Before diving into a relationship, find out if your prospective partner is actively using drugs or alcohol, or if they display addictive or compulsive patterns in other areas (e.g., gambling, work, sex, food or spending).
Someone with less than a year sober should stay focused on their recovery program, not dating.
This guideline is designed to protect the addict as well as the people they might date.
If you’ve struggled with addiction yourself, be extra cautious – your use can trigger their relapse, and their relapse could spell ruin for both of you.
Left unaddressed, relapse can set in motion a roller coaster of chaotic break-ups and reunification that in the long run only exacerbates the problem.
You’ll need to recognize these signs and get involved.
Many recovering addicts have done things in the past that result in a criminal record, making it harder to get a job.If they are in recovery, how long have they stayed sober?Are they actively working a program of recovery (e.g., participating in self-help support meetings, counseling or an aftercare program)?The threat of relapse need not deter you from dating someone firmly grounded in their recovery. By educating yourself about disease of addiction, you’ll know what to expect and when to ask for help.Being a loving partner to a recovering addict requires sensitivity and discretion.In working with the spouses and significant others of addicts, I’ve often heard it said, “I’d rather be an addict than love one.” While few people would ever walk eyes-wide-open into a chronic disease like addiction, the statement speaks to the confusion, loneliness and despair common not only among addicts but also the men and women who love them. In fact, addicts who are solid in their recovery can make excellent partners.