Quitting alcohol dating

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After a particularly turbulent episode of excessive partying last summer, I quit alcohol. I was drinking out of boredom and hooking up with guys I didn’t care about.

I went cold turkey on it and stopped going to bars or anywhere shots were the main entertainment. Whenever I had nothing to do, I picked up a couple bottles of wine either alone or with friends and drank until something fun happened.

So my question to you is, can I show up to the date at a bar and tell them THEN and just sip a water while they have a beer? Some of my favorite women — famous and in real life — are drinkers, which is part of why it meant so much to me to be one of them. They become more reliable friends, better listeners, kinder and more forgiving people. They just saved you time and effort by telling you exactly who they are, which is someone who has no interest if sex is not on the table immediately, which is a small-minded, douchebag way to be.

I feel like most guys don’t want to drink in front of a sober person, makes them feel predatorial like “c’mon, I can’t drink alone! When I gave up drinking, I thought it meant that I became the opposite. Or maybe these hypothetical bar-only men are not douchebags. They don’t drink because of medical diagnoses, they don’t drink because they don’t like it, they don’t drink for religious reasons, or because they come from a country where pouring golden liquid down your throat until you puke is seen as not that awesome of a thing to do.

My health and mental clarity improved for sure, but my dating life as I knew it was completely ruined. My definition of “fun,” of course, was totally screwed.

Now I’m genuinely confident and don’t need liquor to cloud my judgment and give me a fake boost of motivation.

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.

I thrilled at the thought of never having to experience another hangover. I was completely relying on alcohol to guide me through the dating world. After quitting, I learned to accept myself as I am and to work on my weaknesses.Fun at the time was a one-night stand with a stranger.Most of the dating world looks like this: Have a drink or three while you’re getting ready (nervous! ), have a drink or three at dinner (OMG do I like him? ), have a drink or three at the bar afterward (shit, should I go home with him? It’s just you, and the volcano of your nervous, uncomfortable feelings, and nothing to save you but a glass of Canada Dry. You are staring down an undisclosed health issue (possibly a big deal) and the major lifestyle change of no longer drinking (definitely a big deal). When you stop drinking, you lose the luxury of such pretending. The dating world is a large majority bullshit, and it’s not such a bad fate to cut down on your slice of bullshit pie. It was a while before I felt comfortable meeting guys in bars, but now that I do, I find it’s not a big deal. Now, is the guy thinking to himself, “Man, this sucks. But does it occur to anyone — does it occur to you, now that you’re seeing things a little more clearly — that “getting wasted and fucking” is a questionable way to get to know someone? They have had a divorce, maybe even two, a layoff, some hair loss. Both of those guys can make very good dating material. My friend, if I can date at 40 — which is NOT, I assure you, a “dateable” age, but more like the age when all your female friends remove the year they were born from their Facebook page — then you can date at 25. When I got sober, that question turned around a bit. I met a lot of interesting men, but they were not interesting enough. Many of them wanted to date a woman who was drinking, which is a little bit like telling me you want to date a tall, dark-haired, exotic woman named Linda. They will be interested in taking walks, and laughing at how bad they are at bowling, and sitting in coffee shops for three hours at a stretch because neither of you was watching the time. People who stop drinking have the opportunity to find calmness and acceptance in ourselves. How you choose to disclose your sobriety — and where you want to meet men you date — is a personal decision, and I wouldn’t presume to know what was right. They have had their heart stomped on, which turns out to make them MUCH better dating material. Because the good news is — the way in which YOU are lucky — is that you are 25. It’s a simple fact that by quitting drinking, your dating pool just got smaller. I spent a lot of my younger years worrying if men liked me. I started wondering: Am *I* having a good time now?

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