For single people who are in recovery, one big challenge is to get back in the dating pool and meet new people. Of course, there’s online dating. However, since most first dates take place in bars or over dinner with wine, it can be awkward to explain to people you just met online that you’re not really comfortable in such environments. There are also sober online dating apps that are now available, but many still prefer the old-fashioned, face-to-face way of meeting new people. Going to clubs or nightlife events to meet people is often out of the question as people who go to such places often drink alcohol. So, are there any other options? Here are some suggestions that could help
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1. Attend gyms and fitness classes
Going the fitness route is one of the best ways to meet sober dates because people are most likely to look out for their health and wellbeing. Gyms are much better for meeting the opposite sex because the sessions are normally less structured than a fitness class so there is more time to socialize. If going to a regular gym is not an option for you, attending different fitness classes could also work. When choosing classes, go for exercise sessions that are more likely to be attended by males and females like CrossFit or boot camp. If you are a female and you attend a Zumba or aerial yoga class, the chances of having males in there are lower. Another good option is to sign up for a flexible class membership/subscription that will allow you to try out different gyms and group classes in your area. This way, you can explore more and meet more people in the process.
2. Enroll in various interest classes
Cooking classes, art classes, and foreign language classes are just examples of venues where you can find people who share similar interests. Go for something that you are interested in so you’ll be more inspired not to miss a class. Not only is a class a good place to meet people, but it is also a great sober date idea.
3. Volunteer in community organizations and events
Volunteering is another great way to meet new friends while doing something meaningful at the same time. You can try volunteering at the local soup kitchen, in learning centers, animal shelters, and other community initiatives. During holidays like Christmas parades and the like, many events accept volunteers so you can sign up for this.
4. Join team sports
If you have an athletic streak, look for team sports you can join in your community like basketball, volleyball, or baseball. This is a great way to develop new friendships in an environment as sports foster social skills like teamwork and communication. Keep in mind that you are not only limited to meeting your new teammates but also their families, friends and even your competitors.
5. Go on adventure trips
Have you ever tried hiking, scuba diving, or rock climbing? These activities are enjoyable and they are also attended by active-minded people. Just like people in fitness classes, they are more likely to be focused on these types of pursuits.
6. Look out for local meetups
One common way to meet new people is by joining a book club but not all are interested in reading books. The good news is there are many social meetups organized all over the U.S. wherein you can meet up with people sharing the same interests. There are meetups for people who love movies, business, tech, superheroes, music, and many more.
7. Go to festivals
Believe it or not, there are sober festivals you can attend, enjoy, and meet new people without the risk of being tempted to drink or use drugs. There are sober music festivals in the US and different parts of the world. If music is not your thing, you can also attend yoga festivals, which are also drug and alcohol-free.
8. Hang out at coffee shops
One of the cheapest and most convenient ways to meet new people is in coffee shops. Coffee shops are not only places to get your daily espresso shot. Now, cafes are also being used by people who work remotely outside of the office. Instead of spending your time lounging on your couch, get out and hang out at your corner coffee shop instead.
9. Get a matchmaker
If all else fails, getting a matchmaker may not be a bad idea. You can start by asking your family members, friends, and coworkers. If you have the budget, you can also get a professional matchmaker who can recommend potential partners.
10. Attend rehab alumni events
There are rehab facilities that organize sober events that are free to attend people who have completed inpatient treatment at their facilities. At Anaheim Lighthouse, for example, there is an alumni program specially designed to give former residents an opportunity to meet up with like-minded people and form new connections.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, help is available. Contact Anaheim Lighthouse to learn more about our specialized programs.