Is It Unrealistic to Only Date People Who Don't Drink or Use Drugs?

September 25, 2023

Dating someone who doesn't drink alcohol or use recreational drugs can seem unrealistic in today's party culture. However, many people prefer partners who live a sober lifestyle. Here's a look at whether it's unrealistic to only want to date non-drinkers and drug-free people.

Why Some Seek Sobriety in Relationships

There are many reasons why someone may only want to date people who abstain from alcohol and drugs:

  • They are in recovery themselves and want to avoid temptation or triggering past substance abuse issues. Being around drugs and alcohol could jeopardize their sobriety.
  • They've had negative experiences dating drinkers/drug users in the past due to erratic behavior or alcohol-fueled arguments.
  • They dislike the health effects, risks and altered behavior caused by substances.
  • Their religion or personal values call for living a sober lifestyle.
  • They want a partner who shares their health-focused way of life.

The Sobriety Dating Pool is Smaller, But Present

When you remove drinkers and drug users from your dating pool, you certainly shrink your options. Studies show the majority of adults drink alcohol at least occasionally. Many also use marijuana, cigarettes, vape pens and other recreational substances.

However, sober singles do exist! Here are some tips for finding them:

  • Try religious dating sites that attract people who avoid alcohol and drugs for faith reasons.
  • Join interest groups focused on healthy living like hiking clubs, CrossFit gyms, yoga studios or vegetarian meetups. The members often embrace natural highs over substances.
  • Look into recovery programs and support groups in your area. Many attendees commit to complete sobriety.
  • Be upfront about your dating preferences on your online dating profiles. This helps like-minded people find you.

Consider Flexibility Too

While sobriety is an understandable dating priority, also consider being open to social drinkers or occasional marijuana users. Here are some potential compromises if you meet someone amazing who doesn't completely abstain:

  • Ask them to refrain from drinking or using weed around you to support your comfort level.
  • Accept light or moderate social drinking but draw the line at heavy use.
  • Make peace with their past substance use if they've moved beyond it.
  • Focus on whether their usage is healthy vs problematic for them.

Staying flexible gives you more dating options without necessarily jeopardizing your sobriety values.

Prioritize the Person First

Rather than fixating too much on this one preference, keep the focus on getting to know someone's character and lifestyle more holistically.

Ask yourself:

  • Do they share the same values and interests as me overall?
  • Are they a kind, motivated person I enjoy spending time with?
  • Do they add happiness to my life?
  • Would they support my decision to be substance-free?

Avoid writing someone off just because they occasionally have a glass of wine with dinner. Get to know their full personality first.

Stay Hopeful in Your Search

While it can seem challenging to find sober singles, don't lose hope. There are plenty of people out there who don't drink or get high - you just need to look in the right places.

Prioritize self-care, positive mindset and enjoying single life as you continue your search. With an open heart, the right person will come along who shares and respects your sobriety boundaries.

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