Sober dating can be fun, challenging, exciting, and sometimes baffling; one thing for sure is that it’s bound to be interesting. Valentine’s Day, with its overt link to romantic expectations, can be a perfect time for sober dating—or, it can have its complications. The key, of course, is how developed the relationship is. Have the two of you been dating long enough that a Valentine’s Day date has special meaning for both of you? If you are newly dating, can you both cheerfully downplay the fact of its being “that special day” and simply enjoy it as a regular day? Or is one of you possibly hopeful that a Valentine’s Day date might be a signifier of romance, while the other “isn’t there yet”?
Depending on the circumstances, here are some sober dating ideas for Valentine’s Day:
- Dinner and a movie. Can’t lose. A classic combination.
- If members of a recovery community, perhaps a meeting or informal gathering would be ideal.
- Live music. Local entertainment is full of surprises—find a club that’s more about the music than the drinking.
- Go dancing, then eat. If you’re new to sobriety, dancing without booze might be daunting, but try to have a sense of humor about it and you’ll see that fun doesn’t end when the drinking ends.
- Is there a beach nearby? A moderate hill to hike? A zoo? Conversation during a long walk by the shore, with lunch before or dinner afterward, can be perfect for those newly dating as well as for the established sober couple.
If sober dating on Valentine’s Day has any particular “spin” to it, make sure that it’s appropriate to the level of comfort and intimacy already established.