Dating in 2022 is very different from how it was even a few decades ago. People's attitudes towards relationships as a whole are changing, and we are now much more aware of consent and courtesy.
One of the dating trends that have emerged in recent times is called dry dating. It refers to the practice of not having alcoholic drinks on the first or subsequent romantic dates. It's growing across the world as more and more young people are tilting towards sobriety. In this article, we'll look at why this trend is growing and what its effects would be.
Why are younger people not drinking on dates?
There can be many reasons behind this phenomenon, and they often overlap. For instance, many people are not comfortable with the way they act when drunk in front of a stranger. These same people can also be into fitness and taking care of themselves, which leads them to drink as little as possible.
If we are to break down the main reasons behind this trend, we can highlight three factors: personal/physical, social, and a combination of the two.
Alcohol is no longer a social compulsion
There used to be a time when social situations demanded that we drink. Many people never knew how to have conversations without drinking alcohol. But things are now changing rapidly. Many people now have no problem going on dates or any other social situation without having alcohol.
Drinks used to be particularly important for romantic dates. Today both men and women are more comfortable with conversations and interactions in a sober state. It's a part of a broader movement towards more holistic and grounded living.
The growing popularity of zero-alcohol beer and wine
The zero-alcohol market has grown significantly over the past few years. In the past, alcohol alternatives would be seen just as alternatives, not as a beverage in their own right. Now we have a stunning collection of zero-alcohol beers and wines that can give any full-alcohol booze a run for its money -- minus the intoxication.
With so many alternatives readily available, people are even more reluctant to have full alcohol drinks and get intoxicated. Non-alcoholic liquors give you the prop or the sensation of having a drink in your hands without the after-effects of alcohol consumption. It has definitely played an important role in the phenomenon of people drinking less alcohol than ever.
Growing health concerns
It's no news that alcohol is bad for you. It can have terrible side effects both in the long and short run. Even if you never fall sick due to alcohol consumption, there's no way you can evade the terrible hangover feeling.
With so many proven health effects of alcohol, it makes much less sense for people to keep consuming it. As a result, people are quitting alcohol in numbers, while others are reducing their alcohol intake. The same thing is extended to romantic dates, where they don't want to compromise on health and fitness.
Alcohol is no longer considered attractive
For a long time, a hanging cigar from the lips was seen as the ultimate sign of machismo, while slim cigarettes were seen as feminine, perfect for sophisticated women. Now when we see anyone smoking in public, we think of them as unhealthy humans with terrible habits. This cultural shift happened in less than 50 years.
Now we can see the same thing happening with alcohol. It's no longer considered macho or sexy to down a bottle of beer in seconds. If anything, it's seen as signs of an extremely unhealthy lifestyle.
When you are looking at people with whom you may spend a significant amount of quality time, you may not want them to have these bad habits. Smoking and drinking often go hand in hand, and their combined effect on your health would be very bad. Since people are no longer attracted to these things, far fewer people are inclined on doing it anyway.
One of the main reasons people are drinking less on dates is because they don't want to come off as unhealthy. The cultural connotations of alcohol have changed significantly, if not completely.
Fear of social misconduct
If you have had a little too much to drink, many things can go wrong. You can be straight-up impolite, violent, otherwise humorous, or embarrassing. With smartphones and cameras everywhere, there's a high chance of you being recorded while you are doing something bad or embarrassing. Younger people who have grown up with social media do not want to risk this.
The fear of social misconduct steers many people away from drinking on dates. It's almost a sure-shot way of ruining a good date. What's the point of risks and regrets when you can choose not to drink? That's also a factor behind the growing popularity of zero-alcohol substitutes since they don't make you drunk.
No alcohol dependency
As a generation, Gen Z is less dependent on alcohol than any other generation before it. We have already explored some of the main reasons behind this trend. However, it's also due to the availability of other recreational drugs like marijuana and mushrooms.
With a generation that's not dependent on alcohol for their social well-being, it's natural that far fewer people would even want to drink on a date, particularly if it's the first date. It's a simple cause-and-effect chain that explains this trend of not drinking better than anything else.
We hope to have piqued your interest in why this generation is reluctant to drink alcohol on romantic dates. It's an interesting phenomenon and hopefully is better for the world at large.