During the early months of alcohol abuse recovery, most people tend to give up a lot – their go-to coping strategy, their social networks, and their general approach to life. It is natural to seek the consolation of new love to counter the loneliness.
In fact, relationships have been found to be a part of drug and substance abuse recovery, but finding a healthy partner who can support you on your road to recover often proves to be a challenge.
Although the rules for dating during alcohol recovery are somewhat similar to the guidelines of engagement for “normal people”, certain rules might be more vital to your success.
Make a List of the Qualities you are looking for in a Partner
The first and most appropriate recommendation when it comes to dating during recovery is creating a list of all the attributes you are looking for in a partner.
Many counseling experts often advise that once you have prepared a list, you aspire to achieve most of those attributes yourself, and then you naturally tend to be attractive to individuals with those qualities. Try to look for someone with qualities that will help you maintain a sober, healthy lifestyle, and help you build a strong character.
Look for a Partner who Can Help you Maintain the Behavior Change
The process through which individuals overcome addiction can be described by the stages of change model. When looking to get back into the dating scene during recovery from alcohol addiction, it is important that you find someone who can help you go through the stages of behavior change. The stages of change model consist of 6 stages.
One of the most important stages when it comes to dating during recovery is the maintenance stage. The stage is largely concerned with continuing to attain the progress that started during the first stages of recovery. This means keeping the intentions you had during the early stages and the behaviors you learned during the subsequent stages.
This will often entail abstaining from alcohol, maintaining a low level of addictive behaviors, pursuing harm minimization goals, and sticking to set limits. When looking for a partner, you should try to find someone who can help you through the maintenance stage so that the behaviors that were introduced to you during the recovery process can be ingrained and be part of your normal behaviors and habits. You can learn more about this here
Don’t Rush Into It
It is never a good idea to rush into a new relationship while still battling alcohol recovery. It is especially vital to take things slowly when dating while in recovery. Try to focus on getting to know and understand each other well before jumping headfirst into a physically intimate relationship.
If you are still in the early stages of recovery, it is best to wait until you are more secure in abstinence. It usually takes some time for the body and brain to adjust to a sober state of mind and it is not at all advisable to rush through the process, even if it is for love.
In summary, navigating the dating scene after alcohol abuse recovery can be a challenge. Dating during this delicate and fragile period of your life can end up derailing your road to full recovery.
Nevertheless, it can be a way to strengthen your resolve to maintaining a sober lifestyle. All you need to do is know when the time is right and make a determined effort to find someone who is right for you.