You gain confidence. If you’ve spent your adulthood socializing with a glass of wine in your hand at every event, you may feel like you need that liquid courage to have fun or interact with new people. But the thing is, you don’t!
Think about it, when you were a little kid, did you need alcohol to have fun or make friends? By socializing and not drinking, you’re able to prove to yourself through your own experience that you can have just as much fun, if not more, without alcohol. And the best part is, you know the confidence you gain from socializing and not drinking is real confidence because you don’t need anything outside of yourself to achieve it.
You’ll be more present. Have you ever had a night out with friends that was great at the beginning but got a little fuzzy after a few cocktails and you wished you remembered it better the next day?
When you’re not drinking, you’re also not chasing down the waiter for another bottle of wine or going to the bathroom every 30 minutes once you’ve “broken the seal.” Without the distractions and fuzziness that sometimes accompany drinking, you’re able to be 100% present with your friends, having authentic conversations and remembering every moment together.
You meet like-minded friends. When I used to drink, I’d prioritize hanging out with friends that liked to drink the way I did.
It didn’t matter what our shared interests were beyond alcohol, as long as they were willing to hit a bottomless mimosa brunch or have multiple rounds with me at the dive bar. Now that alcohol is out of the picture for me, I know I’m not motivated to hang out with friends so I can drink, but rather I’m motivated to spend time with them because I truly enjoy their company, regardless of what we’re doing.
I’ve also discovered that finding like-minded friends who don’t rely on alcohol for socializing opens the door to trying alcohol-free activities together like a new workout class or learning a skill like rock climbing or painting.
You start trying new activities. When you think about it—between drinking and sometimes recovering from drinking the next day—alcohol can eat up a lot of your free time.
However, when you remove alcohol, you get that time back, and you’re likely more energized and interested in finding new activities to fill the time you used to spend drinking wine.
This is an opportunity to get curious and try the hobbies you’ve always wanted to get into, like volunteering, learning a new instrument, cooking for friends, etc. but couldn’t find the time for when your social calendar was jam-packed with bar hangs.
You’re more likely to achieve fitness or health goals. Have you ever had a workout or healthy eating plan derailed by a hangover?
This used to happen to me all the time—I’d work out and eat healthy during the week, but then the weekend would come and I’d go out drinking every night, usually ending the night with a slice (or four) of pizza and easing my hangover the next day with a greasy breakfast sandwich.
While there is nothing wrong with indulging in these kinds of foods or skipping a workout sometimes, it does feel discouraging if it becomes a habit that prevents you from making progress on your goals.
When you remove or cut back on alcohol, you’re less likely to break promises to yourself or skip a healthy habit you’re trying to build because your energy and motivation won’t be zapped from drinking.
You might be asking, “if drinking is present everywhere and all my friends drink, where do I find like-minded people who want to be social but not always over cocktails?”
Enter Counterculture Club, a global alcohol-free community based in Charlotte, NC that offers alcohol freedom coaching and monthly membership as well as social and self-development events.
Our mission is to normalize not drinking, for whatever reason, and show the world it’s not only possible, but also empowering and fun, to build authentic friendships and try new activities without alcohol.
Not only do we have a virtual community of members from all over the world who meet online weekly and connect in person at our retreats, but we’re also working with our members to help them build Counterculture Club communities where they live. We have a thriving in-person group in Charlotte and host multiple members-only events every month as well as alcohol-free events for the public, like our weekly yoga starting April 3 at 10 a.m. at Camp North End, or our upcoming alcohol-free happy hour we’re hosting with national alcohol-free pop-up bar, Sans Bar on April 30.
So if you’re looking for friendships that don’t revolve around drinking or alcohol-free activities, you’re not alone. There are plenty of resources and communities for individuals all over the world who are changing their relationship to alcohol and looking for connection.
If you need help finding your people, send me a note at email@example.com. I’ve been in your shoes and know how lonely it can feel without like-minded friends, so I’m more than happy to help you.
About Counterculture Club
Counterculture Club is a global alcohol-free community based in Charlotte, NC that offers group and private coaching, monthly membership as well as virtual and in-person events for individuals who want to build relationships with like-minded friends and counter the mainstream idea that we need alcohol to have fun, fulfilling lives.