Let’s face it: dating culture and bar culture are a bit intertwined.
Casual dating often means grabbing drinks after work, going to happy hour, or sipping mimosas at brunch.
Alcohol can be a crutch in the dating world. What some see as a way to deal with a little anxiety can also decrease inhibitions and lead to risky behavior.
Dating in a sober environment is possible, and with the right partner, you can have a successful relationship.
Sober dating can help both parties figure out if there is a genuine connection more quickly. It’s a healthy and honest way to connect with others on a deeper level.
Interested? Here are some tips!
Date Yourself Before You Start Dating Other People:
It’s important to be comfortable in your skin before you can be comfortable around others. Entering sobriety involves learning about yourself on a whole different level.
You may have to sit with new and uncomfortable emotions and thoughts that you never experienced before.
During your journey, you may pick up new hobbies or a different outlook on life. Before you can truly know what to look for in a partner, you’ll need to know yourself.
You also must practice self-love and honor yourself before you can hold feelings for someone else in a stable way.
Once you find your happiness, you are more likely to attract others who are also happy and secure.
Dating yourself can take time, but it is important not to rush this stage. Enjoy it!
Be Confident In Your Sobriety:
Before you jump into the dating scene, you must be comfortable and confident in your sobriety.
Are you able to talk about your past? Can you confidently explain to a potential partner that you live a sober lifestyle?
Maintaining your sobriety remain your top priority. Even when dating, it’s important to carve out time to attend meetings, support groups, and therapy sessions.
Be Honest With Your Dating Partners:
The earlier you tell your dating partners about your sobriety, the better. Be honest and upfront about your lifestyle.
You may discover that some individuals are not comfortable dating someone sober.
Letting others know about your sobriety early on can prevent mismatches upfront and can save you a lot of time. After all, you want to find a partner who respects your lifestyle!
Avoid Bar Scenes:
As a rule of thumb, hanging around environments where alcohol is involved is asking for trouble.
It can bring back mixed emotions and painful memories, and potentially lead to relapse. Instead, try meeting at coffee shops, restaurants, art museums, or parks.
Try taking a scenic walk where you can be attuned to the connection and chemistry.
Be Careful About Cross Addictions:
Trading in one addiction for another (cross-addiction) can happen to any of us in recovery.
Trading in sobriety for a co-dependent relationship or serial dating can be a form of cross-addiction. Dating, especially online dating, can be addictive.
You may find yourself spending hours swiping on dating apps and going on multiple dates a week only to discover that you are filling a void.
The bottom line here? Make sure that you are dating with genuine intent and not using dating as a substitution for your substance of choice.
Are you comfortable dating someone who drinks occasionally, or do you prefer a partner who is also sober?
It is important to establish what you are looking for and set strict boundaries for yourself. Don’t compromise your non-negotiable boundaries!
If you do choose to date someone who drinks occasionally, be mindful of avoiding places and situations where you may feel uncomfortable, pressured, or triggered.
Maintain Your Support Network:
Remember to spend time with your friends and your recovery community. Share your experiences, ask for advice, and listen to others who are also navigating the dating world while in recovery.
AKUA Is Here To Help.
No matter where you are in your recovery journey, AKUA can help. We understand that relapse can happen to anyone.
Whether you are seeking help for the first time, trying to get back on track, or looking for a community to help you maintain your sober lifestyle, we have a program for you.
Chat with an admissions counsellor at AkuaMindBody.com or at 1-888-258-2669.