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Many in recovery find that dating sober is very hard in the current dating scene. When you venture out into the dating world as a newly sober person, you have a new hurdle to jump. That hurdle can be described as “coming out of the sobriety closet.” You’ll have to tell your new love interest that you are in fact, sober. Here are 3 ways you can let a love interest know.
Everyone seems to be using dating websites and apps these days; there are even websites dedicated solely to finding a sober mate like SingleandSober.com. If you’re dating 21st century style (via the internet), put something about sobriety in your dating profile. You easily bypass future awkward conversations, avoid dates where drinking is at the forefront, and give potential suitors a better idea of who you are and what you like to do.
You don’t just have to put your name, occupation, interests, and then, “sober,” if that’s not what strikes your fancy. Make it fun. Put “Non-drinker established: 2013.” Put, “I don’t drink or do drugs, and I don’t want my partner to either.” If sobriety is a quality you are proud of and like to include in your bios across social media, add it in with your defining qualities. For me, it would look like this: writer, crossfitter, soccer player, person in long-term recovery. The best part about including your sobriety in your dating profile is the relief it brings from any miscommunication about wanting to drink, though you may need to talk how you came to sobriety at some point.
One of my favorite ways to explain my sobriety to new people is saying that I’ve entered retirement. Explain to your date that you’ve had a checkered past with drinking, that it didn’t serve you, and you’ve retired from that hobby. Say that drinking used to be your main priority and it made your life unmanageable so you decided to retire. Say that you did so much drinking in your past that you actually never need to drink again – you’ve seen, heard and drank it ALL. Further explain that alcohol didn’t contribute anything positive to your life and you prefer living the rest of your life in retirement from drinking.
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If you’ve nailed down your sobriety and it’s something you want as a part of your life, you’ve most likely embraced it as a lifestyle. Even if you aren’t to that point yet, you can still use this technique as a way to tell your date you’re sober. Sobriety is, and should be, a lifestyle that becomes a priority in your everyday life. There’s nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed by in stating this. A date who could potentially be a real partner for you will accept this part of your life and respect you for the decision you’ve made. Tell them sobriety works for you, that it has changed your life for the better, and you can’t imagine going back to drinking.
Telling any new person about your sobriety can be scary and nerve-racking, but this is especially the case when it’s someone you’re romantically interested in. It’s not something you should take lightly. I recommend thinking it over, considering your options, and trying what feels most comfortable to you. One thing I know for sure, when you’re honest and forthcoming about your sobriety, relief and freedom will follow.
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