Starting a new relationship can be exhilarating. But if you or someone you know is considering beginning a new relationship after recovery, there’s reason to reconsider.
The emotional highs of a romantic relationship can mimic how your brain feels on drugs or alcohol. If you’re in recovery from an addiction, give yourself time. When challenges arise in a personal relationship, it’s important to be able to handle them without relapsing into old habits. Your first year of recovery should focus on your health and well-being.
Why Wait Until After Your First Year of Recovery
Even the healthiest romantic relationships can face challenges. Forming a deep emotional bond with another person comes with unexpected highs and lows. The highs may trigger behaviors like compulsion, infatuation and recklessness — similar to how an addict’s brain responds to drugs or alcohol.
If you’re recovering from addiction, it may take several months to re-learn healthy habits and coping skills. Recovery is a process that takes time. During your first year of recovery, focus on your mental, physical and emotional health. Then, reevaluate how you feel and take steps toward forging a healthy personal relationship.
Seven Red Flags to Look for in Romantic Relationships
When starting a new romantic relationship, it’s easy to get caught in a whirlwind of emotions. But it’s important to look for any potential red flags in your partner’s behavior. Identifying these seven red flags can save you from heartbreak and help support your long-term recovery:
- Lack of communication and trust
- Controlling behavior
- Existing drama from prior relationships
- Lack of intimacy
- Inability to solve conflicts
If your partner has a habit of dismissing your concerns or opinions, or ignoring you altogether, take a second look at the relationship. Notice if you start giving up activities, hobbies or old friends to satisfy your partner. These are signs of an unhealthy relationship that should not be ignored.
The Importance of Communication in New Relationships
Telling your partner about your addiction and recovery is a healthy way to build trust. Keep in mind that it’s important to respect your partner’s choices while also emphasizing your commitment to recovery. For example, you may need to decline their invitations to go out drinking more than once until your new partner understands. Staying proactive in recovery and being open with your partner is crucial when starting a new romantic relationship.
Turn to Gateway Foundation for Support During Recovery
If you are questioning your coping skills during recovery or simply want to talk, we’re here to help. For assistance with your recovery or answers to your questions, reach out to Gateway Foundation today.