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Pro Tip: Don’t have a rehab romance. Here’s why you shouldn’t.

Pro-Tip: Don’t have a rehab romance. Here’s why.

You finally made the decision to go to treatment. You arrive, and you’re suddenly surrounded by people who have had a similar experience to you. Finally, people who understand you, and understand your struggle. Soon, you find yourself falling for someone, and it feels just right. After all, maybe this person was the missing piece all along, right?

Not exactly.

We get it. Being in the early stages of addiction is a tumultuous and difficult time. Whether you are in rehab or just left, the experience can leave you feeling vulnerable and lonely. However, many experts agree forming a relationship during this very crucial period is a horrible idea.

Starting a relationship, or fling, during treatment is a definite no-no, but for many people in rehab, it’s a hard rule to swallow. That’s why many treatment centers make an effort to keep men and women strictly apart.

Why Starting a Relationship in Rehab is Dangerous

The appeal of starting a romantic relationship in rehab is understandable; however, this type of connection can be extremely harmful. Positive relationships are crucial in the early stages of recovery.

You need the support of those who have your best interests at heart such as therapists, health care workers, and sponsors. These people are there to help you develop tools that will keep you sober.

A relationship may distract you from your purpose and hinder your recovery. Also, you are more likely to make mistakes during these early stages which can affect any romantic relationship.

Here are few more reasons why this is a horrible idea:

  • You Are Vulnerable

In treatment, you are constantly exploring your emotions, and you are having therapists guide you to the core of who you are. This time is a sensitive time for anyone, and there will be times where you are extremely vulnerable because of these experiences. Having relationships during this ultra-sensitive time Is likely to push you over the edge.

  • A Romance Won’t Fill the Void Your Addiction Left

When your drug or drink is gone, a gaping void will be left, and the point of treatment is to find something of substance to fill that void with. This void should be filled with self-understanding, a higher power, acceptance, or forgiveness, not a rehab romance. A rehab romance is just as unstable as an addiction, and will not give you the coping tools you desperately need.

  • You Both Are in Treatment for a Reason

Just like two wrongs don’t make a right, two people struggling with addiction don’t make a couple. Two nearly-sober people are not the ideal match for a successful, long-lasting relationship. While there are exceptions to every rule, they are very rare. Why risk your sobriety?  Instead, focus on your recovery and learning about yourself.

  • Diseases

It is not the easiest conversation, but the reality is, many people come to treatment with past unhealthy behaviors. There is a risk of contraction when two addicts in treatment get together. It is better to start a relationship where all health concerns are addressed prior.

  • The “Joy” of Mass Disapproval

In a relationship, you usually want your friends, family, and mentors to approve of your new romance. This will not happen in a rehab romance. You will hear it from your sponsor, therapist, and loved ones. This type of friction in a new relationship is far from ideal.

  • Time is of the Essence

You must take time to figure out who you are before you can make someone else happy. You are still learning what you want in a new relationship, without the use of harmful substances. Take time to learn about yourself before your commit to someone else.

  • Excuses, Excuses

Often, many addicts choose to get into a relationship to put off the challenges treatment requires. If the breakup occurs, which it likely will, you will be forced to look at yourself down the road. Putting off the crucial treatment you need deters you from staying sober for an extended period. Treatment is a crucial time to let go of the excuses and focus on recovery.

  • Good Relationships Must Wait

There is a reason you ended up in rehab, and it isn’t because you have life all figured out yet. If you put the time into recovery and becoming a better person, eventually you will meet the man and woman that you always wanted and you will be prepared to handle the challenge of a healthy relationship.


We are not trying to judge your decisions; however addiction is a serious disease, so recovery should be your number one priority. Do not deter your focus for a quick romance.  Please reach out if you are struggling with romance in rehab, or any addiction hardship. If your or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free 1-800-777-9588.

Author: Shernide Delva 

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