Some recovering addicts may already be in serious relationships when they enter recovery. Often, if the person they are in a relationship is a source of support for them, they will continue to cultivate this relationship as they move further into their sober life. Many people who enter treatment may also be involved in unhealthy or dangerous relationships at the time that they decide to get sober. In this instance, it is almost always advisable for a recovering addict to end this unhealthy relationship so that they may focus on their own health and avoid triggers to use. Recovering addicts who are sober at the time that they decide to seek treatment are generally advised to remain single.
Relationships Cause Unusual Stress
Relationships often have a negative image in the recovery community because of the fact that they are, by nature, a frequent cause of stress. Stress is a major trigger for almost all recovering addicts because it tends to bring about severe emotions that a recovering addict may be accustomed to dealing with by using drugs or alcohol. Stress from a new romantic relationship can cause mood swings and major emotional highs and lows which can put a recovering addict in jeopardy. For this reason, entering a romantic relationship early in recovery can put an addict in a position where they may be highly likely to relapse.
Focusing on Oneself
The process of recovery is all about becoming a healthier and more evolved person. In recovery, an addict must assess all of their current behaviors and thought processes. They must work with their therapists, counselors, and others in their twelve step programs to determine why they used in the first place and how they can remain strong and resist the urge to continue using. Recovery requires a tremendous amount of focus on oneself, and it is very difficult to achieve this level of focus while in a new relationship. The nature of relationships is that attention is given to another person, which means that while recovering addicts are in a new relationship they do not realistically have the time available to put in the work necessary to grow and change in a meaningful and lasting way.
Avoiding Relationships At First Can Lead to Better Relationships in the Future
While avoiding relationships in recovery may seem like a major challenge, it is one that is worth overcoming. Remaining single at the beginning of the recovery process means that a recovering addict has the chance to grow as a person and to become a stronger and more stable and balanced individual in all aspects of their life. The changes that occur during this period can truly last and be enjoyed over the course of a lifetime. This means that down the road, a person who allows themselves the time and space to focus on themselves can hope to enjoy much healthier relationships in the future. They will naturally be attracted to healthier, more balanced people, and they themselves will be more like the kind of person they would want to be romantically involved with. While recovery is new, a person is in such a period of transition, that it is very unlikely that they will meet a person who will truly be a healthy, appropriate, and supportive partner to them.