There is an unwritten rule against dating during addiction recovery. Recovery programs commonly recommend abstaining from dating the first year. Recovery is all about healing and learning how to live without substance use, and that first year of sobriety can be a challenge. Navigating the dating scene or starting a new relationship while working through recovery is a recipe for disaster.
At the beginning of a new relationship, we are inundated with emotions — thrilling highs and lows. Learning to manage emotions is one of the greatest challenges of recovery since drugs and alcohol are typically used to numb emotions.
Choosing a Partner
The rush or highs of dating can be intoxicating, literally. Those fresh out of recovery may be susceptible to that intoxicating feeling which can lead to substituting one addiction for another. Infatuation can be mistaken for love. Thus, someone could fall victim to the pitfalls of dating because they have not fully resolved their emotional issues of seeking things outside themselves to fill a void within.
Developing an unhealthy attachment to someone can also derail recovery efforts. Within that first year of recovery, one is still emotionally unstable and unhealthy. If you are emotionally unhealthy, then you are likely to attach to other unhealthy people. People in recovery often look to others to rescue or fix them. It can be especially burdensome to put your emotional baggage on your partner, making forming a healthy relationship impossible.
Once you have successfully completed treatment and waited a year, you will have a better chance of picking the right partner. Recovery programs help people to develop coping skills and to seek comfort within themselves rather than with drugs or relationships.