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What a Non-Addict Should Know About Dating a Person in Recovery

If you or a loved one are seeking treatment for alcohol or substance abuse, please call our partner facility today:
The PAC Program
(866) 516-8266


The relationship between a recovering addict and a non addict can be a healthy one. Nevertheless, for the non addict to find out that the person they are dating is in recovery can be quite a shock. The person in recovery may be healthy and self aware now, but used to be dependent on substances in the past, can be a hard idea to grasp. Any relationship comes with challenges, and this one will be no different.

Healthy Recovery leads to a Healthy Relationship

When an individual is in recovery, it means that they are doing their best to improve themselves. In a way they can be amongst the healthiest, most balanced people. However, if someone wants to date one of these individuals, there are a few things they must be aware of.

The most important thing to note is that the individual must have been sober for at least one year. Of course a longer time is preferable. A year of sobriety means that the individual has been in a good rehab program, since it is a popular saying in 12 Step programs. Any less than a year, and it is likely that the individual is still navigating their journey to sobriety.

The Dos and Dont’s of Dating An Individual in Recovery

Do get the facts. Don’t make snap judgments. It is easy to judge someone who has struggled with addiction. Instead of judging it is better to get educated on addiction and learn to let go of any stigmas surrounding addiction. Remember, addiction is a disease on a psychological level and can be treated.

Do support the individual’s recovery program. Don’t deter their efforts.

An individual in recovery needs all the support they can get. It doesn’t matter if the other person has never been in recovery or had to struggle with drugs. It is effective just to support their recovery process. One could even attend a support group meeting with them. The relationship can only work if the individual remains sober.

Do stay in the present. Don’t resist moving forward. It is important to remember one’s own needs in the relationship and not make it all about the individual in recovery. Both partners needs are equally critical, and together they can both grow as people.

Do trust the individual in their recovery process. Don’t ignore signs of a relapse. It is an unfortunate fact of recovery that relapses happen. However, trust is also important in a relationship, and the individual should be trusted to manage their recovery. Nevertheless, challenges can come up, and if one spots any signs of relapse, they should not be ignored.

Ultimately, all relationships are challenging in their own way, with or without addiction. With education and counseling, the non addicted partner can overcome whatever concerns they may have about maintaining a relationship with an individual in recovery.

At The PAC Program we understand that young adults may have different paths to recovery. We can offer individualized programs as well as education and counseling to get you on the path to recovery.