A Complete Guide On Sober Dating And Apps To Help You Get Started

Dating experience | | , Intimacy & Relationship Writer
Updated On: December 7, 2023
sober dating

Wondering how to date sober? The dating world may be exciting but difficult to navigate, and individuals who lead sober lives may face particular difficulties. Finding people who share your values may be a pleasant adventure, whether you’re in recovery, have chosen a teetotaling lifestyle, or simply want to avoid alcohol and drugs. Welcome to our in-depth guide to sober dating and the applications that can help you build lasting relationships without sacrificing your values.

Maintaining a sober lifestyle while looking for romance may seem difficult in a culture where socializing often involves drinking and partying. However, it’s now simpler than ever to discover amazing companions who respect and understand your commitment, thanks to the growth of specialized dating apps and platforms catering to sober people.

What Is Sober Dating?

Developing romantic relationships while abstaining from alcohol and other mind-altering substances is known as sober dating or dating for non-drinkers. It’s a method of dating that puts an emphasis on finding partners with comparable priorities and values, particularly when it comes to sobriety and leading a drug-free lifestyle. Some people who date sober may be actively in recovery from drug or alcohol abuse, while others may have chosen to abstain from drugs or alcohol for spiritual, physical, or other reasons.

Instead of relying on alcohol or other substances to make social interactions easier, the idea behind this is to forge sincere connections based on common interests, emotional intimacy, and personal growth. As this develops mutual respect, trust, and understanding, people can create relationships that are more genuine and meaningful. 

Sober dating frequently entails taking part in non-drinking or non-drug-using activities, such as exercise, creative dating, outdoor excursions, and sober social gatherings. As people disclose their struggles with addiction or the reasons they choose a clean lifestyle to prospective partners, it stimulates open communication and vulnerability. 

But, amid all this, one shouldn’t forget to place an emphasis on emotional connection and fun activities to create a satisfying and long-lasting relationship. The challenge is to find someone who can manage to keep you soberly intoxicated!

Benefits of dry dating

According to an article by Jessica Klein, “For some singles, dry dating has become increasingly appealing amid the pandemic.” As more people opt for a healthy lifestyle, it has become more common. ‘Dry dating’ is the practice of developing a romantic connection without the use of alcohol or other drugs. Instead of the distraction of drunkenness, this strategy places a higher priority on developing emotional intimacy, true connections, and clear communication.

The advantages of dry dating have emerged more clearly in recent years, drawing both people in recovery and those who have made the decision to live sober lives. It has a number of benefits that lead to more satisfying and meaningful relationships, from establishing deeper connections to promoting betterment of a person’s life and sound decision-making. We’re more than sure that you’ll prefer to ‘sober date’ after checking out these amazing benefits listed below:

Related Reading: How To Get Your Partner To Open Up To You: 8 Tips That Actually Work!

1. Authentic connections

Dry dating encourages individuals to connect on a deeper and more genuine level. Without the use of substances, people can engage in meaningful conversations, express their emotions more openly, and establish connections based on shared interests and values.

2. Clear Communication

Sobriety promotes clear and effective communication. Both partners are more likely to express their thoughts and feelings honestly without the interference of alcohol-induced behaviors or miscommunication.

3. Increased emotional intimacy

It enables emotional intimacy, as partners build trust and empathy. They can explore their vulnerabilities and share personal experiences without the numbing effects of substances. And when they do this without alcohol or drugs, it’s more natural.

dating while sober
Dry dating opens a new door to genuine connections and emotional intimacy

4. Focus on compatibility

When alcohol or drugs are not part of the equation, individuals can better assess their compatibility with a potential partner. They can concentrate on shared interests, values, and life goals, leading to more compatible and long-lasting relationships.

5. Healthy choices and boundaries

Dry dating encourages the maintenance of healthy boundaries and lifestyle choices. Since they dont drink alcohol, partners, in such cases, practice self-awareness and self-control. This allows them to prioritize their well-being and sobriety. 

6. Avoiding triggers

For individuals in addiction recovery, it provides a safe environment, free from potential triggers associated with substances. It reduces the risk of relapse and supports ongoing sobriety efforts.

7. Respect for sobriety

Engaging in this type of dating fosters respect for one’s own sobriety as well as the sobriety of a potential partner. It promotes a non-judgmental and supportive attitude toward those who have chosen to live sober lives.

Related Reading: 8 Ways You Can Help Your Partner Get Over Drug Addiction

8. Improved decision making

Without the influence of substances, an individual is more likely to make sound decisions in their dating life. They can evaluate partners objectively and choose relationships that align with their long-term goals.

9. Building confidence

It allows individuals to develop self-confidence in social situations without relying on alcohol or drugs for comfort. This can lead to personal growth and a greater sense of self-esteem in relationships.

10. Creating lasting memories

Sober experiences are more likely to be remembered and cherished because they are not clouded by the effects of substances. Couples can enjoy shared activities and connections without the distraction of intoxication.

9 Tips To Successfully Navigate Dating Sober

Dating while abstaining from alcohol can be interesting and pleasant. You can create deep friendships that honor your dedication to sobriety by remaining true to yourself, being transparent about your lifestyle, and looking for like-minded people. Here are some tips to navigate sober dating successfully: 

1. Be honest about your sobriety

Sober and single? Honesty is paramount in building a healthy and trustworthy relationship. When entering the dating scene, it’s crucial to be upfront about your sobriety, in the early stages. Being honest from the beginning allows potential matches to understand and respect your journey. 

Share your experiences, the reasons behind your decision to be sober, and the positive impacts it has had on your life. Being open about your sobriety will filter out partners who are not supportive or understanding. And it will pave the way for more meaningful connections with those who appreciate and respect your lifestyle. 

2. Choose sober-friendly activities

Come up with date ideas that don’t involve drinking. Selecting sober-friendly activities sets the tone for a date focused on genuine connection and compatibility. Opt for activities that do not involve alcohol or drugs, such as going for a walk in a park, attending a live performance or concert, exploring museums or art galleries, engaging in sports or physical activities, or enjoying a hot cup of coffee or tea together. These activities allow you to engage in conversation and get to know each other without the distractions or potential complications that substances might introduce.

Can’t think of any such activities? Check out this list of some sober-friendly activities below:

  • Experiencing nature: It can be calming and even meditative to spend time in nature. Camping, hiking, having a bonfire, picking apples, and watching the sunset from a magnificent view point are some of our favorite outdoor pastimes
  • Volunteering: Giving back is one of the most fulfilling things you can do in your spare time while sober. This could entail helping out with a neighborhood non-profit, giving away toys or school supplies to needy families, or taking part in a food drive or fundraiser
  • Gardening: In sobriety, gardening can be a satisfying hobby for many. Building a garden in your backyard or starting an indoor herb garden are both excellent ways to increase vitamin D levels and concentrate on a long-term goal

Related Reading: 9 Expert Tips To Grow In A Relationship Every Day

3. Join sober social circles

Connecting with a sober community or attending events designed for sober individuals can be a supportive and enriching experience if you’re sober and single. It allows you to meet like-minded people who understand the challenges and joys of a sober lifestyle. Joining these circles provides a sense of belonging and camaraderie, making it easier to find partners who share your values and lifestyle choices. These social circles can also be great platforms to gain insights into successful dating strategies and to build lasting friendships. 

4. Look for supportive partners

In an article, Kelly Fitzgerald, an alcoholic in recovery, wrote, “One of the best things I’ve learned in recovery is how I want to be treated in a relationship and what kind of treatment I am and am not willing to accept.”

Finding a romantic partner who is supportive of your sobriety is crucial for a healthy relationship. Seek individuals who respect your decision to live a sober life and encourage your growth and well-being. Supportive partners will be understanding of your boundaries regarding substances and won’t force you to change your lifestyle choices. They will also celebrate your accomplishments and support you during challenging times. 

5. Focus on emotional connection

One of the significant advantages of dating while sober is the opportunity to build deeper emotional connections. Avoid using substances as a crutch for relaxation or vulnerability during your first dates. Instead, engage in meaningful conversations, listen to your partner actively, and express yourself honestly. 

Being present and emotionally available will foster a deeper understanding of each other’s feelings, thoughts, and desires, ultimately leading to a more intimate and fulfilling relationship.

Dating Tips

6. Have an exit plan

Dating while sober can be enjoyable, but don’t take your safety for granted. In case you don’t know your date that well, it’s always better to have an exit plan. It’s essential to prioritize your safety and well-being, rather than finding yourself in an uncomfortable or unsafe situation. 

Before the date, inform a trusted friend or family member of your plans, the location of your date, and the estimated duration. Arrange for them to check in with you at a specific time during the date. Having a safety net in place provides peace of mind and empowers you to take control of your dating experience.

7. Take your time

Rushing into a relationship can lead to overlooking potential red flags or incompatibilities. Take your time to get to know the person on the first date before committing to a serious relationship. Building a firm foundation based on mutual trust and understanding requires patience and open communication. Allow the relationship to evolve naturally, and pay attention to how the person respects your sobriety and aligns with your values.

Related Reading: 5 Ways Drug Addiction Affects Relationships

8. Communicate openly

Effective communication is the cornerstone of any first date, particularly when discussing your sobriety. Be open and honest about your emotional needs, concerns, and boundaries regarding substances. Discuss your commitment to a sober lifestyle and how you navigate social situations where substances may be present. 

Encourage your partner to ask questions and share their thoughts as well. Healthy communication fosters understanding and ensures both partners are on the same page, leading to a more harmonious and supportive relationship.

9. Prioritize self-care

Throughout the dating process, continue to prioritize your well-being and sobriety. Engage in self-care activities that nourish your mind, body, and spirit. This may include maintaining a healthy lifestyle, seeking support from friends or a sober community, attending therapy or support groups, and engaging in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. Taking care of yourself ensures you enter a relationship from a position of strength and self-awareness, which can positively impact the quality of the relationship you build with your partner.

7 Sober Dating Sites To Help You Get Started 

“How to meet singles in my area?” you may ask. Well, it might be difficult to navigate the whole dating scene while leading a sober lifestyle, but it also creates opportunities for genuine and meaningful friendships. The popularity of sober dating websites has created a welcome and encouraging environment for those who value their sobriety and seek partners who share their ideals. These websites offer a secure, judgment-free environment for people who have made the decision to live a drug- and alcohol-free life to explore relationships.

So ditch the awkwardness and let’s take a look at seven dating sites that might get you started on your quest to meet a suitable companion who appreciates and respects your dedication to sobriety. 

Also, Hinge and Bumble dating apps are some of the best apps to find people. These platforms make your life easier and enable you to get in touch with people who lead comparable lifestyles. They help you create real connections based on shared beliefs and emotional compatibility, whether you’re looking for friendship, romance, or a long-term partnership. 

Read on to learn more about the world of dating sites that awaits you if you’re prepared to start a dating adventure that honors sobriety and promotes personal development. So, instead of drinking tonight, check these out and stay sober!

1. Match

dating while sober
Match

Match is a top dating site for non-drinkers and a good choice for singles who are sober because it has tens of millions of people, a free membership option, and several search filters. Match does not exclusively cater to non-drinkers, but it does give you the resources to locate someone who shares your lifestyle. You can browse by age, location, gender, sexual orientation, interests, education, religion, ethnicity, and a whole lot more, in addition to your preferred behaviors.

2. 12 Step Match

sober singles
12StepMatch

12 Step Match, dubbed “the original sober dating site,” was established in 2009 and lets you find a good match based on their recovery programme (AA, NA, or GA), and other factors, such as their age, gender, location, and photographs. You and other new members are highlighted on the ‘New Profiles’ page. So expect people to show a lot of interest. In addition, founder Robin DeLuca’s publication, The Original Cyber-Dating Guru’s Guide to Online Dating, is available on 12 Step Match, along with numerous other links to useful websites.

3. Sober Dating Service

sober dating sites
Sober Dating Service

The goal of Sober Dating Service is to “connect you with others who are dating clean.” With a free subscription, you may access all the normal features of the website, which is really simple to use. Young and old, straight and homosexual — you name it — singles of all ages and backgrounds enjoy using it. The website claims that once you’re on it, you would meet people with whom you would immediately click.

4. Single And Sober

sober and single
Single And Sober

According to the team behind Single and Sober, they started the website because they “believe in the strength of love and leading an adequate lifestyle.” There are thousands of regular users on Single And Sober, and new sober people sign up every day. By submitting your email, password, age, gender, the gender you’re interested in, location, and a few words about yourself, you can join the recovery community. Single And Sober is completely free.

5. eHarmony

dating site for non drinkers
eHarmony

eHarmony is a great dating site for non-drinkers and wants to help you “stay sober while finding love.” In its own unique way, eHarmony promotes a vibrant community for people seeking meaningful connections as opposed to merely casual dating. The unique aspect of eHarmony is how it approaches online dating. All users on the website are searching for lasting relationships. eHarmony incorporates scientific research in its algorithm. Additionally, the website also offers video dates to its premium users, enabling more private encounters.

6. Zoosk

dry dating
Zoosk

Zoosk makes the claim that “dating sober has never been so simple.” One can meet folks from all over the world because of its enormous user base. It goes without saying that there are a lot of single, sober people here.

Users benefit from picture verification in this situation to avoid bogus users and related issues. One of this website’s major advantages is how simple it is to use. This type of site broadens the pool from which sober and recovering individuals may select their relationships by exposing them to a variety of cultures and races. It is an app designed by a sober single for other sober singles. It is free to download and has a four-star rating on Google Play and the App Store. 

7. Sober.ly

sober singles
Sober.ly

Sober.ly likes to position itself as an addition to more conventional recovery programs. On this platform, you’ll find others who understand you. You may make friends, go on dates, get support, or just have fun. For the most recent updates, don’t forget to subscribe to Sober.ly newsletters. Robyn Lynette Stevens, one of the many people who have commented on Sober.ly on Facebook, said, “The Sober.ly team is awesome.”

Key Pointers

  • Be happy with your choice to lead a sober life. Adopting sobriety will help you find companions who value and respect your way of life
  • Recognize your own personal limits when it comes to dating. Be clear with prospective partners about your expectations about alcohol or drug use from the beginning
  • Sincerity is crucial in sober dating. Be honest about your sobriety right away to foster confidence and prevent misconceptions. Don’t forget to look up how to write a dating site profile for a smooth online dating experience
  • Choose non-drug-related activities like coffee dates, art classes, or hiking. Place more emphasis on genuine connections than activities including alcohol
  • Participate in sober communities or events to meet people who share your values and way of life. Also, don’t forget to check out some online dating safety tips
  • Seek out companions that respect and encourage your sobriety. Be in the company of people who support your personal development and well-being

Building genuine connections with people who share your beliefs requires you to embrace your sobriety and be upfront about your way of life from the beginning. A helpful atmosphere for the development of sincere relationships can be created by setting healthy boundaries, selecting sober-friendly activities, and joining sober social circles.

Apps and websites provide a simple and secure method to meet people who value drug- and alcohol-free lives. Sober people meet their requirements through apps and sober dating sites such as Single and Sober, Loosid, Sober-Dating, SoberSinglesMeet, Love in Recovery, and Sober Grid, which offer a venue to meet potential matches who have similar beliefs and aspirations. So, accept the challenge of sober dating, use the suggested apps, and enjoy the process of making real connections with others who value and celebrate your sober lifestyle. Happy dating! 

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