This past Friday I did something that scared the living crap out of me. I went on a first date...with someone I had never met...and I was SOBER. As I wrote about in one of my previous posts, I have not been romantically involved with anyone for over a year, and even when I had been, the initial nerves were always able to be muted with some help from my good friend that was alcohol. Basically, this situation was one I had never experienced in my life. My last sober first date was when I was 17 years old and that was with someone I already had built a friendship with. I know the online dating world is common these days and most people are probably used to it, but I am not one of those people.
On the day of our date, I worked all day and was going to head home immediately, freshen up, and go meet him at a sushi restaurant. I'm glad I was busy all day so I hardly had any time to think about how scary this situation was to me. When we were making plans to meet up he first asked me if I wanted to meet for drinks...I had to think for a while about what I thought the best way to respond to this would be. I thought maybe I should say nothing and meet him for drinks and then order a lemonade and casually mention that I don't drink. But then I thought about that making him uncomfortable and if he would wish he had known that beforehand so he wouldn't have taken me to a bar. Ugh. So I decided to go with the option of saying, "yeah sounds great! Just a heads up, I don't drink anymore but I'm still down to go out and do whatever!" He took that very well and asked if I liked sushi instead (which I just so happen to be a huge fan of :)
The moment came, where I was walking up to the restaurant without a clue of how the next few hours would pan out. I took a deep breath (or 20) and gave myself a little pep talk about being yourself and all that "if he doesn't like you then that's his problem" crap. Then I just went for it! And wow. It was so much fun. I consider myself to be extremely introverted. I get anxious and overwhelmed in most social settings. I think I do a lot better one on one in a more intimate setting. I think the fact that we hardly knew anything about each other made it so easy for us to talk for hours about our passions, interests, family, friends, and everything else under the sun. We connected instantly and had so much in common it was actually a little freaky. I wasn't sure if I was going to share with him about the extent of my alcohol situation, so I decided to feel it out and see what happened naturally. It got brought up very naturally and I felt comfortable enough to share about my DUI and problem with alcohol and how I have made the decision to cut it out of my life completely and have been so much happier ever since! He was impressed that I was so open and vulnerable with him and I think that helped us connect even more. I don't want to gush about it too much, but the gist is that I'm excited about the potential of something real that is built on a healthy, sober foundation. I proved to myself that it is possible!! Despite the outcome, I feel stronger and capable of being my real sober self with someone. It is such a good feeling. For so long I thought that I would always need some booze as a crutch to lean on for the boost to get close to someone new. THAT IS NOT THE CASE!
Thank you #1 for helping me pick out my outfit and sending me on my way with words of encouragement and strength. You helped me get across that giant barrier that was in my head and now I feel much more confident in my sober dating self. It will still always be a little scary, but I'm so thankful to have a positive experience like this one to remember as a baseline. I'm seeing him again tonight...Ah!