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Love Walter: The Fear of Dating While Sober

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Dear Walter,

I hope all is well. I recently became sober for the new year. But the problem is, I’m currently looking for a relationship and people just want to go to bars and get drunk. I’m not trying to do that. I’m crushing on this guy from my past who recently resurfaced. He definitely likes to go out regularly and have a good time. I’m afraid he’s not going to want to date me when he finds out I’m sober. What should I do? 

-Sober and Struggling 


Dear Sober and Struggling,

Congratulations on becoming.

The dawn of a new year is the perfect back drop for setting goals and starting over. But it looks like fear is trying to creep its way in the back door and not in the good way. 

“It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both,” Niccolo Machiavelli. 

I’ve never been a fan of fear. It’s something desperate people cling to in times of uncertainty. I can’t say I blame them. That emotion got “The Donald” elected. It’s the type of progress you place between your thighs when you want to fuck yourself. My stomach is still recovering. My gag reflex hasn’t had a break since I stopped sucking dick. Now gag on that. 

In my twenties, love was just a four-letter word thrown around after too many cocktails. Yeah, I was so fucked up in my mind I had a full blown relationship with my bartender. Memories. He was dark and dangerous, strumming my pain with a glass. 

I didn’t have to be afraid. I just made sure I had your credit card because he doesn’t do IOUs. An hour later, he would be telling me about his struggles making ends meet in the Empire city. 

I ran into Gucci—a crush from those trouble days. He named himself after a brand he can’t afford. Yet I was drawn to him. Hood boys who were hard and hung. 

I saw him outside the window of a restaurant in DC. I smiled then waved. Apparently, that was an opening for him to come in dark brown and masculine—just as I remembered. With a boyfriend on the other side of town, I gave him my number when he asked for it.

I remember those nights in the parking lot of Omega. We sat in a mutual friend’s car taking shots in the back seat as he caressed my nipples. We were barred from both of the bars in Dupont Circle. 

But we never had sex. We were friends or acquaintances. Beyond that, I’ve never felt anything. I thought about him while living in NYC often on trips to DC through mutual friends. 

“Girl, he in jail,” my best friend, Mark would say. 

I mentioned Mark to him, “Oh, I saw him on Facebook.”

“But give me your number so we can hang out, I get my phone on Friday,” he said.  

When I think about it, he went out his way to connect. 

“What’s your name again?” He asked. 

“It’s Walter and yours?” I didn’t know either.

Let’s make a toast to the drunk friends where facial recognition carried more weight than first or last names. 

Friday came but he never called.

Perhaps that was the real blessing in disguised. We no longer have to cling to the past relics of our past. We should be growing, exploring and becoming the best version of ourselves. Becoming sober should be a good thing but you’re looking at as a negatively — one week in. 

Fuck that man, there will be another. And another. If you truly want to change your life and date someone new, you can’t be fucking around wasting your youth with someone old from your past. Instead of going to the bar, try the coffee shop. What ever happened to dinner and a movie? Let’s go back to that. 

Don’t be afraid darling. The best is yet to come, and having a successful relationship is just merely a bonus. 

Enjoy your life responsibly. 

Love,

Walter


Make sure to also checkout previous Love Walter columns here

Got a question? Email your letters at [email protected] His advice column will appear on Wednesday.

Walter Reed

Walter Reed is writer and advice columnist on love, lust, and life. Romance is his day job. Read more at LoveWalter.com. Follow him on Twitter @ LoveWalterHQ

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