Sober dating or jumping back into the dating pool during early recovery can be daunting and dangerous. Successful recovery involves every part of your life, including your relationships, and knowing whether you are ready or interested in the right person is essential before taking any further steps.
Wait Until the Moment Is Right
You need to be completely stable in your recovery before you even think of starting dating again. One of the biggest problems people face fresh out of rehab is experiencing negative influences from outside. Even if it means taking a year or more for yourself, never start dating until you feel entirely sure and comfortable about it.
Establish Personal Boundaries Before Meeting Someone
Dating in early recovery can be challenging, as you’re starting to learn to set boundaries and what a healthy relationship looks like. Remind your date or partner that recovery is your top priority.
Some people are fine with their dates drinking while they’re sober; others aren’t. Let people know beforehand and never compromise if their behavior makes you uncomfortable,
Take It Slow
Dating after rehab can be overwhelming, especially if you’re trying to manage other parts of recovery like therapy, support groups, and taking time for yourself.
Enjoy the development of your relationship, but don’t rush into commitments or promises that you aren’t comfortable with or that go against your plans post-recovery.
Be Upfront About Your Sobriety from the Start
Never lie to a date or partner about your sobriety. Let them know beforehand, and it might make the date or meetup all the easier.
Choose Partners Carefully
Dating a sober person is the best choice when you are also in recovery. However, that isn’t always the right choice for everyone, and you should take your time to consider whether dating someone will benefit your personal life or whether it will negatively affect your sobriety.
Be Careful to Not Replace Substance Addiction with Codependency
Dating in recovery is tricky, especially when love or infatuation starts replacing the high drugs or alcohol used to give you. Be careful not to jump from substance addiction to dependency on a person for your emotional well-being and validation.
Prioritize Communication and Honesty
Communicating and being honest with your partner is vital to healthy dating during recovery. If you are uncomfortable, unsure, or anxious, let your partner know and communicate your thoughts. Not only is this the basis for a healthy relationship, but it could help you build new personal skills and ways to manage your emotions.
Have a Plan to Cope with Difficult Emotions
Dating doesn’t take away the difficulties of dealing with powerful emotions. Often, dating can make these effects stronger. Attend therapy, join a support group, or lean on your friends. Regardless of the method, make sure you plan to deal with tough feelings without turning to drugs or alcohol.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction or facing relapse, contact our expert team at Adelante Recovery Center at (949) 427-9099 to get the treatment and help you need.