While the phrase “grab a drink” commonly refers to alcohol, as a sober woman, I still extend the offer when making plans with my friends. As some of you may know, I quit drinking over three years ago, but in the very beginning, I thought I wouldn’t be any fun without alcohol and believed going out was no longer an option for me. I eventually learned that was wrong, and in fact, it was a lie I told myself because I suffered from social anxiety.
What I realized was, I could do anything without alcohol and have an even better time doing it. Plus, living a life without hangovers has been pretty damn amazing! Before I could get to the sober galavanting, though, I spent a lot of time in my head. Whenever I would go out, I’d sit quietly alone and scan the room, watching others sip their cocktails. It took some soul searching, many deep breaths, and countless calls to my tribe, but ultimately, I warmed up to mingling without the ice-breaker drink. I remember the moment it happened; I had this sudden epiphany that I didn’t need alcohol to approach people anymore.
Once I came to that realization, I took my first stab at making new friends (sober). It began when I asked an old Instagram acquaintance for coffee, which seemed like a good idea. I was happy not to have to fake my desire to bar hop. I felt in control and excited about my CGD (coffee, girl-date) – I planned to make more! From museum visits at the MoMA to lunch at my favorite chicken and waffles spot (Sweet Chick, in Williamsburg), I was on a roll with booze-free plan-making.
I have met with girlfriends at cafes to help them with social media, raged at SoulCycle with a gaggle of girls, and had many fun days spent shopping with friends. What’s more, is most of my buddies don’t even care to drink. Some are either sober curious or just not interested in drinking at all. Most of the time, they seem relieved boozing isn’t on the menu, which has been refreshing.
If you’re thinking of testing the waters with a new friend, start with a tea or coffee date. It’s the best day-drinking alternative yet! See below for five of my favorite cafes in New York. Good luck, and don’t forget to tell me how it went!
5 Fabulous Cafes in New York