There are many things people look forward to doing once they get sober. For many women in recovery, dating in sobriety can be an exciting and unnerving idea. At Awakenings for Women, we offer supportive sober living in Boca Raton for women of all ages. Many women living at our facility are excited to start dating in recovery, but they aren’t sure how to go about dating. We’ve put together some tips for dating after addiction.

Make Sure You’re Ready to Start Dating

Far too may people look for a partner not to feel love, but to fix their problems. Bringing the baggage introduced by addiction and recovery into a relationship won’t help create meaningful connections. Inferiority, jealousy, and fear will all put a relationship at risk [1], and these issues often follow those in recovery. First, you must unpack this baggage and process the negativity in a healthful way before heading out into the dating world. Support groups, therapy, cognitive therapy, The 12 steps, and art therapy are all methods for addressing the challenges of addiction.

We do not suggest anyone starts dating until they are confident that they have grown and learned from their challenges in addiction, alcoholism, and substance abuse. It is not that those struggling with addiction are flawed, it’s that addiction creates challenges emotionally which make it difficult to form genuine connections. Only after completing therapy and maintaining sobriety should you consider dating after addiction. We know, you may feel lonely in addiction or even in recovery, but patience is important. Alcoholics Anonymous and other support groups suggest waiting at least a year before you start dating after recovery.

Be Genuine

The opposite of addiction may not be sobriety, but rather genuine connection [2]. Addiction creates isolation, and people try to fill this isolation with drugs, alcohol, and other harmful substances. This is why it is crucial to be genuine in your recovery. Yes, this means being honest and telling your partner about your past challenges with addiction.

Put Your Best Self Forward

Though addiction may be in your past, it doesn’t determine your future. While you should be honest about your past, you should also put your best self forward. Remember, you’ve put in a lot of hard work to build sobriety, and you should be proud!

Don’t Let Fear Control You

Dating can be a scary experience for anyone, and it can be especially difficult for someone in recovery. Focusing on the fear of dating won’t make things easier. Instead, turn the fear into something exciting and focus on the possibilities of your new dating ventures.

Keep Growing

Emotional growth is an important part of maintaining sobriety. You should be putting in work to continue breaking down your emotional roadblocks, it will only improve your dating life [3].

Consider What You’re Looking for

Do you know what you’re looking for in a partner? The qualities you valued when you were in the grips or addiction are very different from the ones that matter today. Consider sitting down and putting together a list of the qualities that matter to you. For example, look for someone who shares common interests with you.

Slow it Down

There’s no rush, after all! Make sure to slow things down and take your time with newly sober dating. It takes some time to genuinely get to know a person, and there is no rush. Make sure you’re moving at a pace that is comfortable for you.

At Awakenings for Women, we support women in recovery with our dedicated sober living home in South Florida. We hope these tips help when it comes to dating in new sobriety!

Sources:

  1. Excess Baggage: Getting out of Your Own Way by Judith Sills, Ph.D.
  2. TED- Everything You Think You Know About Addiction is Wrong
  3. org- Act Your Age: Recovering Your Emotional Immaturity

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