Why Should You Avoid Dating In Early Recovery?

Everything You Need To Know About Dating In Early Recovery

In recent discussions about starting a relationship after drug rehab, a controversial issue has been whether dating hinders one’s recovery. On the one hand, some people believe that starting a new relationship in early recovery can overburden a recovering addict. From this perspective, recovering addicts should take the time to learn how to love themselves before they try to love someone else.

On the other hand, some people may have mixed emotions about this rule. In their eyes, people in recovery have completed drug rehab treatment, and they should be free to make their own decisions.

However, such types might not understand that drug addiction treatment is a process that goes beyond drug rehab.  With that being said, we believe drug addicts in early recovery should try to establish themselves before they decide to build a relationship with someone else. Granted we think that everyone deserves to find love, we still maintain that people in early recovery should learn how to love themselves before they try to love anyone else.

How Can Dating Affect You In Early Recovery?

Engaging in an intimate relationship right after drug rehab can be complicated because most people recovering from drug addiction struggle with intimacy issues. One of the problems that coincide with this issue is that a new relationship can distract an individual from achieving sobriety.  In recent studies by psychologist and clinical addiction counselor at Indiana University Health, she states, “ It will be easy for many to find replacement addictions, such as a love addiction, to replace the high the drug or alcohol provided. Many people enjoy the honeymoon phase of relationships, feeling euphoria from the new love, making it more challenging to address issues that underlie the addiction.” Newly sober people have a difficult time focusing on their recovery when they are in a new relationship.

Adding to this argument, we would also like to point out that relationships in early recovery are overwhelmed emotional volatility and instability. Such relationships are typically short-lived. On top of that, such individuals can not commit to a 12 Step Program. While some substance abuser might say otherwise, Dr. Gadia Smith from the District of Columbia believes ” a new love interest has the potential to become the substance abuser’s higher power.”  In essence, this is dangerous because everyone is human. Therefore, once a person lets a  recovering addict down, this can trigger depression. As a result, depression often leads to drug and alcohol relapse.

“This could never happen to me” some will say.  Nevertheless,  the National Institute on Drug Abuse indicates that 40-60% of the people with substance abuse disorders of the people with substance abuse disorders relapse in early recovery.  So, why risk relapsing if you don’t have to? Think about what you have to lose. Is it worth losing your life?

5 Strategies To Bypass Romance For Your Sober Recovery

Develop a Support Network

Establishing a support network can help you avoid feeling alone.  Consequently, this will prevent you from compromising yourself to experience love. At the same time, building a sober support system will also help you maintain your sobriety.  Chances are if you have a sober support system they understand how vital your recovery is. With this mind, your support system will hold you accountable for your actions.  With this being said, we realize that most people in early recovery don’t feel comfortable talking to strangers.  But keep in mind, meeting new friends isn’t hard. All you have to do is raise your hand in a group therapy session. This is one tactic to build new friends.

Commit To A Fellow Sober Substance Abuser To Abstain From Dating

Sober recovery networks will help you find friends that will help you stay focused on your sobriety. In essence, abstinent substance abusers understand how important abstinence is. Therefore, they will hold you accountable for your actions. For instance, if you say that you want to stay drug and alcohol-free after drug rehab,  your support network will keep you to your word. In other words, there may be times that your support network disagrees with your decisions. As a result, they can help remind you about your goals.  In the end, this can help you achieve a healthy sober lifestyle.

Don’t Keep Secrets About Your Relationships

When it comes down to addiction recovery, sober substance abusers need to be as honest as possible.  As we all know, one lie can simultaneously lead to one lie.  In essence, some people can be comfortable with lies because they are afraid of the truth. Once this happens, lying can open the door to relapsing. At the same time,  lying can make it difficult for people to help you. While relationships may look like fairy tales, they can be a roller coaster ride. With this in mind, if your support group doesn’t know what is wrong with you, they can’t help you.

Set And Execute Goal

Before you consider jumping into a relationship, take a moment to appreciate being yourself. Believe it or not, most people don’t make enough time for themselves. They never get the opportunity to live out the things that they always wanted to because they were stuck living someone else’s fantasy, or they were struggling with their drug addiction. Therefore,  take some time to do everything you always wanted to do. For instance, if you want to go bungee jumping, try it.  If you want to travel, do it. The world is yours.

Make A Long-Term Plan

Last but not least, make a long term plan. If you’re serious about becoming abstinent visualize it. One of the best ways to do it to create a vision board. Another way to do is it to map out a timeline of your sobriety. In doing so, you will be able to be able to visualize your path to sobriety. At the same time, you will be able to benchmark your success.  In the process, make sure you write down your values. Values are powerful tools because they can help you navigate through your journey.

Need Help Finding A Support Group In Early Recovery

If you’re struggling with finding a sober support group, contact Gatehouse Sober Community. Our professional team of therapist can help you find the support that you need to stay clean and sober.  We can also help you surround yourself with like-minded people who want to see you achieve abstinence. Give us a call today at 855-448-3588

(855) 448-3638