Valentine’s Day is a time for celebrating love and affection, but for those in recovery from addiction, the dating landscape can be complicated when it comes to thinking about love in recovery. One question that often arises is whether it is a good idea to date another person in recovery.

Love in Recovery

The Pros

Three key benefits of dating another person in recovery include a shared understanding, a supportive relationship as well as shared values and goals. While there are also potential challenges, these benefits can make a relationship between two people in recovery a positive and supportive experience that can help both partners grow and recover.

Mutual Understanding

One of the key benefits of dating another person in recovery is that both individuals have a shared understanding of the challenges and struggles associated with addiction. This can lead to a deep level of empathy and compassion between partners, as each person is able to relate to the other’s experiences in a way that someone who has not gone through addiction might not be able to.

For example, a person in recovery may understand the importance of maintaining a strong support network, and the difficulties associated with navigating triggers and cravings. While a non-addict might not understand why you need to continue to go to meetings and work a recovery programme, for instance, you probably won’t have to explain this requirement to another addict in recovery. Having a partner who is able to understand and relate to these experiences can create a sense of comfort and validation, which can be incredibly beneficial for individuals in recovery.

Support System

Another benefit of dating another person in recovery is that it provides a support system for both partners. When two people who are in recovery are in a relationship, they are able to provide each other with emotional and practical support as they navigate their recovery journeys. This can be especially helpful during difficult times, when one partner may be struggling with feelings of shame or guilt, or may be feeling overwhelmed by the challenges of recovery. Having a partner who is able to offer a supportive and non-judgmental ear can make a huge difference and help keep both partners on track.

Shared Values And Goals

Those in recovery often have a strong commitment to sobriety and a desire to live a healthier life. When two people in recovery are in a relationship, they are likely to share these values and goals, which can create a strong foundation for their relationship. This shared understanding and commitment to a healthy lifestyle can help both partners stay motivated and can make it easier to work through any challenges that may arise. Additionally, having a partner who shares similar values can provide a sense of validation and comfort, and can help both partners feel more confident in their recovery journey.

The Cons

There are also some serious potential drawbacks of dating another addict in recovery. These include being triggered, an emotionally intense or volatile relationship and potential codependency. While these challenges can be difficult to manage, it is important to be mindful of them and to take steps to mitigate their impact. By being proactive and seeking support when needed, individuals in recovery can build healthy and supportive relationships that help them achieve their goals and maintain their sobriety.


One of the challenges of dating another person in recovery is that being around someone who is also struggling with addiction can trigger feelings and behaviours that can lead to relapse. For example, being in a relationship with someone who ends up relapsing and is using or drinking can increase the risk of temptation or peer pressure, which can make it harder for individuals in recovery to maintain their sobriety.

Additionally, even being around someone who is simply talking about their substance use or partying can be triggering for some individuals, and can stir up feelings or memories associated with their own past experiences. This is why it is important to be mindful of potential triggers and to be proactive in avoiding or addressing them.

Additionally, there needs to be strong boundaries in place when it comes to potential relapses, such as an end to the relationship or the person who relapses committing to going back into treatment. This is necessary to keep yourself, and your recovery, safe.

Emotional Intensity

Relationships between two individuals in recovery can also be intense, especially if both are in the early stages of recovery. This can be difficult to manage, especially if one partner is not as far along in their recovery journey. For example, one partner may be more focused on their sobriety and may not have the emotional energy or resources to invest in a relationship.

This can lead to conflicts and misunderstandings, and can make it difficult for both partners to achieve their goals. Additionally, the intensity of the relationship can make it more difficult for partners to maintain a healthy balance and perspective, which can be detrimental to their overall well-being. This is why it is strongly recommended to stay out of new romantic relationships during the first year of your recovery. As you progress in your recovery process you are likely to become more emotionally stable which is better for both you and your prospective partner.


Relationships between two individuals in recovery can also be prone to codependency, where one partner relies on the other for support and validation. This can be harmful to both partners and can undermine their individual progress in recovery. For example, if one partner relies on the other for emotional support and validation, they may not be able to develop their own support network or work through their own emotional struggles.

This can lead to feelings of resentment or frustration, and can make it harder for both partners to achieve their goals and make progress in their recovery. Additionally, codependency can make it more difficult for partners to maintain a healthy and balanced relationship, as they may become too focused on each other’s needs and may neglect their own needs and well-being.

If you are wondering if you should get into a relationship with another addict in recovery, then these pros and cons should give you some perspective that can assist you in making this difficult decision. There are many examples of healthy and happy relationships where both individuals are in recovery. There are also many examples of this kind of relationship not working. In the end, you have to decide for yourself whether the pros outweigh the cons.