There was a time in my life when thinking about being sober while dating would have terrified me. In fact, once upon a time, my online dating profile included the line, “If you don’t drink, don’t message me.” Drinking was a necessary part of my dates and my life. But times have changed and I’m now someone who navigates the world as a sober lady. And, it turns out, there are lots of us! If you find yourself interested in dating a woman who doesn’t imbibe, here are some things you should know.
1. She doesn’t need to explain to you why she doesn’t drink.
If she declines an adult beverage and tells you that she doesn’t drink, that should be enough for you. Don’t ask if she’s sure, don’t pressure her, and don’t act surprised.
2. She’ll tell you her reasons for not drinking when she’s ready to.
There are lots of reasons that people don’t drink, and all of them are personal. When she’s ready to tell you hers, she will. Don’t push.
3. Just because she doesn’t drink doesn’t mean she isn’t fun.
I know it might be hard to believe, but it is possible to have fun without drinking! You can dance, you can laugh, you can talk until 3 a.m. And there’s nothing uptight about someone who can drop her inhibitions without a drop of alcohol!
4. Some people might feel comfortable being around people drinking—some might not.
Different people feel differently about hanging around people who are drinking when they don’t. Don’t make assumptions. Ask her how she feels about it and respect her answer.
5. We really appreciate it when you have tasty non-alcoholic beverage options for us.
Nothing’s worse than opening a fridge to find that our only choices for something to drink are beer or tap water. If you know she’ll be coming over, maybe buy some flavored sparkling water? Sober people loveseltzer (seriously, it’s a thing).
6. She may not want to hook up with you if you’re trashed—don’t take it personally!
While drunk se.x can be a blast, it’s way less fun when one person is drunk and the other is sober. If she turns down your advances when you’re sloshed, sleep it off and wait until the morning. And appreciate that she wants you to be fully consenting and present for your hookups.
7. The se.x can be just as good—if not better—when she’s sober.
It is possible to have passionate, wild, toe-curling se.x with a woman who’s sober. And there’s nothing better than knowing that your partner is not only fully consenting but that she will remember every minute of your romp the next day.
8. Maybe don’t get totally plastered on your dates with her.
Save the drinking for your friends and stay sober(ish) for your hangouts with her.
9. It means a lot when you go out of your way to suggest activities that don’t revolve around drinking.
There are tons of places to go on dates that aren’t bars. Be creative and find things to do where drinking doesn’t take center stage. See a play, go to a museum, go to a baseball game (you’ll save tons of money if you’re not spending $9 per beer), take a walk, cook dinner together…the possibilities are endless!
10. There’s more to her than just the fact that she doesn’t drink.
Once you’ve established that she lays off the booze, try to avoid bringing it up all the time. She’s a fully rounded person, and the fact that she’s sober is just one thing about her, and chances are, it’s one of the least interesting things about her.
11. Tell her you love her when you’re sober—not just when you’re drunk.
This should apply to everyone, but there’s nothing more off-putting than a sober lady getting a drunk dial from her boyfriend and hearing a slurred “I love you” for the first time.
12. The fact that she doesn’t drink doesn’t make her a freak.
Don’t act so surprised! Don’t ask her, “But what do you do if you don’t drink?” Chances are she goes to work, hangs out with friends, bones people, and generally lives life—just like you.
13. Her sobriety won’t rub off on you.