Tag Archive: dating in recovery

  1. Healthy Dating In Recovery

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    Healthy Dating In RecoveryDating is a topic that comes up often in 12 step meetings, and the response is usually this:

    Don’t date — at least not for a while.

    Could it really be that cut and dry, though? Recovery never truly “ends,” yet most people can’t just stay single forever. Exactly how long should you wait to start dating again? 

    Generally, it’s recommended that you wait at least three to four months after treatment to attempt a romantic relationship, but it really comes down to the individual and their progress. Some people need longer to become emotionally stable again; only then might they be ready. Knowing when that time has come is trickier than it sounds, because a big part of recovery, along with all the difficulties, is experiencing dramatic boosts in confidence – sometimes too dramatic — toward the end. That cockiness is what leads so many people back to the bars, the casino, or the dating scene–and then back into the addiction cycle.

     

    Relationships and Relapse

    Relationships cause emotional turmoil even for regular people; even the good emotions can be too much for someone trying to stay calm and collected, though the biggest threat is, of course, the fighting. For recovering addicts trying to avoid relapse, relationships are like minefields. No matter how safe they seem–explosions happen. Before an addict jumps into a relationship, they should run the idea by their sponsor, their therapist, or someone else involved in their treatment aftercare. Hear them out, no matter how much it hurts. An outside voice is important to have.  A failed relationship or broken heart could be a major relapse trigger.

     

    Relationships and Compromise

    The addict may not be an active user anymore, but they’ll always be in recovery, which means the condition isn’t just some dark event from the past that needn’t be mentioned; it’s ongoing. If a recovering addict decides to go ahead and date–whether they’re ready or not–it’s essential that the partner understands the territory, and that both partners share the same top priority: sobriety.

    That could be a big sacrifice for the non-addict, and it doesn’t always work out. Sometimes painful decisions must be made. If the partner won’t stop drinking or smoking, or there’s too much bickering going on–the relationship must end.

     

    Relationships and Healing

    If an addict relapses while in a relationship, it doesn’t necessarily mean he should break up with his partner or that it was the relationship’s fault. A relapse doesn’t necessarily mean someone wasn’t ready for normal life (jobs, children, relationships, etc). Recovery is a bumpy road; slips happen. Many addicts swerve into full-blown relapse and land themselves back at square one; others, however, manage to regain control. If someone vows to stay sober despite these setbacks, and the partner wants to stick around and continue to help, there’s no need to object. In fact, the emotional support can serve as a useful tool. Remember, though, that just because you’re clean and sober and happy doesn’t mean your partner has a responsibility to date you forever. Never hold your condition against someone. At the end of the day, you want someone whom you make happy, not a co-dependent partner whose perception of happiness revolves around yours.

     

    Ready to get your life back by seeking recovery from addiction?

    Contact Sustain Recovery today to learn about your treatment and aftercare options.

  2. Sober Dating Ideas

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    Sober Dating IdeasDating can be challenging and intimidating for anyone, especially if you’re in recovery from drug addiction. The “dating game” is a lot to take on: You have to meet the “right person,” find similar interests, decide on where to go, what to talk about—it’s a lot of pressure. Sober people face an additional challenge, however. Mainstream media portrays the dating scene as alcohol-fueled: bars, clubs, and whichever other venues happen to include hard drinks. Those aren’t the only options, though. There are a lot of fun, sober-minded activities for date-night and you should take advantage of them when you start dating in recovery.

     

    Beaches and Pools

    Whether your intentions for the date are to relax or be active, this is a great option. You can soak in the sun, take a dip in the water, go for a walk along the shore, or play sports on the sand. You and your date can also move around between these activities freely, which can help to keep the conversation and chemistry flowing.

     

    Coffee Shops

    Coffee shops are a great neutral meeting spot that allow you to indulge in some acceptable caffeine (or not) and just get to know one another.  Conversation is a staple in any coffee shop so you’ll be surrounded by other people engaging one another in a friendly, low key manner.  There’s less pressure and sexual tension at a coffee shop than at a bar anyway. It’s a great first or second date idea.

     

    Go on a Hike

    The US is a beautiful country with breathtaking landscapes almost everywhere. A hike can be a great opportunity for both you and your date to put away your phones and enjoy a special kind of closeness, away from the hustle and bustle of normal life.

     

    Batting Cages

    You may think this only applies to baseball fans, but it’s totally the opposite. Taking part in a game at which you or your date may not be particularly skilled can actually make for playful chemistry. Maybe your date needs some help with his or her form? Learning and struggling at something together is priceless.

     

    Movies

    A solid dating staple since middle school, movies are low-maintenance yet entertaining. They make for easy conversation, a chance to kindle some flames without the dangers that come with, say, discussions about politics or religion.  You also get to feel out one another’s taste in story, movie, and entertainment.

     

    There are many options available for a couple looking to stoke the dating flame in early or active recovery. It’s wise to be careful about getting entangled in an intimate relationship too soon after treatment. You need time to get on your own 2 feet again.  But when it’s time, this kind of relationship can be just what you need to get back in the game of life.

  3. Relationships in Early Recovery

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    Relationships in Early RecoveryRecovering from drug addiction or alcoholism and achieving genuine sobriety involves far more than just staying away from drugs and alcohol. Drugs and alcohol consume every aspect of life until they decide to get sober and enter recovery for their addictions. Jobs, friendships, finances, and most significantly, their relationships with people close to them are affected. Young adult addicts will lie to, cheat, and take advantage of the people who are closest to them to support their drug or alcohol habits. This conduct erodes and destroys relationships and impairs their ability to form new and meaningful relationships. Recovery is a process of healing and learning. Healing old relationships and learning how to fully participate in new ones are part of this process.

    Relationships in Early Recovery

    Early recovery is full of mood swings, difficult experiences, and drastic change. From 30 to 60 to 90 days, an adolescent in recovery changes from one day to the next. Being in a romantic relationship during that time can disturb the natural and necessary flow of recovery. It is recommended forming any new romantic relationships should be abstained from for at least a year. This time should be used to learn and develop new tools to address stress, anger, and other challenging emotions. Adding a new relationship into this mix can impair both the development of those tools and the growth of the relationship. Too many relapses are the result of a breakup or romantic rejection in early recovery. Emotions are fragile as are identities, senses of self-esteem and self-worth. Sex, affection, and attention can feel as good as substances during vulnerable times. Unfortunately, they can leave a young adult feeling as broken and confused as they did before.

    Working to reconcile existing primary relationships with friends and family members should take precedence. Addiction is seen as a family disease and an illness that impacts everyone in an addict’s life. Neglecting to heal these relationships can result in lingering anger, shame, or resentment within them. Preventing past relationships from moving forward complicates the ability to create new ones.

     

    Sustain Recovery Services in southern California helps adolescents and young adults to recover from drug and alcohol addiction through extended care services. Please see our website or call us at 949-407-9052 for more information on how we can assist in helping you or a loved one build a new life with a solid foundation in sobriety.

The people at Sustain Recovery are truly passionate about their work. They put all their love, energy and spiritual strength in to it. They continue to support me today as I continue my ongoing journey in my personal recovery. I now have over a year of sobriety, my own apartment, a job, true friends and a support network that is always available to me. Although all that stuff is great, what matters most today is that I love myself and have the ability to love others. Thank you to all who had a hand and heart in Sustain Recovery

Jenn
© 2022 OCTLC Inc.