Experts explain why more people are opting for 'dry dating' in 2024
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If you're a nervous dater and prefer a tipple or two while getting glammed-up beforehand, or find it easier to converse with a complete stranger if you've knocked back a couple of G&Ts, it turns out, you could be doing MORE damage to your love life than good.
That's because - according to a wellbeing expert - alcohol 'confuses how we feel' about potential love interests, and can advocate an impulse we later regret.
So, it's really no wonder that so many love-hungry singletons are ditching the booze this winter with improved relationships being just one of the biggest benefits of 'Dry January'.
Still can't see the correlation between a sober date and a happier romantic life? Well, best-selling author Catherine Gray can certainly elaborate.
Writing in her 2017 hit book The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober, she explains: "Frequently on the 7pm first drink we’ll think ‘meh’.
"On the second drink, ‘meh’ is a little more mesmerising. Rinse and repeat four times, and suddenly you’re heavy petting someone you wouldn’t even ordinarily lightly pet."
It's not just the avoidance of sexual regret has tempted a quarter of people aged 18 to 34 to ditch the vodka from their lime and soda this month.
Cutting the drink element out of a date can also make your evening significantly cheaper, with a soft drink being a fraction of the price of a cocktail.
Excessive drinking has also understandably being linked to illness the following day - otherwise known as a hangover - as well as a lack of productivity and fatigue.
And - as many of us are full aware - hangovers can lead to craving of junk food, resulting in an overpriced food delivery order and an unhealthy meal.
"Sober dating saves immense time and money," Catherine adds. "A quick walk along the river at lunchtime will tell you everything you need to know."
AKA - no more wasting your time on enduring and subsequently recovering from mediocre dates, or your money on drinks that will only worsen your wellbeing.
Catherine doesn't fail to appreciate, however, that the decision to go sober isn't one that many drinkers take lightly.
She continues: "Alcohol does a dance of veils around your anxiety, and being alcohol-free takes some serious getting used to.
"This is why sober dating is best done while moving, in daylight, not staring at each other, and in environments where there’s lots to discuss."