Getting through the trying time that is drug rehabilitation speaks volumes to your dedication and abilities. It may have been more difficult than you’d expected and the withdrawal process is likely something you’d want to never dwell on again. But—being that you’ve started a new life—you may be ready to let love in and find out how great life can be sober, happy, and moving toward a future with a mate.
Dating can be fun and exciting now that your mind is clear and you have a foot in the right direction. Your life could be rich and fulfilling with someone to spend your days with, someone to help you when you’re down, someone to brighten your life and instill in your mind that there are bigger, better things out there. Think about where you are in your sobriety and consider venturing out in the dating world, if only just to date casually and infrequently.
Now it may be nerve-racking to think that you could in some way screw a new relationship up, or, on the other hand, that the emotions of new love could threaten your sobriety. You have every reason to worry in these ways, though before you leave the idea entirely, think of where you are in your sobriety, and what a relationship could do for you in support of said sobriety. There are many things to consider when it comes to letting yourself out to date and the possible pros and cons are rather endless, but there are some essentials to consider.
Self-Trust And Its Companions
Just as you can now find and rely on self-pride, self-trust is something that you must earn and hold to in your lifelong sobriety. Trusting yourself not to fall off course and do something that will damage yourself and your own life is extremely important, but adding another person to this mix—their life and their heart—means that you must be able to trust yourself to not slip up in a way that can affect this loved one negatively.
Trusting yourself to stay true to sobriety means knowing where you are on this path. It also means knowing that your life has changed dramatically for the better. You can’t very well open the doors of your life to some innocent bystander who has a plan lain out for a life that you simply cannot be on board for yet. Starting slow may be what you need, but if things go well and you can feel the weight of former abuses lifting from your shoulders, you may find that letting yourself go further into the dating scene can provide a new safe haven for you and your sober life.
So, are you ready to date? Think of where you are in your recovery, where you would like to be, what you want for your future, and how you would like to get there. Dating after drug addiction can be the best decision you make for your life, next to choosing sobriety. It can be extremely powerful and rewarding. If you think you are ready, look below to some pointers that may help you ready yourself for dating and keep you true to yourself and your partner while dating.
Dating can have its ups and downs. Being prepared to handle what may be dealt to you in the dating world is extremely important for you, your sobriety, and your potential partner. The course of rehabilitation, recovery, and sober living allows for you to know what emotionally affected your former life and how better to achieve positivity and support in your current and future life. Given these tools, you should think about where you are on your emotional journey and where you need to be before you let another heart link to yours.
As many well know, addiction’s original causes may be mental health issues. This pertains to a variety of emotion-related deficiencies and ailments, such as depression and anxiety. When you think about what led to your drug abuse, you should also think about emotional tendencies that may still need to be addressed professionally. There is nothing wrong with seeing a therapist while you begin to enter the dating scene, nor should there ever be issue with you continuing to see mental health professionals throughout your life. It is your duty, however, to be self-informed when it comes to your emotional abilities and whether or not you are able to open your heart to something deep and meaningful at this time.
As a relationship deepens, are you prepared for the potential bad feelings that can dapple the good? Imagine, for instance, the ecstatic feeling of love; the nerves and the excitement; the rush of your heart when you think of the person you care for. This great and soaring feeling may last the test of time, but just as is in any relationship, it will have its negative points and trying times. Being certain in your heart that you will be strong in a time when love suffers is essential when delving into the dating world. Your imagination must also touch on a potential break up. Going from the height of happiness and falling to sadness could be ruinous for your sobriety if you don’t handle yourself with care and know that love is only one amazing thing in your life. Sobriety should always be your foundation; while you may look at love as the most important thing in your life, know that its existence (for you) lies upon the foundation of sobriety. This means that without sobriety, love in its truest form would not exist in your life. If love slips from you, you must maintain your foundation while allowing your heart to heal.
Responsibility In Many Facets
Knowing you’re ready to date means that you have a life that you can now be proud of. Getting yourself off of drugs was a wonderful step to take toward bettering your life, but what of everything else that could be improved upon. It may be hard to take someone out on a date if you are struggling financially. Finding a job and securing a good living space and some basic techniques for keeping your life organized and comfortable is very important before you welcome someone in. Men and women alike will want to feel some sense of security when it comes to the one they spend so much time with, even if only casual. They will want to know that they won’t have to lend you money for the tricky spots you’ve gotten yourself in. They’ll want to know that they won’t be incurring your debts, nor your legal troubles. It may be wise to work hard toward eradication of such issues. Waiting until you’re off of probation or done with a court-ordered rehabilitation is probably for the best.
Displaying responsibility can also be seen in how you’ve changed your life to accommodate recovery and sobriety. It is important to remove from your life those who were contributors to your addiction. This could be friends, this could be family members. Being responsible in your life and showing your potential partner that you’re ready to commit yourself to a relationship means changing the things in your life that could threaten all of your hard work.
Finally, you must responsible in preparing to be selfless. Your affliction is a disease, to be sure. But, drug addiction is, in many ways, a selfish disease. It usually begins with an act that shows disregard for anyone other than the user. It then takes on a life of its own that—to the sober and watchful eye—appears in every way to be self-serving. Your former ways and the behaviors that you’re accustomed to from these years of drug abuse must be siphoned from your ongoing life if you are to care for someone other than YOU. It is said in many recovery programs that you mustn’t rely solely on your partner for support in these times. It is equally important to be ready to care for someone else while still taking care of yourself. Knowing and acknowledging feelings other than your own may be something new for you, but it is a part of love and can provide a sense of freedom from the self-absorption that you’ve had to endure.
Game For The Future
Important as it is to be ready to get your feet wet in the dating pool, it is also imperative that you take a step back and think about what you would like for the future of your life. It is okay and normal to be worried about a future. It is also okay to want a simple life. Marriage? No marriage? Children? No Children? A loft in the city just for you and a special someone?
Finding a mate who will be ready to partake in your life’s future is for the best, if you know what you want. It is also key to be extremely honest with whom you are dating and make sure they know precisely what you’re looking for and, similarly, precisely what you have no interest in. You may be ready for a life of love and family, which means you will also have to be prepared to be the parent of children. This means any slip up could cost you the rights to see your children. It could mean divorce and losing your house and all that you’ve built. Always be ready for new endeavors and know what you can handle before you get too deep into a life that you cannot rightfully support. Having a family means having a home full of hearts that can be broken by your mistakes.
Limits and Guidance
Reaching out for something as special as love can be extremely helpful for your sobriety. You may even notice that it provides a more valuable and illustrious reason (among the many others) for you to stay sober. Knowing your limits and being ready for the future is a good way to start in the dating game, but it won’t always be easy. Know that you can contact DrugRehab.org at any time for advice and help. Happy dating!