Early recovery dating

Early recovery dating

Seeking addiction treatment can feel overwhelming. We know the struggle, which is why we're uniquely qualified to help. Your call is confidential, and there's no pressure to commit to treatment until you're ready. As a voluntary facility, we're here to help you heal -- on your terms. Our sole focus is getting you back to the healthy, sober life you deserve, and we are ready and waiting to answer your questions or concerns.

Whats the Deal with Dating in Recovery?

People have some widely differing opinions on the issue of dating in recovery. The common belief, however, is that those who are recovering from addiction and alcoholism should not date within the first year. But we can at least inform you of the potential risks, while giving you some guidelines about how to make dating in recovery more of a positive experience than a negative one. It should also help those who have already completed their year of celibacy and are nervous about dipping their toes back into the dating pool.

It bears repeating that it is only within the first year that dating in recovery is not suggested. Recovering from addiction does not mean that you can never date again. We hear many people in early recovery mention their need to find a mate. Many of us have felt the same way when in early recovery. The problem is that relationships take work. Sex and intimacy seem fun for a while, but we eventually reach the point at which we have to decide where things are going.

While we are still relatively uncertain about who we are and what we want out of life, making any major decisions can be stressful. Most of us who have composed a relapse prevention plan will find that avoiding stress was generally one of our main concerns. Why would we elect to give that up, knowing that it could hurt our recovery? More importantly, we must remember that addicts and alcoholics tend to lack inhibitions.

If we set our sights on sex or relationships while our recovery is still fragile, then there is a very good chance that we will do just about anything to make it happen. What if they offer to buy us a drink? Or will we simply give in? After all, a lot of us probably had very active if emotionally unfulfilling sex lives during our addictions. As such, it is not uncommon for us to associate our memories of sex with our memories of drinking and using drugs.

Will the pursuit of romance or physical intimacy therefore act as a trigger for us? We also have to consider the health of the potential relationship itself. When we first briefly touched upon this issue in an earlier article, we cited an article on a relationship counseling site that noted the complicated nature of dating in recovery. They also noted that well over half of relationships begun in early recovery are doomed to failure.

Waiting a year before dating gives us a chance to work through some of our character defects, a task which most of us are undertaking for the first real time. We learn how to better recognize our own flaws, how to accept those of others, and how to make amends when clashing personalities have led us to experience issues in our interpersonal communications.

We also learn to stop seeking immediate gratification, but the gratification of having sex too early can get in the way of that. There are a few things you need to know about yourself before you decide whether or not you are ready to start dating again. Since many of the problems with dating in recovery stem from our own character defects, you will need to take stock of these to the best of your abilities.

For relationships that were troubled for a long period of time, you might also want to take stock of when you should have ended the relationship and why. You can use a pen and paper for this if it makes things easier. Start by simply making a list of your previous relationships. This can include one-night stands. In fact, for the sake of honesty, you might want to list as many of these as you can remember. Then write the positives for each of these relationships. Did you feel happy? Did you feel safe?

Was the sex fulfilling? Did you feel like your partner was faithful to you? Consider these same questions when you are writing out the negatives. Note how much you felt you cared for the person at the time, but also note some of the things you might have said or done that went against this belief. Then, try to figure out why you might have said or done this things. Were you simply drunk or high, or was the issue deeper than that? Were you unhappy in the relationship, but felt it was easier to simply lash out verbally or physically, as the case may be than to call it quits?

There are several different patterns here. Some people are primarily attracted to people they feel they can control, while others like to be the more submissive partner in a relationship. Some have no preference in this regard, but are simply attracted to chaos. There are some who may find that they were constantly getting clingy in their search for a meaningful relationship, while others were quite aloof and possibly only in it for the sex. These relationship types can be categorized rather easily by looking at relationships as three-dimensional objects.

The first dimension is intimacy, defined as how close and connected you are on a deeply personal level. The second dimension is passion, which is the sheer force of attraction and sensual or sexual desire between the two of you. The third is commitment, which is how dedicated you are to staying in the relationship. Consummate relationships are those which are sound in all three dimensions.

This may be what we are looking for when we begin dating in recovery, but most of us were not accustomed to it in our addictions. Relationships comprised of intimacy with no passion or commitment are seen as basic friendships. Infatuations are relationships are only high on passion. Empty relationships are only high on commitment, lacking all sense of true passion or intimacy. Fatuous relationships are high on both passion and commitment, without any true intimacy.

Romantic relationships are high on intimacy and passion, but not necessarily commitment. The last category is companionate relationships, which are intimate and committed, but lack much sensual attraction. As we mentioned earlier, one of the issues with dating in recovery is that we cannot be guaranteed that the relationship will last. Our prospective partner will be affected, too.

To help prevent this from happening, we need to decide from the very beginning what they should know about us. The first question that most of you will have is when you should tell them that you are in recovery. Part of being honest is admitting that you have a weakness. Then again, it may bother you quite a bit. Do not defer to them just to make them comfortable. In short, the major thing your date needs to know about you is simply the truth. We mentioned the importance of honesty, but we also indicated that you might consider waiting a couple of dates; however, this can lead to complications.

Author and psychotherapist Alexis Stein recommends being upfront , to help ensure that you never have to face the dilemma of accepting a follow-up date at a bar or another location that might act as a trigger for you. Stein also recommends that you be in therapy when you first begin dating in recovery. At the bare minimum, you should be working a solid program. Go to meetings, read recovery-based literature. Do something to ensure that there is a positive—and more importantly, stable —force for good in your life.

This will safeguard you in the event that you take a rejection badly, or that your newfound happiness with another human being causes you to suffer from a lack of inhibitions. If you already go to meetings on a regular basis, good. Keep doing it. That can lead down a slippery slope pretty quickly. Since a big part of relapse prevention is avoiding unnecessary or unhealthy stress, do not dip your pen in the company ink.

The last thing you need in recovery is another sullied relationship. Get out there and try to meet people at the library, the bookstore, or wherever you may happen to be that you are able to strike up a conversation. Thirteenth stepping is highly frowned upon. You will know right off the bat that they will respect your recovery, and will not tempt you to drink. If you have some time under your belt, are ready to begin dating in recovery, and are open to dating another addict, then you might want to check out the online dating website Somebody Sober.

Just be sure, whether or not you decide to date someone in recovery, that you take things slow. Sudden changes can often act as triggers, and triggers are to be avoided at all cost. A love letter, a mix tape, a nice roll in the hay—none of these things are worth giving up your sobriety. We spoke earlier about the importance of being earnest when dating in recovery. In this article, which comprised the cover page of the issue, they suggest that anyone who plans on dating within the first year of recovery should look their date in the eye and say the following:.

Although I look like a fully grounded adult I am childish, grandiose, and gravely emotionally immature. My natural state is growing anxiety, depression and fear coupled with intense desire for excitement. This condition is fueled by an obsessive, compulsive controlling need for attention, acceptance and unqualified approval. My thought life is governed by forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking and self-pity.

All of which drives me to live my life according to selfish, dishonest, self-seeking and inconsiderate, resentful and frightened motives. Motives which left unattended will arouse and engage dangerous life-threatening levels of pride, anger, envy, greed, sloth, and gluttony—I will turn into a pig and I will want everything. This in turn is going to leave me very emotionally sensitive so that everything I hear and see I am going to take personally.

I do not take criticism and cannot stand to be praised. I do not like to suffer emotionally and I will not suffer alone. I couple this with a brooding perfectionism and I lean defensively and lean guarded in fear of being found out and because of this I rationalize, minimize, justify and deny all my actions while casting blame on you and everyone else in a vigorous attempt to avoid detection. Therefore, I am quick to anger, slow to virtue and I judge and criticize everybody and everything I see.

Feb 13, For most people, whether they're married, dating or in some romantic space in “ Most people in early recovery aren't stable emotionally, and. Apr 30, To be clear, no professional would ever recommend dating in early recovery. But, we have to be realistic and look at cases individually.

The advice to not date or become involved with someone intimately during early recovery is a frequent point of resistance. In other words, it is recommended that someone not date during their first year of recovery. The focus of early recovery should be laying a strong foundation for long-term sobriety and this involves searching deep within ourselves. Personal reflection and self-analysis is an important step to knowing ourselves and learning to accept and love ourselves. Our work to understand ourselves can be undermined or become convoluted if our efforts are distracted by a budding romance.

In early sobriety, the now sober individual must relearn, or possibly learn for the first time, appropriate skills for healthy relationships with others.

The first few months of recovery from addiction are some of the most difficult. Insomnia, triggers, drug cravings, and the need to deal with emotions that were previously numbed with drugs make early recovery a period of enormous adjustment.

Dating as a Woman in Recovery Means Always Being Judged

For many, this means dating. But is looking for a new relationship, or just playing the field, in early recovery a wise thing to do? As with any other aspect of addiction and recovery, everyone is different. That means you may not be in the best place to judge who would be a suitable partner. A break-up can trigger anger or depression, which can prompt you to want desperately to self-medicate.

The Dating Mistakes I Made in Early Recovery

After all, I was in a good place — emotionally, mentally and financially. Most importantly, though, I felt good in my own skin and truly content with my place in the world. Dating would be a snap, I reasoned, even with the extra element of sobriety. Boy, was I wrong. Here are a few of the relationship pitfalls you might want to avoid in early recovery:. My first relationship was with an old friend that turned into something more. I knew, right then and there, it was time to end the relationship before my sobriety became compromised in any way. I no longer felt in control of my emotions anymore because his lies and manipulation were making me lose my mind. Sure enough, I discovered he was actually engaged — to someone I had no idea even existed. The up-and-down emotional roller coaster almost drove me to the brink; one where I wanted to use alcohol as an escape.

Often times, early sobriety is full of change and difficulties. In these relationships, both partners are extremely dependent on one another for constant validation and attention.

The reigning answer in recovery circles is to wait for at least one year after treatment. Once you have a full year of sobriety under your belt, you may be ready for a romantic relationship. Together, these 10 reasons not to date during the first year of sobriety can be reframed as a rare and wonderful opportunity: With time and more healing, you will be ready to date again.

Dating Someone in Addiction Recovery

You're a guy at a bar. You've had a fight with your wife. Your boss is on your ass. You're two months behind on your mortgage. You need to unwind at a place where you can be accepted and not judged. You want to have a few beers and watch the game. Then in comes a woman. She sits down and orders a stiff drink. And you think—what? She's looking to get picked up?

6 Tips for Dating in Recovery

The first year of recovery is a vulnerable time. This first stage of recovery includes several tasks: People in recovery are often eager to make big life changes in early recoveries, such as changing jobs or starting or ending a relationship. But experts agree that changes like these should be avoided in the first year, during which time the focus should be on self-care, gaining perspective and strengthening coping skills for and other triggers. Waiting a year to start dating is probably easier said than done, especially if you meet someone with whom you connect on a deep level.

Dating During Recovery: 5 Reasons to Think Twice

Recovery is a time for self-care and reflection, establishing structure and controlling urges. Most weeks, Saturday nights are spent at 12 step meetings. To be clear, no professional would ever recommend dating in early recovery. But, we have to be realistic and look at cases individually. Whether you are single and getting sober, or recovery is a part of your relationship, here are some tips to help you date smarter and safer.

10 Reasons Not to Date During Your First Year of Sobriety

It can be the great escape, bounce you back into relapse, or trigger a new addiction. Dating is hard. This is something we all can relate to. It is no surprise that dating and uncertainty go hand in hand. We are not strangers to these feelings but for those recovering from addiction, these feelings may be intensified and scary. Dating during sobriety is something many recovering addicts struggle with as using drugs or alcohol as a crutch or liquid courage if you will, is no longer an option.

Dating in Early Recovery

Better put, this rule suggests that an individual should have a year of abstinence or sobriety under their belt before they make major decisions regarding their life. This includes becoming romantically involved with or dating someone. The idea behind the one-year rule is that in the early stages of recovery, people should be taking care of themselves and not focused on romantic relationships or other big changes. Making major decisions can distract a person from efforts directed at their recovery. In the first year of recovery, most individuals are learning a lot about themselves, especially the newer versions of themselves that no longer use substances or engage in addictive behaviors.

Dating in Early Sobriety

While recovering addicts can make excellent companions, the one principle that should be followed without exception is —do not become involved with someone in recovery from substance abuse unless they have been clean and sober for at least one year. And if you are newly sober you should know that one of the worst things a person can do in early recovery is jump headfirst into a romance. When people with addiction issues try to jump into a relationship too soon, there is a very good chance that they are attempting to fill the hole they feel inside by replacing their drug of choice with something else that will give them that high they are craving. It is strongly advised by counselors, sponsors and anybody with experience in recovery that they remain focused on themselves until their sobriety is strong. There are plenty of things that work to build strong and healthy relationships when dating in recovery… if you work them: Contrary to the widespread misconception, addiction is not a moral issue, a failure or a character flaw.

How Relationships Effect Addiction Recovery
Related publications