Dating a Recovery Addict? Tips to Getting on the Road to a Healthy Relationship
Dating and relationships are complex, to say the least, but perhaps you’ve finally found a great person. However, there’s one thing—he or she is a recovering addict. Now a million questions start swirling in your head, like, “Will he/she relapse?” Yes, relationships are complicated enough, and adding addiction to the equation can turn it up a notch—but there’s help. Here are some tips to get you started on the road to a healthy relationship with a recovering addict.
Take It Slow and Ask Questions
Take time to really understand the full spectrum of where the person is in their recovery. If it’s still early (within their first year of sobriety), chances are this may not work out. During the beginning phase of recovery, he or she is still adjusting mentally, physically, and emotionally to their new life without drugs or alcohol. Also, see if the person you’re interested in is serious about their sobriety—do they regularly attend meetings? Are they in contact with a sponsor? Finally, understand that this person may have done things that led to serious consequences before getting sober. They may have financial debt or have a DUI and are therefore unable to drive. Consider all these issues before beginning a serious relationship.
Educate Yourself About Addiction
Visit your local health services office, a library, or search the Internet for reputable resources like the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to truly understand addiction. You can also go to support groups for families and friends of recovering addicts. By attending these meetings, you can get advice and support from people in similar circumstances and find out even more about addiction recovery.
Put Their Recovery First
If you’re sure you can be with this person and want this relationship to last, you must support your partner’s sobriety and put their recovery first—it’s crucial to the health of your significant other and your relationship as a whole. Be supportive and never make your new partner feel guilty about spending time attending meetings or keeping other recovery-related appointments. Be considerate of your partner when planning dates. For example, if it’s still early in their recovery, avoid places where alcohol or drugs are typically found. Instead of taking your date to a party, music festival, or a bar, plan an outdoor activity or see a movie.
Understand Their Triggers
Ask your partner about his or her triggers. What causes their drug/alcohol cravings? Is it anxiety, stress, or feelings of loneliness? Is seeing the substance a trigger? Remember, it’s not your job to protect your partner or solve their problems, but you can be proactive about managing some of their triggers.
Addiction and Treatment
If you find yourself falling for a recovering addict, be honest with them, get educated, and ask for advice to make sure this relationship is right for both of you. Get to know the person and make sure they are fully committed to sobriety. And remember, addiction is treatable. If you or a loved one is suffering from a substance use disorder or addiction, get help now—recovery is possible. Contact the recovery experts at Daylight Recovery Services today at 1-833-2DAYLIGHT.