Dating rules during 1st year sobriety
We teach people how to treat us, so with longer term recovery, we are going to demand to be treated differently than when we are new to recovery.” Recovery is hard work that requires a full-time commitment.Returning to daily life without the security of being able to use drugs as a coping mechanism can be terrifying, particularly when drug cravings and triggers to use set in.Recovering the mind, body and spirit requires time to clear the years of shame, guilt, denial and emotional wreckage, and the likelihood of staying sober increases with each year in recovery. Once individuals pass the one-year mark, they can gradually ease back into dating.At the same time, Desloover counsels, they should continue in therapy for at least another year for help to maintain healthy dating habits.When people stop using and start dating right away, they run the risk of seeking comfort in relationships instead of drugs.“Love addiction becomes a concern when infatuation replaces the ‘high’ of drug use,” notes Desloover.Codependent individuals focus too heavily on the needs of their partner (“My happiness is dependent on making/keeping you happy”), and define themselves by their relationship, sometimes lowering their personal standards to please someone else.Some women choose abusive partners in early recovery because they lack discernment or grew accustomed to being treated poorly in childhood.
In most cases, individuals who can’t refrain from having a relationship in the first year of recovery are missing an opportunity to address the core issues underlying their addictions.
The dissatisfaction they feel in their relationships is often the stressor that led to their drug abuse in the first place.