Do Not Drink And Date: Why Sober Dating Creates Lasting Relationships
“Just had the obligatory pre-date shot by myself” is a quote shared by a great male friend of ours before his first date with a young lady of interest. Tequila was, of course, his partner in crime to ease the pre-date jitters.
After sending him our well-wishes for his date, we discussed dating in today's society and the constant buzz that goes along with it.
When we go out on dates — first dates, in particular — we are asked for one of the following: drinks, dinner and drinks, or drinks and an event (concert, sporting event, etc.).
Is there one glaring commonality through all of those? Uh, drinks. In the case of our dear guy friend and in our own experiences, a pre-date drink is usually had by both parties. Are we this afraid of sober dating? Is there a more common addition to a first date other than alcohol?
We don't think so.
We get it. Having a slight buzz definitely helps ease your nerves, and it keeps you calm throughout the date. After all, dating is scary AF. But, we can't help but wonder if this is ruining our abilities to “feel” things on dates.
Do you actually feel the butterflies? Do you feel your date is funny, or are you just giggly from your champagne? Do you feel like you have genuine chemistry, or is it just a combination of an amazing atmosphere and delicious craft cocktails?
We all know little to no dates, especially sober ones, happen in college. So, let's throw it back to high school for a minute here (and not to the nights you ended up drinking Natty Ice at your best friend's house when his parents were out of town).
Revisit the nights you spent one-on-one with a boy on the couch in your parents' smelly basement watching movies. (Let's make one thing clear: Coming over to "watch a movie" in high school was always code for "Let's pretend to watch a movie as we make out."
We all remember those gloriously nerve-racking and extremely exciting nights.)
During these “dates,” you were nervous and sober. The first kiss was always a bit weird. “Is he going to kiss me already?” and “Where do I put my hands?” were common thoughts running through our minds.
As young ladies, we were taught to never make the first move. It was a perfect concoction of awkwardness with mixed signals, giggles and raging hormones. But, we felt all of it. We went on the rollercoaster of emotions.
We got the stomach flips, and we got the butterflies when he finally kissed us. It felt amazing.
As adults, we dull our emotions and our sensations with alcohol on every date, and we miss out on these things.
We don't get the stomach flips or the perfect discomfort of the first move.
We are so used to engaging in our drunk sexualities that when we have our first buzzed kisses, they feel like all the other ones we've had at our doorsteps, in our cars and at bars.
They're just more added to the list, and they don't stand out to us at all.
We can't help but wonder, if a couple engaged in a completely sober first date (maybe Applebee's and a movie to throw it back to one of our favorite out-of-the-house teenage dates), would this date actually stand out in a good way?
As daunting as it would be, wouldn't they get to know one another much better? If one made the sober decision to kiss the other, they would feel those stomach flips and the butterflies again.
Let's face it: If we're all still single, then our usual go-tos for dating might be tired. Maybe we need a blast from the past to accomplish real, lasting relationships.
We vote to bring back the nerves and to throw on our favorite high school jams that remind us of our parents' smelly basements.
We need to remember the anxieties show us we care, and they help us to actually “feel” the experience.