Beginning your life again after rehab can be exciting, but it can leave you unsure how to maintain your sobriety while meeting new people and building relationships. Dating in early recovery can be particularly challenging. While dating is stressful for most people, it can be even more so for those who are trying to stay sober and manage mental health concerns.¹ If you want to start dating after rehab in Arizona, here is our guide on dos and don’ts for dating in recovery.
Do Try to Wait a Year to Try Dating After Rehab in Arizona
You may feel anxious to return to the dating world right after completing treatment, but you don’t want to risk a relapse. You can still be vulnerable to stress and other triggers even after an intensive program. Having a bad experience on a date or dealing with rejection can put you at risk, so waiting a while after you end intensive treatment can help solidify your sobriety.
Dating after Arizona rehab can also mean that you are substituting one addiction for another. You want to learn how to be on your own first before you begin a new important relationship.
Don’t Neglect Treatment
Dating and building a relationship can take your focus away from your treatment. Even if you completed intensive residential and aftercare programs, you must keep up with meetings and therapy.
If you choose to begin dating after rehab, make sure you continue attending all of your meetings.
Do Find Sober Things to Do
What can make dating difficult for people who are going through recovery is that finding sober activities can be a challenge. Dates are closely tied with having drinks or visiting places serving alcohol. To have a better chance of dating and remaining sober, think about activities and locations that do not put you at risk, like:
- Going to a museum
- Food locations that don’t serve alcohol
You might want to ask people who have been in recovery for a while about where they go for fun.
You don’t have to share everything about your life on a first date, but you also don’t want to lie about your substance use history. Let the person know you are in recovery. Going into details is unnecessary if you don’t feel like it, but don’t hide your struggles.
Do Try to Date Someone Sober
At least when you first begin dating after going through treatment, try to find someone sober to date. That will make it easier to find activities to do together that do not bring you in contact with substances. There are many sober dating apps and sober websites so that you can find someone sober to date without too much trouble.
Don’t Rush into Physical Intimacy
When dating after Arizona rehab, you want to focus on building an emotional connection. It is not a good idea to rush into a physical relationship.
Do Be Careful About Who You Date
You should try to date someone who is as emotionally stable as possible. You are still vulnerable right after rehab, so being with people who cause you stress or who have serious mental health or behavioral issues can push you off track.
Don’t Date Sponsors
This is a common issue. You come into close contact with your sponsor and feel a connection to them, so seeing them as a potential romantic partner is reasonable. It is not a good idea, however. If the bond between you and your sponsor becomes romantic, it can lead to the focus drawing away from recovery and toward dating.
Do Think About the People in Your Partner’s Life
Even if the person you choose to date is sober, they may interact with people who are not. This can place you in potentially triggering situations. As you strengthen your recovery, this may no longer be a problem, but right when you get out of rehab, being around people who drink or use drugs can be harmful.
Don’t Forget to Set Clear Boundaries
Going through treatment can give you a clear idea of your triggers. Once you know your triggers, you should let your partner know your boundaries. It is better for you and your partner if you do this as soon as you start dating.
Help Yourself Stay Sober When Dating After Rehab in Arizona
People in recovery should take their time returning to the dating world. There is no rush. The best strategy is to wait until you feel more secure in your sobriety to avoid putting all of your work in danger.
If you want to ensure you have the support you need throughout your recovery, turning to long-term care can help. We can offer the guidance you need at Wolf Creek Recovery in Prescott, AZ. Contact us today.
Finding purpose in pain is what Jonathon does best. He is a strong advocate for those suffering from substance use disorders. As a person in recovery, Jonathon knows how important it is to receive empathy and compassion. He recognizes that each person comes from a different set of circumstances and deserves to be valued and respected.
With a fresh perspective and compassionate attitude, Jonathon works closely with clients to help them let go of the past and know when to take necessary risks. The recovery process is ongoing, which means people need to move forward while applying the skills learned in treatment. Jonathon is a great motivator when it comes time for this!
Jonathon also places emphasis on the family unit and how it can make or break the recovery experience. Individuals with active, supportive families have far better outcomes. Jonathon realizes that it’s impossible to move mountains overnight, but with the right support team and positive attitude, anything is possible.