A new relationship is often very exciting for those entering into it. You have the chance to learn about someone you are attracted to and see where things take the both of you. Unfortunately, this is not the best avenue for someone currently working on recovering from addiction. In particular, staying sober and single during the early stages of addiction treatment is one of the most important steps a patient should undertake. Learn more about the best ways to go about dating sober with Banyan Treatment Center Boca Raton, FL.
Why Dating in Early Recovery From Addiction Is a Bad Idea
The rule everyone learns while undergoing addiction treatment is to wait at least a year before dating after rehab. This is because dating in early recovery can derail your recovery. The first year of recovery is always challenging. Dating too soon can result in replacing one addiction with another. So, instead of being addicted to a substance, it is easy to become addicted to a specific person and how they make you feel.
Dating in early recovery can also throw off your focus. Your first year of recovery is one that should be filled with self-growth and self-love, but if you are wrapping up all your attention in a relationship, you will deny yourself the growth you need to truly heal and solidify your sobriety. This is a time when a person is in a significant transition, with changes being made regarding their routine, mentality, and ways that they approach life problems. This makes it significantly harder to establish important aspects of a relationship, including communication styles, temperament, wants, and needs.
It is also possible that the choice of partners that someone makes when early in the recovery may not be the best. Of course, there are those who come into treatment that have been with their partners for a period of time. But for those who decide that they have found “the one” conveniently when they should be focusing on their recovery, it is possible that they have not made an excellent choice in whom they give themselves to.
For instance, an adult is likely to find themselves attracted to someone with a similar maturity level. That means that if they are still struggling with an unrealistic or immature way of thinking and approaching life, they are more likely to attract someone who is similar. They may also gravitate towards a person that they would when in the midst of active addiction. This shared immaturity can quickly develop into a codependent or abusive relationship, with one partner holding the other “emotionally hostage.”
To avoid this, taking the first year of sobriety to focus on oneself can be one of the most important steps that a patient can take.
Tips for Dating Sober
So, when the time is right, and you have determined that it is time to start dating in recovery, getting back out there can be difficult.
Our Palm Beach rehab team shares sober dating tips, including:
- Date other sober individuals
- Be honest and upfront about your recovery
- Look for a partner who supports your sobriety
- Avoid triggering places, especially when going on first dates
When you begin dating in recovery, stay in contact with your sponsor and sober support systems. You should never skip meetings for a date or put your sobriety on the line for another person. For those currently dating an addict in recovery, it is also possible to experience negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions surrounding the situation. It is not a bad idea to take the time apart to focus on internal growth so that both partners can return to each other as the best versions of themselves.
A partner of a person in recovery should also work to develop their own understanding of the disease in question. This will allow them to provide support to their loved ones and can help keep them grounded if a relapse occurs. To avoid this, it is also helpful to familiarize yourself with your partner’s triggers so that you can help them stay on the right track.
Addiction and mental illness often go hand in hand, so for those seeking out Boca behavioral health services, Banyan’s facility offers recovery from several mental health disorders. Patients have the opportunity to pursue residential treatment that immerses them full-time in the recovery experience.
Call 888-280-4763 for more information about the treatment options offered by the professionals at Banyan Boca Raton.