Rebuilding a Sober Life: Romance in Recovery – Pros and Cons

Conceptual image of female and male hands together

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

In the throes of an addiction, many aspects of life are often destroyed or lost, including health and wellness, personality, character, relationships and the ability to communicate with others.

The hopeful thing is that many of these areas can find restoration and healing through the process of recovery from an addiction. As a person subsides their addictive behaviors, this allows their body and mind to recover from the destructive of an addiction.

Rebuilding a life in addiction recovery often happens gradually. The most crucial parts of healing must be prioritized, and this includes the physical and mental wellness and restoration. Once a person is healed and recovered physically from their addiction, it is more appropriate to begin working on other aspects of living, including relationships.

Careful Considerations for a Romantic Relationship

Engaging in a romantic relationship is a decision that should be made with careful consideration in recovery from addiction. If you are in recovery from an addiction and are wondering whether or not it may be acceptable to start dating, there are many important factors to consider, such as the following:

Physical Stability:

Are you physically well enough to begin resuming activity that you previously enjoyed prior to your addiction? Are you able to care for yourself and appropriately maintain basic needs, such as food intake, exercise, etc? Assessing your physical wellness is an important deciding factor.

Mental Wellness:

Beach couple laughing in love romance on travelAnother aspect to consider is your mental stability. Are you able to make cognitive decisions that support your recovery and your independence? Do you have any other co-occurring disorders that you might still be struggling with, such as anxiety or depression? It is necessary to have these areas under control in order to consider engaging in a romantic relationship with another individual.

Finding Someone You Trust to Talk About Relationships

Assessing these two important areas are crucial to deciding if you are ready to move forward with dating in your recovery from addiction. If you are still feeling unsure about your decision, collaborate with someone you trust and who has been supportive of your recovery, including your therapist, family, or friends.

Being in a romantic relationship should be something that comes natural, not something you do out of pressure. Whatever your decision, be sure your choices are supporting your continued sobriety and recovery

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

Are you in recovery from an addiction? What helped you decide whether or not you were ready for dating?

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on July 1st, 2015
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