Healthcare professionals in the field of addiction treatment highly advise against dating in the first year of sobriety. Since many people new to sobriety find themselves still struggling with impulsive behavior, dating can often lead to complications. Either they are disappointed when they can’t find the intimacy they crave, or they find themselves getting too serious too soon, which usually leads to an even bigger letdown. Navigating the world of dating in recovery is daunting for many people because we lack the social skills necessary for success in dating as a result of our addictions.
If the recovering alcoholic can’t keep these things in perspective and learn to accept and process the feelings they experience, a return to drinking or using drugs is often the result. However, it doesn’t have to be this way if you’re well-grounded in your personal recovery and are working an active program.
Can You Date in Early Recovery?
On the other hand, if the tools of recovery are embraced and the newcomer has established a firm foundation in sobriety, dating can be an enriching part of the new life-experience that opens up in the absence of alcohol. It’s a hotly debated topic in recovery circles with no clear-cut answer because each person is unique. While one individual may be able to handle the feelings and emotions that come with getting into a relationship, another person may find it to be too much and go down the wrong path.
It is said that the alcoholic or addict stops maturing when he or she starts getting high. It’s perfectly possible to enter recovery as a fifteen-year-old in a thirty-five-year-old body, and all the awkwardness of being a teenager trying to navigate social situations and dating—seemingly made manageable by drinking—are now the stark new reality of the newcomer. Because in a very real sense lack of maturity is the hallmark of the typical alcoholic, people new to recovery often find it necessary to retrace the missed steps of their youth.
Sober dating is a part of growing up.
If done honestly, openly, and with a willingness to act according to recovery principles, dating in recovery can be fun, interesting, challenging, and occasionally heartbreaking. It can lead to friendships and possibly even long-term relationships.
The key, though, is to behave according to new guidelines; to not act selfishly; and to have someone to talk to if things don’t go as hoped for. If you’ve relapsed as a result of your dating or being in a relationship, we’re here to help. Our addiction treatment center gives each patient the opportunity to communicate openly about the negative consequences of addiction and begin to repair broken relationships.
For more information on dating in recovery, contact Restore Health and Wellness at (818) 408-4942. We offer comprehensive programs for addiction treatment in Thousand Oaks and use proven methods to help you or a loved one break free from addiction. Visit us at 6918 Owensmouth Ave Canoga Park, CA 91303. 24/7 Admissions (818) 722-9019. On-Site Contact (818) 806-3914.