When starting a new and sober life, free from your vices and addictions, you may find it difficult to start up or repair existing relationships with loved ones – family, friends and romantic partners. While therapy and counselling can help you repair relationships with family members, it can be more difficult to repair relationships with friends, or in the event of romantic relationships, getting back into one. Counselling and therapy services are available through local organisations that help those transitioning into recovery to help you repair your relationships with loved ones such as romantic partners, but in the event your relationship experienced a full breakdown and separation due to your addiction, it can seem impossible to start getting back out there and meeting people.
Dating websites can be a good place to start just meeting people for platonic friendships if you are struggling meeting new friends in your local area. Dating sites, while helpful to meeting new people, can be a bit of a minefield in terms of finding a new partner though. There are a lot of people out there looking just for hookups, or who may actually hinder the progress you have made, so use discretion when using dating websites or apps. Typically if you have had a sex addiction you may find that dating websites can be a trigger for your addictive behaviour so if you find that this is the case, steer clear from sites and apps and try to stick with traditional “face to face” ways of meeting people through things like church groups, through friends or through work and volunteering.
It can be exciting when you’re entering into a new romantic relationship – all the new feelings, emotions and sense of adventure can leave you dizzy with excitement and wanting to rush things. Keep in mind though that there is no need to rush anything. Take your time, enjoy the moments and enjoy getting to know someone in a healthy and beneficial way. Take time to communicate and make your expectations clear from the beginning to avoid any potential misunderstandings that may arise. You may be surprised how many people are supportive of taking new relationships slowly so that you both build a great foundation for something substantial and healthy to bloom. If you need help preparation for entering into new relationships, you may be able to find great reading material online or at your local library on the topic of healthy relationships. You can also talk to friends and family members, your doctor or therapist and other recovering addicts on the topic – all of whom will be more than happy to discuss the topic with you so you can move onto this next step of a happy, healthy and productive life.