Joni Ballard June 14, 2018
sober dating

Life in addiction recovery offers many new possibilities (e.g. getting a job, earning an education, reestablishing a relationship with your family, making new sober friends, etc.). One of the possibilities is starting a new intimate relationship with a healthy person. The relationships that you had during active addiction were most likely purely based on drugs/alcohol, codependency, and sex. In addition to being toxic, those relationships may have even been abusive. Sober dating is a completely different thing than dating during active addiction.

Wait At Least a Year

Most addiction experts would recommend that you should wait until you have reached one year of sobriety before you start dating. The reason is the first year of recovery is when you are most at risk of relapsing. Addiction experts also say that you are most likely to choose the same type of person as you would when you are using before you reach your one year of sobriety. The first year of sobriety is a time of many stressors as you are becoming acclimated to living sober. A relationship is one stressor that is not necessary.

Make a Recovery Dating Plan

Many people in recovery are advised to make a dating plan once they are ready to start dating. You should make a list of three categories, which are green (ideal qualities), yellow (warning signs), and red (deal-breakers). You should also make a timeline of what is acceptable at what point in time (e.g. text messages, amount of money spent on the other person, physical contact, etc.). Though the dating plan is definitely subject to change, making a plan will give you a clear idea about your comfort level, expectations, and boundaries.

Choose Another Sober Person

The best choice in a partner is another sober person. This person can be another recovering individual or someone who simply does not use alcohol or alcohol. Recovery meetings (e.g. AA, NA, SMART Recovery, etc.) are the ideal places to meet a sober partner. However, you should not ask out someone who just started coming to the meeting; you should choose someone who has been in the program for a while to ensure that they are definitely not actively using or behaving like a using person. You should also…
 

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