Addiction hurts. It destroys relationships. It ruins lives. It kills.

Dos and Don’ts for Dating an Alcoholic in Recovery

Dos and Don’ts for Dating an Alcoholic in Recovery


Dating an alcoholic in recovery can be challenging. Someone who is recovering from addiction will likely have needs that most others don’t have. This does not mean that dating in recovery should be off limits to you if you are looking for a partner. It just means you need to be aware of the issue and be ready to protect yourself.

If you find yourself dating an alcoholic in recovery, there are a few things you should make sure to do. First of all, be aware of his or her struggle, and be sensitive to it. Be supportive of the person’s needs, and encourage them to continue in their meetings and rehab sessions. There are things you might have to give up, such as drinking alcohol yourself or going to places that are a trigger for your partner. You will also need to be able to accept some level of baggage, such as debt, legal history, and broken family relationships. However, by knowing about and being willing to help with these negatives, it is possible to work to build a positive relationship with the person.

On the other hand, there are things that you should never do when dating an alcoholic in recovery. Don’t forget your own needs and dreams. If you have a real connection with the person, but feel you are being made to change who you are or give up some of your plans for the future, it might not be the relationship for you. Be loving and empathetic, but do not enable or allow yourself to be manipulated. One of the biggest problems you will face in this type of relationship is learning to trust each other and forgive the mistakes that are going to happen.

As always, stay true to yourself and only invest in meaningful, honest relationships. If you feel you are not able to take on the added challenge of dating someone in recovery, know your limitations and don’t get involved. But if you have the openness and compassion to love someone who has overcome a history of alcoholism, you may find that together you can have a positive relationship.

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