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Flirting with Disaster: 4 Reasons to Put Off Romance in Recovery


January 22, 2018

It is so tempting. You have met someone new, and you are feeling good about yourself. You want to see if you can make this work. However, many drug rehab facilities have rules against forming romantic connections during treatment. Why could a romantic relationship be difficult during your recovery?

1. You Are Getting to Know Yourself While You Are Sober 

It is far easier to have a strong relationship when both people know themselves well. Recovery is a process of getting to know yourself all over again. You are trying to establish new patterns, and these patterns should be positive, not self-destructive.

On Medium, one man in recovery stated that he was “restless, irritable and discontent in life, so I used drugs and alcohol to cover up these feelings, and I was also doing it in relationships.”

You need to move into a stronger place personally before you enter a relationship.

2. You May Need to Find New Social Groups 

You could be lucky enough to have a group of friends and family members who are easily able to support you in your recovery. They make sure that events are alcohol-free and avoid activities that used to be triggers for you.

However, you could have a social group that is challenged by your sobriety. If you start a relationship within that social group, it could be tempting to take actions that you will regret, all in the name of your newfound relationship. Going out on a Friday night with the old crowd? If they are not supportive, it could be time to find those who are and go out with them instead, before you begin a relationship that will connect you to people who have behavior that does not support your recovery.

Addiction recovery

A romantic relationship can be a new addiction, and it is not always positive for those in recovery.

3. You Can Be Swayed By the Intensity of Your Experience 

Have you ever fallen in love on vacation? Sometimes it sticks, but not always. If you have had an intense emotional experience or you have been thrown together with other people in a situation that forces emotional intimacy, then it can be difficult to prevent yourself from falling for someone.

Recovery is an emotionally intense time, and according to US News, it is “easy for many to find replacement addictions, such as a love addiction, to replace the high the drug or alcohol provided.”

Even if you do not fall for someone who is in your addiction recovery group, you are potentially in an intense emotional state that makes you more likely to dive into a relationship that you may not be ready for quite yet.

4. There Is the Possibility That It Could Go Wrong 

In any relationship, there is a possibility of a breakup. Even if your relationship seems simple and loving at first, there are also challenges that you will need to manage as you go along. Any long-term relationship has difficulties that you need to talk about, and this can be emotionally challenging.

Before you tackle these new interpersonal challenges, you need to set up strong, healthy patterns of working with others in conflict and supporting yourself as you go through hard times. Otherwise, you could find yourself seeking out drugs and alcohol again as a fallback when times get tough in your relationship. You could also find yourself looking to your new love interest as a source of wisdom in your life when you really need to looking inward first.

When you are doing well in your physical and mental health, you are better able to take on the challenges and delights of a romantic relationship. We want you to be confident in your recovery. That is why we have programs that do not just focus on rehab; they focus on your long-term addiction recovery. Contact us today to learn more about the addiction recovery options we can offer you.

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