About Sober Dating

So I started online dating back in 1998 when everybody told me “You’re crazy and going to get killed”. Back then Match.com was called Love@aol and all FREE! I always considered myself “relationship challenged” and that was when I was still drinking. Maybe that was one of the problems; in fact most likely it was the main problem. I was dysfunctional and only attracted to dysfunctional men. And let’s face it, drinkers like to hang with other drinkers. Two dysfunctional, active alcoholics do not make for the best relationship! I was not sober at the time and not to be cliché but dating is tough! And yes there are quite a variety of dating websites to help you through the process of finding “your perfect match”. But, when you add into the mix the fact that you are now living a sober lifestyle and hoping to find a partner who lives the same lifestyle, as well as with similar interests to yourself, where do you go? Well, you go and find yourself a sober dating site devoted only to singles living a sober lifestyles and possibly also practicing the principles of a 12 Step Program.

After my first year floundering around on Match.com and similar generic online dating sites I decided there was a true need for a sober dating site devoted to those of us living a sober lifestyle or in a 12 Step Program. After due diligence of searching around I found none or rather none that were legit or functioning.

I initially created the ORIGINAL sober dating site,12StepMatch.com (est. 2009) which is devoted to singles who are sober and practicing the principles of a 12StepProgram. It has a “Quick” search feature where you can search by basics, sex, age, location. The Quick search also allows you to search within a certain mile radius (of your choosing) to your own zip code. Then you have the “Advanced” search feature which enables you to narrow down you selection right down to the height, body style, hair and eye color and lifestyle interests about how you like to spend your free time, i.e. cooking, reading, dancing, antiquing, exercise, etc. Also whether or not you are single, separated, divorced and whether you have children, how many and if you are interested in having children? As well as many other advanced search features to narrow down your search even more. (Keep in mind, the more selective you get the lesser search results you will receive.) On top of that if you are a member of a 12 Step Program you have the ability to search by that program. I.O.W., if you are a member of Alcoholics Anonymous you can search for members only in AA, and the same with all the other 12 Step Programs. After all, there are dozens and 12StepMatch.com has an extensive drop-down list to select from any 12 Step Program you can think of.

After 12StepMatch I created a site called LoveinRecovery.com that is devoted to sober singles in 12 Step Programs who have celebrated one year or more of sobriety in recovery. It is actually posted on the site, “It is suggested by Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12 Step Programs that their members hold off one year before dating or getting involved in romantic relationships.” The main reason for that is relationships are the number one reason that members “go back out” – a term frequently used for “relapsing”. Relationships of any kind (Husband/Wife, Mother/Son, Friendships, etc.) can attribute to members relapsing however it is usually the relationships involving dating and yes, sexual relationships that attribute the most to members going “back out”. There are so many raw feelings when dating sober (especially when first getting sober when pretty much all our feelings are raw) about acceptance and rejection and the general “dance” people play when dating and yes, drama! This naturally occurs more often when partners get physical and it takes away from the focus of why the member is in the 12 Step Program to begin with - to focus on getting and staying sober! So LoveinRecovery is another option for a sober dating site. Both sites are considered “niche” dating sites because they carve out a certain niche within the online dating community thus making it easier to find a sober match or soul-mate.

Having quite a few friends I’ve come to know over the years who were sober and a part of the GLBQT Community I came to realize there was a need for another sober dating site, a niche within a niche if you will, and that is how SoberGaySingles.com came to be. It offers all of the same features and options of 12StepMatch.com but the only difference is it is devoted strictly to sober singles in the GLBQT community and there is a real need for this type of sober dating site for this community.

Advance quite a few years later and having realized that my three previous sober dating websites are devoted mostly to sober singles living in and practicing the principles of 12 Step Programs, I came to realize that all singles living sober are not all members of 12 Step Programs but just choose to live a sober lifestyle, for whatever reason – whether it’s just to live a healthier lifestyle or they realize they have a drinking or drug problem and are able to stop on their own without the assistance of a 12 Step Program. There was one site I located for dating sober but it was not a functioning site – I could never get the search feature to function and there were other bugs that made the site not very “user-friendly”. At this point in time there were a few dating software programs that were newer than the one I had used to develop and run my other sites and decided to give one of them a try. I then created SoberSinglesDate.com. SoberSinglesDate offers all the features the other sites offer however it is devoted to all sober singles, whether in a 12 Step Program or just living sober! It also offers a few extra features including Instant Messaging and a really fun feature, LIVE VIDEO CHAT. It is a bit more user-friendly than my other sites only in that when registering a profile at the site there are far less profile questions in order to complete the form and therefore quicker and easier to register at the site. However, some people do prefer the more Advanced search option and in that case you can register at 12StepMatch.com or both! If you register as a member at one of my dating sober sites and upgrade to an “All-Access” or “VIP” membership and write me at info@sobersinglesdate.com I will offer any member a one-month FREE VIP membership at any one of my other sober dating websites.

I will tell you that there is another site that has launched recently called SingleandSober which does not offer even half the features of SoberSinglesDate.com (or my other sites) and the search option only allows members to search within the state they live in and therefore members are not able to search for other “local” sober singles in a close proximity to their zip-code. So in my opinion and having been not only involved in this industry for almost ten years but having been the “pioneer” in this industry, that particular site is basically useless to me as a member. If I live in Boynton Beach, Florida (which I do) and I do a search, I do not want to have to weed through all the profiles of all members living in the state of Florida! This particular site will also occasionally offer some “FREE” membership but then they ask for your credit card information at registration and once the “Free” time is over they immediately switch you over to a “subscription” membership where they automatically deduct a monthly fee from your credit card account. In fact, many dating sites do the same, including the big boys, i.e. Match or e-Harmony, etc.

All dating sites urge members to create profiles before they can conduct a search. This is standard in the online dating industry. My sober dating sites, 12StepMatch.com, LoveinRecovery.com, SoberGayDating.com and SoberSinglesDate.com function the same. All these sober dating websites (like most dating sites) are FREE to join, create a profile with photos and search for other members. The only time a fee is required is to initiate contact with another member (and some also charge to respond to emails received). ALSO, none of the sober dating sites I created require or charge “subscription” monthly fees where you have to spend a good deal of time searching around on the site to find how to cancel one your first month is over? (Whether they offer first month free or not?) 12StepMatch, LoveinRecovery, SoberGayDating and SoberSinglesDate.com are all ONE-TIME fees only! And the fees for upgraded memberships are kept extremely low, due to the nature of the sites. A one-month upgraded membership at SoberSinglesDate.com is only $21.95 however a three-month membership is only $29.95, only $8.00 more for an additional two months. And a six-month membership is only $39.95! The most expensive membership for one year is only $54.95 which is only 15 cents a day!

All my sober dating sites have been successful in bringing sober singles together, whether for dating, love, friends or support!

Another excellent reason sober singles should choose to register on a sober dating website is in order to keep their local home groups and local meetings safe! It is never a good idea to start dating other sober singles who attend the same meetings as you. What happens if/when the relationship doesn’t work out? It then becomes awkward to show up at a meeting (particular if it is your “home group”) where your “Ex” is also continuing to attend. Never mind all the sober friends and sponsors you both have that often get involved (whether asked to or not) in other’s relationships and thus the drama ensues. Registering and using the services of a sober singles or 12 Step Singles dating site will help to keep your sobriety and home groups safe, which is how they should always be but still date locally. You don’t want to date in “your own backyard” but the next town or two or however many miles you are willing to travel is perfect!

Another benefit to belonging to a sober dating site, particularly for those in 12 Step Programs is if you have plans to travel. Members can contact other members before they depart for their destination and find out where the best local meetings are and set their meetings up in advance. And of course there is what is referred to as “The meeting after the meeting” where after a 12 Step Meeting ends, many members might move on next to a local coffee shop or location. It’s also a great way to find out from the locals where the best travel spots are to visit in that vicinity. Keep in mind that 12 Step Programs are spiritually-based and members greet new members and visitors as if they are family and are always eager and willing to help! (Men can contact men in advance and women can contact women for suggested meetings so if you are not in a place where you are ready to date you can still develop friendships and find support.)

I look forward to having you join us at 12StepMatch, LoveinRecovery, SoberGayDating and/or SoberSinglesDate.com. Please share with your sober friends and/or family. Also I love to hear from our members about their “success stories” so please do write me at info@sobersinglesdate.com to share about same!

I am confident you will enjoy your membership with us at SoberSinglesDate.com and meet your sober match or soulmate. And in the meantime you can find and connect with many sober friends and sober singles for support as you take your journey in your wonderful, new sober life.

And now I will share my favorite sober saying,

“Keep your sobriety first, in order to make it last!”


Robin DeLuca

P.S. I am also the author of an online dating guide book called The Original Cyberdating Guru’s Guide to Online Dating, published in 2003 and selling at Amazon.com in paperback and for Kindle readers.

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