Whats the Deal with Dating in Recovery? - Solutions Recovery
Here we look at sober dating apps that can help you get back in the dating game For those in recovery, the Internet can provide an excellent means of 'You can have infinitely more fun, and actually remember what you did. According to Easy Does It: Dating Guide for People in Recovery, there are some or work: This is a rule that applies across many different situations, and many. Additionally, “normal” sober dating can seem boring by comparison. A person in recovery can still well remember the tension and drama of a.
The idea of fellow program members combining their sensitivities and weaknesses is fraught with danger. For anyone going through treatment, relapse is always a possibility.
Being involved with someone for whom that possibility also exists greatly increases the chance of the two people falling back into the same habits — only this time, together. After the inevitable relapses, she recommitted herself to her treatment program. Her experiences and her treatment taught her that a partner who could respect and support her sobriety would also respect and support her as a romantic partner.
Whether repairing the bridge to a spouse or romantic partner, or forging ahead with a new person, a sober person has to give the relationship a chance to develop. This may mean putting off intimacy for a long period of time until the partner has made a clear commitment to the relationship, and both parties are on the same wavelength; this may mean a lot of dates and meetings where there is minimal physical contact. The point is that sobriety has to be established as a priority from the outset.
As the people speaking to The Fix can attest, damage will inevitably be done if a relationship based on an unhealthy foundation is allowed to continue. Dating without drinking entails accepting that even as other parts of life look better in recovery, the quest to find love or companionship, as applicable can still be a long, occasionally ugly activity.
It is made even harder by the ubiquitous presence of alcohol in American life. Happy hour, dinner with wine, and nightcaps are frequent enough on their own, and even more so when love and sex are considered. Such is the pervasiveness of the presence of alcohol that deliberately steering clear of alcohol on dates might send wrong messages about intentions and interests.
A person in recovery has to look for the fun and excitement in dating while dutifully avoiding any temptations and, in the process, eschewing a rite of passage that millions of people take for granted. Most people think nothing of stopping after a glass or two of wine, or warming up the night with a draft beer. When they hear that a person cannot drink, that can change the entire tone of the conversation. Writing in The Fix, a sober woman confesses that a man she started dating expressed his disappointment that they could never share a glass of wine as a couple.
For abstinent people, this can be especially disappointing. Their sobriety is an achievement, a successful overturning of years of alcoholic behavior. They had to sacrifice a great deal to become healthy again. The woman decided to keep seeing her partner, but they broke up a few weeks after that conversation.
In conclusion, the woman writes that her sobriety has helped her regain control of her life and her mind, but it has made her romantic life much harder than it used to be. Sobriety is great for health, but bad for dating. In the early stages of any relationship, the people involved struggle to find the right balance that works for both of them.
For a couple where one party carries with them the specter of substance abuse, that balance can seem wildly off, especially when the people involved are still getting to know one another. Unless the topic has been broached, avoiding alcohol can be misinterpreted as a sign of only mild interest, with no intention of raising the stakes.
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Communication in the nascent stage of dating is never easy, especially when both parties bring their own insecurities and doubts to the table. The Salon writer ruminates on how, when he and a potential date were not clicking, he longed for the feeling of having alcohol in his system, the freedom and the energy it provided to get through moments of awkward silence.
Even for all the trouble their drinking caused, they never had problems meeting other people. For a drinker, alcohol makes people feel more interesting, says the Salon writer. Take that out of the equation, and dating when sober can seem confusing, frustrating, and even boring by comparison. Top of Page Couples in Therapy Vice Magazine conducted interviews with two couples on how difficult sober dating and relationships can be.
In both couples, one person is a recovering drinker, and their respective partner drinks a lot. The sober partner in one of the couples admits that falling in love with a woman who actively drank was a threat to his sobriety; seeing how much fun she had when she was drunk, using her intoxication as a cover for his own desire to indulge, kissing her and smelling the alcohol on her breath, all pushed his abstinence to the brink.
Alcohol is, officially and scientifically speaking, a social lubricantbut sometimes, merely being in the presence of someone who is drunk — or drinks in general — can be a lubricant all on its own. When the dynamics of gender psychology are exacerbated by substance abuse and the rehabilitation thereof, the perspectives can become even starker.
Sober people, for example, are still working through their past issues with alcohol; being around a drinker and being involved with a drinker can make for an uncomfortable relationship. Eventually, it may come down to accepting harsh realities. As most people in recovery will say, becoming sober entails living in a world that is not sober, and a dating scene that is inherently linked to alcohol consumption to make things happen.
Whats the Deal with Dating in Recovery?
Jezebel writes of the importance of communication. When the limits around alcohol are established, the people in the relationship have a better chance of being more comfortable in their new roles. A couple with this dynamic will have to spend some time determining where the boundaries are; the partner in recovery will be made to feel self-conscious if the drinking partner feels constrained and embarrassed by not being able to have a glass of wine with dinner, especially in the company of friends.
Of course, many dating activities revolve around environments where alcohol is used freely. This can be an unhealthy temptation. Starting a new romantic relationship involves a close interaction with an unfamiliar individual. An individual who is in early recovery can easily be taken advantage of by manipulative people.
Thus, the first line of advice to individuals in recovery regarding dating is to wait at least one year before beginning to date. This does not mean that one should not socialize with others, but dating with the intent of developing some type of long-term romantic relationship is often discouraged in the first year of recovery. If You Still Decide to Date Despite numerous cautions, there will always be some individuals who will find that they crave intimacy and romance in the early stages of recovery.
These individuals are advised to tread lightly.
According to Loving Someone in Recovery: Date someone who wants to develop a long-term relationship. Date someone who shares at least some of your interests. Date someone with similar values. Recognize the signs of a potential dysfunctional relationship. In addition, the book recommends that individuals in recovery who date should also ensure that they are: Actively involved in therapy: Therapy allows for self-discovery, and the therapeutic environment can help the individual learn to develop meaningful relationships with others.
Always honest about recovery: Be honest about the fact that a person is in recovery from the very beginning. If another person cannot accept that, then they are not worth dating. Moving slowly in the relationship: Do not move too quickly or be in a hurry to get serious. Not dating people from recovery groups, therapy groups, or work: This is a rule that applies across many different situations, and many individuals make it a point not to date individuals with whom they frequently associate, such as colleagues at work, people who go to the same church, etc.
Individuals in recovery should extend this to include individuals who attend the same therapy groups, support groups, peer groups, etc.
Romantic relationships with these individuals can result in serious complications and much unwanted stress. In all areas, remember that sobriety comes first.