Dating in addiction recovery can present some extra challenges. First, it’s typically best to have a year or more in recovery before you start dating. This gives you an opportunity to focus on your recovery and become independent before attempting to start a new relationship. Also, new relationships are fun at first, but when things go wrong, they can introduce a lot of emotional turbulence and it’s good to feel pretty strong in recovery before subjecting yourself to that kind of uncertainty.
When you do start dating again, many people prefer to date people who are also in recovery. It’s easier to meet other people in recovery and if you both share the same commitment to staying sober you can have a great relationship. However, relatively few people are recovering from addiction and so you are likely to date people who have no idea what it’s like to have a substance use disorder. If you have a history of substance use, you’ll have to share that at some point but when?
Many people have legitimate concerns about telling people about their substance use history. Although there is much more awareness about addiction and recovery than there used to be, there is still a stigma surrounding addiction. If you start a date by talking about your opioid addiction, it may be a bit too much to handle right away. On the other hand, you don’t want to wait too long because that’s a pretty significant omission and the other person may see that as deception.
Typically, telling someone sooner is better. The first date is the best time, unless you’ve already decided there won’t be a second date. That gives you a little time to decide whether this is someone you might be interested in. If so, it’s best to start the relationship on a foundation of honesty. If things seem to be going well, you may be afraid to ruin it, but think of it this way: if the other person can’t deal with this important part of your past, it probably wouldn’t work out anyway. And if you do decide to wait longer to say something, it will only get harder. Then, it’s not just a question of sharing something about yourself that the other person may not accept, but also a question of why you didn’t mention it sooner. Some people will be spooked by your addiction history, but that’s fine. If your recovery is strong and you’re in a good place emotionally, you can keep going and find someone more open and supportive.
Arbor Behavioral Healthcare offers an integrative and holistic approach to treat substance abuse and a wide variety of addictions, as well as underlying mental health and psychological issues. All of the addiction recovery programs offered by The Arbor are designed to heal the mind, body, and spirit leading to a lifetime of sobriety, health and wellness. If you’re ready to find healing and restoration in a peaceful, loving environment, please call us today at 844-560-7269.
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