I used to drink every time I went out for the night. Many of you know I bartended for a couple years, and even before that I loved to drink. It tastes great, I love the process of drinking, and it often got me in a social mood when I otherwise wouldn’t have been social at all. After over six years of drinking to get social I believed wholeheartedly that the booze (and even sometimes the drugs I took) were definitely the cause of my ability to be social and talkative. But was booze really what got me in a social mood?
About the same time I started getting serious about my dating life, I decided it would be a good idea to not drink for a couple nights out. At the time, I just wanted to be able to think a bit more clearly about what I was saying and remember my routines, but shortly after that I realized that something crazy was happening: I was actually able to get myself into the same social talkative state without drinking that I was getting myself into when I was drinking. When I was out talking to women, they were even assuming I was drunk when I was talking with them when I hadn’t even had anything to drink!
I needed to know if this was just a fluke or if it was something that I could repeat, so I decided to go out alone and try to get into a talkative state on my own. This time I would try doing three warmup approaches right when I entered the venue. The results for the approaches didn’t matter at all. Rather, the only important thing was that I get in a talkative mood and “get the words coming out of my mouth.”
So, with my new strategy I headed out with the mission that I would get myself into state without booze, and wouldn’t you know it, I experienced immediate success. I could get myself into the same talkative mood over and over. I learned that the booze is simply a crutch that a huge percentage of our population uses to get themselves into a talkative state. Not surprisingly, many drugs also serve the same purpose.
Shortly after this whole endeavor, alcohol started taking a backseat to my new-found ability to have fun without drinking. I started realizing that being sober at 1:30am gives you super-powers. I started seeing CRAZY shit! I saw that 90% of guys act like jackasses at the end of the night (and I used to be one). I saw that girls were commonly not drunk at the end of the night. I realized that they probably don’t have much reason to get drunk like guys do because they’ve already found ways to get into state without drinking, like listening to music and dancing and talking to each other. Ever hear a girl tell her friends “Let’s go dance!” This is a direct attempt to get herself into state.
Most importantly, I learned that when I’m talkative and not drunk at the end of the night, girls recognize this as a very rare thing amongst men. When you put yourself in a talkative mood and you don’t drink to do it, you essentially become an “insider” with women. It was like we all knew how stupid men were and my status was elevated because I was above this childish behavior. Noticing a drunk dude and mirroring a “That guy’s a fucking idiot” type look became a free pass to talk to any non-wasted girl at the end of the night. Just point out or give a dumb look at a drunk dude and bam, you’re in!
Other advantages I noticed were the ability to make decisions better, like pulling and figuring out logistics. I also noticed that it was fun to really not be drunk when being accused of it. I noticed that Saturday and Sunday mornings were great times to be alive and coherent, and I realized that I also had about $60-100 more in my bank account for each night I didn’t drink.
Again booze took a different role in my life. Now that talking with women was better with my attention and sobriety, my drinking turned into something I would do only on guy’s nights out. On these nights I decided before heading out that I was going to get plowed and have guy time, nothing else. This made my drinking more responsible, because i’d prepare for it. I’d get a cab or ride to the bar and a cab or a ride back. Yes, sometimes I would end up talking with girls, but when I did there was no pressure on me to succeed, I was just doing it in the context of already having fun.
Nowadays I’m working on changing my approach to drinking again. This time i’m working to minimize drinking throughout each month in exchange for developing two parts of my identity, collecting fine wines/spirits, and getting into shape. The concept is simple, save the money you’d normally spend on drinking throughout the month and use it on fine wines that you can drink on special occasions. The minimization of drinking in your life will ease the process of getting into and staying in shape.
Try this: Figure out how much money you spent on booze last year. Divide that number by 12 and you’ve got your monthly budget for alcohol. Mine is about $250. Take $50 of that for the first couple months and use it for beers during the week at home or for when you’re out, because likely you’re not going to be able to quit cold-turkey. Take the other $200 and buy a 1994 d’Yquem or some other cheaper year. Buy a 375mL instead of a 750mL if you have to. Drink it the first month to experience the taste and decide if you want to continue the process and if having exceptional taste in alcohol is something you’re into. If you’re a scotch guy, go get that $200 21-year Balvenie finished in Sherry casks, and if you’re a red-wine person grab a half-case of Cliff Lede or a few bottles of Cakebread. Champagne? Grab a bottle of Cristal or a single year Veuve Cliquot. If you decide you like the process, start getting a bottle that needs 10-30 years to sit around. Now you’re a guy who’s got great taste and a unique hobby. Hit a wine tasting and meet like-minded women.
The whole point here is that if you’re drinking when you’re out looking for women, the drinking is NOT helping your chances with women. You can get into a talkative social state without it. If you love drinking and don’t want to quit forever like me, work on implementing it into your life in the most healthy, lifestyle-positive, identity-building way that you can. Remember, when you don’t drink, you get to enjoy the nights you’re out, think with clarity, have a better shot at meeting quality women, wake up productive, workout knowing you’re not just burning off last nights beer calories, and above all you get to not be a total dipshit around women. Good luck!