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Although the Big Book of AA doesn’t offer guidelines on dating in recovery, addiction counselors strongly advise waiting until a person has achieved one year of sobriety.

Returning to daily life without the security of being able to use drugs as a coping mechanism can be terrifying, particularly when drug cravings and triggers to use set in.Recovering people often have learned to either shut down and hold in their emotions for fear of being hurt or to romanticize their relationships and fall in love at the first opportunity, without discriminating.“In treatment, people learn new skills that need to be practiced before they are able to make them part of their daily life without returning to old patterns,” she explains.“It is commonly recommended in the recovery community to avoid romantic relationships for the first year, because most of us are just beginning to get to know ourselves and to define our values,” Desloover says.“We have to learn to love ourselves before we can love someone else.” People in recovery might choose to date a very different type of person when they first quit using as compared to when they have achieved a year of sobriety, observes Desloover.

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Many recovering addicts benefit from ongoing support to help them work through their insecurities, build confidence, and learn to feel and express emotions in healthy ways.

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