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“Hi! Do you have any advice on dating and being involved in the LGBT community while sober? I recently began my coming out journey and am looking for more ways to be involved and seek community, but so many events are centered around alcohol or bars and I don’t drink. I appreciate any advice you have! Thanks!”

- Question submitted by Anonymous

Kristin Says:

I do have advice! I do!

Let’s do this in two parts, shall we? The dating part, and the being involved part. COOL GREAT LIFT OFF:

Getting involved in the larger community without alcohol is totally possible, and means that you will open up really badass avenues into community-based efforts toward change and awareness. Some of the best humans in my life have come from doing volunteer work with queer and trans organizations. Look up local places in your area, or events that are coming up that may need an extra hand or two. Seek out an internship if you have the time! If you have a few friends who want to join you in the volunteer effort, awesome, and if not, full steam ahead bc your NEW friends will be there waiting.

If you’re like COOL KRISTIN THANKS BUT, I DON’T REALLY WANNA VOLUNTEER, sigh, okay, I will give you a few more tips (but like, you should at least try the above suggestion).  Try to host a meet-up in your area! Autostraddle is home to hosting many-a-meet-up, so check those out, take some notes, and either join one in your area or start one of your own! Also, use dating apps to make friends! PEOPLE TOTALLY DO IT. If there are other people in your area who are like, ‘Man, I would love to just get a goddamn coffee and talk about my complicated feelings on Roxanne Gay’s latest essay,’ and they see your profile and it says, ‘Looking for a friend or seven who will get coffee with me and talk about the complicated words of Roxanne Gay,’ they will LOSE THEIR MIND and MESSAGE YOU and you will HAVE COFFEE AND TALK. (Or if you’re on Long Island you’ll have cawfee and tawk.)

Getting involved in dating without alcohol is a matter of honesty, and believing that your sober self is fucking awesome. My very dear friend was a social drinker her whole life, and then she broke up with her (social drinker) girlfriend and began online dating. The first THREE people she dated were sober. Totally sober. She was like, ‘wow, this is kind of amazing, I actually don’t like drinking every time I go out,’ and she now BARELY drinks at all (and she isn’t even with a sober human, she just enjoys sobriety!). Be clear that you don’t drink. Ask for first dates to happen at amazing coffeeshops or bookstores or local parks! You owning your sober-ness will bring people into your life who connect with you and who aren’t desperate to make their dating life hinge on alcohol. And, truthfully, although I am a social drinker myself, I think that finding that quality in a person you date is very, very important regardless of whether your sober or not.

I hope this helps!

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