What You Need To Know When Dating A Recovering Addict
Establishing a healthy romantic relationship is not always easy, but dating a former drug addict or alcoholic can present its own unique challenges. If you have met someone and you feel a connection you would like to explore, but have just found out he is in recovery, you may be wondering if you should go forward. If you do continue the relationship, you may wonder how it will work and what you may be in for. Finding out that someone you like is a recovering addict does not need to be a roadblock, but you should be prepared to meet the challenge.
Do Recovering Addicts Need Extra Support?
Yes, a recovering addict does need support, more than you might expect. To fully understand what this person is going through, and has been through, you should read up on addiction. You should know that addiction is a chronic and lifelong illness. Even if he has been sober for years, he is still in recovery and he still feels the temptation to use again. This means that he needs support from the loved ones in his life. Support and sensitivity from you and from others is what keeps him strong and sober.
Can I Drink Around A Recovering Addict?
A relationship with a recovering addict carries with it some unique characteristics. You may not be able to drink around him, or even engage in other activities like going to parties where drinking or drug use is present. Whether or not you can drink in front of him depends on his individual needs, but it is something you need to consider. You need to be sensitive to his weaknesses and how your actions impact him.
Will A Recovering Addict Relapse?
As you learn more about addiction, you will learn that like other chronic illnesses it comes with the likelihood of relapse. Roughly half of all addicts in recovery will relapse at least once and use again. If you are considering dating a recovering addict, this is something to consider. Will you be able to cope if he does relapse? How will you be prepared to handle the situation? If you are completely unfamiliar with addiction and have no experience with addicts, you may want to attend a few support group meetings or see a drug counselor to learn what to expect and how to help during a relapse.
Can I Trust A Recovering Addict?
One of the biggest issues in relationships with addicts, romantic or otherwise, is trust. Loved ones who have stood by an addict have experienced great breaches of their trust. Whether you will be able to trust an addict in recovery is up to you. Some people will feel they can never trust a former addict, while others may be able to suspend their doubts. The decision is personal and entirely yours to make.
Dating someone in recovery is different from dating someone who has never been an addict. There are downsides and challenges, but there are also some unexpected bonuses. Addicts who have been through therapy and treatment may have a better understanding of how to relate to others, how to communicate and how to develop and maintain healthy relationships. While you may question your ability to trust and worry about relapses, you may just find yourself dating someone who can bring much more to the table. He may be more sensitive, communicative and aware of your needs than anyone else you have dated.
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