How you see yourself and those around you can be significantly affected by substance abuse and the ongoing process of recovery with the self-discovery it requires can be both daunting and empowering. Forming balanced, healthy relationships with others is a positive goal of rehab but it is wise to proceed with caution. Dating as a sober person is quite a challenge, you may feel the time is right to find a supportive partner but be careful not to replace one compulsive behavior for another.
In recovery you are vulnerable, you are learning to live without a substance or alcohol which has controlled your thinking and behavior and you need to prioritize this journey when forming relationships with others. You may be feeling good about your achievement and feel ready to start dating but it is wise to continue therapy and counseling. It is also beneficial to continue to attend meetings and speak to trained counselors who will help you assess your readiness for a relationship.
12 steps recommend you spend the first 12 months of recovery working on yourself and learning how to cope with stressors and deal with urges before you consider starting a new relationship. The urge to date may put you in a vulnerable situation exposing you to alcohol or relapse triggers. The traditional protocols of dating, eating out, going to bars, a drink with a meal or attending parties and other gatherings can be a minefield for a recovering addict.
If you do meet someone you like and may be interested in dating it is vital to be honest. Honesty is important in any relationship and your recovery is the most important part of your life. Be proud of the steps you have taken and be upfront about your situation. It will take the pressure off and if it’s going to work, you both need to know from the beginning so that you can start on the right footing and face the challenges of dating in rehab and recovery together.
People who have been through addiction therapy have spent a lot of time learning self-improvement and have learned new ways to cope with the ups and downs of life without the help of substances. They learn to base life decisions on achieving healthy goals and honoring values and not on short-term pleasure or instant gratification. Healthy dating is possible, just approach it with caution and always put sobriety first.
At CASA Recovery in San Juan Capistrano, CA, we offer holistic drug and alcohol addiction treatment. Our approach starts with your evaluation and assessment and we design a personalized treatment plan to help you overcome your addiction. We offer a holistic approach to your recovery combining detox and cleansing with counseling, addiction education, relapse prevention training and alternative therapies to help you heal and develop new ways of thinking and behaving in a supportive atmosphere. If you would like to know more contact us today for a free consultation.