brantley, as someone who speaks around the country regarding pornography addiction almost monthly (even having spoke to the Joint Special Operations Command on the issue facing our soliders), I feel like I can give you a little advice and insight.

Personally, I would advise against pursuing a relationship until you’re in a little healthier place even if you have feelings for the girl. In recovery, environments that trigger our coping mechanisms are rarely helpful. While a bar is a great place to get together with friends, it’s a terrible place for someone who’s one month sober. The same is easily applied to your situation as well and I very much understand “why” because I had the same dilemma.

When I was married to my ex-wife (I’m now remarried) and she left, I dove head deep into porn because of the deep pain of rejection and abandonment. Effectively, the girls on the screen couldn’t tell me no or that they didn’t love me. It became my coping mechanism. When I began dating once again and became fearful or felt I was being blown off by a girl or that she didn’t reciprocate my feelings, pornography was the first thing I ran to. Human beings are fantastic at taking things and turning them into coping mechanisms to cover the underlying hurt we feel whether that be escaping into hours of video games and social media or drug addiction. Your best chance at recovery is discovery what exactly is the core wound you’re using porn to cope with. For many men it’s a feeling of loneliness or isolation. Find out what yours is and dig and fight for sobriety. It’s worth it.

In short, focus on recovery for now and put your time and effort there so that when you’ve grown healthier you’ll be the type of man a woman can look to without wondering if you’re looking at porn on the side.

Best of luck brother!

Storyteller | Combat wounded veteran | Metalhead | Designer | Bleeding on a page just makes it more authentic: https://benjaminsledge.com

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