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Dating in Recovery

It is that time of year when things start to change and bloom. You may be thinking of the fun activities you want to do. Then it hits you that pursuing dating in recovery can be a scary endeavor. Do not worry; you are not alone and never will be. When you feel that the time is right for you to start dating, this article will help you.

This blog post will explore how you know that you are ready to date in recovery and the qualities to look for in a partner. Then we will discuss how The Guest House can assist you in identifying the qualities you desire in a partner through individual and group counseling.

When Can I Start Dating in Recovery?

To be clear, there is no right or wrong time to date in recovery. The timing depends on your unique situation and where you are at on your journey. Dating in recovery can be difficult for people who are not able to commit to long-term sobriety. Just like recovery, dating has its ups and downs, which can lead to an array of emotions.

It is important to ensure your stability in recovery before you start dating. Understanding who you are in recovery promotes self-worth and confidence. Maintaining focus and awareness in recovery allows you to concentrate on what you can give yourself instead of focusing on what others can give you.

Qualities to Look for When Dating in Recovery

You may be all too familiar with what unhealthy relationships look like, but it may be hard to pinpoint healthy traits. However, if you do not know what you are looking for then you are not going to be able to see it. Below are several important qualities to look for when dating in recovery:

  • Supports recovery, not addiction
  • Acts respectful
  • Is focused on wellness
  • Respects your boundaries
  • Expresses support
  • Brings a sense of peace and calmness to your recovery
  • Makes you feel safe
  • Is reliable and trustworthy

Maybe you have more qualities to add to this list. On the other hand, maybe you’ve never thought about the qualities you want in a partner. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, dating in recovery should be a fun experience and not add more stress to your life. To minimize stress, it is best if you have a sense of direction before you embark on a dating adventure.

What Does Having a Healthy Relationship With Myself Have to Do With Dating?

If you have a healthy relationship with yourself, you are more like to have healthy relationships with others. When you have a good self-opinion and the ability to self-nurture, it becomes natural to recognize healthy components of dating in recovery. If you talk negatively to yourself, have limited boundaries, and are self-destructive, abusive, or unkind to yourself, most likely you will accept the same behavior from a partner.

Let’s get real. When you were in active addiction, you probably accepted others who were like you and engaged in the activities you were engaging in. You were likely unkind to yourself, self-destructive, and expressed limited boundaries. This constitutes having an unhealthy relationship with yourself.

Recovery is all about healing and learning to love yourself despite your past. Like dating in recovery, becoming your own best friend takes dedication and time. If you choose a 12-Step program, you can work the steps with guidance and learn an introspective way to find improved well-being.

Tips to Help With Dating in Recovery

When you do decide to date, there are a few pointers to keep in mind. First dates can be nerve-wracking, especially if you are not sure about the person or it has been a long time since you dated. However, dating is all about you getting to know that person and allowing them to get to know who you are.

The following is a list of things you can do to be prepared to date in recovery:

  • Have fun: Plan a fun activity where you can be yourself. Choose something where both of you can connect and have meaningful conversations.
  • Go slow: You are not in a race, so take it easy. There is no rush. You get to set the tone for what you want from this date or potential relationship.
  • Be yourself: After all, everyone else is taken. There is no better way to be loyal to yourself than to be who you are.
  • Be honest and open: It has been said that honesty is the best policy. Being open and honest about your needs and wants in a relationship will save you a lot of time down the road.
  • Choose wisely: You’ve learned about how choices have affected you. Your choice in a partnership affects you as well. Taking time to explore your values can have a significant influence on the partner you choose to spend your time with.

How Can The Guest House Support Me?

At The Guest House, we believe that recovery is not a destination but a journey. It is easy to caught up in the thought process that recovery is a structured concept that every person follows step-by-step. This isn’t true. Just as you are a unique individual, so is your recovery journey.

This is one of the reasons that The Guest House has an array of programs that can support you no matter where you are at in your journey. Dating in recovery can make anyone feel anxious. However, it does not have to be stressful. Before you get started, you can enlist support. You may benefit from individual or group therapy where you can discuss your dating concerns and connect with others in recovery.

Additionally, we offer an alumni program for people who need support in recovery following a successful discharge from treatment. We are here for you every step of the way and want you to feel supported and connected – both to others and yourself.

This new chapter can be exciting and hopeful. You may feel that you are ready to enter the dating world. In recovery, you may have questions on how to date with grace and love. This journey has likely not been easy for you. However, you are taking all the things you’ve learned and applying them to your recovery. We understand this journey and want to offer support as you embark on a new season of your life. If you or someone you know is struggling with dating in recovery, please do not hesitate and give The Guest House a call today at (855) 483-7800. We will be happy to answer your questions.