Alright, fine, have it your way. Enough of you have written in demanding non-alcoholic date ideas that I suppose I should stop being such a jerk and give you what you want. As regular readers of the site (i.e. geniuses) know, I am a strong advocate of drinking dates. Devoted, even. Honestly, there are alcoholics who aren’t as passionate about drinking on dates as I am. No, I don’t have a drinking problem, or so I tell my doctor when he starts getting pushy with the pamphlets, but I do enjoy the relaxation alcohol brings. Especially when you’re meeting a stranger you may or may not end up tongue kissing in a few hours.
However, as many of you have reminded me, alcohol is simply not an option for everyone, and truth be told, there was a time when I was a sober dater myself. There weren’t a lot of second dates, and there sure as hell weren’t a lot of tongue kisses, but that’s not so terribly uncommon for me, so let’s not dwell on the negative. I am confident that 0 proof romance can occur, if not for me, then certainly for you. So if you’re committed to a booze-free evening, here are some itineraries I can recommend.
1. Get a Lemonade Together. The major thing you have going for you when you propose a non-alcoholic night is that it’s cute as hell. So innocent, so demure, it’s the sort of date a teddy bear would suggest. If, for you some reason, you’re into dating teddy bears. And when you’re looking for innocent and demure, it’s hard to beat a nice cold glass of lemonade. I had a friend in college who swore by the lemonade date. It’s so sweet and non-threatening, he found it was almost impossible for women to turn down. Of course, I don’t know where the hell you go to get lemonade once you’ve made this adorable little plan together. It’s not like there are lemonade stores on every corner. Do you just go buy a Snapple? Or wander the streets until you find some kid with a stand? I don’t really know. So, first find somewhere that’s not a convenient store that sells lemonade, then start putting out the offers. I promise you’ll get some interest, both teddy bear and otherwise.
2. Trivia Nights. Trivia is objectively fun. I can’t think of a trivia night where I haven’t enjoyed myself, even as it’s become increasingly clear that I have, at best, a third grader’s understanding of facts and data. Also, these things are usually in a bar, so if your date drinks but you do not, it’s an easy way for both of you to feel comfortable. Drinks are available but not required, there’s plenty of room for conversation, but also there’s the game to fall back on if things get slow. There’s really only one drawback to the triv night experience, but it is a crucial one. I know this is a little bit sensitive, but you should probably pick a different date activity if you’re, well… kinda dumb. It’s just awkward when you’re there with one other person and you keep getting everything wrong. And it’s not really a turn on when you start insisting that Bob Dole totally was the President “sometime in the 90’s.” Believe me, I know. So if you feel like you know your stuff, pub quiz it up. Oh, and here’s a tip: if you want to impress him or her with the greatest trivia night team name ever created, it’s Trivia Newton John. Use it wisely, my friends.
3. Dessert. Let’s face facts: were it not for the desire to look good and the hope of living past the age of 45, we’d all be eating cake 100% of the time. Oh, is that some chocolate cake you have there? Give it to me. Carrot cake, yep, put that shit in my mouth too. Red velvet? Not my favorite, but what the hell, toss some of that down my gullet as well. And this is to say nothing of pies, cookies, ice cream, brownies, or blondies. I swear to god if blondies had a profile on OkCupid I would email them over and over until an administrator had to step and tell me stop. And then I’d probably message them some more, because what the hell, they’re blondies! So why not capitalize on our collective love of something sweet and ask your date out to your favorite dessert locale? So what if they’re watching their figure–they’ve just been given the perfect excuse to indulge. It was suggested as a date! Can’t be a party pooper, gotta eat some rocky road! Plus, whatever you have will probably have less calories than the alcohol you were gonna drink anyway. Presuming you order the same thing I do, double piña coladas with extra sugar.
4. The Arcade. I have been on one date to a Dave & Buster’s in my life, and it was a great time. Mostly because the ski ball machine broke and started spitting out tickets for five minutes straight. Honestly, I haven’t felt that much giddiness and joy since the first time I saw the Golden Girls. Later my date rejected my advances, but I DID go home with a stuffed monkey wearing a Dave & Buster’s t-shirt, so I guess I got the last laugh. Seriously though, any night that includes Wackamole is already a success. Try it out.
5. Bowling. I discourage billiards as a date activity because many of us (read: me) are terrible at it. But everyone’s terrible at bowling. It’s the great equalizer. So throw some balls, have some laughs, and if you really need some hooch, sneak your flask out while you partner is taking their turn. If you’re one of those weirdos who carries a flask (read: also me). And how can you not love a date that forces you to rent shoes? If that’s not as enjoyable as a stiff drink, I don’t know what is.