You’ve done the work, slogged through the grueling detox and recovery process, and now you’re off to live a sober life.
You think about new friends, new hobbies, maybe even a new job. You know there will be temptations but you can always get away and recover your willpower. But what about dating? A romantic partner is a major part of your daily life and if you're dating someone who drinks (even occasionally), you run a serious risk of relapse. Here are 5 things to consider if you’re going to make this new love last.
1 - Honesty is the best policy
Be upfront right away and let this potential partner know that you don’t drink. You can save the sordid details for the third date but he/she should know from the start that you live a sober lifestyle. This will weed out the hardcore partiers from the get-go and, even if it hurts to lose that dream boat, it will save you a lot of hardship later on.
2 - Plan your dates to avoid alcohol
Your partner may be aware of your sobriety, and fully supportive, but he/she will still forget because it’s not a common thing for them to consider. It’s up to you to make sure that there are things to drink besides alcohol whenever you go out. Eliminate temptations on your own, don’t put that responsibility on your new love interest.
3 - Don’t be left out
The normies who love us tend to think they’re protecting us by excluding us from events where there might be alcohol. For the most part, we still want to go and be involved. Have an open dialogue with your date about staying involved in his/her social life. It’s up to you to let them know when you’re in a bad spot and need to leave, and then do so on your own. But they should know not to exclude you from the start because that will only create discontent between you.
4 - Learn what kind of drunk they are
For recovering alcoholics, we know what the booze can do to people and that everyone behaves differently. It’s important for you to know what kind of drinker your potential love is so you can determine if it’s something you can tolerate in your life.
5 - If they don’t respect your lifestyle, leave
There’s nothing more toxic than a romantic partner who doesn’t respect your choices and needs. This goes for any relationship but double for someone in recovery. You need to be supported by the #1 person in your life from the beginning and if there are signs that he/she will be more of a temptation than a deterrent, get out of there and find someone else.A renewed love life can be the best thing that ever happened to you when you set out into a sober life, but don’t settle for the first option that comes along. Take the time to build a life full of people who will support your ongoing health and sobriety.
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.