Dating in Addiction Recovery

Holidays like Valentine’s Day, remind us of the importance of love and romance, specifically for romantic relationships. For those newly single or with intentions to partner up, love is something that lies at the forefront of their heart and minds. Even if there is no holiday to prop it up, love is ubiquitous in our culture. Whether it’s in marketing, social media, or in passing through conversing with one another, it’s not something that one can easily avoid. But, there are right and wrong ways to go about love, and by extension, pursuing it, especially for those in the early stages of addiction treatment. It’s something that is lingering for anyone in recovery—Dating in addiction recovery. 

Establishing The One-Year Rule For Recovering Addicts

By means of conventional wisdom, it suggests that recovering addicts wait at least a year before embarking on a romantic journey. By no means is this a punishment, it’s merely a guideline that is meant to increase the odds of a successful recovery. Recovery takes work, and you will need to devote most of your time and energy to staying sober. Dating in the early stages of recovery can carry some significant risks. 

What does this mean?

  • Risk of losing yourself: Substance abuse will cause the user to have a warped perception of themselves. Without a strong sense of self, it is difficult to form healthy relationships with others.
  • Risk of codependency: For those in the vulnerable state of recovery, it can certainly be tempting to rely on a partner to meet all of your emotional needs. But, as we know, it’s too much of a burden for one person to bear.
  • Risk of relapse: What will happen if your new relationship goes south? Should a person be in a hard spot emotionally and spiritually, a breakup can single-handedly trigger relapse. This is why it’s wise to wait until you are feeling healthy and strong, before embarking on something new. 

Navigating The Behemoth Of Dating in Addiction Recovery

Once ample time has passed, and you are more grounded in your sobriety, you might wish to pursue a romantic relationship. Before dipping your toe in the pond, consider the following:

Being Honest

Never hide the fact that you are in addiction recovery. We are not suggesting to open with this, but nevertheless, your partner needs to know early on that sobriety is a top priority for you. Gathering full support is needed to make the relationship work. 

Establishing Boundaries

Clearly communicate your limitations when it comes to being around alcohol or other substances at dinner, parties, sporting events, etc. You need a partner who is willing to abide by those limits, and possibly to attend substance-filled functions without you. 

Taking It Slow

Moving too quickly can cause you to miss red flags in the relationship, or get caught up in the whirlwind that is romance, without stopping to consider if this person is a match for you. Take the time, and keep your relationship platonic as long as humanly possible, to maintain clear judgment. 

Dating in Addiction Recovery-The right person is worth the wait

When it’s all said and done, nothing should get in the way of recovery. Since you need to be healthy before you can consider dating in addiction recovery, it’s about sorting the tasks of importance at hand. Focus on sobriety first and foremost. North Jersey Rehabs believes in the bottom line for all of its patients. Take care of you first, then address everything else later, including the formation of new relationships. The right relationship, no, the right person, will be worth the wait. Any questions regarding admissions and starting the process of sobriety, be sure to contact us today to discuss next steps. 

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