Advice

Please Advise: How can I get back into dating after rehab?

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I can’t relate to the people I date after coming out of rehab.

Each week, the inbox of our venerable advice columnist, Miss Information, is flooded with queries. And although she makes a valiant effort, she cannot answer them all. To deal with the surplus, we've decided to turn to you. So, don your spectacles and help this woman out. You can give her advice in the comments below, or, if you'd like to share what you wrote with your friends, on our Facebook page.

Dear Nerve,

I got out of Narcotics Anonymous eight months back. I won’t go into details, but it wasn’t for anything light. I’ve been clean since I got out, thanks to some amazing people, but my problem doesn’t really concern my struggles with addiction as much as my struggles with people.

My problem is that I’m finding it difficult to date after rehab. I’ve been advised not to drink, which isn’t such a heavy problem in and of itself — there are plenty of people to date who don’t drink — but that I’m having a hard time… relating, I suppose, to people who haven’t shared my struggle. I don’t usually tell people on the first date, because I have quite a bit of shame over my past, and it makes it difficult talking to people about petty problems and quibbles knowing what I have in my past.

I realize I sound a bit self-centered, and I’m willing to admit that maybe I have some kind of mental block, but how can I get over this? Is this just all part of my re-integration, or am I just a misanthrope? 

— Eight Months Clean and Eight Months Lonely