You have been sober for three months and feel like you are ready to take your life back. The only hitch is how lonely you been. Perhaps, it is really the only thing that makes you tempted to use anymore, and you think you would do better if you are in a sober relationship.
However, when it comes to the subject of dating, many addicts who have gone before you have discouraged you. If so, it is very good advice, because there are several reasons why you shouldn’t get into a relationship during your first year of sobriety.
1) You Are Not Healthy Enough Yet
The first thing you have to remember is that addiction is an illness, just like any other illness. The years have taken their toll on your mind, body, and spirit. You need more than a few months to recover from it. Consider this:
- You are not healthy enough to bring anything to the relationship.
- This means the success of the relationship will be placed on your partner’s shoulders, which wouldn’t be fair to him or her.
- You would also be cheating yourself, because you would miss out on building a healthy relationship.
- If your partner has an addiction, it will actually make it harder for you – and them – to stay sober.
2) You Need To Focus On You
Dating would be a welcome distraction from your problems, but any distraction right now would take your focus off self-healing.
- If you begin a new relationship now, everything will be about the other person.
- You could lose sight of everything you have just accomplished.
- You could be distracted from your own goals.
- It may sound selfish, but keeping the focus on you during this first year will help to ensure your long-term sobriety.
3) Addiction Treatment Is Intense
You are learning things about yourself during this first year of sobriety. In turn, you are learning how to express yourself, love yourself, and cope with situations that could easily derail your progress.
- You are feeling emotions for the first time that you haven’t felt during your addiction.
- Bringing out those emotions could leave you vulnerable or overwhelmed.
- You need to spend time relearning coping skills.
- If you begin a new relationship now, your emotions will focus on that instead of your recovery.
4) Dating Is Hard Stuff
Dating is like Forest Gump’s box of chocolates – You never know what you are going to get. Your vulnerability may cause you to pick the wrong person, someone who really isn’t right for you.
- The ups and downs that are part of a relationship could be draining for you.
- Getting involved with the wrong person will be toxic to your mind, body, and spirit.
- The danger for relapse is high.
- If you wait a year, you will be more emotionally ready.
5) You Would Be Replacing One Drug With Another
The feelings associated with falling in love are emotionally intoxicating, another high, so to speak. As an addict, you could easily become dependent upon those feel-good emotions quickly.
- Being reliant on the positive emotions a relationship would not allow you to re-develop coping skills.
- When the honeymoon period ends, it will be very difficult for you to handle.
- Relationships take the kind of work you are not ready to put in yet.
- Old wounds could be triggered, and you won’t be ready to handle them.
As tempting as it is, getting into a relationship during your first year of sobriety would jeopardize all of the hard work you have put in so far. You need to participate fully in a program that is sobriety and self-based so that you will, one day, be emotionally available. If you jump into something too soon, you will run the risk of unresolved dependency issues poisoning the relationship you want to build.
Instead, take this first year and put in the work that is necessary to stay sober and get to know yourself without drugs or alcohol. You still have a lot to learn.
If you or your loved one is currently experiencing a problem with addiction to drugs or alcohol, don’t wait until it’s too late. Please Contact Beginnings Treatment Centers now to speak with one of our experienced intake advisors. There is no obligation or cost for the initial consultation, and quick action might save your life or that of your loved one.