Birth Control

6 alcohol-free date ideas (that are actually fun) for dry January

We’ve all heard or been asked the question, “What if we drink?” when setting up a date. Many people use drinking as a way to calm their nerves and loosen them up, so it’s no surprise that getting a drink is a common date suggestion. But let’s face it: drinking on a date, or in general, isn’t necessarily a recipe for success. First of all, not everyone drinks! And even if you do, sitting at a bar trying to think of things to talk about can be awkward and not the best way to meet someone. Not to mention that we’ve probably all had experiences on a date that drank too much–not a fun night out.

So if you’re dry January this year, or if you’ve recently quit drinking and you’re worried that sobriety will make dating difficult, fear not. There are many exciting date options out there for those willing to shake things up (aside from cocktails).

With that in mind, consider these sober date ideas for a unique outing whether you’re going on your 500th date with your long-term partner or meeting your latest match on Tinder.

Team up in an escape room

Going on an escape room is a perfect date–you’ll have a lot to talk about, you’ll see their true personalities come out, and there’s less pressure on both of you than when you’re staring at each other across a table. Plus, it’s exciting to work together on a challenge, and you’ll leave with a shared sense of accomplishment (assuming everything goes well and you actually escape the room).

You sweat

If you enjoy working out, why not suggest some tempting fitness-centric activities for your next date? Sign up for a gym class, go dancing, take a walk in the park or ride a bike together, head to the beach for a swim–anything to get those endorphins flowing. Plus, doing something challenging together is an incredible way to get to know someone. Are they game to push their limits? Are they able to laugh at themselves? Getting to check them in spandex is an added benefit.

Go to a comedy show

Unlike a movie date, where you have to sit in silence for two hours, a comedy show allows you to interact with your date, get to know their personality, and have fun. to something a little different. Laughter is also a great way to break the ice, especially if you’re going on a first date. And if you’re a partner, remember that laughing together helps improve the quality of your relationship.

Go stay-at-home camping

Hey, who says you can’t roast marshmallows over a candle? Lay out a blanket in your backyard or on your rooftop, bring some snacks and hot cocoa, and spend a romantic evening under the night sky. If you’re in the mood to be silly, take turns telling your favorite ghosts or stories from camp. Or show off your skills in your favorite card game. Bonus points for stay-at-home camping as a low-cost date option!

Prepare dinner

Plan a date night of cooking a new dish together and make some mocktails to go along with it. Or, if you want, make it a double date or group date. It doesn’t matter if you know what you’re doing in the kitchen–half the fun is making mistakes and making a mess. And hey, you can always give in and order pizza if you have to.

Learn something new together

Learning something new together can be a fun way to learn about to each other too! Sign up for a one-night class, such as an introductory pottery or painting class, or take a class that meets every week if you’re already in a relationship. Or for a cheaper option, teach each other about one of your hobbies and try it out together. Even if things don’t work out with your date, you’ll have a new skill instead of just a hangover.

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