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For those in early recovery from addiction, it’s especially important to ease into romantic relationships.

Standard advice is to hold off on dating for the first year in recovery, largely because relationships take your focus off of your own healing and, with their emotional highs and lows, are a leading cause of relapse.

When they finally manage to get past all of the chemical baggage that they had been carrying with them for so long, what you will find in most instances is that former addicts have just as many outstanding qualities as anyone else, and this can make them a joy to be around for family and friends alike. Is it wise to form a more intimate connection with an ex-addict or alcoholic, no matter how dramatically they appear to have turned their lives around?

In looking at the experiences of others, what we can say is that many who have formed romantic partnerships with former substance abusers have come to regret that decision immensely, while others have been able to establish satisfying permanent relationships with those who have successfully put their past addictions behind them.

If someone in recovery is asking you out or making other kinds of advances at an earlier stage of their rehabilitation, it means they are ignoring the recommendations of their counselors, and this is not a positive harbinger of things to come.

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If you are planning to become involved with such a person, there is a chance it could work – but only if your prospective companion is serious and dedicated to his or her recovery.Ask yourself: Would you feel confident introducing this person to your friends or family?Does the person show signs of addictive thinking or behavior? “There’s no forcing this process of knowing, only ways of fooling ourselves.Whether he or she is really committed to getting better and staying better for the long term is what you must figure out for yourself before you open your life and your heart to someone who has apparently stepped back from the abyss of drug or alcohol addiction.Before taking that final leap of faith, you must be completely honest with yourself and avoid any kind of wishful thinking, because if you ignore any ominous signs that are present and choose to become involved with a former addict anyway, when they finally go over the edge of that abyss and plunge into the depths below there is a very good chance that they will take you right along with them.

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