Can you date sober?

December already feels a little misty. I remember it happening, I do, but mostly through a haze of mulled wine and spiced cider and waking up trying to recall whom I kissed the night before (I think he was called Giorgio outside the pub?) December is a season for debauch behavior under disco lights, wearing the same t-shirt from the night before, hiding from Mr. Mistletoe all day at work. Fortunately, what comes next is the chance to redeem. January is the sober sister of December, the season for new resolve. A chance to meet someone we can imagine hanging out with our friends, the kind of guy who is not just for Christmas, but might last a bit longer than a champagne hiccup. Here’s my guide to sober dating!

Now, before you shrug me off as someone who doesn’t know what they are talking about, I went sober for a month in November and continued to date throughout my dryathalon. This is not smugness talking. In fact I didn’t meet anyone more than twice but that’s just life. Sadly none of them made me laugh enough. Sober or drunk, we can’t expect to always fall for the first ten or twenty people we meet. As my friend Ben says, “You have got to stick with it, Rose”. He’s right. There will be someone patient enough to withstand me, but it’s going to take a bit of work to find him. I digress. Before I give you some great sober dating ideas, here are six reasons why sober dates work:
1. If you are thinking about them the next day…it’s real. 2. You will understand your feelings more clearly. 3. If they are a good time you will still have fun. If they are dull then you can leave without spending an extra thirty quid getting obliterated. 4. They are FIT. It’s not the wine talking. 5. Sober sex is less awkward (if it gets to that) 6. If they are drinking, this gives you a chance to be very honest and direct with them, which is always fun.

I went to a Christmas market, to a gig, went for Thai…even had a smooch! There were some really pleasant and dare I say it, wholesome dates (don’t knock it till you have tried one). This is your chance to break away from the standard pub date. The world is scattered with a million experiences but here are a few ideas of what you can do:
1. Go to a music or comedy gig. If you are from London then I highly recommend using http://www.londonears.com/ 2. If you are active, go rock climbing. 3. Go and play at the science museum. 4. Try something new, for example go to a ukulele hootenanny! You can rent the instruments at Queen of Hoxton/ 5. Be a teenager, go to the cinema and have pizza. 6. Try a life drawing class. 7. Go for a walk and a picnic. 8. Go to secret cinema, Royal Albert Hall, ride a boat, rent a car…be daring!

Sober dating requires you to be open-minded. I completely understand that lots of people on dating websites think a drink can really relax the date and might be essential to one. Whilst I was more nervous on these dates than I have ever been, it was worthwhile remembering that even when they were very good-looking (which one was), he is just human. It sounds obvious but we all have a surprising amount in common. It gave me a huge amount of self-confidence realising how easy it was to talk to strangers and finding something to talk about. It also meant I didn’t wake up feeling stupid for over sharing because I had one too many prosecco’s (happened too many times).

I don’t agree with a “new year, new you.” I bet you are already great, but it’s a chance to throw a curveball into your dating life and give it a new direction.