Dating can be scary and overwhelming no matter who you are. There is a lot of pressure that comes with dating and it can be difficult to handle the pressure gracefully, especially if you are new to recovery.
If you plan on dating after overcoming addiction, you need to be sure that you take the time to make sure you plan ahead to ensure that you don’t fall prey to temptation and end up relapsing. The following guide walks you through tips you can use to make dating after an addiction as easy as it can possibly be.
Learn About Your Sober Self
The first thing you need to do when you want to date after finding recovery is wait until you know yourself. Dating can be tempting, but you need to wait before you start dating so that you can get to know yourself again. The person you were when you were on drugs isn’t who you are at heart. The things that you enjoyed doing when you were high or drunk are more than likely not the things that you enjoy doing when you are sober.
Take the time to date yourself before you try to date anyone else. You need to know what you do and don’t like to do. Determine how you feel you should be treated and what you deserve out of a partner before you try to find one.
Go to Counseling
Drug use often starts because there is something in your life that has caused you physical or mental anguish. Going to a counselor allows you to learn what issues you are facing and how to tackle them in a positive, healthy way.
You want to be sure that you address any issues that you have so that you can start a healthy relationship with someone and be able to handle the turmoil that comes with being in a relationship. There is a lot of stress, anxiety, and joy that can come with a relationship, so you want to be sure that you are properly prepared for it.
Go to Group Addiction Meetings
Group meetings can be crucial when it comes to having a happy and healthy life in recovery. You need to be able to talk to others who understand how addiction affects your thinking and decision making. If you are in a relationship with someone who has never suffered from an addiction, it can be hard for them to grasp the severity of your situation.
They may not realize how impactful a harsh phrase or missed phone calls can be for you. Having a support system you can turn to do discuss how you are feeling can help you to prevent giving in to the temptation to use drugs or drink when you feel anxious or depressed about something going on in your counseling.
Be Honest About Your Addiction Recovery
The last thing you want to do is try to hide that you had an addiction problem with the person that you choose to date. The truth will come out eventually and you don’t want someone that you are trying to build a future with to think that you are lying to them. If you tell them a lie or simply fail to tell them about your addiction at all, it will seem like your relationship is built on lies and could make it difficult for them to have faith in you at all.
Telling the person whom you want to be in a relationship with your addiction also helps to ensure that they understand why you feel leery about going to parties or being around people who are drinking. This could help them to ensure that they only take you to places where the drinking is minimal to decrease the temptation to use. You need to have enough respect for them to tell them the truth about your situation.
Don’t Assume You’re Over Your Addiction
Another huge mistake that people make when it comes to being in a relationship is that they assume they are over their addiction completely if they have completed a treatment program. Addiction is a disease that you will battle for the rest of your life. It’s important to know that you will be tempted to use drugs or drink on a daily basis forever. You need to be sure that you keep your distance from drugs and alcohol as much as you can.
If the person that you want to date drinks or does drugs on a regular basis, you may want to consider if the relationship is really worth pursuing. You want to be sure that you choose a relationship that will be healthy for you to be in. Surrounding yourself with temptation isn’t a good idea because the first time that something goes awry in your relationship, there is a good chance that you could relapse because the drugs and alcohol are so readily available.
When you feel that you are ready to start a relationship with someone new, it’s a good idea to take things slowly at first. Being in a relationship when you are in recovery versus when you were intoxicated is completely different. Some aspects of a relationship are far more difficult when you are sober because you actually care about someone other than yourself. When things start to get difficult, talk to the person that you are in the relationship about the way that you are feeling. There are things in the relationship that may need to be adjusted to ensure that both of you are as comfortable as you can be.
Confronting issues head-on allows both of you to learn and grow as a couple. You want to be sure that you provide your loved one with the opportunity to get to know the real you and the best way to do that is to be honest when issues arise and to work together to build the best relationship that you can.
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