Many schools of thought exist on whether it is appropriate to date in recovery, particularly if the person also has an addiction. One of the benefits from dating someone with similar circumstances is the ability to empathize and understand each other. Nearly 20 million American struggle with addiction so everyone has most likely been impacted in some way, shape or form. Here are some things to keep in mind before dating an addict in recovery.
Recovery and Relationships
Individuals in recovery from addiction can be quite balanced and healthy as the mind and body clears of substances which formerly clouded judgment, perspective and positive thinking. It is, however, one thing to desire personal empowerment and quite another to have achieved it, depending on the length of time a person has been in recovery. Some key points to be aware of include:
- Rule of thumb for relationships: potential partners should have at least one year of sobriety, preferably more. An individual with several years of sober living is more likely to be following an effective recovery program and maintaining consistency. The less time in recovery the more likely it is a person is still figuring out sobriety.
- Different people have different ideas about sobriety. In general, a combination of things such as meeting attendance, having a sponsor, therapy, spirituality, exercise or meditation can be helpful for a person’s overall recovery. A person may be ‘dry’ or abstaining from drugs or alcohol but not present in a recovery program. A person’s commitment to sobriety and recovery is important to know before entering into a relationship.
Dating in Recovery
Some do’s and don’ts are helpful in the decision making process when it comes to dating an addict in recovery. It may be easy to assume things from the start but it is best to know a few things before jumping in head first to avoid stress and broken hearts which may hinder progress in recovery.
- Get the facts. Educating oneself on addiction and letting go of stigmas can help a person move beyond any snap judgments.
- Support the recovery process. Communication is key in any relationship, particularly when both parties are in recovery. Support and encouragement can mean a lot to the partner in recovery or, if both are in recovery, attending one another’s meetings and supporting sobriety is the ultimate goal.
- Trust the partner. Addiction is challenging and relapse is possible at any given moment. While trusting a partner is a key component of recovery, it is important to understand and recognize signs of a relapse. It is possible to spot signs and prevent a relapse by being present and noticing any changes in the partner’s behavior.
Education and counseling can help individuals overcome concerns about being in a relationship with someone recovering from addiction. Strong communication is key to keeping the partnership strong in addition to support for each other’s individual journeys. Dating an addict in recovery can be wonderful for both parties or dangerous for the addict’s recovery and sobriety.
Addiction presents many challenges but you are not alone. We are here to help. Hired Power has many resources available to support your recovery journey.
Call us for more information. 800-910-9299