Dating Someone in Recovery? Here Are Simple Ways to Support Them
It’s often seen as a bad idea to get involved with someone during the early stages of recovery. A relationship gone bad is a recipe for disaster for anyone but heartbreak can be especially damaging to anyone trying to maintain their sobriety. Dating someone in recovery may not always be easy but your soulmate may come to you in a variety of ways. These are a few tips that can help you become the best possible partner to someone who has suffered from addiction.
An open and honest dialogue with your partner is very important. This is true for all relationships but especially one that is with someone in recovery. Encourage him or her to express themselves even if the conversation makes you uncomfortable. If your partner tells you “I want to use”, instead of shaming them for vocalizing that, explore why they feel that way. Addiction is often just a symptom of an underlying problem and talking about those feelings will not only help your partner cope but also give you insight into what triggers them while bringing you two closer together.
If you want to be the best possible partner for someone suffering from addiction take the initiative to do your homework. There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to addiction and doing your due diligence can help you understand your partner in a whole new way. Ignorance breeds fear which is why some people might find dating someone in recovery a scary proposition but so is climbing Mount Everest. Gaining a better understanding for how addiction affects your partner will not only help you erase that fear but also give you the knowledge of how to love someone who suffers from addiction.
Recovery is not something that stopped when your partner got clean; it is a daily battle that although will get easier with time, never fully goes away. Any person who has been addicted to a substance for an extended period of time will not come out from the other side unscathed and it is going to take time for them to fully recover. They may have anxiety. They may have trust issues. They may have depression. These are things that were probably there before they began using but drugs were able to make them temporarily go away. Now that they are clean they may not initially have the tools to deal with them because they could always just escape these feelings but that doesn’t mean they won’t get there. Being patient, loving, and supportive through this period will be a godsend for your partner.
You don’t have to be intimidated by the prospect of dating someone in recovery as long as you know you are a willing partner. Patience, understanding, and love will make you and the person you care about much closer. There is no definite template for love in any instance but it is indeed possible for anyone who wants it.