Dating is hard. Sober dating is harder.
Dating is tough, period. It's awkward and scary and uncomfortable (did I mention AWKWARD?). Add the fact that I'm sober - in a world where almost everyone else takes the edge off with a glass of Vino - and you have the (non-alcoholic) recipe for dating disaster. Lest you think I'm exaggerating, let me elaborate...
As a non-drinker, I'm not opposed to dating people who like the occasional libation. But truthfully, if I could actually find another non-drinker to date, I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't be here right now writing this post.
This is particularly upsetting when I've already been messaging with someone promising and he decides to ask me out for drinks, proving he didn't actually read my online profile. So, uh, how about…coffee? Tea? A walk in the park?
The "why" here doesn't matter. I might be sober because I'm allergic, don't like the taste, have religious objections, am in AA, or just don't want to waste the calories. Whatever the reason, people who *do* drink CANNOT let it go. There are always a million questions, and once I answer them all, they launch into all the reasons I should start drinking. DID I STUTTER WHEN I SAID I DO NOT DRINK, SIR?
We all know that special, endearing moment when an over-served person begins to think everything they say is absolutely mind-blowing (when, in fact, it's actually getting less coherent by the sip). Drunk tirades are annoying when your friends do it, but it's 100 times worse (and far more embarrassing) when a stranger you've just met starts waxing poetic about the crush they have on their 7th grade English teacher.
If you're female and have a pulse, odds are high that a drunk guy has tried to kiss you. If you were imbibing right there with him, maybe you even kissed him back. But in the sober light of day, beer breath is as about as sexy as excessive Old Spice, i.e. get the HELL away from me.
If a guy I'm dating calls me late at night, I'm probably going to answer. Maybe something bad happened and he needs help OR (and most likely) he's just drunk-dialing to tell me the stupidest story ever about running into "his boys" at the Taco Bell late-night drive-through lane. I might laugh if I'd ever been in his position with one too many Boone's Farms. But I haven't, so...click. Goodbye.
Listening to someone become less interesting as they down gin and tonics is one thing. Listening to their "this one time I was so freaking drunk, man..." stories when we're both dead sober is quite another. Unless "The Hangover" was written specifically about you and your friends, sir, chances are very high that I don't care. At all.
There comes a time in every non-drinker's dating cycle when it's time to meet the significant other's friends. If you've been dating sober up until this point, this is often when you'll first see your guy drink. And then: SURPRISE! I once dated a guy who turned into a raging homophobe after a couple of Heinekens. Not a good look.
Sober folk, like us, may not drink, but we DO eat. And after escorting your new man to the bar with his friends for the fourth time - surviving solely on peanuts and water with lemon - eventually you just want to pull the plug and say, "I NEED SUSTENANCE."