It can mean missing out on parties, it can mean being forced to cope with life’s struggles and challenges stone cold sober, and it can also mean being alone.
quotes a 26-year old former heroin addict as saying that “getting sober is pretty lonely.”The apparent cure for the loneliness is often sought in likeminded people.
Hence, the rule of thumb that people in recovery not date for the first year of their sobriety.
The 33-year-old man who studiously stayed away from dating for the first six months re-entered the relationship scene as a fully committed and engaged member of his treatment program.
Without that sense of identity, it is all but impossible to form balanced, healthy connections with other people.
Therapy and aftercare support go a long way in restoring bridges that were burned by the addiction, but dating requires much more work (and time) than simply rekindling a friendship.
Furthermore, some people enjoy the feeling of dating someone with their own substance abuse problem, because it allows the person a sense of power (or even relief) at not being the “patient” in the relationship.
For once, the attention – whether positive or negative – is on the other person.
Rushing into a relationship breeds codependence, which is also known as “relationship addiction” because of how such arrangements are usually one-sided, abusive, and emotionally destructive – much like the original substance abuse problem.
As an additional layer of protection, a person in recovery should also not date other people in recovery.
This may mean putting off intimacy for a (long) period of time until the partner has made a clear commitment to the relationship, and both parties are on the same wavelength; this may mean a lot of dates and meetings where there is minimal physical contact.