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Need advice on a social life without alcohol

Old 08-20-2018, 10:09 AM
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Need advice on a social life without alcohol

Hi all,

I thought I'd ask what some of you guys did to have a social life without alcohol & whether you have any suggestions for replacement activities for going to bars.

One reservation I've had about quitting drinking is the fear of how it will impact my social life. On the other hand, I've recognized that my social life has become too pub-centric & that there are tons of other ways. I've read that people can fall into social ruts whereby they can default to only meeting in bars. To a degree that describes my situation.

To be honest, I'm getting to the point where I find hanging out in bars is getting boring. I don't meet any interesting new people, I don't have any interesting conversations, the people who I hang out with I don't have anything much in common with, they always go to the same places & it's just, well, boring rubbish. The idea that you're going to meet a bunch of awesome new friends or end up dating a hot girl is a complete illusion and a lie & a lie that a lot of people believe. You're much more likely to find that through other social avenues.

I used to do salsa classes which were much more fun, had far better conversation & a far better quality of people. I remember I could go to them, enjoy it and not need to drink at all, nor even want to.

So, ho did you have a happy social life without alcohol; Did you try to find more things to do in the daytime as opposed to evening? Did you find replacement activities for bars? Did you avoid going to places that have an edgy, high-stress atmosphere? Did you find some new people to hang out with who you had more in common with? Did you go to things that revolved around activities other than drinking?

What did you find most helpful? What would you suggest?

Cheers
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Old 08-20-2018, 02:12 PM
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Quitting drinking made me realize that my social life was extremely limited. People who hang out in bars all the time are by far the minority, so you literally open yourself up a whole world of opportunity by quitting.
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Old 08-22-2018, 12:41 PM
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One reservation I've had about quitting drinking is the fear of how it will impact my social life.
Social life? This is a live or die proposition and by the time I walked into AA my social life was the least of my worries. I just hung on trying to survive.
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Old 08-22-2018, 01:24 PM
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AA helped me make some new sober friends in recovery

Getting more involved in church

Hobbies (creative writing, brass band, bell ringing, tap dancing, beginners running group, book group)

Volunteering at community events (One of my AA pals has started getting involved In archaeological digs, another walks digs for some elderly people in her village, I do more ad-his, one off or seasonal volunteering. I've met some lovely people that way.)

Getting back in touch with good friends that I had deserted for the booze decades ago, and making the effort to go visit them and ask how they're doing (showing the interest I should have showed back then).

I also started a 2 year course last year (half way through now).






Howevr, I must also add that nowadays I enjoy time alone in quiet. In early recovery I couldn't stand being left with myself. I needed a distraction. Now it's not such an issue.

BB
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Old 08-22-2018, 05:36 PM
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I think everyone has that fear Vulcan.

The short answer is I'm more engaged in my life and with other people than I ever was as a drinker.

I have a great deal of fun and social interaction now - the difference being it doesn't revolve around drinking or opportunities to drink.

I did lose a lot of drinking buddies - but I reconnected with a lot more old friends and made new ones.

I rarely hang around in pubs and clubs anymore but I have a full social calendar and many fun times.

Very few of us would stay sober if we were miserable.

Give it a try

D
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Old 09-05-2018, 02:23 PM
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I don't have much of a nighttime social life anymore and I really don't miss it. I have been on a few nights where everyone else was drinking and it made me realise it is never really that fun. I stay for an hour or so to show my face then drive home.

I am a mix of introvert and extrovert. I love being around people and socialising but I also need my alone time. I would rather be snuggled up in bed in my PJs watching a show or reading a book with a hot tea than at a bar drinking.

I am going to NZ tomorrow for a working holiday and I have already looked up things to do so I don't have to be stuck at the hostel bar all the time. For one, I don't want to risk relapsing and also I will be bored senseless.

I have found hiking groups, pole dancing classes which I used to love but stopped because I was too hungover to train and book clubs. It's not that you won't have a social life, it's that your social life will be different.

If anything I have MORE of a social life and see my friends more often now I am not staying in alone so I can get drunk or that I am already over the limit to drive and can't be bothered with public transport. Or I know getting wasted or showing up wasted would be frowned upon so I didn't go.

You will probably lose friends too, but they were never real friends in the first place. The ones who support your sobriety are the gems.
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Old 09-06-2018, 05:06 AM
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I had a huge amount of fun in a Toastmasters group. It was great for my confidence too. Also I was active in a yacht club, andI enjoy dining out. I was in a car club one time and that was a lot of fun too.
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Old 09-06-2018, 05:59 AM
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I have become more involved in fitness groups. There are, in many cities, some great gyms and other fitness groups that really focus on making fitness more of a social atmosphere. If you can find one, you get the benefit of exercise along with a social atmosphere that tends to include a lot of folks who are focused on a healthy lifestyle.
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Old 09-06-2018, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by vulcan30 View Post
Hi all,

I thought I'd ask what some of you guys did to have a social life without alcohol & whether you have any suggestions for replacement activities for going to bars.

One reservation I've had about quitting drinking is the fear of how it will impact my social life. On the other hand, I've recognized that my social life has become too pub-centric & that there are tons of other ways. I've read that people can fall into social ruts whereby they can default to only meeting in bars. To a degree that describes my situation.

To be honest, I'm getting to the point where I find hanging out in bars is getting boring. I don't meet any interesting new people, I don't have any interesting conversations, the people who I hang out with I don't have anything much in common with, they always go to the same places & it's just, well, boring rubbish. The idea that you're going to meet a bunch of awesome new friends or end up dating a hot girl is a complete illusion and a lie & a lie that a lot of people believe. You're much more likely to find that through other social avenues.

I used to do salsa classes which were much more fun, had far better conversation & a far better quality of people. I remember I could go to them, enjoy it and not need to drink at all, nor even want to.

So, ho did you have a happy social life without alcohol; Did you try to find more things to do in the daytime as opposed to evening? Did you find replacement activities for bars? Did you avoid going to places that have an edgy, high-stress atmosphere? Did you find some new people to hang out with who you had more in common with? Did you go to things that revolved around activities other than drinking?

What did you find most helpful? What would you suggest?

Cheers
Maybe look at YouTube channel "Vlog Creations" It's helped me remember what it's like to be happy and social without alcohol and drugs.

I'm personally in the exact same boat, but I'm having stomach issues from past drinking, so I can't do anything.
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Old 09-06-2018, 08:51 AM
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I had this very same concern.

But I was so beat up from chronic alcoholism that I sought treatment anyway.

Ironically, I have a social life now which is vastly preferable to spending my evenings in taverns.

To expand on Scott's comments, it was a true revelation to me to learn that most of the world doesn't commence drinking every time the sun goes down and that I was the exception and not the majority.

I don't recommend being around alcohol early in recovery, but I eventually came to be comfortable being around it as long as my motives are right (to enjoy or participate in the event and not try to vicariously enjoy other peoples' drinking).
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Old 09-09-2018, 09:25 PM
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I think it depends a lot on your age. I am 46 and none of my friends think it is a shame to admit that I can't handle the booze like I used to or that I've stopped drinking because of the hangovers but when I was in my 20s it would have made me a party pooper.
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Old 09-09-2018, 11:04 PM
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I have a very active social life, constantly on the go. Dinner, movies, working out, chilling with my tenants...goes on and on.

I still occasionally go to bars, I just got back from a beer bust at a local leather bar. Great group of guys. Most of the people there were drinking the cheap beer. I had two overpriced bottles of water. Met some people, avoided the really drunk ones because obnoxious. I went alone and met one really nice guy, we're going on a date this week. It was nice to meet someone in real life instead of through a dating app.

I rarely do bars anymore, but there was a group event I wanted to go to. This is only the second time I've gone out to a bar by myself since I got sober. Usually it's with a group of friends to catch up. They drink, I don't.

It was such a relief to leave and not have to worry if I should drive or not. If I was honest about it, had I been drinking I would have hid behind the buzz and not put myself out there socially. Since I didn't have that, I talked with a lot of people.
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Old 09-09-2018, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by vulcan30 View Post
Hi all,

I thought I'd ask what some of you guys did to have a social life without alcohol & whether you have any suggestions for replacement activities for going to bars.

One reservation I've had about quitting drinking is the fear of how it will impact my social life. On the other hand, I've recognized that my social life has become too pub-centric & that there are tons of other ways. I've read that people can fall into social ruts whereby they can default to only meeting in bars. To a degree that describes my situation.

To be honest, I'm getting to the point where I find hanging out in bars is getting boring. I don't meet any interesting new people, I don't have any interesting conversations, the people who I hang out with I don't have anything much in common with, they always go to the same places & it's just, well, boring rubbish. The idea that you're going to meet a bunch of awesome new friends or end up dating a hot girl is a complete illusion and a lie & a lie that a lot of people believe. You're much more likely to find that through other social avenues.

I used to do salsa classes which were much more fun, had far better conversation & a far better quality of people. I remember I could go to them, enjoy it and not need to drink at all, nor even want to.

So, ho did you have a happy social life without alcohol; Did you try to find more things to do in the daytime as opposed to evening? Did you find replacement activities for bars? Did you avoid going to places that have an edgy, high-stress atmosphere? Did you find some new people to hang out with who you had more in common with? Did you go to things that revolved around activities other than drinking?

What did you find most helpful? What would you suggest?

Cheers
There are several lists here that members have put on as alternatives to activities that donít involve drinking, if you can find them. Personally I find going to lunch a fantastic way of socialising in those said places and itís not at all frowned upon not to drink.
Shopping ( womenís thing, probably) , museums, places of interest, hobbies, books etc, visiting family and friends. Iíve been out sometimes all day and am too exhausted to even think of a drink, accept a nice cup of tea xx
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Old 09-16-2018, 01:04 PM
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I agree with NYCdoglover.

In my experience and in hindsight, I needed the time to myself to work on myself, build self-awareness and to grow. My social life was just another "fix".

I slowly got back into a "social life" as a quieter version of a social life. Stuff like hobbies, yoga, walking my dog, book club, meetups, going out to lunch with a friend, trying a new exercise class, etc.

It's a different version of a social life but I have grown to really like it. It's a more peaceful version without all the fake nonsense of a drinking based social life that I thought was "fun" and "exciting". My old social life was just another escape from myself. Now I spend time with myself and am getting to know the real me.

I don't go to bars. If I go to a party with alcohol, I enjoy flavored sparkling waters and relaxing & observing. I'm not the fake extrovert I used to be, to hide from and cover up my pain. I can just "be".
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Old 09-17-2018, 10:31 AM
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I went the AA route because I needed connection and in meetings, I found a lot of young people around my age in the same boat. No man is an island and I think we DO need to have fun activities and things to do. Happily enough, there are LOADS of things you can do without drinking and drugging.
Here are some of the activities my sober pals and I engage in:
road trips
apple picking/pumpkin picking
museums
concerts
coffee houses
open mic night
live music (sometimes played at bars yes...I DID avoid bars and venues with alcohol for the first full year of my sobriety but now I go to bars to listen to live music on occasion)
house parties
football games
baseball games
movies
movie nights
going out to the movies
shopping
going out for dessert or ice cream
going out for pancakes in our PJs
live theatre
hookah bars
hiking
kayaking
jogging/running
hitting the gym
yoga
meditation
county fairs
art galleries
sailing
long weekends in the country
salsa dancing
potluck dinners and game nights
amusement parks

The list goes on and on. I did NONE of this when I drank. removed alcohol and found, over time, I could have a happy and sane and FUN life as a young, single person. Whoda thunk it?!

PS-Come visit me and we can go salsa dancing together!!
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Old 09-17-2018, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Bunny211 View Post
I went the AA route because I needed connection and in meetings, I found a lot of young people around my age in the same boat. No man is an island and I think we DO need to have fun activities and things to do. Happily enough, there are LOADS of things you can do without drinking and drugging.
Here are some of the activities my sober pals and I engage in:
road trips
apple picking/pumpkin picking
museums
concerts
coffee houses
open mic night
live music (sometimes played at bars yes...I DID avoid bars and venues with alcohol for the first full year of my sobriety but now I go to bars to listen to live music on occasion)
house parties
football games
baseball games
movies
movie nights
going out to the movies
shopping
going out for dessert or ice cream
going out for pancakes in our PJs
live theatre
hookah bars
hiking
kayaking
jogging/running
hitting the gym
yoga
meditation
county fairs
art galleries
sailing
long weekends in the country
salsa dancing
potluck dinners and game nights
amusement parks

The list goes on and on. I did NONE of this when I drank. removed alcohol and found, over time, I could have a happy and sane and FUN life as a young, single person. Whoda thunk it?!

PS-Come visit me and we can go salsa dancing together!!
I engage in most of these pastimes myself and have a blast doing so.

No one, sober or drinking, has any more fun than I do.

When I was drinking, I just hung around in dingy taverns and drank beer, whiskey, vodka, brandy, schnaps, etc.

I was immobilized from my chronic drunkenness.

These days, I participate in everything from opera to NASCAR racing and most things in between.

And I love it all.
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Old 09-19-2018, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by MindfulMan View Post
If I was honest about it, had I been drinking I would have hid behind the buzz and not put myself out there socially. Since I didn't have that, I talked with a lot of people.
^THIS!
Not drinking makes me more authentic when I socialize. It's a more real experience.
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