You may have heard it from a sponsor, a friend, or staff member at treatment: Don’t date in your first year of sobriety. I know, it sounds unfair. What else are you supposed to do for distraction? Well, that’s exactly the point. Nothing. Dating is an incredibly easy way to stop thinking about yourself and the changes you’re trying to make in your life, and focus on simpler things like hair, make-up, sex, etc. In early recovery, it’s completely normal to seek out any and all forms of distraction. Whether they come in the form of dating, unhealthy eating habits, shopping, gambling, or any other obsession, these distractions are huge liabilities. Especially for those who are lucky enough to start their journey out in a treatment program, the first stage of sobriety is an extremely valuable opportunity to dive head-first into recovery. Missing this once-in-a-lifetime chance to focus 100% of your attention on how you can work every day to improve your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health is a travesty. Not to mention, these spring chicken sober relationships rarely turn into life-long partnerships. Who wants to look back on a failed chance at a new life, and realize they threw it all away to hang out with a loser?