Dating in Recovery

Dating is a natural part of the human experience. We enjoy physical intimacy as well as companionship and seek out a partner to enjoy these experiences with. In our active addiction, our relationships were distorted and infected by our substance abuse. We lost the ability to truly care for others, as our only concern was the finding and using our substance of choice. Now that you are in recovery, you may find yourself interested in rejoining the dating scene. Here are some things to consider as you continue your reintegration into society and the dating world.

First, it is important not to jump the gun when it comes to dating. There is a rule of thumb in the rooms of 12-step recovery that a person in early recovery should wait until they have a year of continuous sobriety under their belt before they begin dating. You should discuss your desire to date with your sponsor, and reflect on your motives for doing so. Many addicts in early recovery continue to struggle with low self-esteem and seek validation externally. This desire to date could be a subconscious attempt to garner validation from others, which would hamper your progress in your recovery. Be honest with yourself and your sponsor when it comes to your motives behind wanting to date, and together you can determine the best course of action for you.

If you and your sponsor have agreed it would be acceptable for you to begin dating, there are a few things to keep in mind in your search for a partner. Most importantly, you should not let dating dominate your time and attention. Balance is key in recovery, and maintaining a healthy amount of various activities in your life including 12-step recovery meetings is critical for your continued sobriety. It can be tempting to get swept up in the excitement of new romance, but keep a level head and do not let yourself get too carried away. This is another reason it is important to have a good relationship with your sponsor and sober supports – they will be able to point out any negative changes in your behavior as you begin dating again.

Not everyone is an alcoholic or addict; in fact, most people are able to drink occasionally in moderation without spiraling out of control. Therefore, it is very possible you will find yourself attracted to someone outside of the recovery community. There is nothing wrong with dating a person not in recovery, but it is important to communicate your boundaries with them early and stick to them. If being around alcohol or a person under the influence makes you uncomfortable, that is a boundary your significant other needs to respect. Should they violate this boundary, you must be willing to take a step back from the relationship in order to protect yourself and your sobriety.

Dating is an exciting and enjoyable aspect of our lives. As you continue to walk the path of recovery, re-entering the dating world is a natural part of your growth in sobriety. You should take certain precautions before jumping in to the dating pool in order to protect your sobriety. These include discussing your desire to date with your sponsor, maintaining balance in your life as well as your attendance at 12-step meetings, and setting boundaries with your chosen partner. As long as you adhere to these recommendations you can safely enjoy dating in sobriety!


Evolutions is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located in beautiful South Florida. Our holistic approach to addiction treatment centers around addressing and healing the underlying issues at the root of addiction, rather than merely medicating symptoms away.

Our treatment program includes individual and group-based therapy to help clients understand and manage their symptoms and emotions.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, alcoholism, or any co-occurring disorders please call us at (833) 818-3031 or