Milestones in Recovery: Am I Ready to Date?

Milestones in Recovery: Am I Ready to Date?

Simply and plainly stated, drugs and alcohol can kill you. Dating, or not dating, can not. If you make the decision to start dating too soon, you might find yourself incapable of handling the tumultuous emotions that can come with dating. Dating certainly can be fun- a lot of fun, as well as an educational experience. Dating can also come with rejection, miscommunication, confusion, and emotions. Men generally have a strained relationship with their emotional selves. Men who are in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction are challenged to build an emotional relationship with themselves so that their emotional experiences no longer drive them to abuse harmful substances. In the early stages of recovery, dating can trigger difficult emotions that men are just learning to identify and cope with. Feeling too much emotional pain or confusion at once can lead the brain to resort to its most familiar survival habits- abusing drugs and alcohol. Dating too early poses this risk. Waiting to date, however difficult it may be, is the smarter solution for you and for your potential future partner(s).

Wait to Date:

If you are thinking, “Is dating that serious?” The answer is yes and no. Dating is as serious as you want to make it. A recovery adage, “Don’t take yourself too seriously” applies here. Dating can be a fun and lighthearted experience. However, it is important to take other people seriously, to a degree. Dating does include other people’s lives and emotions. When you participate in dating, you have to be able to take responsibility for yourself, and for the way your actions, as well as behaviors, may impact others. You should reconsider starting to date if you:

  • Feel that another person will complete you
  • Believe that relationships ‘fix’ you
  • Are looking for someone to entertain you
  • Are looking for someone to make you feel better
  • Are feeling lonely, bored, or afraid
  • Just want to have casual, “meaningless” sex
  • Think that being in a relationship will prevent you from relapsing
  • Aren’t interested in a relationship, but want to sleep around
  • Can’t readily identify your emotions or express them articulately
  • Haven’t completed your treatment program(s)
  • Believe others are responsible for your emotions
  • Aren’t ready to take another person’s well-being into consideration

At Tree House Recovery, we’re helping men find freedom from addiction. Our treatment programs create sustainable change for sustainable recovery by helping men find their strength in body, mind, and spirit. For information on our Orange County programs, call us today: (855) 202-2138

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