SWF – Sober White Female 

SWF – Sober White Female 

As most of you know, I’m looking for love. In fact, I’ve been looking for love for a long time but only appear to attract knights in tin foil (shamelessly stolen) instead of the Adonis I deserve. 

Recently, I have felt brave enough to get back on the dating scene completely stone cold sober. This is a whole new concept in itself as previously I would turn up to dates half cut after smoking 10 Marlboro Lights (despite declaring myself a non smoker) & hope they wouldn’t notice. 

The problem with being half cut before the date begins is that the beer goggles are firmly in place by drink 2 with said date & anything goes. I blame alcohol for most of the utterly unsuitable people I had the (dis) pleasure of meeting in the past. This time it will be different. 

When I re-added my online profiles earlier this year, I was adamant that I wanted a totally sober suitor. The thought of dating someone who drank alcohol freaked me out. I was scared in case they got too drunk or if I was tempted to drink or if they smelt of alcohol. Basically overthinking everything as per usual. 

But as time ticked on, I realised that I was probably being unreasonable in my demands. I mean, not everyone drinks to get hammered (like me) plus I had already proven I had an element of self-control & probably wouldn’t be tempted by most ‘manly’ drinks anyway. 

So last week, I embarked on a date in an actual pub. Where they serve actual alcohol. With a date who was drinking beer. And, surprisingly, it wasn’t so bad. He didn’t get drunk & I didn’t feel tempted & I couldn’t smell it. In fact of all the things I’d unnecessarily worried about didn’t come true.

Following the successful first date, we decided to meet up again & I invited said date round for dinner. This was where it got interesting (not like that naughty people) because despite knowing I didn’t drink, he brought a bottle of my favourite red (Malbec) round for himself & a bottle of sparkling water for me. I have to admit that it was a bit of a shock. I hadn’t really thought about someone bringing alcohol into my flat or how I would feel about it. I also had forgotten the wine ‘ritual’ & about my dusty wine glasses & the whole thing felt very alien. But you know what, after the initial weirdness, it wasn’t so bad. I don’t drink & that’s a fact & that was enough for me. 

Unfortunately, I fear this Strong Sober Sister was a little too much for said date & after date 4, I wearily climbed back onto my shelf & kickstarted the search for Mr Right. Again. Except this time I am happy if he likes a tipple or three as I know I’m more than happy on sparkling water. 


Popping the sober dating cherry

Popping the sober dating cherry

Last night, I popped my proverbial sober dating cherry. Not literally, I hasten to add, but I climbed back on the horse of Tinder and got myself a date.

Dating is a minefield when you’re drinking but feels even harder when you’re not. It’s not a pleasant experience weeding out potential fun/drama/chaos/love, just by a lone snapshot of their face, captured in one millisecond of time. It’s insane how some can people look so different from photo to photo, or what some men think is attractive to the opposite sex. 

Common dating site photo themes men obviously think are attractive to women are – 

The ‘fish shot’ – ‘me holding a giant fish’ – evidence they are a hunter? Or a fish lover? Or a murderer?

The ‘poking out tongue shot’ – why? There is nothing sexy about this .. in fact it just looks like they’ve lost their mind

The ‘holding a child’ shot (not necessarily their child) – why would you plaster your child or someone else’s child or any child whatsoever on a public dating site. Women are not stupid. If you ‘borrow’ a child thinking this makes you look loving & caring, you are wrong. It makes you look like a psycho. 

The ‘obligatory bathroom selfie’ – loo seat up in the background showing a complete lack of basic skills essential for a meet up.

The ‘group shot’ – the entirely intelligent shot where women are expected to guess which one is on offer, praying for the hottie on the left but knowing full well it’s highly likely to be the minger on the right.

The ‘obligatory pint shot’ .. ‘I know how to have fun, I can down a pint in less than 5 seconds’ titter titter. 

The ‘shot that isn’t even of your face’ .. and believe me, sometimes it’s worse than all your wild dreams put together .. various body parts, sex toys, plants, views, Halloween photos, cars, stockings, heels, fish (I don’t know what it is about the fish), and children again. 

In order for me to pick someone, I scroll past all of the above. Which leaves me about 1% of the population. Then I change my radius. Which leaves me with even less. Then I swipe, hoping for a match. If we match, he’s now one in a million. And then he can’t spell. 

If anyone thinks online dating is easy, that you have the pick of the crop, that it’s like being in a sweet shop, you are very much mistaken. It’s more like being in a maze, in the dark, blindfolded, with earplugs in, being spun round and yet by some miracle, you find the exit and survive. 

My date last night was a modern day miracle making it through the callous swiping game. He managed to avoid all the photos mentioned above, was within radius, could spell and actually suggested something other than getting smashed on the first date. We met for a walk on the beach and he could actually converse too. 

I was upfront and honest about Soberdom and he seemed to take it in his stride. The evening ended with a cheeky snog, proof that I’ve still got it .. I just needed to convince myself that I do!

Sober dating is nerve wracking. It’s like exposing yourself like you never have before. There is no protective cloak to blame if things don’t turn out well. It is you against the world and you have to be strong and convince yourself that it’s worth it, that you are worth it. And I’m slowly starting to believe that I am.