There are several schools of thought on the concept of romance and recovery. This especially applies to romantic relationships in early recovery. Some addiction specialists say overall abstinence must be enforced for anywhere from six months to a year. A few go so far as to say two years of the single life and no sex should apply. The less common—but certainly more popular amongst those in early recovery—idea is that recovery-based romantic relationships promote successful recovery for not merely one individual; but two.
Recovery-based romantic relationships refers to those which begin within recovery between two recovering individuals. Often, two people meet in an addiction treatment center or a recovery meeting. Because they clearly have similar life paths, pasts and not a lot of explaining to do, the relationships begin with a great deal of ease. For objective readers, naïve to the harsh realities of the disease of addiction, this might seem like an offbeat fairytale in the making.
For those of us in recovery, there are varied experiences and resulting differing perspectives. Since many addiction professionals are also in recovery, much of their viewpoint is based on personal experience. But, of course, a great deal more originates in research—typically observational.
The reality of recovery-based romantic relationships is threefold: