Relationships in Recovery: Dating in Recovery and How Addictions Affect Romantic Relationships


When a person suffers from addiction, it affects all areas of their life, including their romantic relationships. For people who are currently married or dating, it can create a strain due to negativity, violence, or other disturbing drug addict behavior. Relationships of a romantic nature often continue to face challenges even after treatment. How these challenges are managed can profoundly impact one’s recovery efforts. Recovering addicts who are just starting to date again need to be particularly cautious. To best understand drug addiction and relationships, it is important to fully understand what couples can expect when dating in recovery and how to successfully overcome any issues that may arise.

Dating in recovery can be either a positive or a negative experience. Generally, an addict should avoid dating new people during the early stages of recovery. The first year is typically a vulnerable time that one should spend on themselves rather than a new relationship. Beyond that first year, it is important to approach dating cautiously. One should first discuss their desire to start dating with their counselor and must continue counseling or any other prescribed form of therapy. Who you date or enter into a relationship with is also important to your recovery. One should, for example, avoid dating anyone who engages in activities that can trigger a relapse. It is also important to be open and honest about being an addict who is in recovery. Because dating can be a heady experience, it is important that any relationships in recovery do not unconsciously become substitutes for the addiction.

Relationships in recovery can be tricky for all parties involved. Part of loving a drug addict is knowing how your actions can impact your partner’s ability to remain clean and sober. One of the most helpful things that a person dating a recovering addict can do is be supportive. There are numerous ways to show one’s support, such as respecting and understanding their needs. This includes accepting that there are places that your partner cannot go and activities that they are unable to safely participate in without temptation. For example, one should not expect a recovering alcoholic to frequent a bar or attend an event that prominently features alcohol. It is important to avoid doing these things in front of an addict as well.

During times of active addiction and substance abuse, intimate relationships are often challenged by the symptoms of the addiction. While the addiction is the root of the problem, issues such as lies, anger, failure to take care of one’s responsibilities, infidelity, and out-of-control behavior are often major issues that lead to distrust and increased arguing. A spouse or significant other may feel pressure to lie to friends and family to protect the addict and cover up the addiction, which can lead to resentment. In some cases, addiction may lead to violent behavior, emotional and physical abuse, or injuries. Ultimately, the stress of loving a drug addict can end in the destruction of a relationship. In order to save or rebuild a relationship or eventually start dating, it’s necessary to get help at a qualified rehabilitation facility, and that’s where White Sands Treatment Center can help.

We are a private and accredited center that offers rehab, detox, and other treatment programs for individuals with drug, alcohol, gambling, or other addictions. Our high-quality treatments start with an in-depth assessment to help us plan an approach that’s personalized to meet your or your significant other’s specific needs. Our staff of board-certified medical doctors, psychiatrists, and counselors will help get you on the path to recovery and eventually a healthy relationship. Call us at any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to learn more about how we can help you overcome addiction and get your life back.