Shooting Your Shot

Sofia Franklyn Thinks This Drink Order Is The Ultimate Dating Ick

Plus her advice for filling those first-date awkward silences.

Sofia Franklyn on drinking, dating, and mindful breaks from alcohol.

In Bustle’s series Shooting Your Shot, single influencers weigh in on drinking and dating: their go-to beverages, their drink order ick, and more.

“You have to go into [first] dates with zero expectations,” says Sofia Franklyn. “That sounds a little grim, but it’s true. Put zero pressure on it.”

Franklyn, 31, isn’t new to giving dating advice. From 2018 to 2020, she was a co-host of the popular podcast Call Her Daddy but left that venture in a very public way. Now, she hosts her own show aptly named Sofia With an F, where she speaks with guests like reality television stars and music artists about their stories. Her goal is to offer life advice from a big sister’s point of view.

“I have a very, very close and unique relationship with my listeners. I have publicly been dragged through the mud a little bit, and so the people who have decided to still listen and stick with me are extremely loyal,” she tells Bustle. “I’m not sugarcoating anything, and I talk so openly, so listeners and guests feel comfortable to share things with me.”

It’s a career she sort of fell into after feeling dissatisfied with the monotony of working in a cubicle at Morgan Stanley, though she does think manifestation had something to do with it. After getting in trouble as a kid, her dad made her watch The Secret. After learning about the power of thought, she began visualizing her dream life including a move from Utah to New York City and working in a creative field.

But even her dream life has some unexpected curveballs. Franklyn says having a public platform inevitably impacts her dating life, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. “I will go on dates and have guys tell me that they listened to the most recent episode, and I want to cringe,” she says.

In true HBIC fashion, she always looks at the silver lining when it comes to these first meetups, even if they don’t result in a long-term relationship. “I actually will go into dates thinking ‘OK, if the romantic factor or chemistry isn’t there, then maybe this could be a business opportunity.’” Filling in awkward silences in conversations is how she’s built her audience to begin with, after all.

Below, Franklyn talks about how her approach to drinking on first dates has changed over the years, the importance of taking mindful breaks from alcohol, and the one drink order that would deter her from planning a second date.

What's your go-to drink on a first date?

At the risk of sounding basic, I’m just going to say it: I love a spicy margarita with heavy, heavy salt on the rim.

Do you have any rules when it comes to drinking on dates that you tend to follow?

I think my ideas about drinking and going on dates have changed significantly. When I was younger, it was like, “Oh, I need to take two shots before I even get to the date, because I’m freaking out.” It’s different now that I’m older. During my longest relationship, I was doing Dry January for the first five dates we went on, so there was no alcohol involved and he was also sober. That really taught me I’m just as funny and engaging when I’m not drinking.

Right now there is a lot of conversation around people who are sober curious or want to live a damp lifestyle. What do you think about taking mindful breaks from drinking?

I think because of the job I’m in, and just even living in New York, it can feel hard to avoid alcohol. But I don’t think that’s completely true because it’s really important to be mindful and implement breaks for an extended period of time to really see the difference. I like to think of scenarios in terms of opportunity cost, and as I get older, drinking and getting dehydrated and maybe hungover, all the cons that come with it, are just not worth it.

When you go on a first date, do you have a question you always ask or a topic that you always bring up to ensure the conversation keeps flowing?

My go-to thing to do if things get awkward is to ask something completely outrageous, like, “How much money do you make? How rich are you?” I think people will know I’m being funny, and it’s just a great icebreaker. You have to laugh when you ask that, though, of course.

Is there a drink order that would give you the ick?

If I were to go on a date and a guy ordered a Long Island iced tea, I probably would not go on a second date. [laughs] Unrelated, but I also for some reason can’t deal with a guy owning a cooler. Like, if we’re going to go to Central Park and have a picnic, you better be carrying all of the wine bottles in an Ikea bag. There’s no need for a cooler.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.