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Should I date an addict?

Should I date an addict?

Dating an addict is not always easy. There are whole programs (Al-anon/Nar-anon) designed to give support to the loved ones of people suffering from the disease of addiction. Some have even said they would rather be an addict then date one, because addiction is so destructive, it often destroys the lives of everyone around an addict, not just the addict themselves. And the addict has drugs to numb them, while their loved ones do not have any escape from the emotional turmoil. That being said, an addict who is working a good program of recovery can be a great partner. They have done a lot of work on themselves and are focused on what they can bring to the relationship, not what they can get out of it.

Here are some things to remember if you wondering if you should date an addict:

Dating an addict: Love is not all you need.

We’re constantly flooded with images and sounds that support romanticism and the quest for love. Romantic movies and love songs seem to profess that love is all it takes to build happy relationships.

Unfortunately, this is not the case, especially when you date an addict. If an addict is still using, no amount of love from you will get them to stop.

The high will be their first priority, no matter what, so you will always finish second to that.

An addict cannot quit for someone else. It does not work. Unless they are committed to changing their lives for themselves, they will likely relapse.

Even if they are not using drugs, an addict can display compulsive behaviors in other areas (gambling, food, sex, spending, work) and this makes them an unstable partner as well. If you really care about an addict who is using drugs or acting out compulsive, consider holding off a romantic relationship until they have a solid program of recovery. Also, you should not date an addict during the first year of their recovery. They should stay focused on their program and themselves. In the first year, an addict is still trying to figure out how to be in a healthy relationship with themselves and others in a non-sexual manner.

Dating an addict: Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease.

Around 50 percent of addicts relapse. No matter how long your partner has been clean and sober, if they are not working a solid program, they are vulnerable to relapse. This does not mean that you should not date an addict who is firmly in recovery. It is just good to be aware of that, particularly if you have struggled with addiction yourself.

Dating an addict: Take care of yourself

It is important for the loved ones of an addict to be psychologically healthy themselves. You cannot change your partner if you decide to date an addict, but you can take care of yourself.  As with any relationship, setting healthy emotional boundaries is important. If you are healthy, you are less likely to be taken down by your partner’s illness if they relapse or start displaying unhealthy behaviors.

If your loved one is in need of alcohol detox or treatment for alcoholism please give us a call at 800-951-6135.

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