Dating Tips If You're Sober and They're Not
You don't have to look for a relationship with another sober person to maintain your own sobriety. In fact, your future partner might have a healthy relationship with alcohol and enjoy a drink now and then. Clearly communicating your needs and expectations regarding alcohol ensures both of you feel respected.
Be Upfront and Honest Immediately
You worked hard for your sobriety and took it seriously. Your partner needs to take it seriously too. It's better to immediately weed-out people who won't support your sobriety rather than waste time getting to know someone who doesn't have your best interest in mind.
Bring up your sobriety as soon as you start communicating. Let them know that you don't drink alcohol. Don't feel embarrassed. It's important to be open about your sobriety. Don't worry about scaring people away by being upfront. If your sobriety bothers them, they're not right for you.
Set Clear Boundaries
After a few successful dates, you should have a more in-depth conversation about your recovery journey. Explain why you no longer drink alcohol, the steps you've taken to maintain your sobriety, what recovery means to you, and what triggers tend to make you think about drinking.
Describe exactly what you need your partner to do to help you avoid urges to drink. For example, you might ask them not to bring any alcohol into your home, not drink alcohol in front of you, and not to plan dates that involve winery tours, bars, or other settings where the scent of alcohol is strong.
Everyone has different triggers and boundaries when it comes to alcohol. Your boundaries might even change at different points in your recovery journey. The important thing is to communicate your needs or expectations.
Be OK With Them Doing Their Own Thing
It's important to realize that many people do have a healthy relationship with alcohol. Your partner might want to drink sometimes, and that's okay. For example, they might enjoy meeting up with friends at a bar or having a few drinks at a buddy's house while watching the big game.
These activities might not be right for you, but that doesn't mean they aren't right for someone else. Your partner can still drink and respect your boundaries at the same time. They might even ask about this on the first date, so be ready to explain.
Your partner can't read your mind. If something about their drinking starts to bother you, tell them. They can't fix it if they have no idea it's a problem. For example, if they come home smelling like alcohol, it makes you think about drinking, sit down with them, and discuss it. Propose some solutions and listen to theirs as well.
Try to communicate promptly. Don't wait for it to become a huge issue. You run the risk of feeling more resentful or upset when your partner doesn't change by ignoring the problem. Be as specific as possible when describing what kind of action you expect them to take.
Confidant Is Here to Help
Looking for advice or guidance about your particular situation? Having trouble communicating your needs? Your Confidant team is always in your corner and ready to guide you. Log in to the Confidant app now to get started.