It’s so common to meet up at a bar for a first date, or grab a glass of wine with dinner at a nice restaurant. In fact, most people don’t think twice about it. So when you stop drinking, how do you keep dating?
More and more people are choosing an alcohol-free lifestyle. But it seems as though every gay dating profile features people holding glasses of wine and bottles of beer. Don’t panic. It is possible to meet someone special, even when you want or need to stay alcohol-free. Whatever your reasons for staying sober, it doesn’t mean you can’t find romance. You don’t have to give your reasons for not drinking, but your dating profile should make it clear that you don’t. And remember that even if it doesn’t feel like it, there’s someone out there looking for someone just like you. So, here are some tips to help you navigate the wild world of gay dating without drinking:
1. Be upfront and honest immediately.
It’s important to know what you are getting into when dating someone. It will be much smoother from the get-go if you tell the truth right off the bat. It may not be easy to tell at first, but doing so right away will set the tone for the relationship. It’s a common fear that a potential partner may no longer be interested if they find out you are sober while they are not. But if that’s the case, they probably weren’t a person worth keeping around anyway.
2. Find people who are worth dating.
You’re sober, stable and on the prowl. Problem is, you have no clue where to meet potential love connections now that pub-crawling isn’t an option. Where to find cuties who are cool with your new lifestyle? Try asking supportive friends whether they know any awesome guys who aren’t big drinkers. You can also try the ever-evolving world of online gay dating and download gay dating apps such as Gay Dating Solutions. Like attracts like.
3. Meet somewhere that doesn’t serve alcohol.
You’ve been flirting online with Mr. Smith via Gay Dating Solutions for a week when he asks if you’d like to meet up. You say yes. He asks where. You freeze! Now take a deep breath… When someone who doesn’t know you’re alcohol-free asks where you’d like to go on a first date, it’s best to suggest a quiet spot where alcohol isn’t readily available. Meeting for coffee or tea is a great first date option; there’s no lengthy dinner service to endure, so if he doesn’t float your boat, you’re free to bail post-latte.
4. Get moving.
Ask your date to join you in a physical activity that you enjoy or have always wanted to try. An afternoon of horseback riding, hiking or swimming could be an exciting alternative to the typical “dinner-and-a-movie.” If your date has an adventurous streak, sign up for an introductory rock-climbing class or plan a day of white-water rafting.
5. Learn subtle flirting techniques.
When sober dating, it’s harder to feel uninhibited when you’re not tipsy, so get used to the idea of subtle style flirting techniques, like frequently patting your prey on the knee or arm, maintaining steady eye contact, and smiling and laughing at his better jokes. You might feel too shy to bust a move without the help of vodka’s loosening properties, but if you let your interest and intentions be known subtly, your date should get the hint.
If the chemistry is kicking and you feel like you’ll explode if he doesn’t touch you, take the initiative and invite him upstairs for tea or hot cocoa at the end of the date. Remember, “come upstairs” is pretty clear in any language — drunk or not.
Dating without alcohol doesn’t have to be as hard as it sounds. If they ask why you don’t drink, be coy. Unless you want to pop open a can of inappropriate, be evasive when your date asks why you don’t drink. Remember, it’s just a date — you have the right to reveal personal details about yourself as slowly as you want.