Dating can be a nerve-racking, pulse quickening experience and first dates are top of the list when it comes to sweaty palmed, breathless encounters.

Is it any wonder that many of us opt to face these situations in the safety of a bar or pub? I don't think so. A glass of wine or three pints of beer can take the edge off a traditionally terrifying experience. Alcohol is the ultimate social lubricant at the best of times so why should dating be any exception?

Well, I have a couple of good reasons why. I've spoken in the past about drinking on first dates and the danger of feeling false chemistry spurred on by the sav blanc instead of the bloke sitting opposite you. Dating is all about chemistry and it's easy to feel chemistry with everyone from the taxi driver to the waitress when you've had a couple.

But not only that, many of us turn into different people when we drink, or at least altered versions of our selves. There are happy drunks who tell you they love you over and over again, crying drunks who blubber at the sound of a favourite song and aggressive drunks who want nothing more than to throw a few punches in someone's direction. None of these drunks belong in the dating environment. Punching, crying and confessing your undying love should probably be saved for a few months or years into the relationship. What you want to be on a date is yourself. Your sober self, plain and simple.

Easy said than done, you may say. And I am just as guilty of this as the next person. I have drunken flashbacks of first dates scheduled post after work drinks with three litres of beer in my belly. I've flirted over countless bottles of red and white and been so intoxicated at the end of the evening I made out with my date even though I'd decided after the first course he wasn't right for me. Need I say more?

As an ex speed dating host, I know how helpful a glass of bubbles can be when it comes to breaking the ice but once upon a time I hung up my wine glass for a night of totally sober dating. I met eleven men in two hours and while they sipped on their beverages, I abstained. Unlike previous speed dating experiences when I hit it off with most of the men and flirted up a storm, I was bored out of my mind. At the end of the evening, I couldn't get out of there fast enough.

The moral of the story for me was that sober is the only way to date. Sure, it's uncomfortable but so is waking up in ten years time to realise you're married to a bore but not having figured it out because your old buddy alcohol had you thinking differently. I challenge you to face your next date without a drink in hand. Better instead write a romantic poems for her (click here to check ideas). Arrange it somewhere other than the pub and you may well be surprised at the result.

Author's Bio: 

Torsi is a professional blogger.