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Romantic Relationships while in Early Recovery

To Date or Not to Date? That is the Question.

Beginning romantic relationships while in the early stages of recovery is not advised because it can cause relapseManaging new, romantic relationships while in recovery, especially in the early stages of your recovery, can present some challenges. Beginning a romantic relationship while in recovery can cause unnecessary stress and might put you at risk for relapse.

It is recommended that people in the first year of recovery avoid entering romantic relationships. The focus needs to be on staying in recovery. According to SelfGrowth.com, 10 Reasons to Avoid Romantic Relationships while in Early Recovery:

1. Romantic relationships take the focus off of recovery.
2. Romantic relationships take the focus off of the individual.
3. Romantic relationships increase the potential for relapse due to emotional intensity.
4. There is too much potential for underlying issues, projections, and complexes to be creating the attraction.
5. Low self-esteem and the bargaining process of relationships make early recovery a tenuous time to enter a relationship.
6. There is a strong likelihood of outgrowing the relationship quickly.
7. In early recovery you do not really know yourself yet.
8. In early recovery you may not have a healthy understanding of what love is yet.
9. There is a strong possibility of the individual in early recovery acting on, “I want what I want when I want it.”
10. In light of advice to the contrary, if you decide to enter a relationship, you are working your own program. This is self-will, and this is an addictive behavior.

When people first begin recovery, they are essentially rebuilding their life. They are reassessing all that they want in this world and of themselves. It is a time when people are getting to know themselves again. This is another reason why it might be better to wait to enter new, romantic relationships until you have spent a significant amount of time in recovery. How can you choose the right partner, when you are still getting to know yourself in your new phase of life?

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