Romance in Recovery: Should Two Recovering Addicts Date?

Making a decision about relationships during recovery can be challenging. While this is a very personal decision, many addiction treatment counselors recommend waiting a year or more before taking this step. Should you delay or dismiss a building attraction to someone you meet in drug rehab?

We all need loving relationships and, of course, we have the right to create or rebuild relationships as part of a full and rewarding life. However, building an environment and lifestyle that will support long-term sobriety is a strenuous process, and timing plays a critical role in this decision.

Ask yourself these questions when deciding if you are ready to date and what type of partner will provide the support and inspiration you need to keep moving forward toward your goals.

What Sparks Romance Between People in Recovery?

  • Transference

It is important to recognize that the process of therapy creates feelings of connection and attraction, whether to your fellow residents or to caring staff members. The sharing of honest feelings and emotions has a natural tendency to create feelings of intimacy, which often dissipate after therapy is complete.

  • Replacement

Romantic thoughts and feelings can also be a substitute for the rush of brain chemicals associated with drug or alcohol abuse. The pleasurable feelings of a new romance can be an addictive or obsessive replacement for achieving a natural chemical balance through sobriety.

  • Genuine Connections

It is healthy and normal to be attracted to what people share in therapy, to express and accept empathy and understanding, or to build strong bonds while going through an emotional experience together.

Advantages of Dating Someone in Recovery

What Are the Advantages of Dating Someone in Recovery?

There are successful relationships between individuals who are secure in their sobriety. Some of the advantages of this type of relationship include:

  • Understanding and accepting each other’s past behavior.
  • Joint commitment to a sober lifestyle together.
  • Discovering a deeper level of emotional and spiritual connection by sharing the recovery journey.
  • Providing mutual support and honest accountability.

What Are the Disadvantages of Dating Someone in Recovery?

In many cases, the stress and risks associated with dating a fellow addict during substance abuse treatment or alcohol rehab may outweigh the advantages of pairing up at this crucial juncture. Some questions to consider are:

  • Is their commitment to recovery equally as strong as yours?
  • If they experience a relapse will it put your own recovery at risk?
  • Will you be more or less likely to relapse together?
  • Will you feel responsible if a breakup occurs and triggers a relapse for your partner?
  • Will you be strong enough to end the relationship if it puts your recovery at risk?

Building Relationships from a Strong Foundation

At Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers, we understand that addiction treatment is a healing experience, which broadens horizons and deepens relationships. As part of inpatient therapy or outpatient rehab, putting your recovery first may mean putting off romance until you are strong and secure in your new lifestyle.

With a holistic approach to inpatient care, our Palm Beach and Lancaster County retreats will help you create the solid foundation of self-awareness that will empower you or your loved one to create truly meaningful relationships. Reach out to us today to find out how the journey begins.