Cornerstone of Southern California Drug and Alcohol Rehab
Dating a recovering alcoholic
Author: Cornerstone of Southern California
Published: January 19, 2022

When you’re dating someone who has a history of drug or alcohol addiction, it may come as a shock. It’s self-evident that they formerly lived a lifestyle far removed from the one they currently lead. It can be difficult for some people to reconcile the idea that everyone has a history with the knowledge that they, too, have one. It’s impossible not to notice when someone is drinking or using drugs around oneself; nevertheless, it might be hard for others to accept this. The difficulties of being in a relationship with an alcoholic or addict are unique.

The first few months of recovery are the most difficult. This is a time when drug cravings, sleeplessness, and dealing with emotions all make their presence felt. That’s why dating someone in recovery can be quite tough.

The most challenging aspect is to acquire the ability to feel emotions once again, which includes the enjoyable sensation of love.

It is difficult to date an alcoholic in recovery if you are unaware of the precautions and hints needed to form a healthy relationship. To begin, it’s advised that alcoholics refrain from dating for a year. While it is acceptable to continue in a relationship during early sobriety, beginning a new relationship before someone has celebrated a year of sobriety

When should you date someone in recovery?

During the first year of recovery, AA and other 12-step programs advise against dating, or at the very least concentrating on healing for the first 6-8 months. You may be able to assist by limiting your contact with the recovering alcoholic during this time as much as it hurts you to do so.

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Dating a Recovering Alcoholic Advice

Every relationship necessitates effort and communication. When you’re dating a recovering alcoholic, there are several things to consider and learn. By employing hard work, patience, understanding, and compassion, as well as the ideas presented below, you might be able to have a good connection:

There Are Specific Risks Involved With Dating Too Soon

Individuals who are recovering may learn to silence their emotions or fall in love as soon as possible. Dating a recovered addict necessitates a great deal of perseverance.

You’ll be more successful in a relationship with anyone if you understand yourself well. Appreciate yourself, and you will put your health and emotional happiness before all else. As a result, you may also assist your spouse.

Replacing Drug Addiction With Love Addiction

Recovery dating is tough, and it needs a full-time dedication. Returning to a regular routine might be daunting. People who quit using and immediately start dating run the danger of seeking comfort in relationships rather than drugs.

Love addiction may become an issue in the early stages of recovery. Individuals who can’t establish a relationship during their first year of therapy are, in most situations, once again addicted to alcohol or drugs.

Put your partner’s recovery first – Drug and alcohol addiction

We understand that you may be apprehensive about dating someone who is in recovery, but it’s important to maintain a balanced viewpoint.

Keep your partner in mind when you plan dates. If your spouse is still recovering from addiction, avoid locations that sell narcotics or alcohol. Instead of going to a party, a music festival, or a bar with your date, consider doing something outside or viewing a film. People who are addicted to drugs are extremely sensitive.

Don’t Use Substances Around Your Partner

Part of prioritizing your partner’s recovery is not using substances around him or her. This is especially true if the substance in question is one that your spouse is addicted to.

If you’re dating a recovering alcoholic, for example, you can’t go to bars and parties because of the risk of exacerbating his or her condition.

Can you trust a recovering alcoholic?

Everyone has a different level of trust in new connections. This is usually somewhat determined by prior experiences. Dating a recovering alcoholic or someone in recovery is likely to result in their past interactions opening up to others being less than ideal, and, frequently, traumatic. Most likely, they will have problems with trust in at least a few areas. There are many

It’s critical to remember that trust issues in relationships can originate on both sides. The person recovering may be suspicious of their partner cheating or lying, which could be caused by self-esteem problems or the belief that they are not deserving of their relationship. A partner dating a recovering alcoholic or someone in recovery might believe their partner has relapsed or lied about

Unhealthy Relationship Patterns

Being sober can be really tough, as any recovering addict will tell you. It may imply missing out on parties, having to cope with life’s difficulties and problems stone cold sober, and being alone.

Furthermore, being in a typical sober relationship can seem tedious. A person recovering from addiction may still recall the tension and drama of a relationship marred by substance abuse. There was an edge to every argument and threat of breakup because there was an excitement about being in that sort of arrangement. That sensation may feel like a drug in itself, one that is not found in a healthy relationship.

Furthermore, some individuals prefer dating someone with a substance use issue because it gives them a feeling of control (or even comfort) in comparison to being the “patient.” For once, the focus – whether good or bad – is on someone else. The recovering person can enjoy all of the benefits of their sobriety without having to take a single look at their own behavior. Needless to say, this isn’t a healthy relationship dynamic.

Tips for Dating an Alcoholic in Recovery

 Take Things Slowly

Moving too quickly in a relationship is not advised, as both of you still have much to learn about one other. This is especially true when dating an alcoholic in recovery, because sobriety is a lifelong emotional and mental learning process. Even after celebrating a year of sobriety, recovering people must continue to develop themselves, the way they react and

Be Willing to Work With Their Personalities and Quirks

It’s crucial to remember that persons in recovery are recovering not just from their substance addiction, but also from the circumstances that brought them to it. Your partner may be dealing with mental health problems, unresolved trauma, and other issues from their past that they are attempting to heal from. Co-occurring mental health issues are prevalent among alcoholics, as well as people who abuse drugs. They may also experience significant financial difficulties, a criminal record, or restricted contact with their children or loved ones as

Know Your Partner’s Triggers

Understanding your partner’s triggers is another good strategy for dating a recovering alcoholic. Triggers come in many forms, including sights, sounds, scents, situations, and more. It’s impossible to avoid all of them while avoiding triggers. Fortunately, if your partner goes into treatment and recovery groups, he or she will learn how to control urges.

Allow them to focus on their recovery.

Your partner’s sobriety is only as good as their commitment to their recovery and the maintenance of their healthy coping strategies. This implies that, if you don’t prioritise their rehabilitation, your partner may relapse. You must accept that your companion will spend time attending addiction recovery groups, therapy sessions, meetings with sober support people, and in some instances

Prevent Codependency

Remember that you can’t change anyone. While you should be a source of comfort and encouragement, your partner’s decision to stay sober is his or her own. It is called codependency to try to rescue someone from their problems.

Some Questions to Ask Before You Start Dating a Recovering Addict

What’s Your Dating History?

Addicts may have a wide range of substances to choose from, and they aren’t always restricted to drugs or alcohol. People can also be addicted to love or sex. It’s critical to ask your potential partner about their dating history when determining whether their addiction has had an impact on past relationships. However, keep in mind that if they’re in recovery

How Long Have You Been Clean and Sober?

Someone who has been in recovery for two months will have different needs than someone who has been in recovery for 20 years. If you’re considering entering into a relationship with a recovering alcoholic or drug addict, it’s vital to understand where they are on their path.

Are you a member of a recovery program?

We know that professional rehabilitation programs are the finest option for recovering addicts to heal and maintain their sobriety. If your loved one isn’t enrolled in a treatment program, they should go to meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous to continue their recovery process.

There are several benefits for both the individual and the program if you date someone in AA. AA dating means that the addict will have a network of understanding peers to lean on, while their partner will be more secure in their sobriety. Two persons who are in a relationship may go to meetings together as addicts.

What Do You Need From Me in Order to Assist Your Recovery?

Triggers, as well as varied physical, emotional, and mental requirements, vary from addict to addict.

Some people in recovery may want their partner to take an active role in their recovery activities, while others may prefer to keep it private at first. Some individuals might be more forthcoming with their backgrounds, while others may take longer to do so.

Are You Ready for a Committed Relationship?

Falling in love is a wonderful experience. It excites the brain with a surge of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.

It’s simple to overlook our personal issues in favor of these pleasant emotions. That is why, more than any other question, this one is so crucial for both your future partner and yourself.

If they need to concentrate on their rehabilitation, they may not feel up to the task. And if you aren’t prepared to assist them, neither are you.

Take a day or two to think things over before you make it official. Once you’ve had time to reflect, you can discuss your future commitment.

Expert Alcohol Addiction Treatment in California

If you’re dating a recovering alcoholic who has relapsed, they’ll need expert help. Seeking addiction treatment will be the first vital step in their lifelong recovery journey. It’s possible to have a sober life and a successful relationship, although the odds of anyone achieving this in active addiction are slim.

If you have any questions or queries about helping a loved one struggling with alcohol and drug addiction, contact Cornerstone today. Since our founding in 1984 we’ve been helping people resolve their issues with addiction and work towards a happy life and we offer a range of treatment options we can tailor to meet every person’s needs who walk through our doors.

Cornerstone focuses on providing only the most effective addiction treatments while ensuring that each client receives excellent care and support. For additional information on alcohol abuse treatment, give us a call.