One rule of thumb in recovery is to not date for the first year.
Spending time getting to know yourself again in sobriety lays the foundation for a brighter, healthier future. In recovery, we learn to love ourselves again. You know you’re ready to date other people once you have dated yourself first. We have nothing to offer to another human being if we do not love ourselves. If you can go out and have a good time by yourself, doing things that you like, then you are ready to date. Now that you are in recovery and have done a lot of hard work to get your year clean, you may begin wanting to share your life with someone.
When drinking and getting high have been a big part of your life, it may feel like there is no more fun to be had.
When everything we’ve previously done, from going out for dinner to going to a concert, to meeting at a bar and landing up in bed, was connected with alcohol or getting high, it may at first feel awkward to go out sober, and have good, clean fun. There are many advantages to sober dating. First and foremost, you get to see the other person as they are, not how they look after a few drinks, and if a relationship does blossom, it is not hindered by using.
Once we get sober and begin living a clean life, we have to relearn how to have a good time. Sobriety brings us back to our inner child, when we were able to have fun without holding back, and without drugs and/or alcohol. Here are some tried and true great sober dates:
- Go out for coffee. Coffee is a big part of recovery. The coffee is brewing at every meeting. Go out for a nice latte or cappuccino and enjoy the drink and the conversation.
- Do something in nature. Enjoying a beautiful day together can be exhilarating. Getting out there to enjoy a beautiful day and get some exercise can be fun. Some ideas are: hiking, boating, biking, fishing, or just going for a walk. Even if your date doesn’t work out so well, at least you got some fresh air and exercise!
- Do something you have never done before. Take a class together, go tubing or rock climbing.
- Be a tourist. Many of us live in a town or city for many years without experiencing what it has to offer. Go to a nearby town or city and be a tourist. Visit the things a tourist would visit. Take pictures, park and take public transportation. Riding the bus or a train together can be a great adventure!
- Music. Everyone loves some type of music. There is a wide scope of things to do in the music field. You can go out dancing or go listen to a live band. Go to a free concert. Go to a paid concert and sit out on the lawn outside and enjoy the music and vibes. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to have fun.
Life in early recovery can sometimes bring feelings of anxiousness as we adjust to living without using.
Make time for fun. There is a whole big wide world out there waiting for you, and the best thing about it is that you will remember the fun you had! If you need help getting to this stage of early recovery, please reach out to us. Our partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs can help you reach a life of happiness and sobriety.
If you or a loved one are ready to reach out for help from addiction, contact us at (888) 989-9690.