A person might feel unsure about being in a relationship with a recovering drug addict. While it’s normal to feel uncertain about committing, there are a few things to keep in mind. A person may feel hesitant about dating someone in recovery because of the negative stereotypes that come to mind. However, it’s important to understand the truth behind a person’s addiction and recovery.
Being in a relationship with a recovering drug addict may have its unique hurdles but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible and beneficial. There are many instances of happy and honest couples where one party is a recovering addict. With this in mind, it’s important to be aware of certain aspects of a recovering addict’s life and thought processes.
The Life of a Recovering Addict
One of the best ways to ensure success when dating a recovering alcoholic or addict is to understand where they are coming from. As with all relationships, knowing your partner’s past is part of building trust and connection. Addiction is a stressful and problematic situation, one that takes hard work and patience to overcome. When understanding recovering addicts and relationships, it’s important to know what they went through.
Addiction is considered a disease, one that impacts a person’s entire life, body, and mind. Living with addiction can be a lonely and life-changing situation and much of the time professional help is necessary for sobriety. With this in mind, it’s important to avoid thinking of recovering individuals in a negative way. The fact that they have taken the steps to live a better and sober life is no easy feat.
Still, as is the case with any romantic relationship, individuals should learn as much as they can when dating someone new. This is no different when it comes to developing a relationship with a person who is in recovery.
Life in Recovery
Recovery truly begins when an addict officially completes their recovery treatment program. Against popular belief, addiction recovery doesn’t end when treatment does. It is a life-long process that requires patience and persistence. While it may have its ups and downs, a person’s life is well improved as a result. A person should continue to attend meetings and make sure they are in a supportive environment.
During recovery, a person may have days that are hard and stressful. It’s important to keep this in mind when dating someone in recovery. In a relationship, you should try to stay supportive and keep their well-being in mind as time goes on.
Questions to Ask When Dating Someone in Recovery
Here are a few things to consider before being in a relationship with a recovering drug addict:
- How long have you been sober?
- What’s your dating history?
- Are you prepared to commit to the relationship?
- Are you enrolled in a recovery program?
- What will your needs be during recovery?
How Long Has the Individual Been Sober?
This is a very important question to ask someone who’s recovering from an addiction. Knowing how long they’ve been sober can help you determine their needs. Someone who has been clean for a few months will likely have completely different needs from someone who’s been sober for a decade. Knowing how long they’ve been sober can give you a good estimate as to what they will need.
What is the Person’s Dating History?
There are many different types of addiction that go past just alcohol and drugs. Some individuals can be addicted to sex or love in general. It’s important for your partner to be honest about his or her dating history. This can give you a better idea of their past relationships and how their situation has had an effect.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that a person in recovery shouldn’t be judged by their past. There is always room for change and improvement when it comes to recovering from an addiction. A person’s dating history can give you a good idea of how being in a relationship with a recovering drug addict will be.
Is Your Partner Prepared to Commit to the Relationship?
Having feelings for someone can be an incredible feeling and comes with many positives. But, it’s important to understand the commitment that must be made by both you and your partner. As with any relationship, commitment is a key part of it. Are you willing to commit to the relationship even with its extra challenges? Are they willing to commit to the relationship as well?
Take time to answer this question honestly and sincerely. Sometimes it takes a bit of time to truly commit, don’t rush into something you aren’t ready for. Sometimes dating a recovering addict has its ups and downs, and it’s important to be aware of these before jumping head first.
Are They Currently Enrolled in a Recovery Program?
Since recovery is a life-long journey, it’s best to be enrolled in a professional recovery program. This helps tremendously with avoiding relapses and triggers down the line. If your partner is not enrolled in a program they should at least be attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings or other support groups. These programs help millions of people every year stay on track and sober.
Dating someone who is actively attending AA meetings can be very beneficial for both of you and increases the chances of a successful relationship. They can continue getting help and staying on track as you support them in the process. It is best to at least attend frequent AA meetings to stay sober and clean.
What Will Your Partner Need in Recovery?
Being in a relationship with a recovering drug addict can be a unique and more complex experience. There are several things to keep in mind, as well as commitments that must be met from the get-go. Several different triggers must be addressed. Various physical and mental needs must be met for a healthy relationship. How involved you’ll be in the process depends on your partner.
Some people may be more private about their addiction efforts at least at the beginning. Others may want you to be involved with the recovery process (attending meetings, etc). Relationships are usually give-and-take situations, and this is especially true when dating a recovering addict. There may be certain things they may need from you, whether this is support or participation in their recovery.
Try to identify and discuss clear needs so you can make an honest decision on whether you would like to commit or not. Make sure that you are comfortable and able to provide what they need during their recovery. At the end of the day, it comes down to meeting a loved one’s needs while keeping yourself taken care of. While dating a recovering alcoholic/addict can be frustrating at times, it is completely achievable and can be just as fulfilling as any other relationship.
How to Adapt When Dating a Recovering Addict
It’s important to know that dating a recovering addict will require certain lifestyle changes as well as adapting as time goes on. However, this call for change could occur in any other relationship as well. While this can seem like a real hassle at first, like most things, it gets easier as time goes on. Change or adaptation shouldn’t stop you from being without someone you want to be with.
If you are someone that enjoys drinking regularly, dating a recovering addict may call for some changes. In some cases a person may not mind being around alcohol; they may not even feel the need to drink at all On the other hand, some addicts may find it difficult to be around other people who are drinking alcohol. This is important to keep in mind when starting off a relationship with a recovering alcoholic or addict.
More likely than not you will have to make some changes in your behavior or lifestyle to ensure that your partner does not relapse. This can be done in a variety of ways like cutting down or eliminating drinking or drug use. If you have to take medication that may be abused, you may need to discuss whether or not this is a trigger for your partner. While this may seem like a burden at first, over time this will strengthen the relationship. After all, you shouldn’t let these changes stop you from following your heart.
Before making any full commitments it’s important to ask your partner the questions above and think over the answers. While recovering addicts and relationships can be complex at times, they can still be fruitful and wonderful like any other relationship.
Getting Addiction Help For a Loved One
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, it may be time to get professional treatment. No matter how bad things may seem, centers like The Owl’s Nest can provide comprehensive treatment. Whether you are dating someone in recovery or someone who hasn’t gotten help yet, it’s important to take the first steps towards a better life.
At The Owl’s Nest, we provide quality treatment in a safe and open environment. We provide intensive outpatient treatment, partial hospitalization programs, supportive housing, and a variety of other treatment options. We strive to make sure you and your loved ones have the best chance at a better life. With a professional team and a safe, open facility, we’re ready to help you on your journey today. The Owl’s Nest is ready to help you right now. Give us a call today to learn more about our treatment options and how to get started.