What Happens To Your Friendships When You Stop Drinking
If you want to take a break from drinking, you’re probably mostly doing it for yourself. Maybe you no longer want to be so hungover on Mondays that you make mistakes at work and constantly get in trouble. Maybe you don’t want to cancel on pretty epic daytime plans you made because you feel like your brain is bleeding out of your ears. You could be ditching booze so you can lose weight (you get the mean munchies when you’re drunk) or because you don’t like how emotional you become when you’re a pitcher of margaritas down. But when you stop drinking, you’ll quickly notice how much it affects people in your immediate circle, like your friends and family. You might even realize a few of your friendships depended entirely on alcohol. Here are ways your friendships change when you stop drinking.
You don’t have to play wing man
Your single friends no longer invite you out, because they hate having to explain to men why you don’t want one of the shots in the round of tequila shots they bought. So your wingman duties are over—yay!
You become closer with your mom
Your mom will be the first person you turn to when you’re wondering, “Who is home at 8 pm on a Friday that I can call and chat with?” or “Who is awake and up for brunch at 10 am on a Sunday?” Mom.
You find friends you have real things in common with
Since you’re not going out with your bar friends, you’re forced to finally take that painting class or join that hiking group. You meet people you have things in common with besides alcohol.
You realize you don’t like certain friends
With your sober vision, you’re able to realize that you don’t really like some friends. In the past, you were too drunk to remember that they do and say some pretty sh*tty things.
You talk about things that really matter
You can actually focus and carry a conversation about your career aspirations to completion. When you were drunk, it would always veer into a conversation about Tinder or something like that.
You remember your conversations
You finally remember those super bonding conversations you have with your friends at midnight. If you stayed up until midnight (booze used to be your adrenaline).
Your friends feel like you’re judging them
Your drunk friends feel like you’re judging them. It’s sort of annoying, so you start only joining for the first part of the night before things get sloppy.
You see who the real instigator is
You know that nights would always end with somebody mad at somebody, but you could never pinpoint who started it. Now, sober, you see what’s really going on and realize that Lindsay is the one who always loses it.
You discover who the users are
Certain friends call you every single Friday night to invite you out. “Oh, and can you drive? You know—since you don’t drink?”
And who the moochers are
Drunken nights also used to end with enormous bills that were never fairly split up. Now, sober, you see who says they “Just forgot they ordered something” or “Already paid” and didn’t.
You discover who has a drinking problem
Your friends with drinking problems will become very nervous when you quit drinking. They’ll think it’s a personal insult to them, and their insecurities about their issues with booze will rise to the surface.
There’s less drama (for you at least)
You no longer get so drunk that you accidentally mention that one of your friend’s boyfriend is a horrible human, or accidentally remind a friend of the time she was arrested.
You don’t enable each other’s breakdowns
On wine nights, you used to all sit around, and glass by glass, start blurting out emotions you’d been harboring. But you were harboring them for a reason—they were immature and irrational. Emotions like, “My boyfriend shouldn’t get to have female friends!” Then your friend would go, “Yeah!” and when your boyfriend would come home, you’d be in a frenzy.
You learn who is rooting for you
If any friends were ever envious of you or felt threatened by your success, you’ll know who they are now. Those friends will view your sobriety as another step towards success, and it will freak them out.
You see what your sober friends are up to
You always had that group of friends who you adored, but could never hang with because you were too hungover for their kayaking trips. You want back on their mailing list now.