Recovery should never be a lonely endeavor. There are, however, suggestions from the recovery community concerning the development of romantic relationships in early sobriety. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous does not discuss this topic, telling us only that “we do not want to be the arbiters of anyone’s sex conduct”. The recommendations come instead from the experiences of men and women who have seen the dangers of early-recovery relationships firsthand. The 2nd Step of Alcoholics Anonymous is coming to believe in a power greater than ourselves. We focus on the development of our relationship to our higher power, allowing it to grow and develop, eventually turning our will and loves of to its care. In early sobriety, this relationship is often still forming, and romantic relationships can threaten our ability to put our concept of a higher power at the forefront of our thoughts and actions. We must be wary of allowing our romantic interest to replace our conception of a higher power early in our sobriety. This is why many men and women in the recovery community suggest waiting at least one year before entering into a relationship. We may find it helpful to discuss the potential relationship with our sponsor, asking if we are ready, examining our motivations, and whether we are acting out of selfishness or self-interest. Early-recovery relationships tend to be between two people who are both attempting to achieve long-term sobriety. This creates undue risk; if one person relapses, often the other will follow suit if they have placed their relationship higher up on the scale of importance than their own personal recovery. There is also the danger of going through a break-up. Early sobriety is a very emotional time for most of us. Break-ups tend to cause resentment and, as stated in the Big Book, “Resentments is the number one offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else.” Any type of resentment harms us, but the emotional weight of a break-up is particularly dangerous to go through at this stage of our development. Many of us enter the rooms of our 12-Step fellowship as emotionally damaged people. Through our recovery and sobriety, we develop a new design for living and finally become who we always wished to be. This is why we should wait. Why would we enter into a relationship when we still have so much work to do on our own inner lives? The miracle does happen. We learn to love ourselves and then, when we are emotionally ready, we will be capable of providing the kind of love and support that we would want from another person.
You can make the choice to change the story of your life. Oceanfront Recovery is a treatment center with a professional and compassionate staff of detoxification specialists dedicated to making the process as comfortable as possible. For more information about Drug and Alcohol Detox Programs or other treatment options, please call: (877) 279-1777