Sober Dating: There’s an App for That!
Kathy Vandanberghe became an entrepreneur the old-fashioned way – by accident, At 49, the family she helped build was no longer in the picture so she spent the next 10 years celebrating her independence. Unfortunately, that celebrating always involved alcohol, lots and lots of alcohol.
Then one night she found herself on the floor of a Vegas hotel bathroom drunk texting many of her Contacts and she knew it was time to put down the drink.
She called a friend for help and that day embarked on her journey to sobriety.
But first were hiccups. VandenBerghe marked her first year of sobriety during COVID and was nervous about getting back into the dating game. She especially wanted someone who was on the same page as she was.
“It was important to me that I date someone who is as mindful about their drinking as I am,” she told Forbes’ Jane Hanson. But when she searched for sober dating apps she didn’t find any. It was then that she knew what she had to do.
“I thought, ‘You know what universe? I can do this. I’ve got some great ideas,’” VandenBerghe said. “So, I threw it out there and the universe answered. She gave me all the people. She gave me app developers, ex-employees at Apple and engineers. And people just started showing up.”
Ten short months later Sober Dating was available in the App Store.
That was just over two years ago, During that time the app has been downloaded more than three million times and has close to one million active (paid) users from 59 countries around the world, including the US, India, the United Kingdom, Pakistan and Cambodia.
Not bad for someone without any experience in the field.
The Sober Dating app clearly taps into an existing market, but it does so with all due care and diligence. The app’s algorithms are carefully tailored to pair people beyond mere sobriety; putting interests and personality ahead of the need to not drink or drug. After all, everyone already expects the other to be sober.
Take the app’s Sober Badges. “We are all committed to sobriety for different reasons,” says the site. your Sober Badges quickly tell us a little more about the reason for your personal sobriety. Religion or Spirituality, Fellowship, Family or Medical. All those and more serve as umbrellas to keep you and your dream date out of the rain.
Healing Properties wholeheartedly applauds Kathy VandenBerghe for her vision and her nerve; few folks summon the courage to follow their dreams; even fewer succeed. We’re incredibly happy to see her Sober Dating app has done both. May everyone have a chance to enjoy one date at a time!