The prevailing theory when it comes to romantic relationships while in recovery is that they should be entered with caution, if at all. Recovering from a drug and alcohol addiction is usually a time where people feel vulnerable and emotionally fragile. Striking a relationship with someone while in rehab can either, diminish or, increase a person’s chances at success.
Wait it Out
There are several reasons why someone may want to hold off on a relationship whilst undergoing treatment. Despite the positive feelings of joy we all feel when beginning a new relationship there is some merit in deferred gratification. The industry standard commonly recommended is one year removed from treatment before beginning new relationships. Here are some good reasons why it makes sense to take it slow when it comes to love in recovery.
- You won’t want to drag an innocent person into your troubles. We may not realize it but it can be very easy to transfer our set of problems onto others without necessarily being aware. Addiction has a tendency to adversely affect the lives of the people that are closest to the addict. Take the time in recovery to focus solely on you and nothing else. So when you are clean and sober you can dedicate more time and effort to your partner.
- You get some time to get acquainted with the new and improved version of yourself. You might find that you are a completely different person and this can take some time getting adjusted. It can be confusing to have add another personality into the equation when we barely grasp our new circumstances.
- Getting into another relationship so close to an addiction will more than likely precipitate another relapse if things happen to go sour at some point. Best not to tempt fate.
- Relationships can be cumbersome and that is the exact opposite of what you need while in recovery. You must be as comfortable as possible so that you can focus all your energies on getting better.
Some Relationships Work
With all that being said it is possible to be in a successful relationship during recovery. Some people truly do bring out the best in each other and it is possible that certain relationships can help facilitate positive change and growth in those individuals.
There have been many instances where people attribute their recovery completely to their better half. It makes perfect sense upon further inspection; after all that is what a good relationship is supposed to do – bring out the best in one another.
Only You Know
Regardless if you find yourself in a relationship during recovery or not it always is prudent to take your time. Your number one priority should be getting clean and sober and anything that detracts from that must be addressed immediately.
Only you know what is truly best for your particular situation. Always ask yourself if this is best for my long term chances at a full recovery. If not, don’t give it the time of day. Never sacrifice your life for someone else. No matter how infatuated you may be with a person it is never worth jeopardizing your livelihood. Remember that you are good enough on your own and you don’t need anyone else to validate your worthiness. Good relationships stand the test of time because they respect one another’s boundaries and love each other unconditionally.