Dating and finding love after rehab can certainly be a challenge. It is something that must be done mindfully and carefully so that you don’t enter a relationship too soon and end up in a bad situation that could lead to a relapse. It is important to note that romantic relationships should not be the number one priority when a person is done with rehab. Recovery MUST come first.
Love After Rehab Can Be Tricky
When people leave rehab, it is natural to be curious what is out there as you immerse yourself back into the real world. You have, after all, been in treatment for upwards of thirty days, so your newfound freedom is a wonderful feeling. A huge mistake people make is looking for dates in the first few days they are out. Simply put, this is not the time for that.
While you may have 30, 42, or 90 days sober when you graduate from rehab, you have spent all your sober time in a controlled, safe environment. Now, different factors come into play, and outside influences can play a huge role in whether or not your stay sober. One of the leading causes of relapse is the influence of a significant other, so why even take the risk?
It is important to get to know yourself as the new, sober you that you have become. You’ll need to experience various situations and continue to focus on your recovery in order to achieve successful sobriety. How can you date someone if you don’t even know exactly who it is that you are?
The big thing about dating in recovery too is that people usually meet and hang out with other people in recovery. That being said, you don’t know how stable your potential new significant other is. You don’t want to bring them down, or let them being you down, or both come crashing down together in one giant train wreck. It just isn’t worth it.
Dating and Love After Rehab Done Right
Most experts say that people should wait a full year before starting to date in recovery. The year allows you to get back on your feet, establish yourself, have a stable home and work life, and know who you are as a sober person. You will be healthy enough to give someone the positive love and attention that they need.
No matter what your situation is, don’t go overboard looking for love. The right person will come when the time is right. If you force something, chances are it wasn’t meant to be in the first place.
Once you do start dating, know how to recognize the people who truly have good intentions. You need to be strong enough to recognize when a relationship isn’t healthy for you and to say no or end it if needed.
The bottom line is that you need to put yourself first no matter what. Only once you have learned to properly do so can you entertain the idea of having a healthy love life.