Modern dating can be a minefield. With the rise of online dating, everyone in the romantic marketplace seems to have more options to choose from—which can be good or bad, depending on what side of the equation you’re on. Though there are different challenges facing different groups of people, there’s the simple difficulty of finding someone who appreciates you for who you are, sees beyond your surfaces and is compatible with your lifestyle. Still, things get even more complicated when we talk about sober dating.
While it might go without saying, sober dating requires a little more forethought and discretion than other kinds of modern dating. “Sober singles have to choose their dates carefully, because they can’t risk ending up with someone who will undermine their efforts in healthier living,” says Stefan Simonovic of First Beat Media, a company supporting online services dedicated to making sober dating easier. “We all know that dating takes time, and recovering addicts can’t afford to lose theirs by dating someone who isn’t familiar with their situation from the get-go and isn’t capable of providing a strong support system.” For those reasons and others, anyone who is still on the market should definitely consider trying something more specific for all their sober dating needs.
Let’s face it: alcohol (and potentially other drugs as well) plays a major role in modern dating. According to surveys conducted by Alcohol.org, 37% of people drink before going on a first date—though the statistics only get more severe from there. On the actual date, 86% of people polled had at least one drink, while 51% had somewhere in the range of two to three. Using data from the same survey, there was a strong correlation between the number of drinks the respondents had and how likely that first date was to end in sex—for people who had five or more drinks on a date, that ratio was as high as 51%.
Depending on what your sober dating goals are, those statistics may either be encouraging or pretty frightening. No matter whether you’re trying to meet some new people to have some casual fun with or find someone to share your life with, it’s pretty true across the board that being present and sober can make your romantic encounters much more meaningful and intentional, not to mention much safer. Still, dating safety takes on an entirely new dimension for the recently sober.
“Recovering addicts and alcoholics are extremely vulnerable [to relapses],” Simonovic says, “and as such should stay away from anything that could hurt them, especially during the initial phases of their treatment. These people hit rock bottom and were forced to reinvent their lives completely. Now they have to find someone who will offer them nothing but unconditional love and support.” Even for the non-sober “normies” out there, anyone can relate to meeting someone through a friend or a dating app who didn’t have the healthiest lifestyle…and who ended up bringing you down along with them.
Fortunately, using a sober dating service provides an elegant solution to this very specific problem and lets you stop wasting your time on incompatible matches. Like many other competing online dating sites, the basic membership is free. All you have to do is log on, fill out your profile and type in what you’re looking for. Like any other site, you’ll be able to see other singles in your area who share your interests. Though you’ll be able to change your profile, view other profiles and flirt with other users of the site, users can also pay for a premium membership for even more functionality.
As technology has grown more and more dominant in our lives, our face-to-face communication skills have weakened. Though online dating might’ve once seemed like a risky proposition, it’s becoming more and more a part of how we meet one another in 2019. According to online polls, around 40% of Americans use online dating—and that number is only liable to increase over time. Still, the difference between other online dating sites and sober dating services is that there’s an additional level of pre-screening built in. Though there’s always a chance of meeting someone you won’t end up with, you’ll never have to discreetly find ways to avoid ordering a drink on a first date ever again.
Getting sober is a beautiful life change and a huge achievement for any recovering addict and alcoholic. After however many years of confusion and chaos, those in recovery start to have a sense of hope again. In all other areas of life, sobriety tends to make people’s lives more fulfilling, more peaceful and generally easier—needless to say, sober dating should be exactly the same way.