But when I said goodbye to alcohol and its commensurate drama, I didn't intend to bid farewell to dating.

I saw my romantic future shimmering atop a cotton candy cloud of contentment and stability. Right would surely be waiting for me, albeit at the local coffee shop instead of the next bar stool.

We meet for happy hour at 5 p.m., dine with wine at 7 p.m., meet lovers at a bar later on, and make every excuse to have another round.

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I also thrilled at the notion of never having another hangover.

(Seriously, my hangovers were baaaaaad.) I'm not sure whether I classified as an alcoholic.

"I don't drink, but I'd love to meet you for coffee on Thursday." Or, if you're cool with watching him imbibe, say that—"Sure, although I don't drink, but I don't mind watching you while I sip a Diet Coke." No need to explain further.3.

The dinner option If you choose to meet Mc Hottie for dinner, you'll probably have to handle the Weird Wine Hurdle.

I didn't have to drink every day, though most days I did. Sometimes it turned me into a yelling, crying beast.

And there was no way to tell, when I was tossing back a vodka soda, which me would emerge that night.

One of the healthiest things you can do for yourself as a dry dater is learn how to leave when you're in an awkward situation. Unless you want to pop open a can of inappropriate, be evasive when your date asks why you don't drink.

Remember, you don't have to stay anywhere, or with anyone, that makes you feel anxious. My friend Michelle, a 29-year-old recovering alcoholic, tells guys she dates that she's a "reformed party girl" or an "ex-bad girl." She doesn't explain further, and they usually don't ask.

My gut feels like it's something he was just having fun with and not meeting up with people randomly. He and I had both posted profiles in the dating section. Now I'm not sure if it's normal for guys to be on that sort of site or if I should be careful.

I'm hoping it's just something he checked out for fun and never really pursued anything - not sure if I'm being a prude in thinking people shouldn't do this sort of thing or if I should watch out. And he was in the "intimate" section instead of the other sections on that site for relationships/dating.

So it's probably—no, definitely—smart that in 2006 I decided to give up drinking.