The idea of going on a first date sans alcohol may sound like the furthest thing from enjoyable to some. Let’s face it: The first couple of dates are usually underscored with nerves, which is why drinking can feel like a necessary element to relax. Thankfully, if you’re a good match, then you should totally be able to have fun without getting tipsy. First date ideas that don’t involve drinking are actually way easier to come up with than you might think, and keeping some ideas in mind if you or your date don’t drink is never a bad idea.
There are so many reasons why a person might want to avoid drinking on a first date. Maybe they’re sober, have special dietary restrictions, have an allergy, or just don’t want to be in an overly vulnerable state with someone they don’t know very well. IMO, the best way to go about planning a sober date is to schedule a hang out during the day. This almost guarantees that going dry will be much less of a thing. Plus, actually making plans to do something rather than just sitting and talking can also take a ton of pressure off.
“An activity-based date is perfect and can allow you to do something fun outside that you and your date can both enjoy together,” founder, matchmaker, and dating coach of LUMA Luxury Matchmaking told Bustle. Below, some fun date ideas that will still be totally fun without booze.
1Go Mini Golfing
Mini-golf haters will probably always be mini-golf haters, but all I can say is: You guys are seriously missing out! The best part about mini-golf is that even if you’re terrible, it’s still really fun.
“Mini golf is one of the best non-alcohol dates because it doesn’t require a lot of skill and it’s still a physical activity,” Adam C. Earnheardt, Ph.D., chair and professor of the Department of Communication at Youngstown State University told Bustle. “You can choose whether or not to be competitive, and you can still have great conversations. I was once on a blind date and, for every hole I won, I got to ask my date a personal question to find out a little more about her; I’m a terrible golfer, so she found out a lot more about me than I did about her. (And yes, there was a second date.)”
2Have A Picnic
Yes, it’s true, picnics do often include wine or another alcoholic beverages — but they don’t have to! You can each plan to bring a snack to share and meet up at the beach or a local park. If you’re worried about not having an activity, then bring some cards or another game that you can easily play while getting to know each other.
3Visit A Museum
If you’re both into art, visiting a museum together can be a really fun and relaxing way to spend an afternoon. Plus, with all of the visual stimuli, it shouldn’t be hard to come up with things to talk about. If you’re on a tight budget, there are plenty of museums that have free or reduced-price hours.
4Have Lunch At A Food Market
Lunch dates can also make avoiding alcohol way easier than dinner dates, with the added bonus of being able to make a quick escape if you aren’t vibing. Wandering through a seasonal outdoor market or specialty food hall and sharing a bunch of snacks is an awesome way to bond over your favorite foods. It’s also a super low-pressure way to hang out with someone you’ve just started getting to know.
Bowling is a good opportunity to observe how your date handles competition. Are they cool as a cucumber whether they’re winning or losing — or are they easily shaken when they don’t have the upper hand? Seeing how people behave in a bunch of different situations is one of the most fun and surprising parts of dating.
See? Dating and drinking don’t have to be synonymous with one another. And the good news? These dates are just some of many. Have a beach day! Take a paint class! Do yoga together! The possibilities are endless.
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