Recovering from any addiction can be extremely emotionally challenging. Before sobriety, most of us were solely focused on getting our drug of choice in order to cover up our emotions. Early sobriety should be spent on personal development and obtaining the healthy coping skills needed to navigate our lives productively. Many of us in recovery have heard people recommend that an individual should remain in platonic relationships within the first year of sobriety. When I was newly sober, someone gave me this advice and I thought it was harsh and unnecessary; until it was explained to me. After giving up an addiction, it is extremely easy to fall into a new one.
Healthy Dating in Sobriety
Why are relationships so challenging for recovering addicts? The main reason is that an intimate relationship has the potential to be all-consuming. This can be particularly dangerous for someone who is in an extremely vulnerable state after making such an intensive life change as choosing sobriety. The possibility of replacing a substance addiction with another type of addiction is extremely high.
Experts say love in recovery can lead to unhealthy, co-dependent relationships, which can all too often lead to a relapse. Addicts have learned to cling to the substances and habits that they relied on during their struggles, before they embarked on the journey of recovery.
Relationships are complex. Here are some tips to get you started on the road to a healthy relationship with a recovering addict.
Relationships of all kinds matter in recovery. Having someone who cares about and supports you gives you hope at even your worst point of struggling with addiction. But what about starting new relationships? Specifically, romantic ones? It will be easy for many to find replacement addictions, such as a love addiction, to replace the high the drug or alcohol provided, says Anne Lewis, a psychologist and clinical addiction counselor.
Though it can be hard and sometimes lonely , use this time to build up healthy friendships with those who can support your recovery. If a good chunk of time has passed since you last drank or took drugs, you might be ready to start dating again. How do you date without the substance use? How do you find someone who is also sober? Thankfully, there are more options today than ever!
Should You Date Other People in Recovery?
Before you start thinking about the other person in your relationship, spend some time looking at yourself and your motivation for choosing to date someone in recovery. They need to be responsible for taking appropriate actions on a daily basis to preserve their recovery. If you have just met someone you are interested in, you are going to be listening carefully to everything they share about themselves. Recovery is an ongoing process, and someone who is being honest will tell you that up front.
A good sign is someone who is actively participating in a recovery plan and taking steps to look after their health by staying active, eating well and getting enough rest. Visit your local library or look for online resources to learn about this subject.
Navigating the dating scene is hard enough. For those of us in recovery, we have a few added stresses, like trying to figure out when to tell someone we’re in.
There are several good reasons for this. One is that relationships are distracting. Second, relationships can introduce a lot of stress into your life. New relationships are great at first, but they can also cause emotional turmoil that may lead to cravings. Finally, people with substance use issues often have unhealthy relationship patterns and having a long break from relationships can give you time to reflect and heal before trying again.
As with many questions, the answer is that it depends. There are definitely advantages to dating someone else in recovery. First, you meet a lot of other people in recovery both in treatment and at step meetings and you are likely to be attracted to some of those people. There are also potential drawbacks to dating someone else in recovery.
One is that you may not share the same commitment to recovery.
Can I Start A New Relationship In Recovery?
First dates are awkward at best and downright disasters at worst. Perhaps the difficulty of dating is why there are currently more single people than ever before. However, sometimes the difficulties of dating can be a good thing. But, what if one day this really special person suddenly drops a bomb on you. After all, no one is perfect. While this may seem like a trivial detail, knowing what stage of recovery they are at can actually make a huge difference.
Take It Slow. Jumping headfirst into a new relationship is never a great idea, but it’s especially important to take it slow when you’re dating.
However, there are some basic guidelines to keep in mind if you are dating someone in recovery or are considering starting to date someone in recovery. In some ways, addiction is like a destructive, abusive relationship. Recovery is hard. Relationships are hard. Give the person time to heal and work through their own issues before tackling relationship issues. Not all people in recovery are the same. Maybe your friend in recovery can go to a bar and not be tempted, but going to a bar is a trigger for your boyfriend.
Have honest conversations about what the person in recovery is able to do, and what you are able to give. Set clear expectations. This is probably not a one-time conversation. This issue will most likely need to be revisited over time, since recovery looks different depending on how long someone has been sober and their confidence in their coping skills.
5 Reasons to Take a Break From Dating in Early Recovery
We have multiple addiction centers located throughout the United States for your convenience. Recovery is hard on its own, adding anything extra at this vulnerable time could easily divert your attention off of what is most important…YOU!!! There are so many reasons why dating in early recovery seems appealing at the moment, but in the end, does the risk outweigh the reward….
NO, not even a little bit. Below are the most common reasons why dating in early recovery is a risk in itself:. Relationships are important, fun and everyone deserves one!
Depending on your background and how much you understand about the disease of addiction, reactions will vary. How can the person you know now be the same person who abused drugs or alcohol? For others, it may be a little easier to accept, especially in cases where one has dealt either first or second hand with a substance use disorder. Recovery is a long process. While everyone has their own unique timeline, it is most risky to get involved with a person in their first year of recovery.
The first year should be dedicated to a lot of self-work and self-care, as well as learning how to create healthy routines. The more you are able to understand their addiction and triggers, the more you will be able to understand their emotional undercurrent. Rather, you should ask questions that show you want to gain a deeper understanding of them.
In many cases, people who have suffered from a substance abuse disorder hold their recovery and sobriety close to their hearts. If you are going to move forward with the relationship, then you have to be willing to accept the baggage that comes with it.
Dating an Addict in Recovery: How to Make Your Relationship Stronger
Here are some tips to get you started on the road to a healthy relationship with a recovering addict. Take time to really understand the full spectrum of where the person is in their recovery. During the beginning phase of recovery, he or she is still adjusting mentally, physically, and emotionally to their new life without drugs or alcohol. Are they in contact with a sponsor?
Finally, understand that this person may have done things that led to serious consequences before getting sober.
Dating and relating can be challenging, to say the least. When you add the fact that the person you are seeing is a recovering addict, it adds a.
Are you falling for a recovering addict? Are you curious to know more? Keep reading to learn the truth about addiction and what questions to ask before you start dating a recovering addict. Most of the time, the will to get better is not enough for a person to enter into a state of recovery. Addiction is lonely. Addicts may lose the support of family and friends. They may even lose faith in themselves. For a recovering addict, some days will be harder than others.
Dating Someone in Recovery: How to Support Them & Feel Loved
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we’ll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer – no Kindle device required. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
The common belief, however, is that those who are recovering from addiction and alcoholism should not date within the first year. We’ve briefly mentioned this rule.
Navigating the dating scene is hard enough. But every person and circumstance are different. Attributes might include honesty, integrity, selflessness, willingness to grow along spiritual lines, etc. When we go into a relationship prepared with an idea of what we can give versus focusing solely on what we might receive, we have a higher likelihood of finding someone compatible with our new way of life and as a result, a higher likelihood the new relationship will be successful and hopefully avoid some of the common pitfalls that present during relationships in early recovery.
Honesty is often the foundation of a healthy relationship, and you should treat your sobriety the same way. As you read above, you decide when the right time to have that conversation is. The best relationships have boundaries; it helps keep everyone happy and content. There are some things you may just not be ready for yet or will never be comfortable with.
If these things are important to your recovery, consider them boundaries and treat them as top priorities. All relationships have boundaries. Your first sober year should be spent not just working the program, but also learning more about and working on yourself.
Here’s What To Expect While Dating A Recovering Addict (Hint: They Still Love You.)
We recommend that newly sober men and women avoid major life changes within their first year of recovery — and this includes getting into romantic relationships. Not only do relationships serve as distractions, but they can prove to be relapse triggers if they end. Many sober men and women choose to date people that are also in recovery. In some ways, this is beneficial.
(This, of course, is particularly dangerous for those who are in recovery from love/relationship, sex and/or porn addictions.) Limerence, which is the rush you get.
The warning signs of drug addiction can be difficult to identify. Being in a close relationship with someone who may be suffering from substance abuse or battling with addiction can be a challenging and confusing ordeal. Addiction is a progressive disease and can be difficult to identify at first. The o nset of drug use can begin with innocent, recreational use and evolve into something more complicated and problematic.
Users may begin hiding their problem from romantic partners, making it difficult to determine whether or not a person may be abusing substances. Dating someone who may have a problem with substance abuse can be a heavy burden to carry. Emotional issues and domestic problems are commonplace. However, even if these issues are not present, a healthy relationship can still be difficult to sustain.
AspenRidge Recovery seeks to eliminate stigmas and guilt associated with drug abuse. As a dual diagnosis center, we help to treat substance misuse, abuse, and addiction, and we aim to incorporate evidence-based modalities for clients and their families to support them during the recovery process. Give us a call today at for more information.