Tips for dating a recovering addict
Before diving into a relationship, find out if your prospective partner is actively using drugs or alcohol, or if they display addictive or compulsive patterns in other areas (e.g., gambling, work, sex, food or spending).If you care about someone in active addiction, help them into treatment and hold off on turning a friendship into more until they’re grounded in their recovery.They may have accrued significant debt, declared bankruptcy or had other financial problems.They may still be working out legal issues and trying to earn their way back into the lives of family and friends.Someone with less than a year sober should stay focused on their recovery program, not dating.This guideline is designed to protect the addict as well as the people they might date.If you’ve struggled with addiction yourself, be extra cautious – your use can trigger their relapse, and their relapse could spell ruin for both of you.
Short of a relapse, there still may be times when they fall into old habits, such as withdrawing from friends and family or telling lies.In working with the spouses and significant others of addicts, I’ve often heard it said, “I’d rather be an addict than love one.” While few people would ever walk eyes-wide-open into a chronic disease like addiction, the statement speaks to the confusion, loneliness and despair common not only among addicts but also the men and women who love them. In fact, addicts who are solid in their recovery can make excellent partners.A history of addiction doesn’t necessarily turn Mr./Mrs. They’ve waged a courageous battle, spending a great deal of time working to take care of and improve themselves.Your recovering addict partner will need your support, and as much as you love him, he will try your patience at times.Sometimes love is not enough to make a relationship work in the face of real problems.
The important thing is that you find someone who meets your needs.