founder of Sober & Social; the new-age of socialising that provides fun, support and exciting, alcohol-free events at London’s premier venues for people living or exploring a teetotal lifestyle. @sober_and_social / @emilysyphas