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Why is it Suggested to Stay Out of a Relationship for the First Year of Sobriety?

Many sponsors and recovery advocates recommend that a newcomer not begin a relationship for about a year into sobriety. There is no specific rule about relationships in early recovery, however, based on the collective experience of men and women who have gone through recovery programs, beginning a relationship at such an early stage in one’s development can prove to be hazardous to their progression in recovery.

Early sobriety is a time for us to focus on our own spiritual healing and personal development. 12-Step fellowships, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, focus on spiritual connection as one of the tools for achieving permanent sobriety. This connection is sacred and our relationship with a higher power of our own understanding is of utmost importance. When we begin a relationship, we may find ourselves distracted by the other person to a point where our spiritual life is suffering. We may begin relying on the other person to such an extent that they become our idea of a higher power. All people are flawed in one way or another, and giving the control reserved for our higher power to a fallible individual could prove to be disastrous. If the other person is in recovery as well, our reliance upon them may mean that if they were to relapse, we would quickly follow suit.

Early sobriety is a time of emotional fragility. We strive for love and human connection just like everybody else, and our emotions may be heightened to a point where we truly believe in our hearts that the other person may be “the one”. We must be careful not to fall into a line of thinking that moves our attention and focus away from the development of our spiritual connection in favor of a romantic one. We find it to be true that we are incapable of truly loving another person until we love ourselves, and our first year of sobriety should be dedicated to finding that sense of ease and comfort with ourselves rather than another person. Eventually, we will be in a position to give ourselves more fully to another person because of the strength of our connection with our higher power and newfound love for ourselves.

Resilient House knows what you need when it comes to quality treatment for addiction. Bringing together the best in clinical and holistic expertise, we provide a full continuum of care to ensure lasting wellness from detox to sober living. Cultivating resilience, our programs teach clients how to live clean, sober, and well. Call us today for information: 833-CHANGE1