Dating can be fun as well as challenging. There is no dearth of people looking for dates in bars, clubs, online dating portals, etc. However, to meet someone interesting and establishing a spontaneous connection can be a difficult thing to do. A person can be plagued by anxious thoughts about dating a potentially unknown person. However, frequent meetings, along with regular communication, can help tremendously in getting to know someone better.
But what happens when one of the partners reveals that he or she had an addiction problem in the past? Is this a deal breaker or should one give this sort of a relationship one chance, at least? Though, the choice is personal, one must do a thorough introspection about what lies ahead, before deciding to shelve the relationship.
Here are some tips that can help an individual date smartly and safely, when the partner is battling substance abuse:
Appreciating honesty: If someone has mustered courage to reveal his or her agonizing past about drug addiction, it is, indeed, commendable. This confession clearly reflects that the person is not ashamed of his or her past and is ready to move on.
Initiating open communication: When one person confides about his or her addiction problem, the other must be straightforward in communicating his or her feelings about the disclosure. It is imperative that the person in need of treatment is given an opportunity to share his or her feelings, insecurities or any association with addiction, openly. Establishing an open communication from the beginning can set the tone for a strong and long-lasting relationship.
Setting some rules: When two individuals date, it is obvious that they frequent bars and clubs for hanging out, however, when one of the partners is battling substance abuse, the other person must set some limits. One must avoid going to a restaurant where alcohol is served (in case the partner has an alcohol addiction) and also avoid consuming alcohol in front of the partner.
Coping with relapse: No matter how calm or abstinent the partner with addiction problem appears, there is always a chance of relapse. It is, therefore, important for the other partner to learn about the symptoms of relapse and also be prepared with some self-help techniques, in case relapse occurs.
Volunteering: The person in need of treatment could still be in therapy and attending meetings. The other person can volunteer to give him or her company during these sessions. This might help both the individuals in connecting with each other better.
Indulging in self-care: Dating a person battling drug abuse can be an overwhelming task, at times. It is, therefore, important that the other person invests some time on his or her self-care as well. One must try to spend alone time, or get involved in interesting activities such as pursuing a hobby or simply relaxing, so as to keep oneself sane and happy.
Dating a person fighting substance abuse is not impossible, however, it has its own challenges. If you or someone close to you is in need of treatment for addiction, or is dating someone with an addiction problem, it is natural that the mind will be plagued by innumerable negative thoughts that may impact the relationship.
If you know someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, the 24/7 Recovery Helpline can help find the best drug rehab centers in the U.S. You may call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-441-4405 or chat online for further advice on various drug and alcohol treatment centers available in your vicinity.