10 Tips for Having Fun When You Don't Drink

When you’re the only person in your friendship group that doesn’t drink, socialising can be hard. You end up sitting in silence at parties while everyone else gets progressively more inebriated, and you always end up being the designated driver. Perhaps you can’t understand why everyone loves nightclubs, house parties, and sitting around with beers and bottles of wine. You should never be made to feel embarrassed or ashamed about your decision not to drink. It may be that you are sober for health reasons, or because you’ve had bad experiences with alcohol in the past. Whatever your motivations, you are living a healthier lifestyle because of it, and don’t have to worry about alcohol-induced accidents or medical problems later down the line. But it can be frustrating when everyone around you seems to be obsessed with drinking, while you would rather be at home or sitting in a quiet coffee shop instead. Don’t feel you have to sacrifice your friendships, just because you don’t like to consume the same beverages as them. There are plenty of ways to have fun and socialise with your loved ones that don’t involve alcohol. Next time your mates suggest another wild party or night out on the town, why don’t you counter them with some of these more wholesome alternatives?

Take in some culture
If you live in, or near, a big city, there is so much culture out there for you to make the most of. You can go to live concerts, art galleries, museums, films, and exhibitions. And many of these will be free or very cheap. Spending an evening having an experience of cultural value will be something new for everyone, and make a big change from a wild night of drinking. 
Attend a sporting event Sports are a fantastic way to bring people together. By rooting for the same teams or sports people, you can cultivate shared bonds and give your friendship a boost. Why not take in a football or rugby game in your city. Your friends can enjoy a beer while they watch the game, and you can have an experience that is enjoyable and exciting without feeling pressured to have a drink.

Have a games night
Invite your friends over to your place for a night of board games and revelry. You can play classics like Monopoly, Risk, and Ticket to Ride, all while chatting about life and having a good laugh. You can even get technology involved as well, with mobile games like Jackbox, or live casino websites. Prepare some snacks in advance and get some non-alcoholic beverages in and you have everything you need for a memorable evening. 

Make a dinner reservation
You don’t need to get drunk to go out on the town. Instead of visiting bars and nightclubs, you could make a reservation for dinner. Either take your friends to your favourite restaurant or try that fancy new establishment that everyone is talking about. You and your pals can bond over the delicious food on offer, and you'll get a chance to really talk and connect with them when they’re not falling over themselves drunk.

Throw a dinner party
If the people in your friendship group don’t have the budget for an expensive meal out, you could go for the cheaper, and more homely, option of throwing your own dinner party. Come up with a delicious three course meal that is within your capabilities, purchase all the ingredients, and get started cooking up a storm. You could even ask your friends to bring a drink or side dish to reduce your financial burden.

Go to a coffee shop
If you want to go out with friends or even have a romantic date with a potential suitor, there is no need to feel like you have to go to a bar or club. A coffee shop or cafe provides the perfect location to have an intimate chat with people. Pick one that is quiet and cosy, with a wide selection of different food and drink on offer. 

Immerse yourself in nature
There are few better ways to get to know someone than to go for a hike in nature together. Pack a flask of coffee and invite your friends out to the countryside for a brisk walk. You will get to enjoy the beautiful views and chat about life, the universe, and everything. And if walkin gisn;t your thing, you could instead opt for riding bikes, rock climbing, stand-up paddleboarding, or any other outdoor activity you can think of.

Take a class together
For something a little different, get your friends together to learn a new skill. Acquiring new abilities is a great boon for the mind, as it makes you more confident, reduces stress, and improves mental health. And it’s a great way to strengthen relationships between loved ones. There are so many options for great classes and workshops to sign up to. You could practise your culinary talents with a cooking class, or get creative with a pottery painting workshop. The choice is yours. 

Volunteering to help others is a wonderful thing to do. There are so many great causes out there to which you can devote your time, you just need to choose the one that means the most to you. Volunteer at a charity sports event, or get involved with a local litter pick or food drive. 

Do your own thing
If all of your friends love drinking and that’s not your thing, there’s no reason why you have to feel peer pressured into having a disappointing night. Rather than standing in the corner at the next house party, why not politely decline the offer and spend an evening doing your own thing instead? Spend a wholesome evening at home with a cup of tea and a good book, or take your tent out into the hills for a weekend of wild camping. You will become a more independent person and your confidence and self-esteem will benefit.