It can be hard to find a romantic partner. If you have any history of addiction, then this can make the situation even more difficult. It can feel like you will never meet the right person, or that you are not worthy of such things as true love. This feeling is very common for people in recovery, especially those who have struggled with addiction for years before they got sober.
Because of this, it is not unusual for many people in recovery to quickly jump into a relationship if they find the opportunity to do so. It is even very common to date someone in the same AA or NA group.
In some ways, having a partner during this challenging stage in your life can have its advantages. It means you have someone to share your recovery journey with as well as have the love and support of another person. However, a new relationship can also be detrimental to your recovery process. Instead of helping, it can backfire on you and make you lose sight of your sobriety goals. So, before you get into a new relationship while in addiction recovery, ask yourself these questions first to help you decide if it is the right step for you.
Am I emotionally ready to go into a new relationship?
Recovery can be tough. There will be good days and there will certainly be bad days. There will be moments when you might feel that you want to just give up. This is the reason why many people in addiction recovery go through a roller coaster of emotions, anxiety, depression, etc. The bad news is that you will have to deal with these unstable emotions without the aid of drugs and alcohol.
When you enter a new relationship, you also have to invest emotionally into it. You can’t just be thinking about what you feel but you also have to consider the feelings of your partner. If you are still emotionally unstable, it can be hard for you to deal with the normal ups and downs couples go through. A simple lover’s quarrel could turn into a major argument just because you are still struggling with your own addiction recovery issues.
Before you decide to find love again, ask yourself if you are ready and able to handle all the emotional stuff that comes with a relationship. Are you going into a relationship because you genuinely care for the person or maybe you’re using your partner as a substitute for your addiction?
Can I be totally honest with my partner about my past?
If you are seeing someone new, have you told this person about your past addiction? If not, what is stopping you from talking about it? Have you thought about the consequences if they find out on their own? Maybe you’re wondering if it’s worth telling them now, or should you wait until later in the relationship?
If you’re planning to start a serious relationship with someone you are dating, it is best to be upfront about your past. It’s important to tell your partner about your past addiction so they can be aware of any triggers that might cause you to relapse. It can also help them understand why certain things make you uncomfortable or angry and what kind of support system will help the two of you get through tough situations together. You should also talk about how much time has passed since your last use and whether or not there are times when stress makes it hard for you to stay away from substances.
If you feel that you are not ready to be honest about these things yet, it can be a sign that you are not yet ready to engage in a serious relationship.
Will my relationship get in the way of my recovery?
When a person is heartbroken or having love problems, one of the most common coping mechanisms is to drink alcohol. As someone in addiction recovery, you do not have the luxury to do that. You will have to deal with your issues without the help of booze.
You might be thinking that your new relationship is so perfect that you probably won’t have any problems but remember that every relationship is great in the beginning. Even if you’re the most perfect couple, there will still be struggles along the way. Ask yourself if you are emotionally mature to handle potential problems and not be tempted to drink or do drugs.
If you’re going to fight with your partner today, will that drive you to drink alcohol? If your answer is yes, then maybe you need more time to focus on yourself and strengthen your recovery process before finding new love.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, help is available.
Contact Morningside Recovery today.