Most people are anxious about starting a relationship. But, a person that has been battling drug addiction can find it exhilarating. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to reconsider the decision to get into a new relationship after recovery.

A romantic relationship is associated with emotional highs that can mimic the feelings a person gets when the brain experiences when high on alcohol or drugs. A person that is recovering from drug addiction should, therefore, take time before getting into a relationship. Challenges are bound to arise in any relationship. It’s, therefore, crucial to develop skills that make handling them possible without relapsing.

After leaving women or men’s addiction treatment center at AddictionResource.com, the first year should be spent on improving your well-being and health. Perhaps, you’re wondering why you or a loved one that is recovering from alcohol or drug addiction should for an entire year before getting into a relationship. Well, there is a reason for this.

Why You Should Wait for a Year in Recovery before Starting a Relationship

The major reason why some people rush to start relationships after leaving women or men-only rehab facilities is that they envy their friends that are already in relationships. What they don’t understand is that any relationship no matter how healthy it looks has its challenges.

When you get into a romantic relationship with another person, you form a strong emotional bond. But, this bond comes with lows and highs. Unfortunately, some people don’t expect or anticipate these lows and highs when getting into their relationships.

The highs can trigger certain behaviors that are similar to those of a person whose brain is addicted to alcohol or drugs. Such behaviors can include compulsion, recklessness, and infatuation.

When recovering from drug addiction, re-learning coping skills and healthy habits can take even months. Essentially, recovering from alcohol or drug addiction is a time-taking process. That’s why a recovering addict should focus on their physical, emotional, and mental health during the first year. After this time, they should re-evaluate their feelings and decide whether to get into a personal relationship.

Important Red Flags to Watch Out for when Starting a Romantic Relationship

Research has shown that the romantic relationships that people form in their adolescent years can affect them psychologically even during their adulthood. This explains why anybody, including recovering addicts, should be careful when starting romantic relationships. Unfortunately, some people are caught up in an emotional whirlwind when starting romantic relationships.

Nevertheless, it’s crucial to look for possible red flags in the behavior of a recovering addict’s partner. That’s because some behaviors of the partner of a person that is recovering from alcoholism or drug addiction can lead to a relapse. Proper identification of red flags can prevent future heartbreak. It can also help in supporting long-term recovery.

Here are important red flags to watch out for:

  • Perpetual lying
  • Lack of trust and communication
  • Controlling behavior
  • Lack of or limited intimacy
  • Infidelity
  • Existing past relationships’ drama
  • Inability to address conflicts

The excitement to start a potentially lasting relationship after drugs or alcohol rehab for men or women can cloud judgment and make a person ignore the need to watch out for these red flags. However, this ignorance can be costly in the long run. Therefore, if you or a person you love is getting into a relationship after recovery, watch the behavior of the other partner keenly.

If a partner is dismissing your opinions or concerns, or even ignoring them altogether, think about the relationship twice. Additionally, be careful if you give up hobbies, old friends, or activities just to make your partner happy. These could be signs of a relationship that is or won’t be healthy in the long run. Thus, it may be wise to avoid or end it right away.

Why Communication is Important in New Relationships

Research has shown that communication takes a central position in relationship deterioration models.  That’s because intimate bonds are strong among couples that communicate more effectively. What’s more, partners respond to each other with sensitivity when they communicate properly.

Therefore, a healthy way of earning the trust of a partner in a relationship is telling them about your drug addiction, as well as, recovery. Bear in mind the fact that it’s crucial to show respect for the choices of a partner in a relationship. But, this doesn’t mean you ignore your commitment to the recovery process.

For instance, if you want to start a relationship with a person and they invite you to join them when going out for a drink, you should decline. You should also decline invitations to drink severally and the new partner should understand your stance and stop inviting you. After undergoing treatment in women or men-only rehab, being proactive in your recovery should be a priority. This means even being open to your new partner from the beginning.

A Relationship Can Be an Unnecessary Distraction

Starting a relationship after recovery can be a distraction yet sustaining sobriety requires commitment and effort. Therefore, it can be difficult to give both recovery and the new partner the attention they require if you start a relationship during your early recovery. And, if the new partner puts pressure on the recovering addict or stresses them, their chances of relapsing increase.

Avoiding starting a relationship immediately after leaving women or men drug rehab facilities provides time to focus on recovery. After accumulating sober time, a person feels confident in their new alcohol or drug-free lifestyle. Thus, they can now get into a relationship knowing that they can say no to invitations to hang out in places where people use addictive substances.

The Bottom Line

So many things should be considered when starting a relationship after recovery. The most important thing is to take time sustaining sobriety and focusing on your well-being. A person should start a relationship after recovery when confident in their ability to make sober decisions. That means staying for at least one year after recovery focusing on their well-being and health. What’s more, they should watch out for the red flags of an unhealthy relationship and communicate their thoughts, needs, and principles from the beginning. 

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