Generally speaking, the concept of sobriety has become more mainstream in recent years, which has led to a greater awareness of the benefits of sober living, including better physical and mental health, stronger relationships, and improved overall well-being.
As a result, many people are choosing to lead sober lifestyles, either as a result of a personal choice or after experiencing the negative consequences of addiction. This has created a demand for sober dating options, where people can meet and connect with others who share similar values and lifestyles.
Another reason for the rise of sober dating is the growing popularity of online sober dating apps and websites, or the more mainstream apps adding filters that allow you to look for people that also don’t drink or do drugs. These platforms have made it easier than ever before to meet new people and find potential partners that are wanting to build a strong connection with another person who has shared values and interests, such as not drinking alcohol or doing drugs.
Overall, the rise of sober dating reflects a larger cultural shift towards healthier and more conscious living. As more people recognise the benefits of sobriety and seek out ways to connect with others who share their values, the demand for sober dating options is likely to continue to grow – especially as we head into spring and summer and people go on more first dates.
Why alcohol-free first dates are more likely to be a success
There are many benefits of going on an alcohol-free first date, however, here are some of the most significant benefits:
You’ll have a more authentic connection
When people are sober, they are more likely to be themselves and show their true personality, which can lead to a more authentic and meaningful connection between you both. Whilst seeing them for who they are may result in you realising that they’re not your type, you’ll at least not have any regrets about spending time together as you’ll have given it your all, and vice versa.
You’ll be more present at the moment
When you’re sober, you’ll be able to focus on your date and pay attention to what they are saying. This means that you won’t miss any important details about their life or interests, however, similarly, they’ll get to know you better too; Not being under the influence of alcohol (or drugs) will make it easier for you to talk about yourself and share things about your life.
You’ll be surer of whether it was a good or bad first date
Without alcohol, both you and your date are more likely to be present and focused on the conversation, as well as the experience of getting to know each other. This means increased clarity and focus – which will make it easier for you to form an opinion on whether you’d like to see the person again, or not.
You’re more likely to make good decisions
Alcohol can sometimes impair communication and lead to a misunderstanding, which can be extremely awkward on a first date. However, if both people are sober and drinking alcohol free mixers, you’re more likely to choose good decisions and stay clear of any red-flag topics for a first date, such as talking about politics, exes or other.
You’re more likely to go on a fun date
When alcohol is taken out of the equation, you’re more likely to come up with creative date ideas that are focused on shared interests and experiences, rather than heading to a bar which 58% of dates currently do.
Expert reveals eight alcohol-free but fun date ideas
If you’re looking for fun activities that don’t involve drinking, there are plenty to choose from:
1. Go for a walk
A walk through a park or on the beach is an excellent way to get to know someone better. It gives you both time to talk and relax, and it’s also something that most people enjoy doing. You’ll have plenty of time for conversation, and if you’re lucky enough to live near a place with interesting paths and views, you’ll find yourself discovering lots about each other as well as enjoying the scenery around you.
2. Grab a coffee together
This is easily one of the most popular first-date choices as it’s casual and low-key. It allows you to get to know each other in a relaxed environment and gives you the chance to talk about whatever comes naturally. Plus, if you find that your date isn’t as interesting or engaging as it seemed online, it’s a casual enough situation to be able to leave quite easily.
3. Take a trip to a local farm
Whilst this may seem a bit ‘out there’ as a weird place to go for a date, it’s the perfect place to not take yourselves so seriously. As you’ll get up close and personal with the farm animals, you can analyse how caring your date is when interacting with the animals. The farm may have activities you can partake in too, such as feeding a lamp or milking a cow, both of which will be extremely memorable.
4. Visit a board game café
Playing board games on a first date is fun for a multitude of reasons; firstly, they’re a fun way to break the ice and get to know each other. They also allow you to get to know each other at a slower pace as you can chat whilst playing and take breaks – however, they can be a good distraction for those that feel most confident talking when fiddling with something. Plus, a little bit of competition can’t hurt anyone and can create healthy banter.
5. Go bowling
Bowling is such a fun activity despite being one that people often forget about. It’s easy enough that anyone can do it (even those who consider themselves “bad at sports”), which is great if your date isn’t an athlete or is more introverted than extroverted. The best part is that no matter how well you do at bowling, everyone wins because there’s no competition — unless you’re playing for money, in which case the loser should buy the pizza afterwards.
6. See a comedy show or improv performance
See a comedy show or improv performance. Comedy shows are fun and often inexpensive, and they’re also great icebreakers since there’s usually an opening act and then the main activity where you can talk with your date during the intermission. Plus, laughing together is always a good sign for chemistry, and physical contact is often made easier when there’s shared amusement.
7. Go ice skating or roller skating
The adrenaline rush from skating can help you forget about any nerves you might have about the date — and it’s even better if you both enjoy it! If your date skates well, this could be an opportunity for some flirting on the ice. And if your date isn’t very good at it, well… You can hold hands (if there’s a connection there, of course!)
8. Find a local food festival
If you’re a ‘foodie’, a food festival or market is a great first-date option. You could go for lunch or dinner at one of these events and enjoy some delicious street food while getting to know each other better. Talk about your favourite cuisines, your favourite places to eat or even your no-go’s when it comes to eating, which can make for an interesting, flirtatious topic if your date likes food that you’re not a fan of. This is one of the many reasons why the food market first dates work – everyone has an opinion on food and also will have made many memories regarding food so you can learn a lot about each other.