Dating is always unpredictable and full of challenges. However, dating a recovering alcoholic can present unique concerns. If you have a relationship with someone on a recovery journey, use these tips from Spokane Falls Recovery to help them in their path.
Choose Date Activities that Don’t Involve Alcohol
When dating a recovering alcoholic, you probably won’t be able to do the same things that you do with someone who has never had a substance use disorder. First, you should avoid social situations that trigger your loved one’s drinking. For example, if they always visited bars after work to drink, don’t make those places part of your date nights.
Choose sober activities that keep you both engaged and not drinking alcohol. For instance, you may go to an amusement park, go to the movies, or visit a park.
If you have a habit of drinking alcohol with dinner or in social situations, you will likely need to avoid these when you spend time with your recovering loved one. They will find it harder to resist drinking, especially early in the recovery process, if they see you using alcohol.
Know Your Limits when Dating a Recovering Alcoholic
Something that few people understand when dating a recovering alcoholic is the toll that the former life of their loved one takes on their current relationship. You must know your personal limits of how much you feel that you can personally deal with.
For example, some former alcoholics may have excessive debt or criminal records from their old life. If you cannot handle the person that you date needing to check in with a sobriety support person or probation officer, let them know when they introduce these challenges to you. While the two of you might work something out to make the dating process easier for you both while the other person recovers, don’t feel bad if you must step back until the other person progresses farther along in recovery.
Some alcoholics may need to spend less time focusing on their relationships and dedicate more time to recovery. If the person you date tells you that they need to take some time to attend an outpatient treatment program for alcoholism instead of spending all their time with you, give them space to do so. Once they progress through the program to aftercare, they will have more mental and emotional energy to devote to building a relationship.
Watch for Signs of Relapse
When you engage in relationships with a loved one in alcoholism recovery, watch out for signs of relapse. These signs include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Not complying with their alcoholism treatment program
- Experiencing difficult emotions
- Spending time in bars or with old drinking groups
- Isolating themselves to drink
- Skipping 12-step meetings or outpatient treatment sessions
If the person you are dating shows any of these signs, they need to get help to turn their relapse around.
Suggest Getting Support for Struggles with Relapse
For someone already in a treatment program, suggest that you help them to remember to attend meetings. Or help them to find a program that better fulfills their needs. If the person you are in a relationship with does not have a treatment program, consider recommending them to Spokane Falls Recovery Center. Our program offers only outpatient care for less disruption of lives. We include the following services:
- Intensive outpatient program for addiction
- Individual and group addiction treatment therapy
- Partial hospitalization program
- Legal support and court-ordered treatment
- Outpatient treatment program or aftercare
Connect with Spokane Falls Recovery Center in Washington for Alcoholism Treatment
Maintaining relationships with a loved one recovering from alcoholism is difficult. If your loved one starts to show signs of struggling again, get them in contact with a recovery center. In Washington State, contact us at Spokane Falls Recovery Center online or call us at 844.962.2775. You can learn about the treatment programs that we have available. While dating a recovering alcoholic is difficult, our treatment program can help your loved one get the support they need to stay sober.