Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, and for anyone not in a romantic relationship, loneliness and depression are common this time of year. For those in addiction recovery, the situation can be even more precarious. The blues over not finding a date—due to complex compatibility issues—can put them at serious risk for relapse.
Mountainside’s Addiction Psychiatrist Dr. Alkesh Patel advises people in recovery to not get caught up in the holiday nor seek a relationship purely for the sake of experiencing being in love this time of year. They instead need to make sure they are at a secure place in their sobriety first, which will make opening up and sharing their lives with someone much easier and more rewarding.
Dr. Patel also offers the following tips on seeking a relationship in recovery:
– It is imperative for sobriety to remain a priority that is never compromised by a setting or an individual when looking for someone. Stay in sober settings.
– Trust, honesty, and integrity are some key values to look for in a potential partner.
– Avoid common pitfalls such as dating people who recently relapsed, or those who have not been working a good recovery program.
– Look for someone who is not only compatible with a sober lifestyle but also sensitive to the unique needs of a person in recovery.
– Make sure that the other person does not have other “hidden agendas,” whether they are also in recovery or not.
– Be certain that you can be diligent about your daily commitments while in the relationship and stay sober.
While loneliness may still be felt by people in recovery around Valentine’s Day, Dr. Patel advises that they treat the day like any other day and to “take their time to look for a person who will be a benefit to their sobriety long-term.”