Dating Tips For Recovering Sex Addicts

For sex addicts, the prospect of going back to a ‘normal’ routine might seem daunting and fraught with risk. After all, the idea of forming a relationship or even just meeting up with someone for non-platonic reasons raises all sorts of red flags. Given the risks involved, dating again seems to be the last thing that should be on a recovering sex addict’s mind. 

Then there are those for whom resuming dating is a means to revert to old, destructive habits and patterns of behavior. For sex addicts that aren’t committed to making a lasting change in their lives, dating provides many opportunities for risk and temptation. 

When To Consider Dating Again On The Road To Sex Addiction Recovery 

Between these extremes are people for whom dating again might be a feasible course of action. Some recovering sex addicts have already gone through lengthy therapy and healing processes. Therefore, it may be possible to ease back into the dating routine without undermining any progress they’ve already made. Depending on the individual and the circumstances surrounding addiction, dating could prove to be helpful for the recovery process. 

Right at the outset, we would like to emphasize that we aren’t advocating a return to dating as a way to speed up recovery. Although the support of a loving and caring partner can be a significant factor in helping sexual addicts heal, it shouldn’t take the place of a well-thought-out therapeutic program. Before considering dating again, addicts should have a solid foundation of healing and recovery. 

Tips For Resuming Dating During Recovery: 

For those who are reasonably confident about dating again and have gotten the go-ahead from their therapist, the following tips might be helpful: 

  1. Have a reliable support network in place. Even before you decide to ask someone out on a date, you need to ensure the availability of people you can call during moments of stress or weakness. These may be friends or family members you can contact during your date or when you are feeling tempted to engage in unwanted behavior. 
  2. Get to know the person you are thinking of asking out. It is generally best to meet up for a quick chat in a public place before going on an actual date. You could also talk on the phone or chat on social media. This will give you a chance to determine whether your dating prospect shares your views on relationships.
  3. When you do go on a date, keep safety in mind at all times. This applies to you as well as your date. 
  4. Have your date take place in a public place. This will help keep the meeting casual and possibly enable you to resist being tempted to take things further than they should go. 
  5. Let someone know where you will be going and what time they should expect you back. Again, this could be a close friend or family member. 
  6. Have the same person call you during the date. This will help keep you on track and let your concerned friend or family member know that the date is going as planned. 
  7. Set goals or limitations for yourself before the date. Decide how far you are willing to go beforehand. This will help you maintain your boundaries and resist the urge to engage in unwanted behavior. 
  8. Pay attention to your date. Keep watch for red flags such as overtly sexual behavior or flirting with other people. This will help you determine whether your date poses a risk to your boundaries. 
  9. Proceed at a pace you are comfortable with. Don’t feel as if you have to rush into a relationship or owe it to your partner to give in to their wishes. Take your time and ensure you are comfortable with your decision before you take the next step. 

Remember that these are merely guidelines to help you maintain your personal space and stick to your boundaries during a date. If you feel that something is off or you are pressured to overstep your limits, don’t feel obliged to stick around until the end of the date. 

If the person truly respects and cares for you, they will understand that you aren’t ready to take things to the next step. Follow your instincts. If you strongly feel that there is something wrong with the date, the setting, or the person you are with, you might just be right.