Ok so this isn’t exactly about sober sex, but touches on romantic relationships without alcohol.
I’ve been single for quite a while, a long time by most peoples standards and so entering into any new relationship was going to be ‘challenging’. And now I am heading down the rabbit hole sober.
Sobriety can open up a world of possibility in recovery and over the last however many months I have been trying to rebuild some kind of ‘new normal’ life. And part of that may or may not be a romantic life.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy on my own and have been for years but life has a habit of changing and my serial monogamy cycle continues to turn. And once again I find the possibilities of romance knocking at my door. But for the first time ever….sober.
Romantic relationships can be a source of happiness in sober living I’m assuming! But it feels strange interacting with someone romantically while sober. Apparently it is “so much more satisfying” a quick Internet search tells me. Well that’s as maybe, it feels terrifying in reality! A heady mix of “what the hell am I doing” and “wow this is exciting” and I am completely out of my depth. To say I have no idea what I am doing is an understatement.
I used to rely heavily on alcohol in order to manoeuvre through romantic relationships, especially in the so called early days. ‘Picking up’ or being ‘picked up’ always happened in bars, pubs, clubs, at parties ….always after a few confidence boosting drinks inside me. It helped me feel more confident, desirable and ‘devil may care’. After all it was easy to deal with a knockback after a few drinks.
When you’re used to shutting down yourself to deal with romantic relationships, trying to navigate the waters while sober feels both scary and intimidating. It is” recommended” that individuals early in recovery should wait before jumping into romantic relationships. That makes sense to me, ensuring that dramas of an addicted life are not simply swapped for dramas of a romantic nature. Also I needed time to work out the reasons for drinking in the first place. That may happen quite quickly in recovery but it then just starts a long road of dealing with ‘the why’. And if you are trying to sort your head out, sober, why the hell would you want to drag someone else along that road, who lets face it, will have their own baggage and need for support.
That’s how relationship work, give and take. And if you are ‘taking’ in recovery are you really sorting all the shit out on your own? And if you are the ‘giving’ type maybe used to rescuing others, what better way to hide form your own shit than by dealing with someone else’s.
So I’m agreeing that in the early days it’s better to ‘go it alone’ if you are starting down the recovery road on your own. But when those early days are over and what happens next…..well there may be a few posts written about that!
For now, for me it’s about taking it slow. I am also in the rather unusual position in that the ‘romantic interest’ already knows about my past. Basically they have read this blog. And will be reading this I guess.
But that’s life. I will write about it, obviously protecting others identities as I go along, but I don’t have the whole issue about what to tell about my past and and what point. For me it is just out there. But what I have found very unexpected is that it’s just another part of myself that differs to them, and it seems at least not to be ‘a big deal’. In my head it was huge. I spent ages wondering how I would ever tell a prospective partner about my past, and I worried how they would deal with it. Would they just run a mile? Let’s face it, if I had met someone a couple of years ago in the midst of my drinking hell how would I have reacted if someone I met was in recovery? At the time I would have run away…but because of what it says about me.
In my situation now, it’s isn’t the big deal. They do drink, I don’t. In some ways it’s that simple. Yes it’s only possible for me to even contemplate a romantic involvement because they don’t drink very much, in facts far they have never drunk alcohol in front of me. But that wasn’t a prerequisite.
So, maybe this post is a sexual tease ‘part 1’. There hasn’t been any actual sober sex, but maybe it’s sober foreplay. Either way, whatever you choose to call it, it’s exhilarating, scary, different and unexpected all the way.
One lesson in recovery is that life continues. The triggers, the ups, the downs…and romantic involvements are a part of life. Well, they really might be part of mine again!