The disadvantages of a dry first date

In a drinking culture, going out without alcohol might feel counterintuitive. But, more and more singles are choosing to eschew booze on their dates. It may be for a month-long experiment, or it might be part of their lifelong recovery plan.

Regardless, when it comes to dating, dry texting is the pits. Here’s why you should avoid it.

1. It’s awkward

If you’re on a first date, a dry conversation can be uncomfortable. Not only can you end up talking about nothing interesting, but it can also be a sign that your date isn’t interested in continuing the date.

One of the best ways to avoid a dry conversation is to come prepared with topics and questions ahead of time. This will give you a fallback if organic conversation doesn’t flow right away.

You can also try switching things up by playing a game. This can be a fun way to lighten the mood and learn more about your date at the same time. Plus, it’ll keep the conversation from getting too stale. Try something like “Never Have I Ever” or a quick trivia game.

2. You’ll be more nervous

When you’re on a first date, it’s normal to feel nervous and anxious. But many of us are able to ease those feelings with some liquid courage. However, when you’re on a dry date, you’ll probably find that you’re a lot more nervous. This could make you talk a little too much, or even say things that you would never dream of saying while under the influence.

There’s a trend going on right now where people are choosing to go on alcohol-free dates. This is mostly because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and is a great way to build a meaningful connection without having any distractions. Additionally, it lifts the heteronormative expectation that the man should pay for the date. This is great for women, too!

3. You’ll have to talk a lot

It’s natural to feel a bit of apprehension about having to talk a lot on your first date, especially when you’re trying to establish a connection. However, if you want to avoid having a dry first date, just remember that conversation is key.

Asking open questions, such as “what do you like to do for fun?” or “What’s your favorite movie?” will help the talking flow, according to Pompey. You can also make your date laugh by sharing a funny story or telling them about yourself.

Just be careful not to dive into the deep stuff too quickly, Nguyen warns. Discussing trauma or rehashing old relationships can seem heavy and may put a strain on your new relationship. If you are hesitant to broach this topic, try switching gears by discussing something lighthearted, such as your favorite shows or travel destinations.

4. You’ll be bored

A first date is meant to be a fun and exciting experience, but it can become boring quickly if your new date doesn’t have much to say. If they only send one-word responses or if they take hours to reply to texts, they may be suffering from dry texting, which can be an indicator of disinterest.

Avoid boring conversations like discussing sex or finances, which can make the situation feel awkward and tedious. Also, don’t be a name dropper—referring to famous friends or illustrious connections conveys insecurity and makes you seem shallow.

Whether you’re trying to stay healthy during the pandemic or you just want to connect more authentically, dry dating can be a great way to get to know someone without relying on alcohol. However, it’s important to prepare yourself for the challenge so that you don’t let your expectations get too high or end up wasting your time.

5. You’ll have to leave

Depending on how the date is going, you may be at the point where you want to leave the date early without causing a scene. It’s not the most fun to be stuck on a bad date with someone you don’t know that well. Luckily, you can always fake an illness or blame a fluffy lil pup for making you leave.

Many people choose to go on dry dates for a variety of reasons. It can be a great way to lift heteronormative standards and experience authentic chemistry without the aid of alcohol. However, there are some disadvantages to dating while sober, too.