No dating during codependency recovery

It is not an easy lesson for anyone to learn, let alone someone in recovery, but the way to a healthy relationship is to take it “very, very slow,” in the words of a sexoligist and licensed addiction counselor.Whether repairing the bridge to a spouse or romantic partner, or forging ahead with a new person, a sober person has to give the relationship a chance to develop.Furthermore, some people enjoy the feeling of dating someone with their own substance abuse problem, because it allows the person a sense of power (or even relief) at not being the “patient” in the relationship.For once, the attention – whether positive or negative – is on the other person.It can mean missing out on parties, it can mean being forced to cope with life’s struggles and challenges stone cold sober, and it can also mean being alone.

Whether as a client or a companion, a guide to sober dating is very important in understanding how matters of the heart change.This may mean putting off intimacy for a (long) period of time until the partner has made a clear commitment to the relationship, and both parties are on the same wavelength; this may mean a lot of dates and meetings where there is minimal physical contact.It could mean that the dates aren’t very “romantic” to begin with.Without that sense of identity, it is all but impossible to form balanced, healthy connections with other people.Therapy and aftercare support go a long way in restoring bridges that were burned by the addiction, but dating requires much more work (and time) than simply rekindling a friendship.

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