Going back to the dating scene can feel like a huge leap following addiction and recovery. Early recovery is typically not a time to jump into new things because of all the other new things happening in recovery. Some people make some dating mistakes in early recovery if they’re not careful. Here are some to be mindful of and how to avoid the potential pitfalls.
There are some challenging relationship pitfalls a person in early recovery may want to avoid. It depends on the individual and where they are in recovery, but these mistakes that happen are pretty typical and may be avoided if they are known beforehand:
- Watch out for sobriety. Even if a person thinks they know someone well, they may have a hidden side. Perhaps it is an addiction that was not known before, or well hidden in plain sight of everyone around them. Their addiction may serve as a trigger for an individual in early recovery, or really at any point. It may be time to end a relationship with someone before compromising recovery for themselves.
- Unnecessary drama. When contemplating a reconnection with people in early recovery, it can be difficult to know what to expect. It can feel like being launched backwards in time to have to focus on other people and their drama. Some people who lie, manipulate, steal, or are otherwise toxic and unhealthy can reel others back into their orbit. To be on this emotional roller coaster can drive people to the point of relapse. It is generally best to keep a safe distance from them in early recovery (or perhaps forever).
- Losing self focus. Being in recovery is about rediscovering what makes up a person’s life and cultivating the most important relationship with oneself. Getting involved in relationships with others can detract time and energy away from that end. Perhaps it ends up being that one’s free time is completely devoted to this and it does not feel like enough is devoted to recovery.
Happily Ever After
Even if a person is in recovery from addiction, it does not mean they can never ever be in a relationship. There is a time and place to engage in a relationship that will be healthier and stronger as a result of spending time early on shoring themselves up for the long haul of recovery. The person that gets into a relationship with someone in recovery needs to be compassionate and able to understand the nuances of what it means to love someone in recovery. If that person can be okay with all of that, then they may just be a keeper.
The Springboard Center’s addiction treatment programs are tailored to meet the needs of each client. We strive to help you meet others in a group environment so that you spend time with others sharing the journey of recovery together. Call us to find out how to get started: 432-620-0255