Alright fellas, so you’re back on the saddle and ready to get out there and date. Great, fantastic, we’re with ya and we want nothing but the best, most blissful relationship possible. With that in mind, we have created this guide for guys: all about dating non-addicts.
We are not suggesting you should only be dating non-addicts. Oh no. We think that chemistry is chemistry, love is love and if you are out there connecting with another human being in anyway then who cares about their past. After all, you are going into this hoping that you won’t be judged based on your past, so of course, you don’t want to do that same.
If you are dating while staying at a sober living home for men, then ask your counsellor to weigh in as well.
Keep an open mind.
The Best Parts of Dating Non-Addicts
- Less Chance of Relapse
There are lots of recovering addicts who talk each other into using. Though this is not a definitive fact it does happen often especially while dating in early recovery. If you are dating non-addicts, then you have less chance to be talked into using.
- There’s More To the World
The best part of dating non-addicts is that they know how to have fun without drugs or alcohol. While you lived a life that revolved around get blasted as much as possible, your partner was going to lectures, cooking classes, go carting, the driving range, book clubs and generally dating without drinking. That makes it much easier for you to slip into the normie world. You’ve got your very own guide.
- Opposite Attract
Having the same fundamental ideas is essential. You should like similar music have similar life goals and similar political leanings. In all other ways, opposites may and in fact do attract. Dating non-addicts is great because you aren’t going to the same meetings, seeing the same sponsors, doing the same thing. You have opposite lives that you can live separately. Then comes back together to discuss it all.
The Challenges of Dating Non-Addicts
- You Think “They Just Don’t Get it”
There are times, especially if you are dating in early recovery, that you may have a rough patch or two. It’s understandable. And it is common to start up your blame thrower and spread your problems and negatively out to everyone else. When this happens, you could be tempted to think that they “just don’t get it”, “they haven’t lived with this” or “they are being cold but they don’t know how hard I work”.
The truth is that this is a reflection on you as well. Dating while in recovery all depends on communication no matter if its with addicts or non-addicts. Don’t become a recluse. Talk to them.
- They Think “They Just Don’t Get it”
They are insecure and emotional beings too and it’s easy for non-addicts to rationalize: “hey, my guy might be better off with a recovering addict”. You know this is not true, but they don’t. Of course, dating another addict does have it’s benefits, and they will understand addiction in a way that your partner just cannot. BUT this doesn’t have to be the case.
It’s true that lots of recovering addicts date other recovering addicts. But that is probably more related to circumstance than anything else. After all, most non-addicts meet for drinks, at bars, at clubs; where as most recovering addicts meet at AA, NA and support groups.
- When It Gets Uncomfortable
So there are going to be times when it gets a little uncomfortable. The most common times are when you are both watching a movie and an addict comes on screen. Not always but there will usually be tension.
The second most common is when people are discussing their “crazy college times man”. The idea of you having to open about your history with illicit drugs and alcohol is enough to make your partner get a little tense.
But here’s the rub: they are usually tense for one of two reasons. They are either embarrassed about it or they are worried you’ll be. If they are embarrassed, then they have some stuff to deal with and you may want to talk to them about it sooner rather than later. If they are worried about you, that’s a sign that they care and are trying to protect you. That’s great but you have to let them know that you can handle this. You handled addiction, this is a piece of cake!
Which is Better?
Neither, both, who knows? Unfortunately, we cannot answer this one for you. For some addicts, they want to the comfort of knowing that their partner has experienced their same hardships as well, for others they want to follow the sober lifestyle with their partners, meetings, support groups etc, and for some others, they don’t mind either way.
Only you can figure this out.