cautions that relationships are “the number one relapse trigger” so it’s first important to take the time to “heal yourself first.” Faulkner’s healthy-dating-in-sobriety checklist is key: “You should have a solid base of recovery—two years; no relapses; you should have worked the steps; you should be meeting often with your sponsor to discuss dating; and you should regularly be attending your home-group meetings.” She adds, “Both people should attend Al-Anon meetings, too.
Though most people won’t wait two years into sobriety to start dating, keep in mind that the smell of alcohol, the taste of a kiss [with someone who’s been drinking], the clinking of ice in the glass, as well as the bar and the bar scene could be triggers.”Irene Carroll, a North Carolina–based addiction therapist, says, “Dating is just so risky for people in early in recovery, especially so if you’re considering going out with someone who isn’t sober. ” Naturally, when going out with someone who drinks, sober people often wonder when and how to reveal the fact that they don’t drink.
Carroll offers, “Most alcoholics know places that don’t serve liquor—coffeehouses, museums.
That’s what your sober crush has done, and that’s brave as hell.
To believe, to hope, that life will get better if you make super tough choices and follow through with them basically makes your sober guy a superhero.
“I only have a few months, and probably shouldn’t be dating anyone,” she confesses. It’s really hard to stay single when you feel like you’re giving up so much other stuff at the same time.” Dr. Falling in love is a sign that you are being restored to health.” Take it very, very slow.
Rosalyn Dischiavo, a sexologist and licensed addiction counselor, has a cheerier outlook: “There is another, more optimistic truth about love in early sobriety: it shows that you are healing. Date like it's 1955, whether it's with someone new, or with your current partner or spouse. Belisa Vranich—a clinical psychologist specializing in sex and relationships—all agree that there is no reason why addicts and alcoholics shouldn’t be dating other addicts and alcoholics.Nobody in my early recovery cared at all about the process I was going through and I would have killed for a loved one to take the time to learn more about it all.I think it would have been beneficial to both my recovery and to my chances for staying clean.So, at the age of 38, single for the first time since I was 25, I was newly sober, heartbroken, and absolutely befuddled.The rules of dating had shifted completely since I was a young lass and, without the social lubricant of martinis or wine, my old-school M. of getting wasted and ending up in bed with a cute guy from the party clearly wasn’t an option. Insensitive, I have gone on hundreds of dates—a handful with guys from the rooms but mostly online finds, generally social drinkers. So I decided to look into what’s worked for other sober folks, and to see what experts had to say about the matter of dating in recovery.If you’re going out to dinner, it’s okay to wait till you arrive, and when the wine list arrives just say, ‘Nah, I don’t do that anymore.’ Do it casually; whether to go into greater detail or not really depends upon the relationship.”Amy, a 32-year-old stylist who lives in Manhattan and has been sober for 10 years, tells of romancing a particular “normie,” who turned out to be anything but.