Expert Tips for Healthy Dating in Recovery

This entry was posted in Recovery on by .

Recovery can be lonely at times, which is why some people start thinking about dating right away. While there is no right answer for everyone, experts agree that it’s best to wait at least one year before starting a new relationship. This might be discouraging, but it takes time to adjust to being sober. You don’t want to jump into a relationship too soon, otherwise this could compromise your recovery.

So why can dating too early be a problem? Dating, as we all know, is complicated. You’re already facing many new struggles as you transition to everyday life without drugs or alcohol, and you need to focus your time and energy here. Plus, you’re in the process of learning about yourself and how to better cope with stressful situations.

Jumping into a relationship without a healthy foundation is never a good idea. It’s important to heal and love yourself first. Once you have this groundwork in place, you can open yourself up to someone else. You’ll know who you are, what you want out of the relationship and how to cope with the ups and downs of life.

If you have been working on your recovery for at least a year, and you are ready to start dating, then we have some helpful tips for you to check out! Once you are sober and stable, you are ready to date successfully.

Continue Going to Therapy

First and foremost, going to therapy is something you should continue doing. Therapy is not for ‘broken’ people only. It’s a wonderful tool that encourages you to keep learning about yourself.

As you enter the dating scene, it will be helpful to share your experiences in a safe, judgment-free zone. This way, if things come up in your dating life, you can talk openly about them with your therapist. Unresolved issues don’t have to sabotage your relationships.

Learn about Different Attachment Styles

As you’ll learn in therapy, there are four different attachment styles. Recognizing them can help you avoid toxic relationships.

For example, those with an anxious/preoccupied attachment style feel like they need their partner to survive. The thought of living without them brings intense anxiety. These individuals value their relationships but tend to be insecure and anxious.

On the other hand, a person with an avoidant/dismissive attachment style is perceived as being strong, independent and self-sufficient. They don’t need to be in a relationship to feel complete, and they tend to be emotionally distant.

Recognizing and understanding these attachment styles can help you work on the things you need to, so that you are better able to form a secure and healthy relationship.

Be Honest and Upfront about Your Recovery

While you don’t have to share all the details of your journey, you should be upfront about your sobriety. Otherwise, you’re starting a potentially healthy relationship off on the wrong foot.

We know that many people worry about the judgment they’ll face, but if you’re not honest, you could end up in situations that make you uncomfortable. Someone who doesn’t know about your recovery might suggest going to a bar or nightclub.

Plus, when you’re transparent, you can see how people feel toward your recovery. If someone is not willing to have a sober date, then they aren’t for you. If you’re having trouble finding sober partners, you might have better luck on a sober dating site like or

Let Go of Expectations

Expectations can set you up for disappointment. When you expect people to behave in certain ways, you’re usually expecting ‘you’ out of them. Don’t do this, as each person is their own unique being. They have a different set of life experiences that influence their attitude toward the world, as well as different personalities.

Try to eliminate expectations and enjoy things in the present. In the meantime, work on building up your self-esteem and self-confidence so that you attract the right people. When you love yourself, you get healthy love back.

Establish Healthy Boundaries

During your time in sober living, you learned the importance of setting and enforcing boundaries. These are especially important when you’re in a committed relationship. It’s important that you continue going to therapy, attending your 12-step groups and spending time on self-care. Your sobriety has to come first.

And as always, follow your gut instincts. If someone doesn’t feel right for you, they probably aren’t. You need someone who is going to support your recovery and lift you up. This is why it’s important to give yourself time and take things slow, as you don’t want to enter a relationship for the wrong reasons.

Start Recovery and Rebuild Your Life

Pura Vida Recovery offers a wide range of addiction treatment services, including medical detox, dual-diagnosis treatment and evidence-based treatment. We help our clients overcome their addictions and rebuild their lives so they can be happy, successful and productive. Most importantly, they learn to love themselves and be the partner they’ve always wanted to be. Contact our admissions department to take the first steps to healing.