Sobriety and Relationships 101

So I just wanted to get some opinions from ya’ll on relationships and recovery…I know they say not to be in a relationship the first like year your tryna get clean, but listen… Ya’ll know that I just met the most amazing guy ever right before i decided to get clean again. Like literally i met him and the next week i was at his house going thru it tryna do it cold turkey. So he absolutely saw me at y worst. Damnit!! I wish I could erase that memory from his head. But anyways… So I really like him a lot, and I believe he likes me too, LOL. I just wonder, with him not ever having addiction issues, and me being like the severest of severest drug addicts, do ya’ll think we have a chance?? Be honest, don’t worry about hurting my feelings, i need honest, genuine answers on this one. Thanx!!1


Whether or not he likes you or not is irrelevant at this point. The real question is are you healthy enough for a relationship? Are you able to withstand the ups and downs of a new relationship? Are you able to not be co-dependent? Are you able to bring as much to a relationship as you take? Can you get happiness and validation from within yourself rather than relying on someone else?


I know it’s probably an answer you already know; in the best of situations starting anything new is tricky. I get that he’s probably a great guy and you’re smitten with him now, but if he’s meant to be with you in the long run, he will be there when you’re in a better place in your life. I know it’s hard to see rn but your head space will be a hundred times better/more clear in the near future. I think if you start something now with someone it’s going to be all about him, from my experience in younger years…it’s hard to really put all effort into your sobriety and a new relationship.


It’s cliched but if its meant to be, it will be. Maybe down the track though… I have found early recovery to be very self consuming. It also involves alot of self discovery and growth within yourself and its extremely difficult to focus on a successful recovery when you’re also focused on a new relationship.
There may also be a tendency to put your happiness in their pocket, so to speak, and if it does all come crashing down, is your recovery going to be strong enough to survive it. Is it worth that risk We? We are fragile early on and need to learn how to deal with so many emotions sober and clean as well as heal from our past. Personally I would maintain a friendship for now and see what develops down the track.


I will absolutely second @Englishd on this one.

I think that for me, in addiction, I felt worthless. So anyone that showed interest in me…I felt connection to, because they were CHOOSING ME. Getting sober was a huge paradigm shift because it was the first time that I ever actually chose MYSELF.

By choosing myself, by taking time to be alone, to work on my issues, to start digging into the reasons behind my addiction while also learning how to be on my own and sober, I found out who I was for the first time.

When I DID finally get into relationships in sobriety, I had a stable base of sobriety, coping mechanisms and strategies for the ups and downs of relationships, more clarity and the ability to see when I had codependency tendencies and ….honestly, I was a better partner because I wasn’t asking an intimate partner to co-sign on my bullshit and then resenting them for me own feelings of unease.

Being single in sobriety and working on myself is the only reason that I am in a happy, stable, communicative marriage now and I cannot recommend it enough.


Okay I get it. So, does it help that he’s 10 years my senior?? Or does that not even matter??

My husband is 8 years older than I am and I find it to be a great pairing. I still would never have been able to be the partner I am without getting my shit in check first. I totally understand the draw of intimate relationships and how exciting they are. For me though…until I dug down to my foundation and rebuilt it solidly, any relationship that I built on top of it was going to fail. It might feel like a big deal to step away right now early on….but it might help to tell yourself that….doing it RIGHT this time…doing that deep inner work…is going to set up the conditions for you to be able to have the life and relationships you dream of…but only once you deal with your foundation first.


Honestly I don’t subscribe to these unwritten rules of sobriety. For me i’m either sober or i’m not and it’s a simple as that.

What i’m trying to say is that if you want to do something positive for youself then make that decision and own it. Don’t let anyone else tell you what you can and can’t do, tell yourself what you can and can’t do. Deep down you know if it’s right or not.

With that being said, the person you are now is likely not the person you are going to be a year from now if you stay sober. Put simply the things you spend your time doing and the stuff you value change completely. This also means the things you look for in a partner change as well.

Food for thought based on my own experience anyway. Good luck :slightly_smiling_face:


You know I know the rule is one year. And I didn’t like it and met someone not this time but another time I was trying to get sober. I prepared myself for the negative side in relationships but for me, it was being so happy with someone that thought I could go ahead and drink again. Then I realize why people who have a long time sober made this rule. What about just being friends? It doesn’t mean you can’t run into him again. Also, does he know about the drugs? If he does that is cool, but if he doesn’t and finds out and decides you guys are not a good match It could drive you to use again. If I were you I would just wait and trust and what other people say, if it’s meant to be it will be…

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I cant find it, but I have read…and if you think about it, it makes sense…the “high” of a new relationship is very similar to the “high” of our DOCs. The issue is never the beginning of a relationship…its when the newness of it runs it course.


At 6 months sober I got into a relationship. Nothing bad happened to me, but I hurt someone because I had absolutely no clue of how to be a good partner or have a healthy relationship.

Moved right into the next relationship with my now ex-wife. Notice how I said ex? Neither of us knew what a healthy relationship looked like. She got pregnant we tried to make it work. Obvs it didn’t work. Neither of us picked back up but it set our growth back a long way.

Without even knowing it I was horribly co-dependent. I was relying on my partners to make me happy. That is not healthy. I had no
concept of self love. I had no concept of balance. I had no idea how to be stable. The highs were great but the lows were traumatizing.

You are free to do what you want of course, but from a quick glance I see two glaring red flags. 1. Trauma bonding from you detoxing on his floor. 2. Co-dependency rising from the trauma bonding. Your brain has barely started to heal from your last run, of course you want to run right into it.

Honestly, his age or anything about him is irrelevant. He could be the greatest guy on earth and it doesn’t matter. If you aren’t healthy enough to be in a relationship with yourself then you’re definitely not healthy enough to be in a relationship with someone else. And if you have to ask an internet full of strangers that’s generally a good indicator that you aren’t even at the relationship with yourself stage.

Lately I’ve seen a lot of people come here and ask for advice. But they haven’t listened to it and come back with some horror story of how everything went to shit. That doesn’t have to be you. But if it is everyone will still be here with the same advice hoping that it sticks for you this time.


Whatever the feelings, my experience was that I changed a lot after the first year or so of recovery. What I was looking for changed. What I brought to a relationship, too.

Every situation is different, but it’s hard to describe the shift that can happen.

Does it mean don’t date? I mean. As long as our recovery comes first, do you. Expect things may shift along the way, is all.


I think plenty has been said but this to me is the most important part I see. If we ourselves are not healthy how can we expect to have a healthy good relationship. I don’t always agree with Derek’s bluntness but I think he has nailed the answer down for you.

If he is the great wonderful guy you think he is he will be just fine being friends while you work on yourself and your sobriety. Maybe in 4 months, 6 months who knows where y’all will be. It’s your decision but I agree with the consensus of being friends first.


Ain’t no one agree with my bluntness :rofl:. I’ve made so many goddamn mistakes in my recovery that it’s frightening. But it’s given me a lot of experience to draw on. The longer I stay sober the more mistakes I get to learn from.

Ask anyone who was here during my original dating saga. @Sassyrocks @CaptAZ @Gabe.G @Meggers and a few others who elude me. They can confirm I was a dumpster fire of a mess who never took advice. Typically I would pay for it in one way or another. I thought people might be able to learn from my mistakes.My shares aren’t in theory, they are in reality.


Don’t get involved…relationships require the energy you NEED to invest in Self. The fish will still be swimming in a later date.

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I don’t subscribe to the one year rule, simply because people grow at their own pace, some people need more time others need less,

My red flags are

  1. The rush for a relationship
  2. He’s the nicest guy in the world

I learned in my experience everyone is nice in the beginning, for whatever reason, they want to get laid, they are codependent or they need money, or their mindfuck control freaks. Or narcissistic fucks

By no means am I qualified to give dating advice especially if you see my track record, but I’ll give you this from a guys perspective,

Age is a number I agree with that to some extents, but you still have men who prey on younger women and addicts for one reason, control, it’s easier to control someone who’s weaker at the moment and get them to mold to your needs/wants kinda the same reason men will prey on women with low self esteem, cause they feel no one will ever want them, so this is what they have to get to avoid being alone. This goes both ways but I’m just using it from a dudes perspective caise well I’m a dude.

Honestly sit down think about what you want, what you need and what’s just excess. My first relationship in sobriety was about 10 months in, when we met, but didn’t start dating until about 4 months later. Cause if your really what they want and not just the next contestant they’ll respect that your trying to be a better version of you.

If you have FOMO, aka fear of missing out, well then that’s something you have to work on


Dumpster fire is putting a rosy spin on it :sweat_smile::sweat_smile::sweat_smile: more like a Chernobyl landfill inferno.

I think any pair of people have a chance if they’re willing to try.

That said, absolutely no rush. Continue working on yourself first and foremost cause you gotta repair your relationship with yourself, heal your self esteem, resolve past issues so they don’t reach up out of the grave and drag you in.

I’ve been a husband for a while, I’ve only been a true partner to my wife since we got sober and put a bunch of work in. And shit, been sober for 4.5 years or so, and it was definitely pig shit the first few months of being sober as I was basically bipolar with my mood swinging/self doubt/self loathing or eternally optimistic/pink cloud riding ass, then it got better as I worked on my sobriety and worked steps which really just allowed me to become a much more complete human being, then better still and the last 3 years have been outstanding.



Intimate relationships require energy & resources better spent on the foundation of your sobriety.

You are just beginning to know yourself devoid of self abuse; spend your resources embracing You.


100%… & If I’m not careful I will use relationship drama to distract from the real issues within myself instead of building/maintaining my foundation.

I started dating someone when they weren’t 1 year sober yet… Luckily he had been in therapy for a while and was actively going to AA (he’s still doing both of those things). But, probably waiting until he was past that year mark might have been less triggering for me and less of a rollercoaster for both of us.

We’ve been together 7 months now and we’re building our foundations separately still, with hopes that we’ll be solid enough to one day build together… It’s been a slow process.



Godspeed to You & Yours!