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Dating Someone in Recovery: How to Support Them & Feel Loved

Dating a recovering addict can be challenging. After all, recovery affects both people in the relationship. If you’re dating someone healing from an addiction, it’s important to understand the tools for supporting both yourself and your partner. Here we will discuss what it’s like to date a recovering addict and how to approach the relationship in a healthy manner.

The Experience of Dating a Recovering Addict

While everyone’s experience differs, many people encounter similar challenges when dating recovering addicts. Addiction can play a constant role in your relationship over a long period of time. Someone recovering from addiction may attend a treatment program, therapy, counseling, or support group sessions as ways to maintain their sobriety. Mental health issues may also play a role in their addiction. While your partner may not abuse addictive drugs anymore, they may still struggle with their mental health, which is its own journey of understanding. When you’re dating a recovering addict, compromise is key. Avoid meeting at specific places or certain situations that could trigger a relapse. For example, if you’re dating someone recovering from alcoholism, then you may need to avoid bars and certain restaurants. When you’re dating a recovering drug addict, then clubs or parties—where abuse may occur—can also be triggering for your potential partner. It’s crucial to talk through these issues and your partner’s triggers with your partner, so you can build a romantic relationship that works for both of you.

Is Dating a Recovering Addict Always a Good Idea?

Dating a recovering addict is not always healthy at each stage of the healing process. A healthy relationship depends on a variety of factors, such as:

  • Your own life situation
  • Both of your expectations
  • Where your partner is in their recovery journey
  • How you both act towards each other in the recovery process

First, you need to be prepared for a possible relapse. Research shows that between 40% and 60% of people who have struggled with drug addiction or alcoholism will relapse. If relapse occurs during your relationship, it can be very challenging to witness. Stay aware of the signs and symptoms of drugs or alcohol addiction. This will allow you both to prevent relapse and the hardship that comes with it. It can be upsetting to watch a loved one fall prey to addiction. Addiction can wreak havoc on their mental and physical health, as well as changing what they’re like as a person. This is difficult for both parties involved. If you’re thinking about dating a recovering addict, examine your own views on addiction. Some people look down on addicts as weak or having no control. If you see addiction in a negative light, then dating a recovering addict will be more challenging for both you and your partner. Look out for red flags indicating relapse when dating a recovering drug addict. This might include signs of secrecy or deception. If anything doesn’t seem quite right, then it’s vital to trust your gut and help your partner seek help.

How to Support a Recovering Addict or Alcoholic

It can be difficult to support someone recovering from a drug addiction or alcoholism. You may believe you’re powerless and that recovery is a solo endeavor, but that’s not true: You can offer a great deal of encouragement and support. This may include:

  • Learning your partner’s triggers and helping them avoid them – Not drinking or using drugs around your partner could be a massive help in this respect.
  • Accepting the past of a recovering addict – You cannot change someone’s past; you can only accept it. By recognizing that the person you’re dating made mistakes and is trying to improve, you have a better chance at a healthy relationship.
  • Accept your partner’s current journey to recovery – Long-term recovery may involve attending a treatment center or mental health treatment. If you can show understanding about the importance of these treatment options, then you will help an addict in recovery to feel understood and respected.
  • Set boundaries – A healthy relationship with a drug addict in recovery depends on boundaries. These boundaries can help ensure that your partner stays sober.
  • Keep communication open – You can only support a recovering drug addict if you know what they’re going through. Let your partner know they can open up to you without feeling judged. Offer sympathy when speaking about the struggles of recovery.
  • Consider yourself – Dating a recovering addict can make you feel like you’re saving them from addiction. It’s important to avoid this kind of dynamic, as it can raise your levels of stress and worry, preventing you from living your own life. Instead, try to build open communication in the relationship. Talk to your potential partner about what you expect from the relationship and remain open as things change and grow. Your own mental health is just as important to a healthy relationship.

Dating a recovering addict or dating in recovery isn’t simple, but it can be worth it. By keeping the above points in mind, you can make the whole experience smoother for both of you. Maintaining strength and compassion in this situation will give you the best foundation on which to build a healthy romantic relationship. If you or your partner struggle with substance abuse, Washburn House is an addiction treatment center in Worcester, MA that can help. Contact a caring team member today to begin your road to recovery.

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