When I first got sober I got tons of unsolicited advice on the kinds of relationships I should get into, and which kinds to avoid. People told me how long I should wait before even thinking about having sex. Some of those folks are well-meaning and some of them are trying to sleep with you. No one can tell you who to date or what love looks like. All they can do is share their experience with you and let you take from it what you will. My name is Chris and I am alcoholic. For the first six years of my sobriety I was engaged to a woman that was also in recovery. We got sober together and stayed sober against all odds and it was quite a wonderful story, a shot of hope to many drug-addled couples. Then we split up. I thought we would be together forever, so I never put much thought into navigating the dating scene of recovering addicts and alcoholics.
Healthy Dating in Sobriety
Focus on getting to know each other as people before rushing into a physically intimate relationship. It takes time for the brain and body to adjust to living a sober life. You can be a source of love, encouragement, and support, but the decision to remain in recovery belongs to your partner alone. If your attraction is based on a desire to rescue someone in need, you may be suffering from codependency.
This condition is characterized by an excessive emotional, physical, and psychological reliance on another person to boost your own self-esteem.
Now that you are in treatment and entering a newly sober world, you might not know what to do if your partner casually tempts you to get a drink.
First dates are awkward at best and downright disasters at worst. Perhaps the difficulty of dating is why there are currently more single people than ever before. However, sometimes the difficulties of dating can be a good thing. But, what if one day this really special person suddenly drops a bomb on you. After all, no one is perfect. While this may seem like a trivial detail, knowing what stage of recovery they are at can actually make a huge difference.
Generally speaking, recovering addicts are advised to take a break from dating during their first year of recovery. The starting point is the day they first became sober. The first year of recovery is extremely crucial for addicts. They also learn what triggers they need to avoid to stay on the road to sobriety. Adding dating to all of this can be super complicated, and not to mention, overwhelming.
Ask yourself why you feel motivated to date a recovering addict. The thing is, recovering addicts do not need to be rescued or fixed by anyone else. What they need to do, is take responsibility into their own hands and figure out what they need to do to live a healthy, stable life.
Dating Someone in Addiction Recovery
Dating at this time may not be in either of your best interests, despite your desire to be together and weather all challenges. That said, countless relationships have also flourished when one partner is in recovery. This begs the question: Should you date someone in recovery? Read on for answers. If you are interested in getting involved with someone, yet you have just found out that this person is in recovery, you likely will be wondering if this fact is something to be concerned about.
In fact, most recovery programs urge newly sober individuals not to date for the first year of their recovery.
Drinker” is a pretty ambiguous term. You certainly can, but should you? If the person is an alcoholic or unable to refrain from drinking in your presence.
We exchanged numbers and agreed to meet up, but I figured she was just being friendly. Wedged into the booth side of a comically undersized table, I listened as Kate spoke and our conversation flowed easily. Still, when the coffee shop closed Kate suggested we get a drink. First Kate looked confused, then disappointed. Partially at the advice of medical professionals.
Partially because sometimes when I drink too much I engage in self-destructive behavior—you know, fighting traffic cones like Don Quixote fought windmills or texting my ex. Explaining this can be difficult, particularly in a romantic context.
8 Tips for Dating Someone in Recovery
Every relationship demands compromises: You might be a clean freak while your partner’s a slob, or you might like horror films while your partner prefers comedies. But when the compromise is more trying—like when you’re sober, and your partner isn’t—the differences can threaten to destroy your relationship. A Norwegian Institute of Public Health study of almost 20, married Norwegians showed the highest rate of divorce— Married couples who consumed a moderate amount of alcohol together were far less likely to divorce than couples where one was a heavy drinker and the other was not.
This is due to the potential complications that a romantic relationship could introduce at a time when the recovering alcoholic or addict is most.
Question: I am dating a very newly recovering alcoholic; he’s been sober five months. We have known each other for almost two years and share many friends, most of whom knew him when he was still married and witnessed the toll his addiction took on his past relationship. He and I met post-divorce, but I am acquainted with his ex through mutual friends.
We have taken our relationship very slow over the last five months. We first became physically intimate the day before he had an incident that would result in his becoming sober. I have not pressured him to make any commitment other than to sobriety. As a result, we recently dropped the L-bombs and are in a committed, healthy relationship. Here’s the problem: Our closest friends can’t seem to be happy for us.
My best friend explicitly told me our relationship makes her “anxious. How do I get our friends to 1 stop comparing me to his ex-wife; and 2 stop acting like at any moment he is going to go on a drunken rampage and ruin my life?
I’m Newly Sober. Should I Date?
We have known each other for almost two years and share many friends, most of whom knew him when he was still married and witnessed the toll his addiction took on his past relationship. He and I met post-divorce, but I am acquainted with his ex through mutual friends. We have taken our relationship very slow over the past five months. We first became physically intimate the day before he had an incident that would result in his becoming sober.
I have not pressured him to make any commitment other than to sobriety.
Why is it people shouldn’t date for a year after getting sober? Here are tips for dating after completing treatment at a drug and alcohol treatment.
For addicts who are considering the idea of getting sober , fear of dating without the crutch of alcohol can be a major impediment. Newly sober recovering addicts often express anxieties concerning sex and dating. Whether you are single and getting sober, or recovery is a part of your relationship, here are some tips for healthy dating in sobriety. Many addicts have very limited, if any, experience with sober sex.
It is also common for alcoholics and addicts to have a history of codependent or abusive relationships. Because drugs and alcohol can fuel violent and antisocial behavior, relationships are often extremely unstable. Even among long-term relationships, addicts tend to seek partners who will support and not criticize their substance abuse and related behaviors. As a result, few addicts have much experience with healthy dating.
It is common in the recovery community to hear advice about dating in the first year of sobriety. Newly sober recovering addicts are often advised to abstain from dating completely during the first year. Some addiction experts recommend a temporary period of celibacy during this time. There are several reasons for this.
When people become sober it opens up a world of possibility. They can now begin to rebuild their life and get back many of the things they have lost. Romantic relationships can be a great source of happiness in sobriety, but they can also be the source of great pain. One of the worst things that an individual can do in early recovery is jump headfirst into romance.
It is strongly advised that they remain focused on themselves until their sobriety is strong.
This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author’s own. As if there aren’t even speed bumps encountered in the dating world, learning that the person you are seeing is in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction adds new unique challenges. Should I not order a glass of wine with my dinner?
Should we avoid places or events where alcohol is flowing, such as weddings? Concerns such as these are well-founded, considering the difficulties and hard work your sober date has endured along the road to recovery. When dating someone who is in recovery, consider these six tips:. The views expressed in this post are the author’s own. Want to post on Patch? Register for a user account. Patch is a space for neighborhood news.
Tell Me About It: Dating a five-months-sober alcoholic
If you are in recovery yourself or not, you may have had an opportunity to date an addict or alcoholic who is trying to get well. Common wisdom around the rooms of step programs, treatment centers, and sober living houses is to steer clear of the newly sober person, or court disaster and pain for both you and your potential paramour. Why is this and are there exceptions? Many people suggest waiting until the new person has one year of continuous sobriety before diving in.
Other people suggest waiting until they are in the middle of their 9th step in a step program, as that is when many will truly learn how to treat people.
These provisos are in place to give addicts a fair shot at lasting recovery and to protect the people they might date from falling for someone who is.
This advice does not pertain to individuals who are already in relationships, only those who are unattached. One year can sound like a long time, especially for those who enjoy companionship. However, this wisdom is built on the experience of millions of recovering people. It can also take their attention away from the emotional, mental, and physical work required for a full and lasting recovery. For example, some people seek out new relationships so they can enjoy the thrills of the honeymoon period.
But, what happens when this year passes and you meet someone who is ready to date? Is it okay to enter a relationship with them? Generally speaking, yes. If you feel that they are, be sure to take things slow, keep a healthy perspective on what the relationship may entail and be cautious with opening your heart too quickly. Below are some tips for starting a relationship with someone who has completed holistic outpatient alcohol treatment , has been sober for at least one year and feels they are ready to date.