I remember first hearing about the sober curious movement about a year ago on a podcast. I was intrigued by the movement but I was unsure if it was something I wanted to try, or even if I could do it. This isn't to say I drink a lot or all the time, but I definitely enjoy wine and a good cocktail. Just have a look at my logo and you'll see a martini glass. Truly, I'm all about balance and I still believe that drinking can be part of a healthy lifestyle. But when I found myself single for the first time in 14 years, I noticed how much I relied on drinking to make myself feel comfortable. And I wanted to explore that, so here we are...
This post is sponsored by Grüvi. I was compensated for my time, however all opinions expressed are 100% my own.
When I first found myself single, it was a pretty odd experience. Having been in a relationship for so long, I had zero clue what dating was like. So, I took a little while to get back in the dating game, which was fine, because I had more than enough to keep me occupied. Like dealing with heartbreak, and unfortunately, infidelity. So I focused on putting myself first and did everything I could to really prioritize self care. After about six months, I decided I was ready to start dating. And wow, how things had changed!
To be completely honest, I was VERY nervous about dating in the beginning. So I knew, I had to give myself time and slowly dip my toes into it. But once I started dating, I kinda loved it. Each date (no matter how torturous some were) taught me something about myself. And the dates that went on to become more of a relationship taught me even more.
I had never done the online dating thing and that seemed to be how everyone dated now, so I hopped on a dating app and off I went. The dating app I used was Hinge, which for me has been a great experience and I highly recommend this one. The first date I went on, I was SO nervous, I almost decided to pull a no show. As I waited just outside the meeting spot, my palms sweaty, I thought about turning around and walking home. A million thoughts all ran through my head about what to do when we met? Do we hug? What if the conversation sucks? Or what if he doesn't like me? And what if I like him and he rejects me? I was a nervous wreck and my anxiety was next level. I went through with the date and it actually went pretty well. Luckily, he was easy to talk to and after a glass of wine, I felt a little more comfortable. We continued to date for a couple weeks and then broke it off. It was also the first time I can remember being rejected, and I'm not going to lie, it stung a little.
And then I went on more dates. Sometimes up to three a week! What can I say I was making up for lost time ;) and I noticed the same trend. Prior to the date, I'd be super nervous and then after having a drink, I'd loosen up. So, I began having a drink before I went on the date, often making it a double. It was the only thing that helped ease my nervousness. I realized that I turned to alcohol quite a bit since dating. Plus, all of the dates revolved around going out for a drink. I started to realize just how much it was affecting me.
Because it isn't just dating that takes up time. As someone who works for herself and works in the evenings a lot, the drinking was also cutting into my work life. I wasn't getting as much work done and depending on how much I drank, the next day I wasn't as focused as I could be. And it wasn't just dating, but also just having more of a social life and going out more. I was drinking a lot more than I previously did.
So I started reading more about the sober curious movement, and thought is this something I could try? Could I do sober dating? What about sober living? Do I really need alcohol to have a good time?
As someone who is naturally a little more on the shy side, it takes a little while for me to open up and feel comfortable. So, drinking helps to speed that up. But was it really allowing me to show up as my best self? And was it clouding my own judgment? Could I get by without drinking, or at least cutting back? And then I started learning more about the sober curious movement and it changed my relationship to alcohol. Which is exactly what the sober curious movement is all about after all.
The sober curious movement is a movement that aims to question your relationship to alcohol, including how society views and consumes alcohol. It's different than being sober, or practicing abstinence, which is often correlated with recovery programs. This also allows more label-free living, something that I personally resonate with. Because you aren't completely abstaining from alcohol, rather you're choosing to question things to see if drinking is really worth it. With the rise of the health and wellness movement, it makes sense to begin to question our relationship to something that we know isn't exactly healthy for us.
When we learn to be more in tune with why we're reaching for that drink, it helps us identify if we indeed are using alcohol as a temporary fix to a larger issue or problem. Often times, we discover that the temporary relief alcohol provides isn't always worth it the next day. And the problem itself is still very much there, just with the addition of a hangover.
For more about what sober curious means, check out Gruvi's episode on the Sober Curious podcast with the sober curious guru- Ruby Warrington. It's such a great podcast to get more info on the movement, I highly recommend checking it out.
For me, just being more open about how alcohol makes me feel and my relationship to it has been enough. I still enjoy drinking from time to time, but I know how to tune in to my own needs more. I'm learning the difference between choosing to drink to ease pressure and when I just want to enjoy a glass (or two) of wine.
Dating has been an eye opening experience, especially later in life when you’re more sure of yourself and what you want. You tend to not settle for the same BS you did when you were younger. In fact, I actually took the time after one "relationship" ended to write out everything I was looking for in a partner. I use the term "relationship" loosely as we dated for a few months, but then when I asked where this is going, he couldn't give me a straight answer, boy bye!
I’m happy to say I’ve learned to be comfortable with being nervous. Tuning in and questioning my relationship to alcohol has been such a rewarding experience. And I’ve realized that although it may take some time for me to open up and feel comfortable with someone, that’s ok too. Because if they’re worth it, they’ll wait. And although it appears that alcohol helps in this regard, I’ve begun to question if it's really true.
Oh and for the record, I've since deleted the dating app from my phone ;) as it appears someone may have been worth the wait.
When the company, Grüvi reached out to me to try their non-alcoholic drinks, I was immediately interested. I know that there will be times in the future where I may turn to drinking as a way to escape (I'm still learning). But I'd like to be able to do the deeper work to figure out how I can help myself without alcohol. Grüvi makes it a lot easier to be social and still enjoy a drink, without a hangover the next day. I love their prosecco drink and use it to make a classic French 75 mocktail. And although I'm not personally a beer drinker, Grüvi also offers a line of craft brewed 0% beers including an IPA, Stout, and Sour Weisse.
Grüvi was founded on the mission of creating an inclusive community focused on making better choices within our daily lives. They believe in a world where we don’t always feel inclined to drink in a social setting, and a world where everyone can feel comfortable, regardless of what’s in their cup.
They definitely subscribe to the sober curious movement and have made it their mission to create non-alcoholic drinks that taste great.
Currently, you can find Grüvi products in Toronto at Independent Grocery stores, such as Summerhill market, Harvest Wagon, Fresh City Ossington, and Fiesta Farms, as well as we as on Uber Eats as well! Check out the full list of stores in Toronto and Colorado (that continue to grow) over here on their website.
If you live in the U.S. and you'd like to order, you can use my code holisticfoodie for 10% off your online order!
I use Grüvi's prosecco to make a French 75 mocktail. A French 75 is one of my favourite cocktails, so I was excited to create my own non-alcoholic version. It’s seriously really good and the bubbly-ness of the drink doesn’t make you feel like you’re missing out on anything. So the next time you find yourself feeling a little sober curious, check out their full line of products. And then make this French 75! If you do make it, please let me know, by tagging me on Instagram or leaving a comment below.
Are you sober curious? I'd love to hear what you think about the subject, so leave a comment below!
A delicious spin on the classic French 75 cocktail made without alcohol.
I don’t like sweet drinks, so I find the tonic water enough. If you like it sweeter, add some simple syrup to the drink.
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