05 Nov 2016

Recovery Tips: Dating When Sober

Now that you’re sober, long are the days of meeting a guy or girl at a bar. Likewise, you can no longer use alcohol as a social crutch or liquid courage when dating. Many recovery alcoholics struggle with dating during sobriety because it’s something they haven’t done in a very long time, but with a little preparation, it can be done!

  • Date when you’re ready. Like many aspects of recovery, you’re re-learning how to live life in the sober lane. Take your time and enter the playing field only when you feel comfortable. Don’t rush things; you’ll be a better boyfriend or girlfriend once you have a firm grip on your sobriety.
  • Be honest and open about your recovery. When meeting someone new, be up front about your recovery. It’s up to you when you disclose this information, but it often comes up naturally in the beginning stages of a relationship. Your recovery and past addiction are a big part of your life. Don’t be ashamed to share this with another person; you’ve come this far and your journey is something to be proud of.
  • Date only supportive partners. Your partner needs to be 100% on board with your treatment. This partner can provide encouragement and tough love when needed, but don’t confuse them for your sponsor.
  • Stay away from enablers. Similar to the previous point, don’t get involved with someone who will lead you down a path of regression. Steer clear of dating people who are using drugs or alcohol. Call your sponsor immediately if you feel tempted to relapse.
  • Be patient and understanding. This applies to both you and the people you date. Know that you’ll have hard days and you’re still learning about yourself. Also, give your partner time to adjust to your lifestyle, especially if they have never dated a recovering alcoholic or addict.
  • Always remember to have fun! Dating is an adventure. It’s both exciting and scary, but that’s what life is all about. Get creative with your date ideas—try a cooking class, visit a museum, fly a kite in the park, go on a scenic hike—the possibilities are endless!

What are you tips for dating when sober? Share your story on Twitter at @SoberChi!