We do not get sober to hide from normal life, and it is perfectly natural for human beings to crave companionship. For those in early sobriety, often a strong desire to rejoin the dating world accompanies the wave of emotions that hits as a result of our no longer numbing our feelings with drugs or alcohol. While everyone’s situation is different, there are a few ground rules which everyone in early recovery should follow in order to protect their sobriety and avoid setbacks and potential relapse.
First, as with every major decision in life, you should absolutely discuss dating with your sponsor before taking any action. It is common for sponsorship families to have established protocols when it comes to dating - often you will be told to avoid dating for the first year of your sobriety, or at least until you have completed your steps. Not every sponsor will have such hard and fast rules, and of course we are all unique both in our situation and in our recovery journey. You should heed any advice or parameters your sponsor lays down for you, as failure to do so will only hurt your sobriety and could result in the loss of your sponsor.
Once you have the go ahead from your sponsor, you can dip back into the dating pool confidently. Often a question those in early recovery pose to more seasoned members is how to go about meeting potential partners. Bars and clubs are not an ideal place for those in recovery, but what alternatives are there for those of us in sobriety? You would be surprised at the plethora of options available! AA and NA clubhouses regularly hold mixers for single members, a great way to meet potential boyfriends/girlfriends who are also committed to sobriety. Additionally, it seems everyone is using the internet to meet other singles, and this option is viable for those in recovery as well. Just be sure to indicate you are a sober individual and are seeking someone who is not a drug user or passionate about alcohol.
We get sober to rejoin society and live our best lives, and part of this is obviously finding and joining our soulmates. Those in early recovery usually crave companionship particularly strongly, but this is not necessarily what is best for you right now. Talk with your sponsor first, and once you have determined whether dating is a good idea for you you may take steps towards this goal. So long as you put your recovery first, never compromising your integrity or commitment to sobriety, you can enjoy the dating scene as much as anyone!