It is an amazing feeling to work through drug and alcohol addiction. You should be proud of yourself. Many people who are faced with feeling better and having more clarity often want to make up for lost time. They want to accomplish more than they have in the past and may even want to start a new relationship. It can be exciting to be in this position. The question is, though, are you really ready? To answer that, you need to consider what is occurring in your life and how you would handle bad or complicated problems that could arise. Before you start dating, consider a few things when it comes to dating someone in recovery.
Too Much Too Fast
One of the concerns for those who are dating someone in early recovery is that they are taking on a lot right away. During early recovery, which could be the first few months after you have become sober, you are still learning and exploring yourself. You may not have a strong sense of what your future is just yet, and that is just fine. To know if you are moving too fast, consider these steps:
- Do you want to be in a relationship because you have met someone you really like?
- Do you just want a relationship so you are not alone?
- Are you looking for a relationship, so you don’t have to deal with addiction?
- Are you trying to replace your addiction responsibilities with someone else who will take care of you?
- Do you have the time to commit to someone else when you need to be your own focus for this time?
Dating in recovery may be an option for you. However, you need to understand why you are hoping to do so, and you need to be sure the steps you are taking are meant to support your long-term recovery as a priority.
Should You Date a Recovering Addict?
For some people, dating an addict in early recovery can also pose a concern. It is important to enter into this type of relationship with the right perspective as well as the right expectations. That can differ from one person to the next, though. Here are a few things to consider.
- They have a chronic disease you cannot cure. It is important to enter a relationship knowing that this is a part of them and that it is not something you can control, change, or make go away.
- Some responsibility may fall on your shoulders for helping a person in early recovery stay on the right track, which is away from substances of all types. If they are struggling, you may need to help them get into treatment again. Remember, you cannot do this for them.
- You have to be willing to give up your use of the substance as well. It is simply not safe for them if you are using drugs or alcohol while they are recovering. That puts them at a high risk of relapse.
Dating an addict in early recovery is a tricky situation. If you have found someone that you want to spend time with, it is often a good idea to take a step back and recognize that it’s very important for you and them that you have ground rules laid for what is to come.
Overcoming Fears to Take Those First Steps
Dating in recovery is important, and it is a viable tool for you to build a life you want to live. It may not be the perfect time to do so in early recovery, but at some point, you may want to start dating. Work with your therapist to help you understand your options and how you can ensure you are getting the level of care you need. Here are some steps to consider.
- Be honest and upfront from the start. Your addiction is a part of another person’s life if you start dating. They need to know about it upfront.
- Don’t put yourself in harm’s way. That means not exposing yourself to drugs and alcohol, even if that is what everyone else is doing.
- Open yourself up only at the level you are comfortable with. Many people with addiction need to move slowly so that they can find their own way through these sometimes difficult experiences.
Most importantly, know when you need help. If you are dating someone in recovery, be proactive about protecting your sobriety.
Ready to Enter Into Treatment?
The good news is that it is possible to start dating in recovery. If you are ready to embrace drug and alcohol addiction treatment, now is a good time to start on that path. Contact a treatment center to learn more about the care options and services available. The sooner you get into care, the sooner you can start to build a strong, healthy future. If you want to learn more, give us a call at (866) 971-5531. Our team is available for a 100% free and confidential discussion.