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How Long Should I Wait to Get Into a Relationship After Treatment?

Humans have a basic need for connection. As a person recovering from substance use disorder (SUD), you need positive support now more than ever. Humans live happier and healthier lives when strong support is present. Conversely, humans who have unhealthy relationships are more likely to have mental health disorders.

Relationships take an enormous amount of time and effort to nurture. During treatment, you likely explored areas within your life that give you meaning. Perhaps you worked on self-development and were encouraged to focus on areas of change. You focused on yourself. Now that you have finished treatment and are in recovery, you may find yourself thinking about a relationship. This article will give you insight into relationships after treatment and explore the pros and cons.

Focus On Yourself

Choosing sobriety is a choice that involves hard work. You choose every day that you are worth more than addiction. That means you are focused on yourself and must put everything aside, including romantic relationships and any other interferences, that may take your focus off your recovery.

When you are in treatment, you are completely absorbed in learning about the root of your addiction. This will teach you how to live a life of sobriety after treatment. While in treatment, you are surrounded by positive and encouraging people who support you every step of the way. Staying focused on yourself will generate increased self-esteem and better coping skills when you finish treatment.

When treatment is completed, people often return to their regular lives, expecting that it will be easy. This is an unrealistic expectation. You are learning about who you are in recovery. This version of you will be different from who you were before, and you have to put your needs first to have long-term sobriety.

Relationships Can Be Distracting

Anything can be a distraction if you apply more time and effort to it than you do to your recovery. While in treatment, you spent time getting to know your sober self. You re-created yourself to be the version that you desired to be, and you should be proud of yourself. Perhaps sharing your sober self with someone could be a distraction; you may be wondering if beginning a relationship is a good choice.

Most people will tell you to wait at least a year before entering a relationship. The idea of getting used to your sober self and leading a life that you are proud of takes time and effort. When you are in treatment, you have a support system and people who understand the struggles with maintaining sobriety. You may find yourself missing that supportive piece in your day-to-day life. It is normal to miss the support; however, this does not mean you should engage in a romantic relationship.

If you are honest, you are just getting to know who you are now. You are learning details about yourself that you did not know existed. It takes time and patience to explore all the new facets of yourself that have surfaced.

Waiting for Your Pleasure

You want to be the best version of yourself before you hop into a relationship. Establishing healthy peer support and maintaining healthy boundaries is an important start. This is the foundation of your recovery.

Taking that time and space to get to know who your sober self is is important in overall recovery and extends beyond treatment. After all, if you do not know who you are, how can you invite someone into your life to get to know you? Being patient with your recovery and with yourself is key to building self-esteem.

Give your brain time to heal. Your brain has been through a lot, and you need to allow time and space for healing.

Boundaries in Recovery

Showing appreciation for yourself in the space that you are in can be a boundary in your recovery. You have spent endless hours immersed in treatment. You chose to look for a better solution to explore your emotions and get your needs met. You sought help when you needed it the most. Identifying your boundaries is essential for your recovery process.

Establishing boundaries helps you to protect yourself in social relationships. Understanding the path you want to travel in your recovery can guide you in establishing clear and concise boundaries. The root of any boundary is respect for yourself. Healthy boundaries derive from your core values and allow you to take responsibility for your actions.


Just because it has been suggested that you wait at least a year before dating does not mean that you cannot connect and have positive relationships. There are many ways to connect to like-minded individuals who understand your journey. Learning the benefits of patience will reward you, as patience will help you immensely in your recovery.

You recognize yourself as a person with something to share. You have taken control and are ready to make choices that are key to your recovery. You want more connection in your life and are ready to take the next step, but you might not know where to turn. Relationships can be difficult to sift through, and you may need direction. There is nothing wrong with focusing on yourself while building healthy relationships in recovery. At The Guest House, we know the keys to recovery and healthy connection. We offer an alumni program that focuses on strengthening the building blocks of recovery. Call (855) 483-7800 to learn more about our post-treatment offerings.