I don't blame you for thinking this way. According to a data study by the dating app, Zoosk, 73% of daters who drink alcohol said drinking is a good first date idea, with 27% of those people saying it's a good way to drop their guard and have a conversation. And where is the easiest place to meet someone and drink? The bar.
The truth is, this mentality has been programmed in you from the days of college, meeting potentials at college campus parties or college bars, when you’re 21. As post-grads, this continues to be the behavior, especially as a young professional. After 5-10 years of this routine, it’s no wonder you wouldn’t think there’s any other way.
In fact, there are a ton of ways to meet people that don't require bars or drinking at all. The majority of my clients meet their significant others during experiences when there’s no alcohol present.
As a sober person (18+ months at the time of publishing), dropping my guard and having connected conversations without alcohol isn't difficult these days. If that doesn’t resonate with you, then I understand why dating can be tricky for you.
The same study previously mentioned had 32% of non-stop drinkers saying dating is difficult, to the point where 7% of sober singles admitted to pretending to drink on a date.
With this list, you won’t have to worry about either of those things because you’ll be meeting other sober singles on any of the top dating apps on the following list.
While there are many ways to meet singles outside of bars, in this article we will focus on online dating, one of the most accessible ways to date. But instead of going to the big sites, where you're not sure whether or not someone is sober, these 10 dating apps are specifically designed and intended for sober singles. And hopefully, they’ll help make dating less challenging and more fun.
Here are the top 10 dating apps and sites for recovering alcoholics and sober singles:
1. Single and Sober
- Established user base
- Free browsing
- Lifetime membership option
- Easy to use
- Not free
Single and Sober Pricing
- $9.99 every month (recurring)
- $19.99 for 3 months (one time charge)
- $29.99 for 6 months (one time charge)
- $49.99 for a lifetime membership (one)
With the spotlight on sobriety and recovery, Single and Sober is a friendly, approachable site designed to connect you with other sober singles. They really promote healthy relationships and the sober lifestyle where it’s implied drinking and bar dates are not options for getting together.
It takes just a few minutes to set up a profile, with a photo being required. The founder, who is also sober, promotes a healthy way of connecting with others, which makes it a welcome dating experience for all.
- Icons on profiles of those who are sober
- Can set preferences to only see sober singles
- Bigger and wider user base
- Free to use
- Not everyone is sober
- Membership is required to get full access to search settings and other features
- Can’t see everyone who likes you
- Have a limited amount of likes
- $19.99 for 1 month
- $39.99 for 3 months
- $59.99 for 6 months
While Hinge isn’t an app specifically for sober singles, it does do a great job of making it sober-friendly with the inclusion of icons you can add to your profile to let others know you are clean and sober.
As a preferred member, you can see whether or not someone is open to dating someone who drinks and, if so, how much. You can also see everyone who likes you, as opposed to only seeing mutual likes as a free member. Its bigger user base makes it really enticing if you are sober but don’t mind if your partner drinks.
- Focus on healthy living
- Easy user interface
- Chat with anyone you like
- Detailed profiles
- Not sobriety-focused
- Poor reviews around app experience
- Not great if you live in a smaller city
- Pricier than other options
- $15 for 1 week
- $30 for 1 month
- $49 for 3 months
- $79 for 6 months
MeetMindful isn't centered specifically around sobriety, but is a site where, while you will meet others who are sober, you will also meet those who are mindful and healthy in other ways, valuing spirituality, health, and mental wellness.
People do come here for friendships as well as romantic connections. The matches are chosen carefully based on your preferences. While its high-priced membership, along with a smaller user base, doesn’t make it an easy go-to, it’s unique enough to give it a shot if it’s popular in your city.
4. Sober Grid
- Focused on community and support
- Great if sobriety is a challenge
- Chat with anyone
- GPS allows you to
- Not dating focused
- Too recovery-focused for some
Sober Grid Pricing
- 100% Free
While Sober Grid isn’t a dating-centric app, it’s on this list because it’s a great way to connect with other sober people. You can share your sobriety time with others as inspiration or a point of starting a conversation.
It’s set up like Facebook, where you can share your status as a way to connect with others. Users can also find other sober people nearby on what’s called “The Grid”—a user interface that displays user profiles and distances from them using GPS, which allows you to message and chat with others, whether at home or on the road.
You can even send your location to another user if you’d like to meet up. Once again, while it’s not a dating-centric app, it’s still a great app to connect with others.
Those are the four sober dating apps and sites I’d recommend. Now, here are 6 more dating sites that are worth an honorable mention:
12StepMatch is one of the original sober dating sites. It has a big user base of millions because it’s open to anyone in some sort of recovery program, not just alcohol. Not only can you search by recovery program, but also new profiles are featured on the New Profiles page, giving you instant visibility when you sign up.
6. Love in Recovery
Love in Recovery is seen as a similar experience to Match or eHarmony but for sober singles. Expect the same dating experience as those sites.
A social network and dating site in one, sober.ly allows you to connect with other sober singles. When you sign into the app, you can create your own avatar (which doesn’t have to look like you), check in daily, and meet with others in their virtual world. It’s a refreshingly different user experience.
Here you get to let others know what you are looking for (relationship, friendship, hookup, etc.). If you do match with someone, you have the option to text and even video chat with them, making it a much more engaging experience. While it doesn’t have a ton of users, it is free.
Loosid welcomes anyone who is sober, whether through recovery or reaping the many health benefits. Their unique feature provides you and a match with sober events you two can attend so you don’t have to worry about the “I don’t go to bars” part of date planning.
10. Sober Dating Service
This site is free and super easy to use. You will have to see if it’s active in your city but it is popular across all demographics. Their mission is to make it easy and enjoyable to meet other sober singles.
If you are single and sober, wouldn’t it be nice to go somewhere, knowing you and others around you share common ground? This would certainly make meeting and connecting with potential matches much smoother and enjoyable.
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