9/23/2012 9:07 PM
Dating is tough. It can be nerveracking to meet up with someone new, but many people combat that fear by cozying up to a little liquid courage—a glass of wine or a beer before they head out the door to meet their date. But if you've given up drinking, dating can be a little awkward, especially since many first dates often involve "getting a drink." So how can you avoid feeling pressured to drink while dating, and how can you avoid feeling alienated? And, more importantly, what are some fun, alcohol-free dates?
Quitting a bad habit is tough, and being around people that still indulge can be hellish for some people, especially if they are battling an addiction (think about how much harder it is to quit smoking if all your friends and co-workers smoke). But if you've made it a point to stay sober, going on dates with people who aren't in that same lifestyle can feel a little uncomfortable.
In order to keep from feeling like you're being left out because you don't drink, or feeling like the other person feels uncomfortable drinking in front of you, it may be helpful to drink something that isn't alcoholic but looks like it—for example, a Coke or tonic water with a wedge of lime. This can put everyone at ease, and it takes pressure off of you.
As for non-drinking dates you can go on, basically any date can be alcohol free as long as the premise doesn't center on drinking—that is, no brewery tours or vineyard visits. Things like sports events, getting dinner, seeing a show or movie, or going out to, yes, a bar can be easily made into sober events. Although going to a bar is probably not the most ideal outing, you can use the aforementioned tip when trying to blend in.