Sober recovery dating
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.
Even for people who aren’t using anymore, and who consistently work the program, there is an unconscious identification with other addicts, to the point of seeking out romantic or sexual partners with substance abuse problems (either borderline or full blown).
Part of the draw comes from the feeling of relapsing without actually doing it; a psyche that is still too strongly tempted by addiction can rationalize anything, including staying with a partner (or multiple partners) who are using drugs.
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.
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.
When it comes to relationships, the realities and rules of abstinence after addiction become all the starker.
Whether as a client or a companion, a guide to sober dating is very important in understanding how matters of the heart change.