Making friends in recovery is essential to your long term, successfully sobriety. A strong social network is a better predictor of successful sobriety than most anything else .
Making friends after rehab can seem difficult. The truth is you’re just a little out of practice. You were used to all your friends having a similar connection. You were all friends because you shared a common love to a drug or for alcohol or for chaos in general. Most, if not all those relationships were unhealthy.
If making friends after recovery definitely limits the number of potential friends you might find encounter in the wild, then age makes it much harder. This article Alex Williams at The New York Times has a great perspective on why it’s so hard making friends over 30.
Ok, so we know it’s hard to make friends while in recovery, what can we do about it?
It’s proven the best way to make friends meet the same strangers on a regular basis in the at the same place. This is why most people usually meet most of their friends at work and school. Any activity that requires consistent meet up at a consistent place the best place to make friends in recovery.
Places to Meet New Guy Friends
- Sobriety Meetings
What’s great about meeting guy friends at sobriety meetings is that you know you both exactly where you stand. You are both focusing on recovery and you can give each other a little boost if needed. No this is not the same as a sponsor.
A sponsor might be a guy or girl who can lend a sympathetic ear and help in moments of crisis, a friend is something you can just hang out with, feel connected to; don’t get them confused.
This is the easiest way to make friends in recovery and a no brainer. At very least, it’s a great no judgement place to practice introducing yourself and starting conversations.
Don’t get them confused.
- Church/Religious Organizations
Though not the best place for everything, churches and religious organizations offer a real sense of community. Religious organizations are also a lot more open and accepting of people who have less than perfect pasts.
Churches will also have weekly meet up and events which is a perfect place to mingle.
- Sports Leagues
No matter where you live, there is an intramural sports league close. Friendly competition brings out the best in us. Join a team, meet new people and together you can all strive for a common goal.
You’ll also get into better shape. Be wary though, some sports league these days are merely excuses to drink and party. Constant drinking after games is common. It doesn’t take long to figure out what kind of league you’re in, and if you’re serious about sobriety, you should avoid the “beer” leagues.
- Book Clubs
Book clubs are not just for women, please trust us on this. Some of the most important male thinkers of all time were avid readers and discussed books, poetry, and ideas that were bigger than all of us.
If you don’t like church, sports or meeting, then you should consider stretching your imagination a little and joining a men’s book club. Most libraries will host one and if they don’t, you could always start your own!