When addicts (of all types) enter treatment and recovery, one of the first things they are told is to not make any major life changes in the first year of sobriety, especially when it comes to romantic relationships.
If they’re married, they’re told to stick it out for at least twelve months no matter how bad their relationship seems in the moment.
If they’re single, they’re told to stay that way for the next year, no matter how attracted they are to another person (or people).
The reasoning behind this recommendation centers on the fact that addicts new to the process of healing are typically not thinking all that clearly.
For instance, if a recovering addict is in an abusive relationship, he or she may need to walk away, either temporarily or permanently, to maintain sobriety.
There are several common romantic and sexual mistakes that individuals new to recovery tend to make, the first and most obvious of which is to ignore the almost universal admonition discussed above – to not make any major life changes in the first year.
Sadly, these missteps can and often do lead recovering addicts directly into relapse.
The most common blunders include: So far, I’ve probably seemed pretty pessimistic about recovering addicts and romantic relationships. I merely wanted to point out that recovering addicts should not seek romance, especially early in the healing process, without knowing the potential pitfalls they may encounter – most notably the emotional turmoil that even psychologically healthy people experience when dating.
As such, I don’t recommend that men and women new to sobriety end old romantic relationships or seek out new romantic relationships right away.