16 Thoughts That Run Through Your Head When You’re on a First Date — Sober

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So you've been chatting up this guy on Tinder for a few days now, and it's gotten to the point where you either need to meet up or move on. (Tons of fish in the sea and all that.) A first date always comes with its fair share of anxiety, but not having the social lubricant of an alcoholic beverage in hand can make it that much rougher. Add to that the fact that you've recently been to rehab and your weekday mornings consist of A.A. meetings, and you just very well may quit dating altogether.

Welcome to my life.

Diagnosed with alcohol abuse, depression, and anxiety earlier this year, I did a short stint in rehab to get my wellness back in check. Now almost six months sober, I've decided it's time to jump back into the dating game. And, you know, since no one meets people IRL anymore, I've spent the last few weeks getting reacquainted with my trusty friends Tinder and Bumble.

As an already awkward, shy person to begin with, the thought of dating sober was seriously freaking me the eff out. How would I handle talking to a person I don't know without my faithful vodka soda in hand? How would I address my reasons for not drinking? Was I going to spoil the date even before we got to see if there was anything there? These were all of the thoughts I had leading up to my first sober date. And they just manifested tenfold when I was on the actual date. But, spoiler alert: it didn't turn out nearly as bad as I thought it was going to.

So for all of you out there contemplating going on a first date sober (or those just genuinely curious on how in the world doing that is possible), here are the 16 thoughts you've got when going on a date sober. Please be kind to me: they're 100% neurotic yet 100% true.