Forming a Healthy Relationship Online When You’re In Recovery

By Gemma Crooke

Have you ever noticed just how much of your dating life is conducted in smoky bars and clubs? From that first date drink to the affair conducted under the cover of darkness, it’s likely that you will have been on a date to a bar (or on several dates to several bars) at some point during your dating career. If you’re a recovering alcoholic or simply don’t drink alcohol for any reason, this can make the dating world difficult: whilst you may be happy to enjoy a coke whilst your date is sipping on their beer, many people, particularly men, find the concept of drinking alone to be problematic. And if you haven’t been in recovery for long then you may well not want to go into a bar or club and stare temptation in the face. During the early stages of alcohol recovery being around other people drinking really isn’t a good idea: even if it is your only chance to meet and date the person of your dreams! However there are other options available: such as online dating. Online dating is a wonderful option for recovering alcoholics and provides a wonderful way to meet new people.

The Wonderful World of Online Dating

Dating when you’re a recovering alcoholic can be very difficult. When is the right time to tell the person that you want to date that you have a history of alcoholism? Is it better to be upfront straight away? Should you leave it until your third date, your fifth date? Many people shy away from these kind of uncomfortable conversations in the flesh, but find them much easier to have online when they have time to think about what you want to say and how you want to express yourself. It’s easier to be upfront and let your potential love interest know everything they need to know about you very quickly, including the things you find difficult to talk about. If the person you wish to date doesn’t want to meet with you in real life because they are turned off by your past then you also have the advantage of knowing this before you invest any real time and emotions into the potential relationship.

Find the Right Match

When you’re meeting people in a bar you are going in blind: you know that you like the way a person looks before you deliver that initial chat up line but nothing else, not even their name! Online dating gives you an immediate advantage though; you can indicate clearly in your profile than you don’t drink and you can even make it clear that you only want to be contacted by non-drinkers or people who only drink occasionally in your profile. This means you don’t have to have that immediate conversation when you see a profile you’re interested in and it also means that you won’t run the risk of starting to date an alcoholic, something with could have negative effects on your own recovery process. When you’re heading to a bar with your friends to meet new people, it’s highly unlikely that you will meet someone that doesn’t drink: however online dating helps you to widen the net and find someone who matches your very precise criteria.

Online dating also allows you to take your time getting to know your potential match and then when the time is right for meeting each other in the flesh you will know each other well enough to know that meeting in a bar is not a good idea. This will help you to protect your sobriety and give you the opportunity to try another fun date option: after all, how much fun can you really have on a date in a bar when you could be holding hands on an ice skating rink, snuggling in the back of a movie theater or even indulging your foodie impulses in a delicious restaurant instead? There is an assumption that the best dates take place when you have a glass in your hand, but actually, sober dates can be so much more unusual, exciting and fun!

This is a freelance article from Gemma Crooke.


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