Dating when sober

The answer: I was locked into a pattern—one that will probably sound familiar to any 20-something dating in a big city. 3 makes me feel even more confident and bold, and my date and I get closer to each other. It also helps drown out the things you're feeling insecure about. After three months of dating someone, I’d suddenly become aware of something I hadn't noticed while we were sloshed, like his short temper or jealous streak.

The beginning of any new relationship went something like this: For the first date, we meet at a low-lit bar. I'd stick around for longer than I should've, remembering the good times that I only thought were good because I was wasted for most of them.

I started inviting women I was interested in to go on walks in the park or hikes in the hills rather than to bars. Arrange a hike or a beach walk on a weekend or before work.

The response from these women was infinitely more positive when I suggested a creative, meaningful date than when I would ask them to "meet up for drinks." People connect over shared experience. Walking side-by-side through nature will make you feel more like you're relaxing with a friend than like a job interview in which you sit at a dinner table and grill each other across the table. Being present throughout your date — free of electronic distractions or alcohol-induced slowness — helps foster that warm, fuzzy feeling of attraction.

Without alcohol as a crutch for conversation, I've had to learn how to be comfortable with awkward silences.

Or take the time to fill them with something thoughtful instead of stream of consciousness babbling.

But nothing was awesome, and I was anything but cool.But for the most part, I haven't found myself on many dates where we're both just standing around, because dating sober requires you to get creative.And let me tell you, even the process of making plans that don't involve picking a bar that's convenient for both of you can tell you a lot about the person you're dating. Trying to sneak into Brooklyn's fanciest rooftop pools on a Sunday afternoon? But there's a bond that gets created when you’re trying something out of the ordinary and outside your comfort zone.I met women through friends, at farmers markets, at yoga classes, and in parks.I opened up a whole world of potential partners by rejecting the belief that "in bars, at night" is the only way to meet women. Here are a few of the most helpful tips (and some of the most fun activities) I've discovered on my journey: A morning hike is great because you're more energetic and fresh.