How to Go About Dating in Addiction Recovery
The year after treatment for substance abuse is the most dangerous time for relapse. Research suggests that during this time, 40 to 60 percent of newly-recovering addicts will have at least one slip in their progress. Relapse can be spurred on by many things in a person’s life such as work or sudden loss. Dating in addiction recovery is another element that can cause a person added stress that could lead to relapse. However, it is still possible to start a new healthy romantic relationship during recovery.
While dating is not advised in most addiction recovery cases, realistically, there are people who want to start dating in early recovery. In this article, we will explore some of the tips that can help with dating in early sobriety.
Continue with Therapy
One of the things that can help a person to stay clean after rehab is to continue with therapy on a less frequent basis compared to their time in rehab. When it comes to dating in addiction recovery, ongoing therapy is important so that you have an unbiased opinion to help guide you. Your therapist can also assess your readiness to date.
Don’t Hide Your Past
We’ve all heard the saying “relationships are built on trust”. When it comes to dating in addiction recovery, the same ideas apply. Today, people still experience stigma associated with drug use, but beating an addiction and working on your recovery is something that you should be proud of. In the end, we all want someone to love us for who we really are, and to the end, being upfront about your recovery from addiction will help to build trust with the type of person you want to be with.
Don’t Slack on Your Recovery
Recovery from addiction means that you have to spend enough time each week to maintain your abstinence. This can be done by going to support group meetings and following your relapse prevention plan. If you want to start dating in early recovery, then you cannot let it affect your sobriety maintenance, such as missing a meeting to go on a date.
One of the things that addicts have to work on in recovery is learning to not take the route of instant gratification as it can lead to the same drug-seeking behavior of their past. A person dating in early sobriety may still need time for their dopamine receptors to return to normal function and rushing into a relationship can be a means for them to chase feel-good chemicals. Therefore, pacing yourself in new romantic relationships is crucial.
Consider Your Readiness for a Relationship
One of the aspects of the 12-step recovery program is that you are not allowed to date for the first 12 months of recovery. Dating too early can cause a slip in your progress. Having enough time to properly recover before dating is important, but each case is unique. Take an honest look at yourself and where you are in your recovery to be able to assess whether you are truly ready to date.
Avoid Dating Those Who Are a Part of Your Daily Life
Routine and structure can have huge benefits when it comes to addiction recovery. If you were to date someone that you see during your daily routine then you risk upsetting the new balance you’ve created. Therefore, one of the tips for dating in addiction recovery is to find someone outside of your routine.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.