Dating in Recovery

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, PLEASE call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

While in recovery, our relationships can make all the difference between wanting to get better and actually accomplishing our goals. The kinds of relationships we choose mirror how we feel about ourselves and are an excellent indicator of our feelings of self-worth. When we don’t value ourselves, we attract and stay in relationships that hurt us. We allow ourselves to be disrespected and treated unkindly. We experience abuse of all kinds – verbal, emotional, and physical. We don’t realize our worth, or our potential, and our lack of self-belief manifests in our partnerships and friendships. We settle for less than we deserve. We make choices that are not in our best interest. We distract ourselves from our goals with our relationships.

When we have yet to heal, we often will self-sabotage and self-destruct via our relationships. We enable each other’s addictive patterns and perpetuate each other’s harmful cycles. We encourage each other to use addictive substances, and to stay in our addictive, obsessive relationships. We lie, steal and cover for each other. We’re not supporting each other’s recovery, we’re exacerbating our illnesses. Addiction often exists alongside mental health issues, and when we have yet to recover, we’re worsening each other’s mental illnesses as well. We convince each other that we don’t have a serious problem. We keep each other from getting help. We abusively keep our partners from leaving. We threaten them with self-harm or even suicide in a desperate attempt not to lose them. Our fears of abandonment and rejection compound our addictions, our depression, our anxiety and our panic, and it isn’t long before we’re suffering from vicious recurring cycles of suffering and self-destruction.

One of the things we learn about recovery is to try to avoid any huge life changes or transitions during the initial recovery phases. We do this to try to prevent ourselves from being overly affected by extra stress, worry and overwhelm. We want to minimize the issues and complications we’re having to deal with during such a tenuous and vulnerable time. It is a common recommendation not to start any new relationships when you’re new to recovery, to give yourself time to acclimate to your new lifestyle without the distraction and stress of a new partnership. It’s also recommended that you give yourself some space and time from your old relationships, particularly the ones that were most toxic and triggering for you, to enable you to have healthy distance in which to clear your head and reconnect with your intuition.

We make healthier choices when we’re not embroiled in the confusion and toxicity of relationships. Dating in recovery can be complicated, but when we look at the different emotional factors behind our choices, we can start to prioritize our sanity and serenity and look forward to a life in recovery.

With the help of Riverside Recovery, your new life can start today. We are a drug and alcohol treatment center offering a full continuum of care to treat addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. Call (800) 871-5440 today for more information on how we can help.