Dating Sober Versus Drunk

On the news today I saw that GQ researched the perfect quantity of wine to have on a first date. Is it one glass, the 5 oz that a doctor recommends? Nope. The answer that GQ came to was THREE. Three glasses of "wine" is the perfect number, they say. I am going to have to respectfully disagree with this.

It feels like "fake news" to me.  Dang it, Russia. I have been dating for 20 years, but it feels like I am dating for the first time. You'd think I'd be good at it. What is the one thing that is different about the last 20 years and now? I am not drinking the recommended three glasses of wine. I am drinking zero. 

It is difficult to date when you are newly sober. Your brain is going through a lot of changes. Your self esteem is scarily non-existent. You no longer have liquid courage. You actually take your insecurities with you into every conversation, every outfit, every hair day, every face to face "interview." 

I am in a relationship with a man I was in a relationship before I gave up drinking. He is not sober. He does not drink around me, though. He started sensing our relationship did not have a future before I got sober. He told me I was "unpredictable." I never realized how unattractive my drinking was. How unlovable it had become. How untrustworthy it made me. I never felt that way about my drinking. I felt the opposite, actually. I thought it was a lubricator that helped me speak my mind. I thought I needed it for social livelihood. I never felt like I was on a rollercoaster while I was drinking wine every night. I didn't feel anything.  Now that I am sober, my emotions ARE a rollercoaster. It is ok for me to ride a rollercoaster of my own emotions, everyone does. It is NOT ok for me to make others ride a rollercoaster of irrationality to be with me.

The best way for me to explain to people how dating has changed now is to take it from the man I am dating's mouth.  I am stable now. I am still overwhelmingly emotional and a crazy person. But, it is not a rollercoaster for him if I feel things.  The rollercoaster came because I was irrational. I was not feeling my emotions properly, nor was I expressing them properly to him. I do not constantly break up with him. I do not get drunk and angry text him. I do not change on a whim. I can sit at a table and talk to him with dignity instead of getting drunk and threatening to do a runner. 

Confidence. Sobriety has offered a shift in confidence. I felt as if alcohol was giving me confidence. It wasn't. By giving up alcohol, I am able to feel my way around now. I do not make irrational non-feeling decisions to abandon relationships because I feel one tinge of a bad feeling anymore. The more confidence alcohol gave me in my irrationality, the less confidence a man could have in our relationship. I have confidence in sober me's decisions, too. 

So, I'm dating. He is not a new guy. He is an old guy (not sure he wants me to refer to him as that.) But, it is a new relationship. It is new to us to actually "sober date." We went on a very romantic row-boat date. We laughed. He rowed. I rode. This boat is taking us somewhere great, and I am not going to sink it with any sake bombs.