Tips for Online Dating in Recovery
After you’re out of rehab and in recovery from a substance use disorder, you may be looking for ways to get your life back on track. If you’re single, one of those ways might be to start dating again. Online dating is a way to tackle the social anxiety aspect of finding a partner.
Online dating in recovery might sound scary at first, but being in a relationship may be able to help with your sobriety goals. One study with 909 young adults found that being in a relationship, living with a partner, or being married decreased marijuana use and heavy drinking when compared to non-daters. Finding a partner who can offer reinforcement, acceptance, and support can help you keep on track with your positive behavioral changes.
Be Honest About Your History
There’s no reason to lie about your recovery. It will come up eventually, so why not get it out of the way? Include a note in your profile explaining a bit about what you went through. Or, keep it simple and just say that you’re sober. You don’t have to explain everything up front, but it can help others learn who you really are. You get can more into things once you strike up a conversation with someone you like.
Keep Your Dates in a Safe Location
Unfortunately, many people expect to head to a bar for a first date. Even if you promise yourself to stick to juice or soda, it’s better to avoid temptation altogether. Hit up a restaurant, movie theater, or even the park instead for a less-triggering alternative.
Don’t Let Rejection Sting
It’s inevitable that you will be rejected before you find a great match. Don’t let these bring you down. We all get rejected from time to time, so it’s important to keep your head high and not dwell on it too much. If you do feel like rejection could trigger a relapse, you might need to take some time off from dating.
Be Ready to Help Others
You may encounter others in recovery when you use online dating apps. While this is great for finding people with similar experiences and mindsets, it may mean you find someone who is having a relapse. You may be wondering—is it okay to tell somebody they need help, even if you’ve never met?
As long as you’re coming from a place of respect and honesty, knowing how to tell somebody they need treatment could save their life. Don’t be afraid to speak up, especially since you know all too well the signs of someone in trouble.
Showcase Your True Self
Never try to make yourself into someone you’re not when you’re online dating. Make sure your profile is filled with accurate information. Additionally, be sure to use current pictures, even if you’re not happy with your appearance after rehab. You need to find someone who loves the real you, and lying from the start means you won’t find the right matches.
The Best Apps for Online Dating in Recovery
If you’re looking for a safe place to meet other people, there are numerous apps designed specifically for those in recovery.
- Loosid—Loosid is a community of like-minded people dedicated to alcohol-free activities and events, with over 1.4 million dating interactions so far.
- Hinge—While Hinge is a dating site for anyone, it lets you personalize your matches based on lifestyle, education, and religion so you can find others who share your sobriety preferences.
- com—As the original sober dating site, 12StepMatch.com caters to men and women in AA, NA, AI, or any other 12-step program.
- Single and Sober—Single and Sober is a traditional dating site with plenty of sober date ideas and tips.
- Clean and Sober Love—Clean and Sober Love takes the swipe approach to dating, where you swipe right to indicate which members you like.
- MeetMindful—MeetMindful isn’t specifically for those in recovery, but it focuses on bringing together people who want to think mindfully and connect with intention.
Online dating in recovery doesn’t have to be difficult! By being honest, staying away from bars, accepting rejection, helping others, and being yourself, you can find a partner who will love and support you throughout recovery.