How to Use Bumble When You’re Sober or Trying to Drink Less

Given the huge role alcohol plays in many cultures, navigating online dating can feel tricky for anyone who is sober, sober curious, or just trying to drink less. But Bumble wants everyone in our community to be able to communicate the most authentic version of themselves to potential matches, worry-free. Whether or not you’re open to dating someone whose alcohol preferences are different from your own, we’re making it easier than ever to date without drinking

Use Bumble filters to your advantage

Sometimes we need the right tools to help us highlight our full selves. That’s why Bumble launched a Drinking Badge within the app, where you can select “Sober,” “Never,” or “Rarely.” By adding it to your profile, you’ll ensure others with the same habits can find you using filters, and vice versa. All you have to do is tap the gray silhouette on the bottom-left corner of your screen, and click on “Complete my profile” under your photo to edit your profile. Below your Basic Info, you’ll see all of our badges. Scroll down to “Drinking,” and select the option that feels the most true to you. 

Another pro tip for swiping while sober? Sneak a peek at their interest badges to find out what they’re into. If they have the “bars” or “whisky” badge, for example, you’ll have the information you need to decide whether that works for you. 

Nod to your sobriety in your profile

You can always mention you’re sober or avoiding drinking in your bio if you’re comfortable sharing that information up front. But your answers to Bumble’s Profile Prompts also offer a potentially more subtle way to let prospective matches know you’re not drinking at the moment (or ever!). Put your own spin on one of the below examples, and add it to your profile:

“Nightclub or Movie Night…” Movie night! Although I have been wanting to try out one of the new alcohol-free clubs around the city. Want to join me?

“My ideal night out…” Mocktails and really good sushi. 

“After work you can find me…” Skipping happy hour to walk my dog over to our favorite taco truck for carnitas. 

“I promise I won’t judge you if…” You drink, so long as you don’t judge me for not drinking.

Have honest conversations with your matches

Considering how intertwined drinking and socializing are within many cultures (meeting for drinks is a first-date classic for a reason!), it makes sense that some daters would feel apprehensive talking about their drinking habits with a potential match. If you’re comfortable with it, here’s the case for sharing that information earlier, rather than later: it can be a huge timesaver. Plenty of sober and sober curious folks are open to dating a partner who drinks, and vice versa. But if either of you aren’t open to it, it’s helpful to know up front to avoid hurt feelings down the line. When chatting with a match, you can say something like, “Just FYI, I’m not drinking this month,” or “So you know, I’m sober, but I really don’t mind if you drink on our date!”

Suggest an alcohol-free first date

There are many good reasons to skip the booze on a first date. It ensures both parties remain in full control of their safety and cognitive abilities, ensures a hangover-free morning the next day, and is (usually!) lighter on the wallet. It also gives you the opportunity to see how you and your match interact without any social lubrication. If you’re worried that saying no to drinks will be off-putting to a match who does drink, don’t be. A lot of daters are already toying with the idea. In fact, in a recent Bumble survey, 34% of respondents worldwide shared they’re more likely to consider going on a ‘dry date’ than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic. Besides, there are so many fun alcohol-free first date ideas to choose from, be it going for coffee or a hike. And if your match seems resistant to remaining sober for your first face-to-face meeting, again, that’s good information to have!   

The most important thing when dating is to be yourself—and when that includes putting your sobriety (or sober-curiosity, or that fact that you’re drinking less) front and center on your profile, know that Bumble absolutely supports you.