When is it Safe to Start Dating after Addiction Recovery?
Romantic Relationships in Addiction Recovery: Dangers, Tips & Timeframes for Success
Addiction recovery, especially in the early stages, is a time to focus solely on yourself. This is a time of forgiveness, healing, learning how to establish boundaries, accept support, grow mentally & spiritually and assess your own well-being. Overall, addiction recovery is characterized as the process of re-establishing your identify. While fostering your new sober self, practicing healthy coping skills and maintaining your sobriety it can be challenging to begin dating or starting a romantic relationship. Addiction recovery experts say those in early recovery should wait at least one year before dating, starting a new relationship or making important, life altering decisions. Moreover, dating should only happen when the other person fully understands the importance of you maintaining sobriety and is willing to make the necessary life changes to support your journey.
3 Tips to Dating in Addiction Recovery
- Stable Recovery is First
Experts and the 12-step guideline recommend holding off on dating for at least one year after leaving a treatment center or sober living facility. This is to ensure you have a solid foundation in recovery, focusing solely on yourself before taking on the emotions of a relationship.
- Watch for Risks of Codependency
When disassociating yourself from the “people, places and things” that facilitated your addiction it can feel like a lonely and isolating time. This sets you up in a dangerous position to begin a romantic relationship to fill the void. If you form a relationship too early in recovery you risk falling back into a mindset of dependency.
Read More: Warning Signs your Relationship is Codependent
- Be Mindful & Take it Slow
As you become more confident in yourself and your recovery you can understand how to form meaningful romantic bonds and accept the rejection or disappointment that may come. The more mindful you are, the better you can implement strategies to remain emotionally balanced.
Relapse rates are very high within the first year of recovery, because you’re learning how to cope with stress, emotions and triggers. If you feel you’re ready to begin dating or get involved with someone romantically you need to set clear boundaries and continue to prioritize yourself & your sobriety over the relationship. To successfully navigate dating you must continue to attend therapy sessions, life coaching and meetings. Further, you should be upfront with your dating partners about your recovery and people, places, things that could trigger you. Ultimately, you need to surround yourself with healthy people who support your recovery.
Silver Linings Recovery Center is the leading treatment center for drug and alcohol addiction in the Philadelphia tri-state area, offering two locations in Bucks County, PA and Mercer County, NJ. Get Help Now: 855-960-3769.