It can be very tempting early on in a relationship to be economical with the truth to make you look better to your new partner. We all do it, and often you both settle down to an open honesty that is healthy for your relationship. However, dating when in the grip of addiction, or even when undergoing recovery can be a minefield, leading to manipulative or even emotionally or physically abusive behavior.

The good news is that the counseling you undergo during recovery gives you the tools to examine patterns and learn how to break them.

  • Talk it out – Don’t assume your partner is aware of your thoughts and feelings; they’re not a mind-reader, and if you’ve been used to covering up your addiction you’re probably a master at hiding your feelings. Allow yourself to be vulnerable both in expressing your emotions, and listening to your partner’s hopes and fears too.

  • Walk; don’t run – Although it can be tempting to replace the false stability that substance or alcohol abuse once gave you with the immediate intensity of a serious relationship, constant communication to make sure you’re both equally invested is essential.

  • No relationship is bomb proof – We’ve all seen couples who appear to have the perfect relationship. They never argue, and they seem perfectly in tune with each other at all times. Unless they’re putting on a front for the outside world, there’s a good chance they work hard on their communication, and talk through any issues in their relationship with each other before they become a serious problem.

Whether you’re dating, or looking for a life partner, all relationships deserve honest and open communication. Even if you’re not for the long-haul, you’ll take positive experiences from this relationship into the next.