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Dating Without Using Alcohol as a Crutch

I make it a habit not to drink alcohol (religious and family reasons, before anyone thinks I’m moralizing), but I was always envious of my friends who managed to snag attractive and outgoing dates at the drop of a hat every weekend. Parties are a collegiette’s best friend…if you’re looking for an easy hookup or one date, that is. Thursday night forays to Peter’s or G-Door would usually end in me trundling out into the cold night alone with nothing but a parting, “Make good choices!” to my friend who would inevitably be lip-locked with her latest stud muffin in an aura of drunken happiness. All of my friends had it so easy; they could push off bad choices and one-night stands on alcohol.

I never wanted to do that. For me, the thrill of dating lies in knowing that the guy likes me for who I am, not for the person he thinks I am when he’s drunk or for the person the alcohol makes me become. Self-control is my key to maintaining my self-respect and pride, and those are two values I have no plans on compromising. And somehow, the prospect of letting a guy see my drunken side doesn’t sound enticing. Never having been drunk, I couldn’t tell you what a Drunk Priya does, but I foresee it being something like a screaming, high-pitched train wreck. No guy in his right mind would want to date me after seeing that. For reference, I would look like Scuttle in the image below. (The pink flamingos are my trusty girlfriends, hopefully, not the male posse I was trying to acquire…)

Honestly, dating using alcohol as a crutch seems like a cowardly option. Why should I be so afraid of meeting a guy using my own charms? Why should I use alcohol to give me a social boost? And for that matter, why does our society emphasize meeting significant others at bars? There is social pressure nowadays to meet guys at bars, and while this is meant to be a relaxing atmosphere, I actually feel tenser at a bar. Call me boring, but I much prefer getting to know guys outside of the bar setting.

Additionally, alcohol creates a false sense of security and what I call The Blabbermouth Syndrome, or Word Vomit 101. I really don’t need to be telling guys about my past crushes or about that time Mom decided to post my semi-nude baby photographs all over Facebook. Especially since I am [theoretically] trying to impress said guy; it’s much easier to spare myself the unease and rest assured that I am in full control of what I am saying.

And dates are so much more enjoyable when alcohol is not involved! Picnics, dances, walks in the park, laughter and conversation—these are all part of the college experience that people often sideline in favour of clubbing and going to bars. And while there’s nothing wrong with having a smoking-hot social agenda, it’s nice to take a step back and enjoy life’s simpler pleasures without alcohol third-wheeling in every activity. Don’t worry; by all means hit the clubs with your BAE when you feel comfortable showing him your crazy side. But I recommend laying the groundwork first.

Image credit: 1, 2, 3, 4

I'm a senior at the University of Pittsburgh who loves traveling the world, writing, and college life in general. My majors are Environmental Studies and Biology, but I want to focus on journalism too if possible. I'm super passionate about Model United Nations, of which I am now president (yay!), and the environment. I'm a very happy, enthusiastic person who loves pickles and twizzlers and brightly-colored nailpolish and long dangly earrings, among other things. Her Campus is my favourite website and I'm so excited to be a part of Pitt's campus chapter!
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