I’ve gone on a handful of first dates this past month, all of them completely sober. It’s been…different. Alcohol has been a wonderful way of keeping my anxiety at bay and to portray confidence rather than nervous awkwardness. Alcohol has been the major contributor to every single romantic relationship I’ve ever had dating back to when I was 19 and had my first mixed drink of Absolut Mandrin and Sprite. It’s been a crutch for way too long and time for me to try something…different.
The first few dates felt incredibly daunting. At times I probably came off awkward as fuck. But then I push past it. I learn that I don’t need to have a drink. I realize I’m a good person with a rich life and stories. And I find the confidence within.
You can be a lot more mindful of what your date is saying and recall what they share with you afterward. You can learn a lot more about a person and objectively come to a decision whether they are a good match for you. Maybe if I had done the same in the past I wouldn’t have had as many short-term relationships that have ended in tears and recriminations.
But I regret nothing. Each relationship has been a part of the journey that has led me to this moment of my life. A life that would not be nearly as rich without them. Each and every single one of them.
I imagine this dance will continue for some time. But now I know I can actually dance without the aid of alcohol.