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Are there benefits to going ‘boy sober’? Here’s the best way to take a break from dating men

Boy-crazy Gen Z singles are getting clean.

The rules of dating are different now that TikTok has become the platform du jour for young adults to swap hookup horror stories as they struggle to make sense of their “situationships.”

In a male-biased backlash, some singles have declared themselves “boy sober” and kicking their are toxic habits — that is, men.

Comedian Hope Woodard, 27, reportedly coined the term late last year in anticipation of 2024, making going boy sober her New Year’s resolution.

“‘Celibate’ does not sound cool,” she said on TikTok of her decision to take a break from romantic pursuits — which she’s since spun off into a live comedy and storytelling performance in New York.

In an earlier post on the clip-sharing platform, Woodard disseminated a list of rules for going bona fide boy sober: no dating apps, no dates, no exes, no hookups.

“My whole life I’ve been saying ‘I’m single, I’m single, I’m single,’ no I’ve never been single, I’ve always had a situationship — you’re not single if someone is taking up your brain space,” the Brooklyn, NY-based comedian said in the rule-making video with more than 590,000 views.

Proponents of boy sobriety told Woodward the move was “life-changing” while others expressed fear that they may not be up to the task.

“Boysober” is a live comedy and storytelling act featuring stand-ups who share their romantic grievances with men in hilarious anecdotes. DICE
“Boysober” is a live comedy and storytelling act featuring stand-ups who share their romantic grievances with men in hilarious anecdotes. DICE

“I’m taking notes but not making promises,” said one.

Relationship experts lauded the trend in a report by Indy100, calling it “empowering” — but only if women take that time to focus on personal growth.

It’s crucial to embark on boy sobriety the right way, according to UK-based relationship coach Lara Besbrode of The Matchmaker UK.

“This journey begins with introspection — understanding personal values and finding joy in one’s own accomplishments and happiness outside of external validation,” Besbrode said. “Engaging in activities that boost self-esteem and offer personal satisfaction is key. Whether it’s pursuing hobbies, focusing on career goals, or indulging in self-care, the aim is to appreciate one’s own company and achievements, realizing that true validation comes from within, not from the approval of others.”