Will I Still Have a Social Life Without Alcohol?

Coach reviewed by Namrata Pereira, CADC, MATC, CAMS, CCS on September 15, 2022

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One of the many challenges of going sober is adjusting to your new social life.

How can you make friends without the booze? Where can you meet new people? And most importantly, how can you become comfortable with going out and not drinking?

Although it’s tough at first, there are plenty of places to find new friends and ways to break the ice without alcohol. It just takes putting yourself out there and a little know-how.

Below, we’ll cover how to socialize without alcohol, where to find new friends, and some tips to help you along the way.

How To Make Friends Without Drinking

three men with scooters laughing on a city street
Photo by Jed Villejo on Unsplash

As you might’ve noticed, making friends without drinking can be tough—especially if you’re used to having some liquid courage to ease your nerves.

That being said, making new friends in sobriety is very much possible, and gets easier the more you do it. Here are some tips to curb the awkwardness and make friends without alcohol.

  • Participate in activities, wherever you are. Jump in the pool, chat with people, head to the dance floor—whatever it is, don’t be afraid to get involved! You might find that all the action keeps your mind at ease.
  • Embrace the awkward moments. Being new to a sober social life means you’ll need to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. The good news is that the discomfort will pass, and you’ll become more confident over time.
  • Put yourself out there. You may have to find new places to socialize besides the bar or club, and it’ll be scary at first. But when you show up consistently, wherever it may be, you’ll be amazed at the connections you’ll make.
  • Go places where you share a common interest with others. When you share a hobby with a stranger, becoming friends is so much easier. You already have something to talk about!
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Need Help or Have Questions?

Schedule a private call with a Ria Health team member and we can help you get started.

Try Sober Activities To Meet New People

While it’s totally possible to make friends as the only sober person at the bar, it’s not exactly ideal. Besides, it’s no fun dealing with the pressure to drink or feeling like the odd one out.

A key part of learning how to socialize without alcohol is finding social situations where others aren’t drinking either. With that in mind, here are some of the best sober activities to try out to meet new people:

  • Join a fitness class. Whether you’re into CrossFit, MMA, yoga, or something else, fitness classes are a great way to meet new people without alcohol.
  • Go to an alcohol-free bar. Many major cities have bars for sober nightlife. You can order alcohol-free drinks, socialize with people (who are also avoiding alcohol for the night), and have fun without feeling the pressure to drink.
  • Volunteer. Try an animal rescue, food pantry, or even your local library. Volunteering is a great way to make an impact with your time and meet new people along the way.
  • Head to a book club or art gallery. If you love different forms of media, these are spectacular places to find like-minded people.
  • Dive into your hobbies. Whether you love video games, painting, gardening, or any other past-time, it’s a guarantee that someone else loves it too. Meetup.com is a great place to look for groups near you. But if you can’t find a physical group close by, social media is an excellent way to connect with people who have common interests.

Embrace the Changes of a Social Life Without Alcohol

group of friends on a hiking trip
Photo by Tiago Rosado on Unsplash

In all honesty, you’re going to face some significant adjustments in your social life when you get sober.

Learning how to socialize without alcohol is a learning curve. You won’t have alcohol to fight off your nerves anymore, and you’ll have to learn to embrace some discomfort. Beyond that, you might have to look a little harder to make new friends.

But over time, you might realize that the quality of your friendships is better than when you used booze to socialize. You’ll have people you can turn to for advice and who support your physical and mental well-being. Aside from that, you’ll be spending more time trying new activities and doing the things you love.

It’s a big change from the alcohol-fueled party scene, but it’s worth it.

Need Help Cutting Back?

All in all, getting sober while managing your social life can be tricky. You might feel like you need alcohol to socialize. Or you might always end up drinking when you’re at parties or bars, regardless of what you planned on.

Aside from that, your old social life can be triggering—especially if it revolved around drinking in the past. But if you’ve been struggling to cut back on your alcohol use, there are online options that can help.

Ria Health is one online program that gives you access to medical professionals, coaching meetings, anti-craving prescriptions, and more—all from your smartphone. The whole thing is portable, so you can get support from anywhere—from the sober bar to your nearest Meetup group.

Learn more about how it works.

Have questions about online alcohol treatment?

or call (800) 504-5360

Written By:
Alicia Schultz
Alicia is a Minnesota-based freelancer who writes for Ria Health and various other brands in the health and wellness space. Beyond addiction and recovery, she also covers topics relating to general well-being, mindfulness, fitness, mental health, and more. When she’s not writing, you can find her relaxing with her three-legged cat, trying new workout routines, and spending time with her loved ones.
Reviewed By:
Evan O'Donnell
Evan O’Donnell is an NYC-based content strategist with four years’ experience writing and editing in the recovery space. He has conducted research in sound, cognition, and community building, has a background in independent music marketing, and continues to work as a composer. Evan is a deep believer in fact-based, empathic communication—within business, arts, academia, or any space where words drive action or change lives.
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