Dating Someone Who’s Not in a 12-Step Program Like You Are
So you’re in a 12 step program for recovery from addiction to drugs or alcohol, you’re feeling better, and now you’re ready to get back into the dating scene—but is it safe for you to consider a date who’s not also in a 12 step program? Are there risks involved with putting yourself into a relationship with someone who doesn’t share in your 12-step recovery?
Having a romantic relationship can be wonderful, but it can also cause a great deal of stress and heartache (even if it does work out). Therefore, it is important to know that you can handle the possibility of these feelings and not use it as an excuse to relapse or begin to feel unstable again. Once you feel that you have the kind of stability this requires, you can begin your relationship.
Consider Whether Your Chosen Date will Understand Your Recovery
Make sure your date respects your recovery efforts and that you continue with treatment.
Recovery is a delicate situation, one you’ve worked very hard towards, and one you cannot afford to lose. Before dating anyone outside of your recovery, be sure to ask yourself whether the individual will understand your recovery and your needs.
It is necessary that they are aware of what you can and cannot do. You may be comfortable going to a place together where alcohol is served but not to a bar or a place where most of the emphasis of having a good time is on drinking.
If the person you are interested in does drink, smoke, or use drugs, you may want to consider whether or not you feel comfortable with it. You are perfectly in your right as well to ask them not to do these things around you. But if the individual can understand exactly what your recovery entails and they can respect it, you have a stronger chance of making the relationship work.
Making the Decision to Date
In the end, deciding whether it’s safe for you to begin dating in recovery will be up to you. If you date responsibly and safely, stick to your meetings and your therapy, and don’t forget everything you’ve learned while in treatment, you should be fine. Be sure that the date you choose is considerate of your recovery and considered your needs first and foremost.
To talk to a counselor about dating in recovery or for assistance in finding continued 12-step support and care, call our helpline toll free at 800-481-6320 today.
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