When I quit drinking for good, alcohol was ruining my life. I didn’t really think about what the implications of giving up alcohol were for my ability to meet women, but I probably assumed they weren’t good.
I mean, how can a guy in his late 20s meet anyone without drinking? Everyone knows that dates always take place in bars or at restaurants, over a bottle of wine.
How else are you supposed to ease your nerves, anyway?
Nerves? Not to sound cocky, but I’ve been on so many dates since I quit drinking that meeting women doesn’t faze me in the slightest.
And I’m a notorious introvert.
I wouldn’t have believed it a few years ago, but the idea that alcohol and dating are inseparable is a laughable myth.
For someone with an alcohol problem, giving up booze is the first step to becoming a better version of yourself. This sounds corny, but it’s important.
I’ve learned that women care about three things, to varying degrees:
- Your physical appearance
- Your vibe/demeanor
- How passionate you are about what you’re doing with your life
Observe that alcohol is not one of those things. (If I made a comprehensive list that stretched to 30, it would still not be one of those things.) Neither is your job, nor how much money you make – surprising, but 100% true.
When you give up booze, you tend to do three things:
- You look better (especially if you work out)
- You project better energy
- You discover your purpose in life
At the very least, you enable yourself to begin doing all three of these things – simultaneously – if you stay on track and don’t relapse.
Of course, there are alcoholic women who won’t date a man who won’t drink on the first date. Out of well over a hundred dates since I gave up drinking, I had only one girl cancel on me because she was horrified that I wouldn’t be spending an afternoon getting hammered with her.
Good riddance. I’m not trying to spend a day with Stumbling Stacey that ends up in the ER after she falls down a flight of stairs at a dive bar while I’m on my 10th club soda.
And of course gold diggers exist, but are you really trying to date them? I’ve found that most girls are not gold diggers. Most of them care way more about what kind of vibe you project than what kind of car you drive.
Alcoholics rarely project good vibes, which is why they require alcohol to attract women who are usually alcoholics themselves.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking you have to achieve some kind of perfection before you can date anyone. I waited two months after I quit drinking to go on a date. The idea that you have to go a full year without dating after you give up alcohol is a disaster, since it probably keeps a lot of people from giving it up in the first place.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, the benefits of dating in recovery are numerous. If you’re an introvert like I am, dating allows you to practice your social skills without using alcohol as a crutch. You’ll develop your own charisma, become more confident around anyone, and learn a thing or two about human nature.
I wasn’t looking for marriage material on that first date after I gave up alcohol, and I’m still not on a mission to find that now. Most men need feminine energy to balance their own edge. In the grand scheme of life, female company is not a luxury, but a necessity.
Moreover, I know that what I’ve learned on dates since I quit booze will help me immensely if I ever decide to settle down. That’s a subject for a different post; it appears to have been covered thoroughly in the manosphere.
Back to the reality of dating without alcohol. How should a man go about proposing a date that won’t involve alcohol? More importantly, how should he go about getting a date in the first place?
First of all, girls are everywhere. Shopping malls, coffee shops, and especially gyms. If you say “Hi” and she’s receptive, start some small talk and if it goes well, ask her if she wants to get coffee sometime. If she’s not receptive, then you won’t have to deal with anything more than one disappointing moment.
Now, I’d be lying if I said I haven’t made use of the dating apps that seemed to come out right in time for me to quit drinking and give them a try. Hinge, Tinder, Bumble – there are quite a few – these apps are basically miracles for guys who don’t drink and want to meet women. I’ve set up dates on them just walking from the gym to my car.
The answer, for me, has always been proposing a coffee date. She might be perplexed, and ask why you don’t want to get a drink. My answer is always simple: I don’t drink, because alcoholism runs in my family. It’s a true statement and I’ve never gotten any pushback or intense questioning whatsoever.
A coffee date, a hike, a trip to the beach, a visit to a museum, a walk in the park, a day spent exploring your city – there are myriad options for a first date. And literally all of them, in my experience, beat those dates I had in my dark past when I used to rely on the presence of alcohol to feel remotely human.
Back then, I didn’t even care if I was in the presence of a girl or not. All I wanted was booze – and judging by how much fun I’ve had on dates in the past few years, that’s quite a tragic state to be in.
Because alcohol hasn’t entered my mind for such a long time, I don’t care at all if a girl has a drink in my presence. A few weeks ago, a girl brought a margarita along while we went for a walk on a beach. We had a lot of fun and I actually forgot that she was drinking.
These days, I make it clear from the outset that other people drinking doesn’t bother me. But it took time to get there. This is why coffee shops are an ideal place to start.
If you want to be good at something, you have to practice it. There’s not a straight man in the world who doesn’t want to be good at talking to women. There aren’t many who are good at doing it while stone cold sober. If you master that skill, you’ll attract more women than you know what to do with.
You’ll be among the most confident people you know. And you won’t help but notice how much better dating is without all that mind-wasting booze.
One last thing: I’ve actually had several girls thank me for not being a drinker. These girls did not have alcohol problems, as far as I could tell. Most of them had borderline abusive, alcohol-dependent ex boyfriends. They were absolutely ecstatic that our time never revolved around boozing.
Another one, several weeks after we had last seen each other, sent me a text: “C, I want to thank you for showing me how much fun I can have without drinking. I don’t know for sure, but I think it was becoming a problem for me.”
You live and you learn. Ever since I quit drinking, the world has become an even more interesting and surprising place.
Thank you man. I quit drinking about 2 weeks ago and just had the worst experience at a day party trying to talk to girls sober. I was dealing with a ton of social anxiety and pretty much figured my dating life was over. This arcticle put me in a much better mood. If you have any more content on this subject please share. Thanks again.
You’re welcome Brian, I’ve been there and I know how you felt. Don’t give up – you’ll be way happier when you’ve achieved 24/7 confidence without the need for alcohol. At some point, I realized that drinking alcohol and acting like a cocky asshole is easy. But genuine confidence is a learned skill. Mastering it will transform everything you do in life. Reframe all setbacks as learning experiences – especially the most embarrassing ones. Also – at 2 weeks, you’re still going through a “fragile” phase as your body and brain adjust to the absence of alcohol. Many supplements and… Read more »
“The answer, for me, has always been proposing a coffee date. She might be perplexed, and ask why you don’t want to get a drink.”
Hmm, this is interesting, I wouldn’t expect that women would be expecting that your first meeting would include alcohol.
Most of my female friends usually prefer first dates that don’t involve alcohol or involve small amounts, they’ve given me different reasons for this, but its usually that they like getting to have real interactions with a guy without drugs or alcohol shaping the date.
Maybe there’s a trend away from boozy dates, but I think it also depends on people’s age and lifestyle. I live in a place notorious for its drinking culture, where you can walk down the street with an open container. But many people seem to prefer to get coffee after work rather than drink. Thanks for your comment, Kay.