Why Romance Doesn’t Work During Recovery

Why Romance Doesn’t Work During Recovery

Believe us when we say that we are strong proponents of the power of love. But, through our years of experience, we have learned that forming a new romantic relationship during the recovery process almost always leads to heartache. There’s a reason that Valley Recovery Center is a men’s only facility and that’s because when your’e battling an addiction, your only focus should be the process at hand.


First let’s explore the very normal emotion of wanting love during the recovery process…


Filling The Void

So, you’ve finally made the decision to shun drugs and alcohol. It’s obvious there will be a feeling of emptiness during the beginning of that process. For better or worse, these substances were part of your daily life and now loss becomes a constant emotion. In many cases, people entering recovery are also getting over a recently ended relationship. Addiction tears families apart. It also sends girlfriends packing and, more often than not, leaves the user alone. That is another major void for a person and can trigger the yearning for immediate companionship.


It’s important to understand that these are feelings you should be dealing with. You are human, after all. But keep in mind that this only a coping mechanism and it could be coming from an unhealthy place. Getting into an immediate relationship while in treatment isn’t just unfair to your sobriety, it’s unfair for the other person.


Common ‘Relationship In Recovery’ Problems

Not surprisingly, many people in recovery do go against their better judgment and begin a quick, passionate romance. Just like the vice you’re giving up, it may satisfy an urge in the moment…But it can create much more harm than good. One issue that tends to come up is honesty. People in recovery tend to divulge too much or too little information about themselves when starting a relationship. Just like with friends and acquaintances, you may want to keep the fact that you’re in a treatment program private. That is absolutely ok. But starting an intimate, potentially long-lasting romance on the grounds of deception is a recipe for trouble. On the flipside, being too honest about your addiction issues too early can scare certain people away. Of course, when you’re finished with the program, we encourage you to share your sobriety experience. But remember, there is a time and a place for everything.


Another common factor is the “Clinger” effect, where the new person in your life becomes an emotional substitute for your previous addiction. People in recovery often find themselves “addicted” to the new relationship, calling the other person relentlessly and exhibiting erratic emotions around them. This isn’t good for either of you and is a clear-cut sign that you haven’t fully let go of your demons.



Last but not least is the “fragility” component. Let’s be honest, throughout recovery you are dealing with some very intense symptoms. On both a physical and emotional level, you are not running at full capacity. If you were to become infatuated with someone and they left you (for whatever reason), it could easily trigger a negative spiral or relapse.


As we mentioned before, Valley Recovery Center is a treatment facility designated for men-only. Our focus has always been on you beating your addiction first. Trust us when we say that there will be plenty of time for romance (which we highly encourage), once your treatment in complete. To learn more about our unique approach to recovery, reach out at (866) 986-2486.



Valley Recovery Blog