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 often arises. How long should you I before dating? Whom should I date? When should I tell the person about my recovery?
The answer that lies beneath all of these questions is this: 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 at this stage. In the early days, weeks, and months of recovery, individuals are going through myriad changes. They are adjusting to living life without their old solution to stress and emotional upheaval: drugs or alcohol. Additionally, individuals are 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 distracted by the possibility of a love interest. In fact, many people seek out flirtations in order to avoid, on some level, their recovery journey. Addiction kept the body and brain in a state of constant, intense stimulation. In the quietness of recovery, boredom can set in, and it may seem like dating is an easy and healthy solution.
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, but it is easy to understand the thinking behind this answer. If a person is working a twelve-step program or other aftercare program, they will need to devote much of their time outside of work and family to keeping the commitments required of the program.
Relationships take time, effort, and energy that a newly recovering individual might not have to give in the beginning.
When a person has become practiced at handling life’s challenges with healthy coping mechanisms, has developed a steady routine of attending to their spiritual growth, and has been able to nurture their relationships with family and friends, they might be ready to start dating. Going into the dating scene with emotional and mental stability helps ensure that the person will choose partners who share their values and will support their sobriety.
We can start you on the road to recovery.