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Want to learn more about creating a Dating Plan?

July 1st, 2011 / Coping Skills/ Couples/ Relationship Tips /

Let’s face it…dating isn’t easy.  Updating your profile, returning emails, setting up dates, going on dates, and not getting a returned call and so forth.  Well, let’s imagine being in recovery for sex or love addiction and entering the dating world.  Even harder.  It’s like being a recovery alcoholic and having a drink poured in front of you repeatedly.  So what does one do when he or she is single, has been in recovery for a year and desires to date?  Many of my clients have been faced with this question after living with a strong recovery plan.  I believe that it’s very important to be a part of the world, get out there and date.

Dating has changed so much over the years as individuals work more and moves often.  We are a product of a communication system that is heavily influenced by technology and various forms of communication.  We have come a long way from having a family member set us up on a date or meting someone in church or school.  Individuals are dating by meeting folks on the Internet and taking risks with meeting a stranger.

Dating has become another job or hobby.  Checking you email daily, updating your profile, setting up dates, scheduling, paying for the dates and having to sit through exciting, energy provoking dates and evenings where you’d rather be at home watching your favorite television series.  Some are determined to locate the man or woman of their dreams, and others who don’t want to work that hard.

Imagine being a sex or love addict and reentering the dating world.  Let’s imagine you’ve been sober from your addictive behaviors for a year or so and now you wish to no longer live like a hermit, but scared to death to act out in behaviors that no longer serves you.  Where hobbies and easily become habits and habits into addictions.  Subjects like dating and healthy sex are foreign.

Let’s assume you already have a clear idea what your addictive behaviors are or as they say in Sex & Love Addict Anonymous, your bottom lines.  These are behaviors that you’re very clear triggering your addictive behavior (e.g., causal sex, cursing internet sites and etc.).  And you can’t be a hermit.  You have to live your life.

It’s just as important to identify healthy non-addictive behaviors to participate in as listing your addictive behaviors.  We can’t just have a list of don’ts and not have a list of dos.  We set ourselves up for failure that way.

That’s why I believe that it’s essential to create a dating plan with you and your sponsor or therapist.  It’s important not to do it alone, because our own best thinking can lead us back down the road of addiction.

Creating a plan for any situation can be a liberating tool.  If we know our parameters allows for freedom.  It’s like putting a fence around a play ground, your free to play within a safe space, versus having no fence and playing in areas where we could easy hurt ourselves or be hurt by another.

Want to learn more about creating a Dating Plan?

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