My guest today is Recovering Attorney, Lily.
Lily was my guest on the episode which came out on May 6th – it already had 2,000 downloads and we had some great feedback from that one – if you missed it then have a listen to Lily sharing her story here.
Lily is a coach these days and one of the things that she helps people with is Relationship Coaching so today we’re going to focus on Sober Dating.
If your romantic relationships have always been lubricated with alcohol then this could be a skill you’ll need in your toolkit as you build your alcohol-free life.
In this Episode
- Lily’s full drinking story can be found in our previous episode which came out in May but she gave us a summary
- She began her drinking career as a teenager and it continued during her legal career
- She became a daily drinker, frequently drinking alone and experiencing blackouts
- At 37 she reached rock bottom – in fact, as she says in her previous interview, she had a series of rock bottoms, one of which involved drinking alone in her apartment all weekend
- She felt hopeless, useless and miserable and finally reached out for some help
- Reaching out for help is actually the hardest step of all – so if you’re worried about your drinking then reach out to tribe sober today – just go to tribesober.com and hit join our tribe and we’ll show you how to quit drinking and build an alcohol-free life you love
- So Lily got sober in 2018 and she’s been sober ever since – if you want to hear how she did it catch the previous episode
- As we switched to talking about relationships, Lily explained that she’d been shy as a child so as a teenager alcohol helped her to fit in – to feel part of things
- It helped her to feel prettier, funnier and more vivacious, especially around men
- As she got older alcohol would always be a major player in her relationships
- She would drink before the date … which often took place in a bar
- If her dates didn’t drink like she did then that could be a problem
- Lily believed that alcohol made everything a bit brighter, a bit easier and less awkward – she just couldn’t imagine her life without it
- She certainly couldn’t imagine dating without it!
- During her first year of sobriety, she didn’t date at all
- She believed the advice she had heard about focusing on sobriety and avoiding any major life changes during that first year
- Major life changes like changing jobs, moving house and of course starting a new relationship
- Lily had to focus on learning to love and look after herself before she would be in an emotional state to look after someone else
- She had the insight that she had been using men a bit like she’s been using alcohol – the highs of a new relationship giving her a dopamine hit and making her feel good just like alcohol did
- As Lily moved into her second year of sobriety, she went on her first sober date
- She knew the guy, they both liked and respected each other and they had things in common
- Although that relationship didn’t develop into anything serious, Lily felt proud of herself – proud that she had shown up as a very different person
- By this point, she felt so much clearer about who she was, what she wanted and what kind of person she was looking for
- We talked about the risk of relationships between people in recovery and how they can crash and burn
- The common struggle may create a bond which means you feel that you’ve found your soulmate but it makes sense for you both to get that year of sobriety first to avoid any risk of relapse
- We talked about the dangers of cross-addiction and how we can transfer our love affair with alcohol to food, shopping or sex
- I asked Lily how a sober person should start looking for a new relationship once they have completed their first alcohol-free year
- Apparently, there are sober dating apps/websites – in fact, a quick Google search came up with a list of 8 sober dating apps which I’ll add to the show notes – https://resurgencebehavioralhealth.com/blog/8-best-sober-apps-for-people-in-recovery/
- Although Lily met some good people via dating apps when she was drinking, these days she feels more comfortable getting to know people first via a shared interest or through friends
- We talked about the best way for sober people to use regular dating apps and agreed that it’s far better to disclose that you don’t drink alcohol in your profile – even if you get fewer matches it’s far better to know in advance that your sobriety may be a problem for some people!
- The people who don’t match with you because of your sobriety are very likely to have a drinking problem themselves so they would not be right for you anyway!
- First dates very often involve sitting across from each other eating and drinking but as Lily says, an experiential date will take a lot of the pressure off – taking a walk, going to a dog park, going out for breakfast
- One of her best first dates was a trip to a museum
- I asked Lily what she had learned from her experience of sober dating
- She’s learned to listen to her intuition – that gut feeling that tells her that this is someone she feels comfortable with…
- She’s also experienced the opposite feeling when she hasn’t felt comfortable with someone – had she been drinking, she would often ignore that intuition and any red flags which could lead to problems later on in the evening
- If someone is feeling isolated and lonely in their sobriety, the focus should be on connecting with a community rather than focusing on finding a romantic partner – so even if you have been sober for a while, if you are feeling lonely then take a look at some online sobriety groups – go to tribesober.com and hit join our tribe if you’d like to try out our international community
- Sobriety has enabled Lily to turn up for all her relationships more authentically
- Once we are able to love ourselves we are so much better placed to build a relationship
- So here are Lily’s top 3 tips for sober daters:
1. Have a solid foundation for your sobriety by experiencing restaurants and bars with friends who are drinking first.
- Have clarity about what you are looking for and how you are going to show up and be prepared to leave the date if you feel your sobriety is at risk.
- Have fun! Keep it light, meet lots of people and remember if a relationship doesn’t work out it means the universe has something better in store.
You can find Lily on her website which is myinternalweather.com – where you can find articles and tips on sober dating
- Tribe Sober membership – you can join up HERE.
This episode is sponsored by the Tribe Sober Membership Program. If you want to change your relationship with alcohol then sign up today
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