Looking For: Man, Early 30s, Never Been Addicted to Drugs

Man, Early 30s

When a recovering drug user decides to date again, the choice of whom to date reverberates in his head: recovering addict, recovering addict not, recovering addict, recovering addict not.

When a recovering drug user decides to date again, the choice of whom to date reverberates in his head: recovering addict, recovering addict not, recovering addict, recovering addict not.

Putting yourself back into the dating game is not something to be taken lightly. One recommendation is to take a year after finishing a drug rehab programme to remain single, and to focus on your recovery.

Despite the amount of time you decide to wait before considering something romantic, a healthy recovery means a healthy relationship. All the mental and physical work that drug recovery demanded of you helped you to find a stable emotional state, and gave you the tools to recognise and negotiate dangerous feelings within yourself – all of which can be applied to a relationship.

But there’s still the question of, if you seriously date someone who has never experienced the pangs of drug addiction, will he or she understand you? What should you be sensitive to when explaining your own history of addiction and drug recovery?

Understand that a stigma exists

People who aren’t familiar with the idea of addiction as a disease may still feel that addiction is the product of moral failings. Be patient—but only to a point. Someone who isn’t willing to listen and to try and understand is someone with whom a relationship will never work.

Allow the person time to adjust to certain lifestyle changes

Dating a recovering drug or alcohol addict requires certain lifestyle changes, like avoiding gatherings where drugs or alcohol will be served. Allow the person you’re dating the time to adjust to these ideas, or grant him or her the independence to attend events without you.

A history of addiction has many forms

Even if the person you’re dating has never been addicted to substances or alcohol, he or she may have a close friend or family member who has struggled with addiction. Such a relationship can foster empathy, whether or not he or she can draw on first-hand understanding. Try to remain sensitive to the fact that your addiction could awaken painful memories.