Why Is Dating Discouraged In The First Year Of Recovery?

lovers outlook couple

We worship people. As children, we are encouraged to find role models, and set our eyes upon a future that might resemble the life of someone we admire. We look up to the men and women in our lives who inspire us, make us want to do something differently, or have something that we want and are willing to work for. In The Big Book Of Alcoholics Anonymous, it is written, and recited at every meeting, “If you want what we have and are willing to go to any lengths…”

However, in early recovery, it can be difficult to want recovery. It can be hard to find someone to admire and look up to when their life involves a sobriety we are completely uninterested in. We might find someone of the opposite sex that has something we want. They might even have something we feel we need. Instead of looking to role models in recovery or any other areas of our lives, we look to someone who becomes a romantic interest. For those in early recovery, this can be a fatal mistake. Here are some of the reasons why:

Love Feels Good

Poetry, literature, movies, and music, are so intensely focused on trying to find the right way to describe the elusive phenomenon of love. We all in love. We’re enraptured by love. We spin head over heels out of control when we find love. Simply put, love feels good. For the early recovering addict or alcoholic, whose brain is vulnerable to the production of pleasurable feelings, love can feel really good. So good, in fact, that it can be blinding and distracting. Instead of being able to connect to the deep and sometimes painful feelings which need to be processed during treatment, it is easy to become focused on the pleasure of love. Feeling as though everything is fine, there is little inspiration to feel what isn’t fine. Often it is those underlying feelings of what isn’t fine, which led to addictive behaviors in the first place.

People Can’t Be Our Higher Powers

Spirituality is an important component for recovery. Most programs encourage the search and development of a higher power. Partners cannot be our higher powers– mostly because, they’re human. Your recovery needs a much bigger higher power. No matter how amazing your love interest might be- they’re not big enough.

We Are Constantly Changing In Early Recovery

Dating is discouraged during the first year of recovery because every few weeks you are changing in every way. Your brain is changing, your physical self is changing, and your mental wellness is changing. Who you were when you met may not be who you are a few months down the line. It is easy to avoid change or resist growing when it benefits a love interest you don’t want to lose. Doing that slights your ability to recover and grow to your maximum potential. Any kind of relationship or love shouldn’t reject change but encourage it.

Aurora Recovery Centre is a co-ed facility that separates the men and women for groups and treatment. Our doors are open to all those who are willing to recover. For more information, call us today at 844-515-STOP.

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