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.
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.
Successful recovering addicts and alcoholics will have learned much about the importance of honesty and open communication during their rehabilitation process, and this can carry over into their relationships with those to whom they become close.
But when addicts and alcoholics suddenly begin closing down and become reticent to share what they are thinking and feeling, or to talk about what is happening in their lives, this is most likely a sign that something is wrong.
Before becoming involved with them, it is important to sit down and have a good long talk about what those triggers might be, based on their past experiences and on the insights they have gained during their counseling sessions and during their time in AA or NA.
With good communication about this topic, the partner of someone in recovery can do a lot to keep the process on track – while protecting themselves at the same time.
While recovering addicts or alcoholics can make excellent companions, there is one principle that should be followed without exception – do not become involved with someone in recovery from substance abuse unless they have been clean and sober for at least one year.
This is the advice that addiction counselors always give to their patients, and it should go double for anyone thinking about becoming involved with a former drug or alcohol abuser.
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So, why not check the accuracy of this rule via our dating site?