Should You Date Someone Recovering From an Addiction?



Let’s say you’ve finally met somebody you really like. You just connect, and the chemistry is electric. One day, they say you need to talk, and they drop the news. “I’m in recovery.”
At first, you might feel unsure about how to react. After all, recovery is a big deal. You may not know anything about addiction, or perhaps you have only been exposed to the negative stigma surrounding addicts. Regardless, you have a lot to think about. Is it a good idea to continue dating this person? You have several factors to consider.

People in Recovery Learn New Skills

Individuals in recovery may have more knowledge about relationships and communication than those who have never gone through the process. Many of these skills benefit a new relationship, as these individuals have learned how to identify, process, and communicate their emotions. They also learn how to build personal boundaries and may have examined their own boundaries more closely than others.

Recovery is a Lifelong Process

Recovering addicts are constantly self-improving. Over the course of recovery, they may face some unique challenges–and the person dating them will too. If you date somebody in recovery, they may ask you to avoid drinking or doing drugs in their vicinity. They may also avoid certain social events and situations. You may also find that they frequently need to attend meetings or talk to their sponsors. Their sobriety will become their first priority.

People in Recovery May Come With Baggage

Unfortunately, many people who are going through recovery may come with some additional challenges, including debt, past legal issues, and strained relationships with others. They may have triggers for use that can be as simple as places, television shows, songs, and smells. You are smart to educate yourself about what all of these challenges entail before you become emotionally invested in a romantic relationship.

You Need to Set Boundaries

As you date somebody who is an addict in recovery, you must establish boundaries. What are you willing to accept? How will you continue to take care of yourself without becoming a caregiver to your partner? You need to know yourself and also understand why this person appeals to you. Are you trying to “fix” or “rescue” them? If so, this is not a strong basis for a healthy relationship.

Your Partner Should Have a Year of Sobriety

The vast majority of treatment plans, counselors, and support groups push the idea that each person should have a year of sobriety under their belt before they get into a new romantic relationship. While they are in this relationship, they should continue to attend meetings, receive necessary treatment, and take care of themselves. They need to remain committed to their journey. Treatment options are available for people no matter where they are in their relationship.
Sunshine Behavioral Health is one option for anybody who is considering recovery and wants to know what the path ahead looks like.

Ultimately, it is up to you whether you date somebody in recovery. Recovery is for life, so understanding the depth of addiction is crucial for anybody in the dating scene.

Patrick Bailey

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