When “Let’s grab drinks” feels like a natural follow-up to “Hi, how are you?
,” saying it's difficult to navigate the world of dating while sober is an understatement, despite the fact that it's estimated that about 30 percent of all Americans don't consume any alcohol.
It's kind of humiliating to recall the ludicrous number of possible love connections I’ve squashed by getting sloshed on a first or second date.
Even for a committed, drinker like myself, Dry January is proving very easy for three reasons: I have no money, I’m getting a bit fat, and I have an awful lot of work to do.After dating one dud after another, you finally find someone who seems to have it all – thoughtful, witty, responsible – and good-looking to boot.Then they drop a bomb: “I used to be a drug addict.” They may as well have said, “I’m married.” But does one partner being in recovery automatically spell doom for a relationship?So it was probably a good thing that I finally decided to stop drinking in the summer of 2006.By then I’d suffered more than my fair share of embarrassing nights out.Without the crutch of alcohol, I was convinced that my once-jumbled love life would fall easily into place. Right would surely be waiting for me (albeit at the local coffee shop instead of the next bar stool.)It sucked to discover that alcohol-free dating was still, well, : an ever-awkward dance of anticipation, expectations and artifice.And for those of us who don’t drink, dating can be even more of a mixed bag. Because, in case you missed the memo, most Americans are all about alcohol, especially when it comes to getting hitched (or laid.) We meet for happy hour at five, dine with wine at seven, meet lovers at a bar later on, and make every excuse to have another round.But it sucked to discover that alcohol-free dating was still, well, When I said goodbye to alcohol and all its attendant drama, I never intended to bid farewell to dating, period.I saw my romantic future shimmering atop a cotton-candy cloud of contentment and stability.Yeah, there’s the coffeehouse date, a sober standby, but Lara Frazier, 33, of Dallas, who's been sober for three years, says it’s possible to get more creative.“I think it’s fun to grab coffee, but also to go on a hike or meet at a walking trail. Go people-watch at a public area and just get to know each other,” she says.