I Gave Up Alcohol To Help My Love Life

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sober dating
Why one woman chose to remove alcohol from her love life.

Drinking while dating? It was dangerous. But dating without drinking had its own share of problems. For the past few years, I've suffered a series of duds. False starts, dashed hopes, great expectations squashed—more "not over my ex"-es than any nice girl should have to contend with. And then there were the guys who couldn't understand the whys and hows of my sobriety. 

Like Craig. Tall and dark with long eyelashes (my weakness), he was sexy in a skater-boy way (I never overcame my sixth-grade propensity for Vans and bowl-cuts). He was a friend of a friend, whom I'd casually admired for months, and his warm, easygoing manner won me over right away. He was a considerate guy who held doors open, carried my bike up the stairs, and offered to feed my cats when I went away. Sweet, right? 

Right—and things progressed nicely until, cuddled on my couch one night, Craig said, "It makes me sad that we can never have a glass of wine together." Which sounded, to me, like, "The fact that you don't drink is a dealbreaker." He claimed he was just being honest, and we tried to talk it out. But it bothered me deeply that my sobriety—something I was proud of, something I'd worked hard for—could be an issue for him. His uber-casual comment made me feel like there was something wrong with me for being "unable" to drink like a Normal Person. Needless to say, we didn't pan out.

So now I've been alcohol-free for almost four years, single for just as long, and I'm ready for something real. I'm ready for something awesome with someone awesome. I'm ready to let go of the all-or-nothing mindset that kept me in perpetual fear of What Might Happen if I had a drink. I'm ready to try drinking like a Normal Person: a glass of wine with dinner here and there. No more, no less. I want a healthy, sane relationship, and I want to be a healthy, sane person, both in relationships and out. Two very worthwhile goals, methinks. And methinks—no, meknows—I'll get there one day, drinking, or not.

Written by Laura Barcella for The Frisky

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