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Dating In Recovery

Dating in Recovery

Therapy and follow-up care goes a long way in rebuilding the bridges burned by addiction, but dating takes a lot more work (and time) than just rekindling friendships. This in a relationship, recoveries must spend a lot of time getting to know themselves, especially who they are when they have no drink in their hand and when their affection is not the kind of person he’d be interested in on their drinking days. While it doesn’t have to be a relationship headache, dating someone in recovery will force you to take a close look at yourself and your partner. It’s natural to worry a little about dating someone who is recovering, but it’s important to maintain a healthy perspective on what your relationship will entail.

How Recovery Is Factored Into A Relationship

If you’re single and sober or recovering is part of your relationship, here are some tips to help you date smarter and safer. While every situation is different and there are no plans to follow, focusing on the following areas will make dating recovery easier and your relationship may even grow stronger than ever. 

If you are dating someone who is getting better, you should act slowly, be it a new relationship or a relationship that you have been in for a while. Recovery is an ongoing process, and there is no moment when a person is “safe” or “freed” from their addiction. Addiction can play an ongoing role in your relationship over a long period of time. 

How to Support Who You’re Dating In Recovery

Supporting someone recovering from drug or alcohol addiction can be difficult. While it can sometimes be difficult to maintain a relationship with someone who is recovering, it is important to remember that all relationships have their own problems. Someone struggling with codependency will find it difficult to successfully build a relationship with a recovering person. 

This is especially true if the reasons you were having difficulty in the relationship were due to your addiction. There is a dynamic that is bound to change depending on the personalities involved and whether or not you are sober. However, there are a few key ideas you can turn to to define a healthy relationship.   

If your self-worth arises from helping an addicted partner, you may want to abandon the relationship or talk to a therapist. While there are many benefits to meeting people in recovery, it can also lead to risky situations. The “push” of new relationships can wreak havoc on even the most daring recovery efforts. 

In most cases, people who are unable to abandon a relationship in the first year of recovery will miss the opportunity to solve the underlying problem behind the addiction. They may have other mental health issues, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and cross addiction that need to be addressed before they can truly focus on the relationship. No matter how mature you are emotionally or how willing you are to adapt to their rehabilitation needs, if the person you are dating is not 100% committed to recovery it may pose a greater issue down the road.

How to Start A Relationship With Someone In Recovery

It’s never a good idea to jump headlong into a new relationship, but it’s especially important to take your time when you’re dating someone who is recovering. Recovery meetings can be intimidating to both partners, and if you’re not ready, even the new partner may not be ready to go. 

A new relationship may give this person a thrill, but chances are you are dealing with someone who is physically, emotionally, or financially in need of extra support. When people stop using substances and start dating quickly, they run the risk of seeking solace in relationships instead of drugs. Starting a new relationship too early can exacerbate these stressors and actually engage the parts of the brain associated with addiction.

Relationships and Identity

If you are dating too early, you can also use the relationship as a way to suppress your early recovery impulses. Addicts often seek instant gratification and tolerate addiction, especially in the early stages. Leaving home too early after rehab can actually force someone to replace their substance abuse problems with an addiction to relationships or intimacy. It can be difficult to see at the moment, but a date with a recovering person can have drastic and negative consequences for your path to recovery. Since drugs and alcohol become such an important part of an addict’s life, once they are gone, the addict may feel like they have completely lost their identity. 

Even if your partner no longer abuses addictive drugs, they may still be struggling with their mental health. This is their own journey of understanding. Love alone is not enough to manage a partner’s relationship recovering from an addiction. If you are confident that you can start dating an addict who is recovering, and you want the relationship to continue, then you need to support your partner to stay awake and put his recovery first. Knowing that drug addicts need continuous support to recover outside of a romantic relationship, soberness should always be the top priority. If you relationship needs help from an expert who understands addiction our family therapy programs can help rebuild relationships scorned by addiction.

Finding Help For a Loved One

If you or your loved one is ready to start addiction treatment, please contact us to inquire about our California alcohol and drug rehabilitation program. To learn more about the services provided by our Drug Rehab Centers please contact us 24 hours a day at 866-559-4256 and let us help you get started. If you or your loved one suffers from substance abuse or addiction, seek help as soon as possible.

Your progress is the most important indicator that you are ready to start dating again, not necessarily how much time has passed. Once you learn to love yourself and build a life without drugs or alcohol, you can confidently seek out a romantic partner without the high risk of jeopardizing your progress.

Frost Anderson
Author: Frost Anderson