Pursuing romantic relationships while in early recovery and active treatment, including rehab in Hawaii, is usually not recommended. You might not be ready to focus on fulfilling another person’s needs. Healthy relationships involve two people coming together not to find a missing piece of themselves but to partner with another to share experiences and support one another through life.
The Need to Feel Loved
Giving and receiving love is crucial to leading a healthy and fulfilling life. While you might start to feel lonely and look for romance during addiction treatment, romantic relationships can become a distraction from the healing work of recovery. Instead of seeking to fulfill your need to give and receive love from another person, you can focus on learning how to love yourself.
Is Romance the Same as Love?
You might confuse romance and love as being the same. You can find love without finding romance within a relationship. During your recovery, you can learn to cope with stressors in life without relying on a romantic partner to get through the day.
Love is not the same as romance. You can find love in many different places, from family members and pets to self-love. Each type of relationship you have can fulfill your need for different kinds of love. When you notice the love surrounding you and love coming from within you, you can feel fulfilled throughout your recovery without a romantic relationship.
When you pursue romance as your only means to find love, you could be setting yourself up for codependency and other issues within relationships. During recovery, you must learn to find passions and interests beyond romantic pursuits, which could be compromised if you aren’t healthy during the early stages of treatment.
Relationships are complicated, and taking time after addiction treatment may be necessary. Learn about post-treatment relationships at (866) 390-5070.More info
What Is Self-Love?
Self-love is critical to leading a happy and fulfilling life. Ultimately, learning to love yourself will help you maintain relationships when you are ready to pursue romance. When you love yourself, you can set healthy boundaries in your relationships because you don’t need a romantic interest to fulfill your need for love.
You can express self-love in some of the following ways:
#1. Self-Care Activities
Self-care involves doing things to make yourself feel happy and appreciated. You can set time for yourself to engage in fulfilling activities like exercise, meditation, and journaling. Self-care can even be time set aside to take a long shower, nap, listen to music, or watch your favorite movie.
#2. Practice Affirmations
Affirmations are ways that you remind yourself of your positive attributes. You can repeat affirmations to yourself daily or when you are feeling upset. Creating your own affirmations can help you think about your strengths and positive qualities. Examples of affirmations include:
- “I choose to be happy and healthy today.”
- “I am a valued person who helps others with my strengths.”
- “I am grateful for the gifts that I have to share with others.”
#3. Set Healthy Boundaries
One of the most critical aspects of self-love is respecting your time and energy enough not to allow others to drain you. When you set healthy boundaries with other people, you prioritize your needs and show yourself that your needs matter. Boundaries are about balance, and while you might need to do things for others like work or help your family, you can still set limits with others.
#4. Positive Self-Talk
Positive self-talk requires examining your thoughts about yourself and restating any doubting or negative self-talk. Throughout your daily life, you might make mistakes, feel rejected, or deal with other issues causing you to feel shame or doubt your abilities. Notice the thoughts that occur when you feel upset and change any negative self-talk to become your own cheerleader in life.
For example, you might think, “I can’t recover from my addiction — this is too hard!” You can change this by saying something positive to motivate yourself, like: “I welcome the challenges of recovery. Nothing worth doing is ever easy, and I deserve to heal from my addiction.”
If you’re a parent, one of your most pressing questions may be “How do I parent well while recovering?”. Like recovery, parenting is a journey…More info
Unconditional Love in Recovery
One of the most valued kinds of love is unconditional love, and romantic relationships might not be the best place to find this type of love. Unconditional love means that you are loved and accepted, no matter what. Usually, your primary source of this type of love could be your parents; however, not all parents offer unconditional love to their children.
When you are in recovery, you must learn to accept unconditional love to achieve your goals. You could find this kind of love through professional and peer supports, who often accept you for who you are during your recovery journey. The recovery community welcomes you where you are, whether you are just starting or you relapsed and need additional help. Once you experience and understand unconditional love, you can build a foundation of support to fulfill your needs without relying on a romantic relationship.
Love and romance are often confused as the same thing. Romance is a type of pursuit that can involve seeking love, companionship, and fulfilling sexual needs. While in early recovery, even after active treatment, pursuing romantic relationships could be problematic. You might not be ready for the ups and downs of relationships. You could also become codependent within your relationship, which will hinder your recovery progress. Luckily, you can find love and acceptance through other sources. Relying on romance to fulfill your needs for love could distract you from focusing on yourself in recovery. Instead, build a foundation of unconditional love within your recovery community and learn to practice acts of self-love daily. If you are currently struggling with an addiction, one of the best ways to show yourself love is to get professional support from a center for alcohol and drug treatment. For information on recovery and substance abuse treatment, call Hawaii Island Recovery today at (866) 390-5070.