They say the odds are good, but the goods are odd when dating in recovery. Dating in general can be challenging, but if you are clean, sober, or abstinent, there can be twists and turns in the sober dating pool. The relationships we maintain with others in general need to be healthy to help keep us on the path of sober living. But before we begin to date, we need to have some priorities straight in order and be in a good place physically, mentally and emotionally. Here are a few tips for those who are ready to put themselves out there and start dating in recovery.
Be Honest About Your Recovery
If you are looking to date and you are living a sober life, you will want to be upfront and honest about your recovery with anyone you are considering dating–especially if they are not sober. While it may be scary to talk about your past, the person you want to date should know a little about your history in order to better understand you and to help avoid situations that may turn out to be unhealthy for you in the long run.
Define Your Boundaries
Setting a boundary can be tough for a lot of people, sober and non. One of the keys to healthy relationships is defining your boundaries and keeping them. This is even more important when you are dating while in the early stages of recovery. Always make it clear to the person what your boundaries are. If you don’t like, or are uncomfortable going to bars or nightclubs, let them know that kind of partying is not for you. If you don’t want to be at family gatherings where drinking going on, let them know and don’t go. The person can decide to go without you. Or you can decide this person is not for you.
Make Time for Therapy
When you begin to date, you may not have as much free time as you once did. However, it is still extremely important to make time to reach out and get support, be it through therapy or 12-step meetings. This gives you a chance to talk about how you are feeling and get the emotional support that you need throughout your dating journey.
Take it Slow
Lastly, be sure to relax and take it slow. Rushing into any relationship can present challenges. Take your time to really get to know the other person and determine if you are a good fit for each other before moving forward in the relationship.
Dating in recovery can present new challenges that may stir up new emotions. My 12 Step Store provides a long list of self-help books that explore and guide on several topics throughout the dating journey. To learn about their selection, visit: my12stepstore.com.
DISCLAIMER: All opinions and advice in this column are solely represented by My 12 Step Store and are no way an endorsement by WEHO TIMES.