Sunday, November 08, 2015

Why People Should Date Recovering Addicts

quote: recovering addict are compassionate

Dating a recovering addict is a personal decision, but if you're thinking about dating one stick around. You'll probably want to after you learn the great qualities recovering addicts possess. If being a recovering addict makes you feel like you don't have as much to offer in a relationship read on, you need to hear this. I know the stigma often makes it difficult to date in recovery, but you're a great catch no matter what other people's preconceived notions are.

I Would Rather Date a Recovering Addict (even if they might relapse)

Let me explain.

The majority of recovering addicts have the qualities that are important to me, so it's easier to find someone I'll hit it off with when I'm dating a recovering addict. I've dated regular people of course, but it never developed into anything serious because there was always a part of me they couldn't understand. Only people who have been through addiction know the strength needed to overcome addiction. That's why recovering addicts are so compassionate. They understand their partner's struggles.

Not to mention they know the importance of self-care because our recovery depends on it. We don't make our partners feel bad if they want to take care of themselves. We usually encourage it. Most people don't know the extent of the work that goes into having a successful recovery, but recovering addicts do. They know how difficult it can be to achieve goals so they try to motivate their partners to go after their dreams. Having someone understand and motivate you makes everything easier.

Why My Partners Relapse Didn't Stop Me

Since getting into recovery, I've been in 3 serious relationships, all of them with fellow recovering addicts. Two of the three relapsed. The first was never able to shake his addiction and the second was able to quit after he relapsed. Even after the first two relapsed I still wanted to date a recovering addict. There's always the risk of them relapsing, but I believed I was strong enough in my recovery not to relapse with them, and for the most part, I was right.

If I had let my past two experiences deter me from dating recovering addicts, I wouldn't be with my child's father. I would have missed out on something pretty amazing if I had ruled out recovering addicts from my dating pool. I got to be with someone who understood my dark side and wasn't repulsed by it. Someone who understood my darkest secrets even if I never whispered a word.

Quote: Dating a Recovering Addict

There might be a few downsides when dating a recovering addict, but the benefits far outweighed them in my opinion. 

Why People Fear Dating Recovering Addicts
  • they might have a relapse or trigger yours
  • emotional issues 
  • not having a strong recovery
  • treating the relationship like an addiction
  • an unresolved past
  • trust issues

Knowing that relapse is a possibility when dating a recovering addict might not sound all that appealing. However, being aware will keep you from being caught off guard and hopefully prepare you for dealing with any triggers it might cause. Knowing can also get you ready to help them if there's any signs of a relapse. They might not relapse, but anywhere from 40-60% of addicts relapse so you need to be prepared.

A lot of the things working against recovering addicts can be dealt with if they've had enough recovery time. Usually one year of recovery time is what most people advise. The longer the recovery time the less likely they are to relapse and the more time they've had to work on themselves. This usually makes them better at dealing with challenging situations as well as struggles they might face in a relationship. 

To overcome addiction, we've had no other choice than to work on ourselves and our relationships. Recovering addicts are some of the most capable people I know. Their recovery has taught them how to react to an unfavorable situation logically and with empathy. In my opinion, recovering addicts can date other recovering addicts. I know a lot of successful recovering addict relationships. If you think you're both ready don't let fear keep you from following your heart.

Why People Should Date Recovering Addicts
  1. They know it's important not to jeopardize recovery or their partners dreams
  2. They understand addiction and people's dark side
  3. Experience has given them an enlightened view of the world 
  4. They know how to overcome struggles
  5. They don't quit when things get hard
  6. They've learned not to take people for granted 
  7. They know how to motivate their partner
  8. They want to work on themselves
  9. They understand the need for self-care and boundaries
  10. They don't judge your past

It's just easier to relate to another recovering addict. They're strong compassionate people. I know not all recovering addicts have these qualities, but in my experience, most of them do. I know there are exceptions to the rule. I'm a recovering addict and I don't exhibit all those qualities all of the time, but I do possess a lot of those qualities most of the time. I used to see my addiction and recovery as something that was working against me in relationships. It wasn't until I looked into what I loved about other recovering addicts that I noticed they had a lot of the same qualities. Even me.

Dating a recovering addict helps motivate me to work on myself and my recovery. If someone makes me want to be a better person, recovering addict or not, I would give them a chance. I know some of these qualities can also be found in people who are not in recovery so whether the person for you is a recovering addict or not, follow your heart. Most of all don't forget you're worth dating.

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Yours truly, Charmed

PS: Would you date a recovering addict? Let me know in the comments.

Quote: Recovering Addict are Strong