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Dating and Addiction Recovery Can Be A Tough Mix

You’ve hardly gone a few weeks without a boyfriend since you were in high school.  Even through all your drug addiction problems, you’ve had a few steady guys.  So now that you are trying to stay sober, you’ve been hearing that you are better off single.  Nobody needs to tell you what to do with your love life.  Why all the fuss?

Why Are You Dating During Addiction And Recovery

First, I want to ask you a deceptively simple question.  Why do you have or want a boyfriend?  Do you just want someone around to have fun?  Are you in it for a sexual relationship?  Do you want to get married soon?  This is important to understand right from the start.  And once you think you know what your true answer is, your path during addiction recovery can become more clear to you.

Let’s look at an example.  If you are in a serious relationship wanting to get married, your alcohol addiction has probably been a source of pain and conflict.  Your recovery period is an important time of becoming well and being sure you are still even wanting to get married anytime soon.  If sobriety has made you uncertain that you are ready for such a commitment, it’s best to figure it out now.  By the same token, if your relationship has become more certain and stable from your addiction recovery journey, you might feel more ready than ever before.  It is really hard to know until you ask yourself this question directly and honestly.

Dating Can Sometimes Fill Up Drug Addiction Emptiness

Some women going through addiction recovery have a kind of “V-8” experience.  It truly dawns on them that they have made some poor choices when it comes to men.  The string of boyfriends one after the other, the drama, the pain of rejection when they move on or cheat, etc.  “So that’s why I’ve had such lousy luck with men – I picked them when I was doing drugs.”

Addiction always comes with a vast feeling of emptiness.  Lack of purpose, lack of understanding your own feelings, lack of confidence, lack of feeling acceptance from others, lack of something to give to the world or in a relationship, and many other things.  So, the sensations, the time and energy spent getting the drugs, and all the drama created during a drug addiction fills in some of this space.  Romantic relationships can serve the same purpose.  “At least I have someone” becomes a good enough reason to have casual sex, lower personal standards, take abuse, tolerate awful behavior, and lose trust.

Dating Can Be A Real Distraction For Addiction Recovery

Remember the first time you really really liked a guy?  Had a crush on him, or even felt you were falling in love?  Let’s face it – this first period of infatuation is totally distracting!!  How can you really be in this kind of state AND do the very difficult job of taking a hard honest look at your own life of addiction?  Can you truly be accountable to becoming a healthy person when you are still becoming involved with such a huge distraction?

It makes a big difference who you spend time with and why when you are recovering from drug addiction.  Dating is no exception.  If you’ve only been dating casually, this is the time to declare singleness until you are ready to be a healthy person in a healthy relationship.  If you are already dating someone seriously, it’s time for a relationship checkup – why you are together and whether it can handle your sobriety.

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