Beginning a Relationship in Early Recovery: Good or Bad Idea?

Some people may even seek to replace their addictions with the high that comes from new love. These feelings of loneliness or desire for euphoria may cause a person to consider dating in recovery too early or before they are ready. Getting into a relationship in early recovery can create a pattern of using relationships as distractions, that continues long into recovery.

why are relationships bad in early recovery

Part of this process is accepting that repairing the damage your addiction has done to your relationships will only happen gradually over time—based on what you do rather than what you say. The saying “actions speak louder than words” is especially accurate related to recovery. When you are newly sober, you have not had the time to develop healthy ways of dealing with life and the emotions that come with it. This means that whenever you are feeling uncomfortable, you are likely to turn to the other person in the relationship for comfort.

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A lot of that work will take a back seat once a new relationship commands your attention. Stephen “Medley” is the founding owner of Stages of Recovery, Inc. and The Door Sober Living Community. A visionary with a passion to help those in recovery, he saw a need in the community and decided to take matters into his own hands. After getting clean at the age of nineteen, he knows firsthand how to show many of our younger clients that it is still possible to have fun in recovery.

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Focusing on your own well-being and recovery can help you to manage these symptoms and get through this challenging time. If you fear at all that the pain of a relationship gone wrong may drive you to drugs and alcohol, you still need time to focus on recovery. Whether that means a string of bad partners that used alongside you, abusive partners, or partners whose attention you used to build your own self-worth, there can be a lot to heal from.

What You Need to Know about Relationships and Recovery

As Program Director, he conceived and implemented The Door concept and has written multiple grants for this program and others. He is talented at blending the nature of business practices into the field of social services. Cole was born and raised in Lubbock and has been in recovery for over ten years, proving that you can get clean in the same town you live in. He is a proud graduate of the Lubbock County Drug Court program and advocates that Drug Courts work. He holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in social work from Texas Tech University. Cole has an inspirational wife, Veronica, and two beautiful children, Eliana and Wyatt.

Anyone who has your best interests at heart will want you to focus on your recovery and won’t pressure you to start a relationship before you’re ready. If you are already in a relationship at the time you get sober, things can be a little trickier. You need to determine if that relationship is worth saving, and if it is, you and your partner need to move slowly and work on repairing yourselves before you try to repair the relationship. Your partner may have their own issues to deal with, such as codependency.

Relationship Red Flags: People to Avoid During Recovery

This dependence can lead to someone having strong physical cravings or thoughts of wanting to use drugs or alcohol. “Love addiction” refers to the euphoria many people experience during the honeymoon phase of a relationship, and getting “addicted” to love during recovery can present unique challenges. It’s not uncommon for people early in recovery to turn to someone else to have their needs fulfilled, avoid fear and emotional pain, or solve problems. Having an external person validate you, or “fix” you, can be very tempting, but it’s ultimately harmful to your recovery.

why are relationships bad in early recovery

Even if you could pursue a romantic relationship without sacrificing the effort you’ve been putting toward your recovery, it’s still not a good idea. After all, this would require you to stretch yourself extremely thin, putting additional stress on you that, in all likelihood, could even culminate in a relapse. In terms of the relationships you want to improve, how long did it take to damage them in the ways that you had prior to commencing recovery?

If you do this, you will not have the chance to develop healthy coping mechanisms, which is an integral part of the early recovery process. The relationship is also more likely to go wrong if you have not taken the time to learn how to regulate your own emotions first. Boundaries are a necessary concept to evaluate and reevaluate throughout any stage in one’s life to maintain healthy and safe relationships. When relationships in recovery someone is just getting out of substance abuse treatment, boundaries are arguably one of the most critical practices to master, other than physically not using drugs or alcohol. Dating in early recovery also significantly increases the risk of entering a toxic relationship. While in recovery, you are in a state of heightened emotional vulnerability, making you more likely to attract abusive partnerships.

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