Everything changes when you’re sober. If you haven’t dated since your drinking or drugging days, then you might already know that your expectations have changed. You might already recognize that you’re not the same person and so the type of person you want is also different. You also might know that because you’re working on a better life for yourself, the person you’re with should be doing the same. In fact, because you’re sober, it’s important to consciously give thought to the type of person you’re looking for.
Giving this conscious thought is necessary because relationships are the one place where old patterns easily resurface. In fact, they might not only resurface but because they are so familiar, you might not notice it until weeks later. And because relationships can include intimacy, trust, and love, they tend to bring up a person’s deepest wounds. In fact, the primary reason women get hooked on drugs or drinking is because of the relationship they’re in. This may not happen to all women, but the point is that relationships can be dangerous territory, especially for a recovering addict, regardless of gender.
So, if you’re sober, ready, and willing to be in a new intimate relationship, think about the following before saying yes to a date:
- Is this person sober?
- If so, how long?
- What are their interests?
- Where do they spend their time?
- Who do they spend time with?
- Are they active in their recovery?
- Do they take good care of themselves?
- Do they have goals, hopes, and dreams for their life?
- Do they have good judgment?
- Are you attracted to them physically and emotionally?
Perhaps the last one sounds funny. You might be thinking – if you’re considering a date with someone, then of course you’re attracted to them. However, an old pattern that can show up with addiction is going with the first man or woman who comes along. Some people crave intimacy and love so much that they are willing to go with just about anyone. Doing this isn’t safe nor is it really a good idea. It’s a way of undermining yourself. Showing yourself respect would be waiting until you find someone who is safe, sober, and genuinely attractive.
Before you go on your first date, think about the type of person you’d like to have in your life. You might answer the above questions as well as add some other important criteria. Also, consider the types of old patterns you’re vulnerable to when you’re in a relationship. Keeping this in mind can help you avoid frustration and stress.
If you feel you’re ready to begin your search for someone new, there are a handful of dating sites that cater to the sober living community. Here are a few:
Remember before you go on your first date, think about the type of person you want. And don’t settle for anything less!