According to an article published by American Addiction Centers entitled “Guide to Sober Dating,” a lot of treatment programs don’t recommend that their clients seek romantic or sexual relationships in the first year of treatment.

The first year in recovery is the hardest. You will need to dedicate your time, energy, and focus on fixing yourself. Dating in early recovery can also damage relationships and cause unhealthy temptations.

These risks may be obvious, but that doesn’t make it any easier for those who still desire the benefits of a romantic relationship. Check out these tips for handling a year without romance:

Refocus Your Lack of Intense Companionship

In your first year of recovery, try to focus your need for close companionship on the people there for you in recovery. Spend time with other addicts, your sponsor, or a religious leader. Making new sober friendships can be even more rewarding in the long run.

A Year with No Sex

For those who have grown accustomed to being sexually free, this can be a very frustrating challenge. According to an article published by Health Line entitled “What Are the Effects of Not Having Sex for a Long Time — or Ever?”, putting a pause on sex can be a good time to experiment with self-pleasure. This way, once you’re better and find someone special, you will know what you enjoy sexually.

Too Much Alone Time

If you were used to spending most of your nights with a significant other before entering recovery, this could be a particular challenge. Consider using this year to meet new people that help you grow as a person. Pick up a new hobby and find a buddy that enjoys doing it. You could even consider getting a close friend (that you’re not sexually attracted to) to move in with you for companionship.


In an article published in The Washington Post in 2018, entitled “Neuroscientist thinks one way to fight opioid addiction is to tackle loneliness”, Rachel Wurzman says that social isolation can “fuel drug use, relapses, and overdoses.” Her solution? Social connections.

When dealing with a lack of a romantic relationship in your life, don’t allow yourself to stay home alone. Make this time about reconnecting with family members you may have lost contact with due to your addiction. Take this time to make new friends that support your sober lifestyle and goals to better yourself.

Keeping your mental health in check is a vital part of keeping your sobriety in check. Never hesitate to seek help when you need it. For more information on help with your individual mental health and sobriety needs, call Alta Loma at (866) 457-3843.