Being in recovery doesn’t make it easy to date. For anyone who has struggled with addiction, it may feel like every potential partner is asking for trust and to take a risk on someone they barely know.
However, being in recovery can make dating challenging, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible, or there aren’t ways to make the process easier. Below are some helpful tips for sober dating and taking on the world of relationships during recovery.
Be Honest About Your Past
With the stigma around substance abuse, it’s not surprising that many potential partners may be hesitant to date you when they know about your past. This can make it particularly challenging to find someone you feel safe dating.
To help make things easier, be honest about your past relationships and addiction. This can be as simple as saying, “I’ve struggled with substance abuse in the past.” To avoid hurting the person, you date, be especially honest about your history with drugs and alcohol.
This can include the specific substances you used and how often you used them.
Take Things Slow
When you’re trying to date someone while in recovery, it can be tempting to fall head over heels for someone almost as soon as you meet them. This can make you feel like you have to choose between dating someone you like and someone you know is a good match for you because of your shared recovery.
It may be helpful to slow things down and take things at your own pace. This can include making sure you’re both ready before you start dating more heavily or getting more involved with your own life before spending more time with your partner.
This can be especially helpful if you have difficulty remembering to take time for yourself when you’re in a relationship with someone who needs you to be always available.
Be Upfront About Your Own Needs and Boundaries
Trying to date someone while in recovery without first setting boundaries can be tempting. This can feel especially hard if you’re in a relationship with someone who “has your back” and is available for you to ask for help when you need it.
While it can be comforting to know that someone cares about you enough to ask for help when needed, it can be uncomfortable to be the one needing help.
To help make this process easier, be upfront about your boundaries and needs. This may include setting limits on how much time you want to spend on your date or activities. Be especially clear about what you want before you start dating someone while in recovery. Keep things light while you’re dating someone during recovery.
This can help you feel more comfortable opening up about yourself and your needs with your partner regarding dating and your addiction.
Communicate Clearly and Openly From the Start
Once you start dating someone while in recovery, you can easily slip into the same patterns you had with your past partners. This can make it harder to remember to communicate openly and honestly with your partner.
To help avoid this, be especially clear about your needs and boundaries. This can include setting limits around how much time you spend together and clarifying how you want to be supported when needed.
This may help you feel more in control of your boundaries and needs and those of your partner.
Put Your Recovery First
Dating during recovery can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. When dating someone while in recovery, make it clear from the start that your recovery comes first.
This may help avoid potential power imbalances that may arise from dating someone with a different set of needs than you do. It may be beneficial to keep this in mind if you start dating someone with a history of substance abuse.
Make sure to set clear limits on how much your partner can do and what they can’t do while they’re dating someone with a history of substance abuse. This can help to avoid any potential feelings of guilt or pressure that your partner may feel if they can’t meet your needs.
Putting yourself first may also mean pursuing your goals, such as returning to school and obtaining a degree or certificate.
Choose Your Date Carefully
When you’re trying to date someone while in recovery, it can be tempting to think you have to “settle” for someone who is also in recovery because you don’t want to “settle” for anyone who isn’t.
While it’s essential to look for any potential benefits that someone else in recovery may bring to your relationship, it’s also essential to remember that there are many ways to date someone without having to be in recovery together.
This can include dating people who aren’t in recovery or even dating people who are in different types of recovery. You can have a dating life during recovery, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for just anyone.
Sober Dating: Can Dating and Addiction Recovery Work?
There are many reasons why someone might choose to date someone recovering from substance abuse. While dating someone in recovery can be challenging, it can also be incredibly rewarding for both parties.
With the right support, it’s possible to navigate sober dating with someone and make the process work for you. As you continue to put yourself first, don’t forget to contact InterCoast Colleges for all your educational needs.