Whether you’re sober, dry, in recovery or just choose not to drink, it can be quite challenging to have a sober social life. Many social situations involve drinking alcohol and many gatherings revolve around bars and drinks. For the person who chooses to abstain from drinking, these common social situations can get tricky. If you’re trying to adjust to a sober social life or you want to support a friend, check out the helpful tips below!
1. Talk about It
The first tip in having a sober social life is to talk to your friends and family about it. Let the people in your life know what’s going on. This way, you won’t feel uncomfortable or resentful because they didn’t know you weren’t going to drink or didn’t want to go to bars. On the other hand, if don’t feel like sharing this info with others, don’t. Just be prepared to have back-up plans just in case you get in an uncomfortable situation.
2. Make Other Plans
Staying sober doesn’t mean being stuck at home. Be proactive and plan friend dates that don’t involve drinking and drinks aren’t the focus. No matter where you live, you can find lots of fun things to do that have nothing to do with alcohol. Plan a night in and watch movies, have a coffee date and catch up or plan to do something outdoors.
3. Make Sober Friends
While I encourage you to stay close to your current circle of friends, why not make some sober friends for support too? Think you’re the only sober person around? Think again! There are people out there (like me!) who don’t drink alcohol and still know how to let loose and have fun! Even if you don’t already know non-drinking people, you’ll meet new people as you develop new interests so don’t stress!
4. Seek Support from Friends
Seek support from your friends while you’re adjusting to staying sober. They might feel uncomfortable or not know how to help at first, but keep the lines of communication open. And if you’re finding that your old friends aren’t being so helpful or supportive, don’t let it get in the way of your sobriety. Take care of yourself first. If drinking is the only thing that connects to you to your old friends, make new friends.
5. Get a Chance of Scenery
Give yourself a change of scenery as a way to maintain a sober social life. Frequenting old places where you have memories of drinking or being drunk isn’t helpful. There are probably tons of places to hang out that you haven’t gone out and explored yet! And if you live in a small town, frequent the coffee shop, hang out at a friend’s or drive out to a bigger city with a pal where you have access to more places and people!
6. Bring Your Own Drinks
If you’ve been invited to a party or get-together at someone’s home, make things easier on yourself and the host by bringing your own virgin drinks. Don’t assume that the host will have non-alcoholic drinks on hand because people rarely do and you don’t want to be left sipping ice water all night. Take a few bottles of juice or ginger ale and party on!
7. Plan Dates
If you’re single and dating, suggest going to the movies, meeting up for coffee or dessert. If your date already made plans to go out to dinner, that’s okay too. Focus on your date and the food and if your date pushes you to drink or drinks more than you’re comfortable with, don’t feel obligated to stay. You don’t have to tell your date you’re not drinking and he/she doesn’t have the right to make you feel uncomfortable for not drinking!
Having a sober social life might be a bit difficult at times but there are tons of people who have full and active social lives without drinking! You might have to make some changes to your life but it’s all for the better. Go out and enjoy your new life! Do you have any tips on having a sober social life?