Club Soda:
who the hell is it for?

Club Soda is for anyone who doesn’t drink and everyone that wants to date us! That includes sobriety of every stripe, AND the sober adjacent.

Damn, that’s a lot of people! So people who drink can be on the app? Does sobriety only mean drinking? Sounds dicey…

Let’s cut the confusion and talk about all the different types of people you’ll find on Club Soda.

The non-drinker who isn’t in recovery

Any person who doesn’t drink alcohol is invited to use the app. You don’t have to have a 12-step background or count days or even use the word “sober” if you don’t want to. While the recovery community is immensely helpful to countless people, it’s not the end-all be-all and it isn’t for everyone. Feel free to use recovery language in your profile or in your DMs! We just don’t lead with it at CS, because it can be alienating to all the people who don’t drink for other reasons. And they are (shortlisted):

People who observe certain religious practices, people who observe certain cultural practices, people who want to live a healthier lifestyle, people allergic to alcohol, people with medical conditions, people who don’t like the effects of alcohol, people who are straight edge, people who have never drank and have no interest in trying it, people with alcoholic families who think it sucks, people who want to stay super sharp and focused, people whose spiritual lives are affected negatively by substances, people who hate the taste, people who hate the smell, people who are doing another program other than 12-step, people who are experimenting with sobriety and don’t want to label it, people who hate hangovers, people who have grown out of the partying lifestyle, people who think it’s boring, people who don’t have time, people who don’t need a reason, people who just…. don’t.

The sober curious

When the term “sober curious” started trending a few years ago, many people’s ears perked up — finally, they could explore and experiment with sobriety without having to commit to a label or a lifetime. This lower-stakes approach helps people find long-term sobriety in a way that doesn’t shame or scold them for not being “all-in” right away (or, necessarily, ever). What many in the sober curious community have in common is a desire to live a life that doesn’t revolve around alcohol, social or otherwise, and we think that’s badass. So if you’re curious about sobriety, trying it out for the first time, or just want to see what it’s like to date without the hangover, Club Soda welcomes you!

The normie drinker

This category may overlap with some others, but in AA parlance, a “normie” is someone who can drink alcohol without it leading to flipped tables, ruined relationships, and/or oceans of regret. The kind of person who can have one drink and say, “I’m good.” Someone who doesn’t drink to get drunk and doesn’t have to drink to have fun. Even if you can’t conceive of them, they’re out there, and they’re in the Club Soda dating pool.

The sober chaser

For lots of reasons, one might prefer a partner who doesn’t drink, or who fits one of the other sober-adjacent categories. Many people’s lives have been affected negatively by alcohol, whether or not they’ve ever had a drop in their life. To some, it can feel safer, saner and just simpler to date someone they know won’t be under the influence. Others just aren’t into partying and want to be with someone on the same wavelength. We feel these special people are an underserved sort, and we are here to help!

The classic 12-stepper

Our founder and many members of our team are 12-step veterans, so we love the program — we just don’t push the agenda! We know what works for some may not work for everyone, and that’s chill. Plus, we want to focus on dating, not alcoholism, which we’ve seen on other apps that use recovery language. We want to include everyone across the sober spectrum because we believe one size does not fit all, but we’re super proud of our recovery roots and want to give a warm welcome to our program peeps! Club Soda wouldn’t exist without them, and can’t continue to, so let’s keep walking the path together and date with our HP’s in the mix. ;)

The sober party animal

Don’t get it twisted, Club Soda is NOT for people who don’t like to have a good time! Just because we advise our users to think outside the bar, doesn’t mean bars are off limits. Some of the biggest gifts of sobriety are increased energy and zeal for life. And sometimes that means party stamina (it can also mean realizing you love to go to bed at nine, but we contain multitudes). We welcome the night owls who find partying even more fun without alcohol, and the weekend warriors who’d rather sleep in than go hiking at dawn, just as much as we welcome the health nuts!

The health nut

Maybe you don’t even think about not drinking in terms of sobriety, you just abstain because you have a healthy lifestyle. We see you, hikers, yogis, tree huggers, and juice chuggers! We find that active, outdoorsy, fitnessy, clean eating peeps’ interests often align with and overlap with those of people who identify as sober. You’re going to find plenty of people with similar hobbies as you on Club Soda, so dust off those trekking poles and let’s get high! (altitude-wise. We’re talking about climbing steep inclines here.)

The Cali sober/mostly sober

Controversial? We think not! If someone conducts their life and actions with sobriety, but does mushrooms once in a while in Joshua Tree, we don’t judge. People are complex, and so is life. Sobriety represents a spectrum of people who have or are in the process of evaluating the relationship with substances. Describing “Cali Sober” in Forbes, Andrew deAngelo wrote, “The important distinction is who is in control. Cali sober means not being addicted to any intoxicant and having a balanced relationship with cannabis and psychedelics as an additive to good living, not something that takes away from life or gets you all strung out.” We love this definition, and it’s aligned with the mindset of many of our users.

If you’ve read this far and are wondering if Club Soda is for you, it probably is.

Who Club Soda isn’t for:

  • People in active addiction
  • People who disrespect any sober communities
  • People who aren’t looking for a genuine connection
  • People who are racist, homophobic, misogynist, ableist
  • People who have no interest in sobriety around dating
  • People who are dishonest about themselves and their lifestyles

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