was successfully added to your cart.

How to Date When You Don’t Drink

By Emyli LovzSeptember 10, 2019Strategy
how to date when you don't drink

Dating as a non-drinker isn’t always easy. From boozy champagne brunches to after-work happy hours, it seems like alcohol is practically woven into every date idea there is. Not only that, but a recent survey by Plenty of Fish found that almost half of singles (a whopping 48.9 percent!) have two or three alcoholic drinks during the course of a date. And only 9.2 percent of people said they go on first dates without booze.

So how do you deal with all this if you don’t drink?

First of all, dating without alcohol is actually smart for a lot of reasons. For one thing, you’ll spend way less money. (Ever notice how pricey a bill can get once you add cocktails to the mix?) Plus, your dates will potentially be more interesting.


Learning some tips and tricks about how to date when you don’t drink can help you maximize your dates and stand out from the competition. Here’s some advice to keep in mind if you’re dating as a non-drinker.

Tip 1: Get Creative w/ Your Date Ideas

Dating without alcohol forces you to be more creative with your dates. And the more creative you are, the better you’ll compare to other guys.

First, there’s no need to announce that you’re a non-drinker. Just simply plan dates that don’t involve alcohol and let things play out naturally. The issue might not ever come up.

And if you’re looking for ideas on how to date when you don’t drink, here are a few:

  • Try geocaching — this modern-day treasure hunt activity is actually super fun. Not only is it perfect for summer, but it doesn’t have to cost you a thing. People who participate in geocaching use GPS to hide objects in different outdoor spots literally all over the world. The idea is to search for other people’s treasures, and hide your own. You can also use an app to help you get started (which may involve a small fee). For more information, check out geocaching.com.
  • Take an interesting class together — From Argentine Tango to cooking, there are always classes going on that could be fun to do as a couple. Figure out her interests and then ask if she’d want to give one of them a try. Some good sources for classes are Eventbrite, your local gym (if you are a member, see if they have any special events going on or use a guest pass for your date), Lululemon and YMCA.
  • Go on a scenic drive in your area — Hop in the car and take a tour of some cool areas in your city. Historic districts, wealthy neighborhoods, and places with natural views make for interesting dates.
  • Do something athletic — Meeting up to play volleyball, or even just bringing a frisbee to the park, can be a fun way to spend an afternoon. Bring some bottled waters and snacks to munch on afterward.
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter — If she likes animals, this idea could be a hit on so many levels. Spending time cuddling furry friends creates major feel-good vibes, which she’ll end up associating with you. You’ll come across as sensitive and caring (which you are, no doubt) and she’ll consider it time well spent.

As you can see, it’s actually not that hard to come up with unique date ideas once you take alcohol off the table. In fact, alcohol often makes it easier for us to do the same thing over and over again, which can lead to a dating rut.

You might also notice that many of these dating ideas are super cheap. That’s on purpose! Especially if it’s only your first or second date, you want to spend as little money as possible. When it comes to the early stages of dating, and especially learning how to date when you don’t drink, you’ll want to stick to this blueprint:

  • First date — Spend no more than $10. That’s right. On the first date, you don’t want to shell out much cash (if any), since neither of you are that invested in each other yet. And especially if the date doesn’t involve alcohol, this is easy to accomplish. Many of the date ideas above, or even just a simple cup of coffee, can be done with less than $10.
  • Second date — Spend no money, and do something active. Think bike riding, hiking, roller skating, etc. Doing something active on the second date is not only easier without alcohol anyway, but it accomplishes a few other things as well. For one thing, it decreases lulls in conversation, which is helpful when you’re just getting to know each other. It can also help you break the touch barrier, allowing you to possibly escalate sexual tension (more on that later).
  • Third date — Take her out to dinner. Once you’ve gotten to the third date, you’re both potentially interested in each other, so it’s worth investing a little more. Choose a restaurant with an interesting menu or unique history to make the dining experience more about the place, rather than getting sloshed.

One last note on the dating blueprint: Try to plan your first and second dates during the daytime. This is a rule in my date blueprint for everyone, drinkers and non-drinkers alike. But it’s easier to follow when you’re not drinking, because there are more sober date ideas that naturally occur during the day.

How to Date When You Don’t Drink Tip 2: Take Your Conversations a Little Deeper

One advantage you have when dating as a non-drinker is that you’re probably a better conversationalist. I know — it often seems like a little alcohol actually helps conversation along. But when you really think about it, alcohol can do more harm than good in that department.


Being buzzed or drunk can cause you to miss subtleties in conversation and make you say things you regret later — which is horrible in the early stages of dating when you’re trying to make a good impression. But when you’re sober, you can navigate deeper and broach more sensitive topics with less risk of saying something dumb. This puts you ahead of the pack, for sure.

So don’t be afraid to take your conversations a little deeper than most people do. Consider the difference, for example, in how a conversation can go when you’re sober vs. drunk on the same topic.

When you’re sober, a conversation might go something like this …

YOU: Being as attractive as you are, you must get a lot of guys who obsess over your looks. Is that annoying?

Her: Sometimes, but it’s easy to weed out guys like that.

YOU: Well, hopefully I’m passing the test.

Her: Hmm, I don’t know, the jury’s still out. (smiles)

YOU: I promise, I have nothing but the best of intentions. (winks)

Now, imagine how that same conversation could go with a guy who’s had a few …

YOU: Being as attractive as you are, you must get a lot of guys who obsess over your looks. Is that annoying?

Her: Sometimes, but it’s easy to weed out guys like that.


YOU: Oh yeah? You probably just stop talking to them, right?

Her: I just meant it’s pretty obvious when a guy is only after one thing.

YOU: Do you think I’m one of those guys?

Her: Um …

Obviously, while certain topics can make for interesting conversation when you’re sober, they can be a total minefield if you’re drunk and can’t edit your thoughts. Beware!

Tip 3: Flirt with Her in Subtle Ways

Not only will you navigate conversations better as a non-drinker, but you’ll also be more skillful at flirting.

As they say, flirting is an art. And it’s a powerful way of increasing attraction. Problem is, it’s hard to do it well when you’re drunk. So when you’re dating as a non-drinker, be sure to enjoy the subtleties of flirty touch, because chances are, other guys won’t be able to pull it off.

Introducing touch (definitely on the second date) is all about finding ways to casually get closer to her physically, while remaining playful and non-threatening. If she finds you physically attractive, this can escalate sexual tension between the two of you, and increase the chances of physical intimacy later.


So to start things off, find ways to bring her closer to you. For example, you can choose to sit next to her (rather than across from her interview-style) on the date. If you’re in a restaurant and sitting side-by-side in a booth still seems a little over-the-top, then maybe choose a round table where you can scoot your chair a little closer to her. Or if you’re not sitting down, you could bring her next to you to look at a funny video on your phone for a minute or two. However you do it, getting a little closer to her can make things feel a little more intimate.

Next, find opportunities to touch her in safe ways. This is where your sobriety puts you at an advantage, because a lot of guys can get sloppy here. You definitely don’t want to get handsy or invasive, which is an easy line to cross if you’re drunk. But a light graze on her upper back to guide her through the door, or a touch on her shoulder to get her attention, can create a hint of sensuality that’s hard to resist.

Also, don’t be afraid to get playful. This can be easy if you’re doing something active or outdoorsy on your date. But even giving her a light shove or poke as you joke around with her can increase feelings of sexual tension.

Again, because you’re not drinking, you can more easily introduce touch in a way that’s fun and not offensive. You’ll also be better at picking up on any nonverbal cues that indicate she’s not into you.

Tip 4: Don’t Over-Explain or Make It Weird

If you don’t drink, the worst thing you can do is over-explain or otherwise act like you have to defend your choice to her. It just makes you seem less confident, which is a game-killer when it comes to attracting women. Chances are, you have a good reason for not drinking — whether it’s your religion, a prior addiction, an allergy, or simply a preference — and it works for you. End of story.

Along the same lines, don’t take her to a bar and deliberately order something that screams “non-alcoholic” like an O’Douls or an energy drink, unless that’s what you genuinely like. If it seems like you’re making a big show of being a non-drinker, it can feel awkward.

At the same time, you also don’t want to put her on the defensive. If you’re okay with your date having a drink or two, then let it go at that. If you feel the need to convince her why she should be able to have a good time without alcohol, then perhaps she’s not the right woman for you in the first place.

Tip 5: Seek Out Women Who Are Non-Drinkers

All that being said, your reason for not drinking has to do with your moral values or life philosophy, then you might want to concentrate on finding women who also don’t drink, since they could be more compatible with you. While it may seem like that could shrink your potential dating pool, it probably isn’t as hard as you think. In fact, according to one study, 30 percent of Americans actually don’t drink at all.

Focusing on women who don’t drink might also help you avoid some of the issues that are often behind heavy social drinking, such as:


  • Lack of confidence and/or social skills — It’s really common for people to use alcohol to soothe their feelings of self-consciousness or social anxiety. But someone who can deal with those same anxieties without alcohol might have a level of maturity that’s attractive to you.
  • Problems with intimacy — Some people find it easier to “open up” with alcohol than without it. But it’s hard to say whether they are truly revealing themselves after a few drinks, or just hiding who they really are behind a drunk persona.
  • Alcoholism — Obviously this is the extreme, but many people have a dependence on alcohol, which doesn’t bode well for relationships.

So if you’re a non-drinker, really consider what that means to you. Dating only non-drinkers might sound judgy, but it could help you find those women who are most aligned with you.

How to Date When You Don’t Drink: Wrap-Up

Bottom line, dating without alcohol doesn’t have to be hard. No doubt, we’re in a pretty alcohol-obsessed society. But that just means you have to get a little more creative when it comes to dating — which is more fun, anyway. Plus, being a non-drinker gives you advantages over other guys that you may not have considered.

However, if you’re still feeling challenged by being a non-drinker in today’s dating world, don’t hesitate to reach out to me for personalized advice. Book a 1-on-1 New Client Skype Session with me and we can address issues such as how to evaluate the women you’re interested in, and where to find women who would be most compatible with you. During this intro session we’ll also create a strategy for you and discuss my 3-month coaching program to see if it’s a fit for you.