Many people who have gone to addiction treatment or are otherwise in recovery are married or in a committed relationship.
For the single person in early recovery, the subject of dating usually comes up at some point. There are different schools of thought about how long to wait before dating in recovery, but the key point remains the same. In fact, it remains the same for the married, committed, and single recovering addict or alcoholic. The bottom line is: recovery must come first.
The beginning stages of a person’s journey to recovery can be challenging, and introducing a new relationship is typically unwise. In the early days, weeks, and months of recovery, individuals are going through a myriad of changes. They are adjusting to living life without their solution: drugs and alcohol. Emotional and mental adaptations are taking place at this time as well. Additionally, individuals are really beginning to discover who they are when they aren’t drinking or drugging. This process takes time.
Recovery has to be the main priority in a person’s life if they are to live happily and successfully in sobriety.
All too often, it is easy to become distracted by the possibility of a love interest. In fact, many people seek out flirtations and the like in order to distract themselves from recovery. It isn’t necessarily a conscious thing, either. So the question of how long to wait before dating in recovery is definitely a valid and important concern.
The general consensus in the recovery world is that individuals who are single upon entering into recovery should consider waiting about a year before venturing into the dating scene. This is not a set rule that you will find in any book or manual on addiction recovery, but it is easy to understand the thinking behind this answer. If a person is working a twelve step program, it is wise to consult their sponsor as to whether or not he or she feels that they are ready to start dating. Everyone is different, and some people grasp recovery quickly and progress faster than others.
Relationships take time, effort, and energy that a newly recovering individual might not have to give in the beginning.
The good news is that when a person pours themselves into addiction recovery, they will be able to enjoy all life has to offer–love included!
We can start you on the road to recovery.