Joanna Schroeder knows, she’s married to one.
The other day, a single friend of mine lamented the fact that the guy she had a crush on was sober.
“What’s wrong with sober men?” I asked her with a smirk. She turned bright red, obviously forgetting that my husband hasn’t had a drink or taken a drug in over twenty years. She laughed and apologized, but she didn’t need to.
I understand the stereotypes of people who don’t drink: overly serious, super religious, constantly talking about AA, or threatening to slip back into addiction. But the truth is, guys who are solidly sober and living a healthy life are just as diverse as guys who drink.
There are sober guys who are struggling or depressed, but a large portion of them are just regular, awesome guys who don’t drink or use drugs. Some are serious, some are religious, and some aren’t; some are silly, outgoing, athletic, adventurous, and upbeat.
Most are just like every other guy you know … maybe even better.
Why better? I can give you eight reasons why, but they don’t just apply to guys. These perks ofdating a sober person apply to anyone, regardless of gender. I happen to be married to a sober dude, but this can apply to anyone who has a special sober someone.
- They’re brave.
Imagine if you’d lived a large part of your life one way, and then suddenly had to give up the thing you depended upon most. Imagine if your long-standing set of habits had to be thrown out the window entirely and you had to live a whole new life.
That’s what your sober crush has done, and that’s brave as hell. To believe, to hope, that life will get better if you make super tough choices and follow through with them basically makes your sober guy a superhero.
- They’re strong.
Maybe you want a guy who’s strong enough to pick you up and carry you up to the bedroom in a moment of passion, move heavy furniture, or open pickle jars for you. That’s all fine and good, but when it comes to strength I think the hottest way someone can be strong is from within their soul.
And what’s stronger than working your ass off to grow into the person you want to be? To find a tiny seed of strength inside yourself during your darkest moments, and cultivate it so you can live a healthier life and be more responsible?
What’s stronger than looking in the face of your demon and saying, “No thanks”? Pretty much nothing.
- They know how to ask for help.
You know that stereotype about guys, where they’d rather drive around for hours than ask for directions? Well, even though we now have Google Maps to tell us how to get places, guys are still taught that to be a “real man,” they need to be solitary, strong, and never ask for help.
Sober guys know that pretending everything is fine doesn’t work for them. So, while I can’t guarantee that your sober guy will ask for directions when you’re lost, I’d be willing to bet he’ll ask for emotional support when he needs it.
- You won’t be their only outlet for venting.
Because typical masculinity is stoic and solitary in our society, lots of guys have trouble with emotionally intimate friendships with other guys. This is sad for guys, and can be a huge burden on their partners.
If we, as women, are the only outlets for their feelings and frustrations, sometimes we start to feel like their emotional waste bins, instead of their lovers.
But many sober guys have found a network of support where they can vent and share their feelings. For many, that outlet is AA or NA, but other sober guys may have a therapist, clergy member, or a group of other like-minded people to rely upon when times are tough.
Think of it like your guy’s very own superhero agency. Avengers assemble!
- They can drive you home from parties.
Let’s be clear here: your sober partner probably has as much interest in hanging out with your drunk ass as he does poking himself in the eye with a hot fire iron.
But every once in a while, if you’ve enjoyed a glass of wine at dinner or a couple of beers at a barbecue, your sober partner is someone you’ll be especially grateful to have around to drive you safely home.
Just never abuse this privilege. You, and only you, are responsible for your drinking. Don’t be a creep who takes advantage of your sober guy. He’s not your personal taxi.
- The person they are at a party is the same guy the next day.
We’ve all met a guy who was fun, flirty, and had a great sense of humor when he was buzzed at a bar or party, but the next day he was a cold, stand-offish jerk.
That, my friends, probably won’t happen with a sober guy. He’s doesn’t use booze as a crutch to be fun at parties, so the guy you meet at 11pm will be the same guy you meet for brunch at 11am.
- They won’t make weekend mornings miserable with their hangover.
I don’t know about you, but I love to make the most of my weekends. When I dated guys who drank a lot, weekend mornings were spent tip-toeing around, trying not to wake the hungover bear. Nowadays, my hunky sober husband is up early, packing bikes or surfboards into his truck, and getting ready for a day of fun and adventure.
This is an especially attractive trait when you have kids. Daddy gets up early, makes breakfast, and is happy to be the tickle-monster to happy toddlers who are squealing with joy.
- They won’t use being drunk as an excuse for crappy behavior.
Your sober guy understands that there’s no excuse for being a jerk or making bad decisions —not even alcohol.
So as long as you’re with him, you’ll probably never hear him laugh off a hookup with another woman or a reckless spending spree with the excuse, “Honey, I was drunk!”
Also, he’ll know where he parked his car after a late night out, and will remember the name of the woman who wakes up next to. Now, don’t you hope that’s going to be you?
Originally appeared at YourTango.com