Navigating the world of dating is tough. From mixed signals to heartbreak, there’s a lot to consider before jumping into the pool of potential suitors. For those recovering from addiction, the process of dating can be even more complicated due to worries surrounding temptation and relapse.
If you’re practicing sober living and interested in dating again, don’t stress too much. Dating while staying sober is entirely possible. Just make sure to keep a few essential things in mind.
Put Your Sobriety First
As a general rule of thumb, most experts agree that those who are in the process of recovering from addiction should wait at least a year post-recovery to begin the dating process again.
During the first year of recovery, there are a few things you can do to ensure you’re putting your sobriety first:
- Stay away from risky situations that may cause you to relapse.
- Practice self-care by regularly exercising, eating healthy, and getting plenty of rest.
- Consider utilizing a sober living facility if you’re in need of additional support.
Before beginning the dating process, the best thing you can do for yourself is allow the proper time to heal. Really pay attention to where you are on your journey of self-acceptance and recovery. Once you feel that you’ve established your sobriety as a top priority, starting and sustaining healthy relationships becomes a lot easier.
Get Creative with Sober Dating Activities
So, you’re finally ready to date but are worried about doing so while staying sober. Take a deep breath and remember: it’s normal for there to be some anxiety.
After all, it’s not uncommon for first dates to consist of going out to a restaurant or bar for drinks. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to enjoy the rituals of dating while staying sober.
A few sober dating activities to consider:
- Visit a local museum
- Grab a cup of coffee at your favorite cafe
- Wander a bookstore
- Take a cooking class together
- Go for a hike
- Sit in on an improv or comedy show
Whatever you decide to do, make sure to stay firm on your boundaries. If someone suggests an idea that makes you uncomfortable, vocalize your concerns. Remember, your sobriety should always be at the forefront of your decisions when dating.
Rely on Your Network of Support
Navigating the highs and lows of dating can be difficult even during the best of times. For those in recovery, staying connected to a support network can help with codependency or relapse worries. Speaking to a therapist, reaching out to friends, or getting a sponsor are all ways you can garner support while dating.
Always make sure to be open with your network about your concerns around dating and relationships. They can provide guidance, a fresh perspective, and—most importantly—support.
Need More Guidance? Stairway Can Help.
Whether you’re navigating the world of sober dating or need a helping hand, Chicago’s sober living community, Stairway to Freedom, can provide the support you need.
Contact us today to learn more about how we help recovering addicts stay clean after rehab.