Dating while sober

So it was probably a good thing that I finally decided to stop drinking in the summer of 2006.

By then I’d suffered more than my fair share of embarrassing nights out.

There are lots of reasons that people don't drink, and all of them are personal. I know it might be hard to believe, but it possible to have fun without drinking!

You can dance, you can laugh, you can talk until 3 a.m.

Without the crutch of alcohol, I was convinced that my once-jumbled love life would fall easily into place. Right would surely be waiting for me (albeit at the local coffee shop instead of the next bar stool.)It sucked to discover that alcohol-free dating was still, well, : an ever-awkward dance of anticipation, expectations and artifice.

And for those of us who don’t drink, dating can be even more of a mixed bag. Because, in case you missed the memo, most Americans are all about alcohol, especially when it comes to getting hitched (or laid.) We meet for happy hour at five, dine with wine at seven, meet lovers at a bar later on, and make every excuse to have another round.

" game, or watch an unfamiliar face lean in for a kiss. "I must not have noticed that." I never heard from him again, either.

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In fact, once upon a time, my online dating profile included the line, "If you don't drink, don't message me." Drinking was a necessary part of my dates and my life.

And there was no way to tell, when I was tossing back a vodka soda, which me would emerge that night.

But when I said goodbye to alcohol and its commensurate drama, I didn't intend to bid farewell to dating.

But times have changed and I'm now someone who navigates the world as a sober lady. If you find yourself interested in dating a woman who doesn't imbibe, here are some things you should know. She doesn't need to explain to you why she doesn't drink.

If she declines an adult beverage and tells you that she doesn't drink, that should be enough for you.