Recovering from an addiction can be very difficult. One important and common pieces of advice given to addicts who are early in the recovery process is to wait for a period of time before they enter any type of romantic relationship. It is often recommended to wait at least a year. There are several reasons why a person should wait at least this long before they try to be involved in a romantic relationship. Here are some reasons why waiting is such a good idea.

Why Romantic Relationships in Early Sobriety are a Bad Idea?


A person who is addicted leads a life that is very self-involved. Addicts will often give up on other aspects of their lives including goals, jobs, and relationships, to pursuit drugs or alcohol. Reaching out for connection during rehab seems natural, but people who have finished their addiction treatment and are going home are encouraged to focus on self-care and self-discovery.

The life of recovery and being sober is very different than the life of an addict. When free from addiction a person can pursue different activities and relationships. During these early stages of being sober a person needs to take the time to create new routines and find a new direction for their life. For this reason, fitting in a romantic relationship that commands the person’s focus and energy can be difficult.

Romantic Turbulence

Even the strongest couples have times that are trying. This may be a disagreement about important issues or maybe one partner makes a mistake that hurts the other. When this happens, emotions run high and each individual will seek consolation. For an addict, this could mean going back to their drug of choice. Implementing life skills learned in rehab can be difficult on your own and when you are involving another person it can be even more difficult and can easily result in a relapse when the relationship runs into bumpy ground.


There have been studies that show that there is a similarity between a romantic addiction and drug addiction. For this reason, a person who is recovering from drug or alcohol abuse may be using the relationship as a new form of addiction. Essentially, a person is simply trading one kind of addiction for another and while romance is not as bad as a drug or alcohol addiction, it can cause a relapse if the romantic relationship does not work out.

Overall, it is important to make sure to take time for yourself and discover your new-found independence when you are first starting out in a sober life.


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