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10 Ideas for Sober First Dates

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By Cheryl Steinberg

We all know that alcohol is abundantly present in our daily lives: from TV ads to weddings to Super Bowl Sunday to a casual evening at home, alcohol is often – and most likely – present. Despite this, once you start leading a sober lifestyle, you might be surprised at just how much of a role alcohol plays in social interactions and, more specifically, the dating scene.

When it comes to first dates, especially, people often turn to the whole “let’s meet at the bar” trend because a.) it doesn’t take much creativity or work in planning and b.) it provides access to that long-time social lubricant: liquor.

So, in hopes to ease some of your first date jitters, we put together this list of 10 ideas for sober first dates. There is, of course, the usual stuff: movies, bowling, and miniature golf. We tried to think outside of the box for some more creative ideas for your special first date.

#1. A painting or cooking class

This gives you both a chance to get your creative juices flowing while taking some of the pressure off by not having to do the one-on-one thing on your first date.

#2. Take a tour of your city or town

Or whatever historic district is nearby.

#3. Attend a concert of a favorite mutual artist

Concerts are pretty much always a good time. If you and your possibly soon-to-be honey are music-lovers, going to a concert together can be a great first date.

#4. Make a picnic

If the weather’s nice, of course. This is a great idea for getting some fresh air while being part of your community – if you choose to have your picnic in a park. Also, this allows for easy conversation and people-watching.

#5. Go to a local museum or art gallery

Get your culture on by going to a nearby museum of history, art, science, whatever. Or, if you’re both more into the local art scene, check out your town’s galleries.

#6. Have a game night at your place or theirs

Also, there are coffee houses and other hang-out type places that allow you to play in public. I think this is an excellent idea as a first date because, playing Monopoly for instance, can give you a great glimpse into what they’re like under pressure – and if they’re crazy-competitive, which can be a turn-off. If you’re a spelling and grammar nazi like me, a game of Scrabble can be a great way to gauge whether or not you can see yourself with someone who thinks the word ‘grateful’ is spelled G-R-E-A-T-F-U-L. Nope.

#7. Do something sporty

Nighttime kayaking, a tennis match, bike-riding, jai alai – whatever it is you two both like. Or maybe it’s a new experience to the both of you.

 #8. Consult the newspaper or your local city guide

Check out the weekend arts-and-entertainment section for ideas. It lets you be spontaneous and gives you an opportunity to experience new things you otherwise never would.

#9. Go to the Fair

If it’s in town, check out the local carnival or street fair. Sometimes just being able to sit and people-watch can make for a great time. And then there’s the food, rides, crafts, face-painting, and haunted houses of course.

#10. Attend a food truck event

Good local food, served fresh and with its own culture and flair, food truck events are lots of fun.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, or both addiction and mental illness, Palm Partners is an accredited, well-known and respected alcohol and drug treatment center that also offers a dual diagnosis program of approach. Please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135 to speak with an Addiction Specialist today.

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