People fall under addictions for a myriad of reasons: the loss of a loved one, financial struggles, or general unhappiness. Drug abuse such as drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes have proven to be common coping mechanisms, albeit unhealthy ones. Among the most common reasons people abuse drugs are their struggles or failures in their love life.
Whether it a divorce of a previous relationship or the struggle to maintain one, these problems often cause great grief. For some people, failure in love can dictate their self-worth and be a central part of life.
Because of how much value may be placed on romance, many should avoid dating in post-recovery. That being said, it is entirely possible to date during recovery, and it has its own benefits and challenges.
Deciding How to Move Forward
Choosing whether or not to date or continue relationships is entirely your choice to make. However, it is highly recommended to abstain from dating for the first year of recovery. This is not only because of the potential of relapse, but many other problems addicts face.
Drug addiction is but a side effect of many other personal issues. Regardless of the trigger, addicts often face common behavioral problems. These include impulsive behaviors, low self-esteem, anger issues, emotional instability, and codependency. Addressing these problems is crucial in order to continue or seek out a healthy relationship.
Nevertheless, this does not mean that it is impossible to have a relationship or date during recovery. In fact, some may find comfort and strength by having a partner for support.
Dating Outside of Recovery Programs
Being strongly connected to someone you know outside of recovery—while full of challenges—can have excellent benefits. Because your lives largely differ, not only can you share and learn different experiences, doing so creates a sense of independence. This can help mitigate issues of co-dependency that many addicts struggle with and practice discipline.
Some partners may be quick to excuse poor behaviors, but you should highly encourage honesty and open communication. From an outside lens, your partner can point out certain mistakes and help you focus on particularly challenging obstacles.
One of the greatest problems with dating partners outside of recovery is that they may use drugs for recreation. Whether it is alcohol, cigarettes, or other drugs, seeing them used casually can encourage temptations. You should discuss the possibilities with your partner, and help them consider avoid using these substances around you.
Dating Within a Recovery Program
While dating outside of recovery programs is most common, it is not the only choice. Some addicts may actually date other addicts within their recovery programs—such as therapy groups—for a variety of reasons. By dating in recovery, addicts can keep one another in check.
In recovery, these partners can find support in each other and easily relate to one another. Unlike partners outside of recovery, partners in recovery have a better understanding of the other’s perspective. There is also less worry about one partner’s recreational habits encouraging the other’s relapse. Working on the same programs, they are also capable of giving each other detailed and constructive feedback.
The greatest downfall of these relationships, however, is the potential of over-reliance on each other. Because addicts struggle with co-dependency, both may become overly dependent on one another and create an extremely unhealthy relationship. It may be important to not only watch each other but ensure professionals are always involved in monitoring your recovery.
Regardless of the type of relationship you may enter during recovery, both have common priorities. Maintain open and honest communication and keep a strong sense of awareness. By working closely and sincerely together, you can still uphold a healthy relationship through recovery.
If you or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, contact a local Treatment & Rehab alternative in Tennessee. You might be interested in Discovery Place’s own treatment center alternatives, such as our 30 Day Residential Addiction Alternative Recovery Program or our Long Term Alternative Recovery Program in Burns, Tennessee. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-725-0922.