One G&T Please – Hold The G

3 min read

If you have ever tried to party sober in the UK, you will know it can be a daunting experience. Britain’s pub culture is a pretty big deal. Almost all social (and non-social) events revolve around booze – celebrations, business, condolences, forming friendships, keeping friendships. Trying to be the best, most hilarious, most confident version of yourself on a date.

The idea of ‘a cheeky few’ is embedded in Britain’s social fabric. Facing a night out sans alcohol in this booze drenched culture isn’t easy, but it’s not always a choice.

Three years ago I learnt I need to take medication for the rest of my life. Medication when mixed with a glass of vino or five is not a pretty sight. I have nothing against drinking. I love the idea of a summertime mojito or a bottle of Pinot after an average day at work. But I’m a dedicated teetotaller and here’s my hot take – it’s not all bad.

There have been plenty of times I have stumbled home at 3am, my ears still ringing with Pharrell William’s Happy, and memories of my killer dance floor moves still clear in my mind.

Yep, stone cold sober. A great night out and not a drop to drink. I don’t even have to wrestle with a hangover the next morning.

Not everyone seems to see the appeal. I am often met with looks of disgust and confusion when I order a G&T – hold the G. I am yet to meet anyone who doesn’t bat an eyelid. Everyone seems to need to know: why?

How to go out and have fun without drinking

On one memorable date the guy asked to buy me a drink. I asked for a lemonade, he said: “Single or a double?”

Me: “Just a lemonade please.”

Him: “You’re not drinking?”

Me: “I don’t drink no, but it’s cool.”

Him: “You’re not drinking tonight?”

Me: “I’ll be drinking my lemonade.”

Him: “Oh. Right. Erm. Yeah, I’m gonna go.”

And he did. He walked away and left me at the bar because I wasn’t drinking. My confidence in humanity took a big dive that night.

Why did he suddenly not want to know me? Did he assume because I don’t drink I am boring? Did he assume because I don’t drink I wouldn’t allow him to drink? Did he assume because I don’t drink I wouldn’t want to have sex?

Or maybe he is actually a great guy and just got intimidated by my individuality?

Or maybe he suddenly really needed the bathroom?

Whatever it was, it was his loss. I’m a cheap date.

After growing tired of the prying questions as to why I don’t drink I’ve started to have some fun with my sobriety.

When staying off the booze is a must, use these comebacks

Here are a few come-backs I keep up my sleeve, feel free to use them for yourself if you ever decide to do a stint on the wagon.

Them: “Oh. How come you don’t drink?”

Me: *stares determinedly into middle distance* “Team GB. I’m training for Tokyo 2020.”

Them: “You don’t drink? WHAT!?”

Me: *quivering bottom lip* “I’m a recovering alcoholic.”

Them: “Err. How come you’re not drinking?”

Me: *gently rubs tummy, smiling*

Because when it comes to not drinking, the glass can be half full.

Do you ever go out and have a great night without drinking? Got any tips? Tell us in the comments below.


1 Comment
  1. Kathleen says

    Everyone should walk their own path I am remember being out and every second drink would just order tonic with ice and a slice hoping no one would notice but when they did it was as if I had committed a crime I had to apologise for being a lightweight were drinking is concerned now I do what I want to do don’t bother what people think xxxx

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