In today’s modern world, dating can be difficult, with the constant focus on swiping right and how many likes a photo will get. It’s not always easy to find the right one who truly understands you, and when you throw recovery in the mix, there is a whole different layer that needs to be addressed. When dating in recovery, it’s important to proceed with caution. If you’re interested in finding love after addiction, our Banyan rehab shares some sober dating tips that can help you ease back into the world of romance.
Dating in recovery doesn’t have to be a minefield of anxiety or discomfort. With a little confidence and honesty, you can enjoy getting to know someone new. If you’re ready to connect with someone on a deeper level after drug or alcohol rehab, below are some helpful sober dating tips you can try.
Wait a Year
Our addiction specialists strongly advise against dating in early recovery or right after rehab. The understood rule of thumb across all addiction treatment centers is to avoid dating for at least a year after rehab. Dating when newly sober or before a year of sobriety can inhibit your recovery by replacing one addiction, such as substance abuse, with another, such as love.
Adjusting to sobriety after rehab can also be stressful, and adding any relationship problems such as arguments, miscommunication, or even cheating and lying can be triggering. Instead, we encourage you to apply the rest of our tips below once you’ve taken at least a year to establish your sobriety.
There is a fine line between oversharing on the first date and divulging your secret way too late in the relationship. While you do not need to go into all the cringe-worthy details of your time at rock bottom on your first outing, you should be honest about your sobriety sooner rather than later.
You can simply start by saying that you do not drink or that you are in recovery and share more information as you get more comfortable with the person you are dating. Not only will this be a weight off your shoulders, but it can also weed out anyone who is not okay with it before the relationship goes too far.
Don’t Neglect Your Treatment
Even though you may have completed a residential treatment program, it doesn’t mean your recovery is over. Dating can cause you to feel vulnerable and expose you to new situations that can tempt you to start drinking or using again. While continued therapy, support groups, or aftercare treatment of some kind is already recommended, doing so when you are first dating in recovery especially can help you overcome any temptations and help keep you on track.
Be Careful About Who You Date
Especially when it comes to sober dating in early recovery, be careful who you choose to get involved with. At this time, you are still vulnerable and sensitive to relapse triggers, so you should try to avoid dating someone who may push you off track. Focus on someone who you feel would fit well into the new, sober lifestyle you are creating for yourself.
Find Sober Things to Do
What often makes sober dating difficult is learning how to have fun without drugs or alcohol. So, instead of going to a bar or club, we suggest ideas for sober dates like hiking, going to a museum, or trying a new restaurant that doesn't serve alcohol. There are also plenty of sober events you can research and attend in your area.
Focus on Connection
Don’t rush into physical intimacy or commitment too soon. Focus on getting to know the other person and building a strong emotional connection that’s based on honesty and open communication. Take it day by day. If this is the person for you, they aren’t going anywhere.
Try Dating Someone Sober
If temptation is too much or being around someone who drinks is not someone you want, try finding someone who is also sober. With the numerous sober dating apps, sober dating sites, and sober support groups out there, there are plenty of ways to meet and connect with other people who are in recovery. Not only can you support each other’s recovery journey, but you will also be able to understand each other on a deeper level.
Prioritize Your Sobriety
If dating in recovery is making you feel like you could relapse, it is time to take a step back. Especially if you have already relapsed, you may want to enter an outpatient addiction program or other treatment plans. Having a relationship is nice, but having control of your life and a bright future is better. Your sobriety should be your number one priority, and if dating is jeopardizing this, stop. Once you become more confident in your sobriety, you can try dating once more.
Sober dating can be a beautiful thing as long as you approach it properly. Understanding the right timing for when to date after rehab is crucial, as well as ensuring that you’re at a healthy place before you jump back into the dating world. Whether you have yet to start your sober journey or you have recently relapsed, you do not need to go it alone.
Our Banyan drug rehab offers various levels of addiction treatment and adult mental health services at over 15 locations. If you or someone you care about wants to get started with recovery or needs support in sustaining it, you can start by verifying your insurance today. Call Banyan Treatment Centers at 888-280-4763 to learn more.
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