Why You Should Never Date An Addict
For a good number of us, the allure of the troubled soul is hard to resist. Who doesn’t want to be seen as a savior, as the solid rock in a person’s turbulent sea? The charm of the ‘bad boy’ or ‘damaged girl’ persona pulls us like moths to a flame.
Yet, there’s a world of difference between being a support system for someone battling their demons, and signing up for a relationship with an active addict.
Addiction comes in many forms—from drugs and alcohol to gambling and shopping, and more. The faces of addiction are as varied as the people who carry them, but the destructive nature of the disease remains a common denominator.
Regardless of the object of obsession, being in a relationship with an addict carries significant challenges. It’s a roller coaster ride filled with emotional ups and downs, unpredictability, and a myriad of potential problems that can deeply impact your life.
And while we’d all love to believe in the power of our love to transform and heal, reality paints a starkly different picture.
The truth is, dating an addict is like navigating a minefield, and it’s a path fraught with difficulties that extend far beyond the normal trials and tribulations of a typical relationship.
It’s not just about dealing with the everyday quirks and idiosyncrasies of your partner; it’s about contending with a powerful, often destructive force that takes precedence over everything else in their life—and by extension, yours.
So, before you succumb to the allure of the ‘bad boy’ or ‘damaged girl,’ take a moment to consider these hard truths about dating an addict. Because while unconditional love is a beautiful and noble ideal, it’s also important to protect your own well-being and emotional health.
Remember, you can’t help someone else if you yourself are falling apart.
13 reasons why you shouldn’t date an addict
1. They’re always in a relationship with their addiction
An addict’s first and foremost relationship is with their addiction, whether it’s drugs, alcohol, gambling, or something else. You’re automatically in a three-way situation, and trust me, it’s not the fun kind.
Addiction is a demanding partner that doesn’t understand the concept of “sharing.” No matter how much love and care you pour in, it often gets lost in the whirlpool of their substance dependency.
2. Unpredictability is the only constant
Unpredictability is the name of the game when it comes to addicts. And not the fun, “surprise date to the amusement park” type, but more of the “disappearing for three days straight” kind. These constant emotional roller coasters are a regular feature and can lead to a lot of heartache and stress.
3. There’s a high risk of abusive behavior
Sure, they’re not all “Breaking Bad,” but being an addict often coincides with episodes of aggressive or abusive behavior. This abuse isn’t always physical; it can manifest as emotional, financial, or psychological harm.
Even if they’re the sweetest soul in their sober moments, there’s no guarantee that they won’t turn into Mr. Hyde in a moment of addiction-fueled rage.
4. Your emotional health might take a backseat
This one’s a biggie! Being in a relationship with an addict can be incredibly draining, emotionally and mentally. It’s like living on a knife-edge, always waiting for the next crisis to drop.
This constant state of high alert can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Self-care? Forget about it.
5. Financial instability is par for the course
Addictions are not only emotionally taxing but financially as well. Substance abuse can often lead to financial instability due to the high cost of maintaining the addiction.
That dream house, that cute dog you’ve been planning to adopt, those fabulous trips you wish to take together – all may remain mere dreams in the wake of the financial havoc an addiction can wreak.
6. Their recovery process isn’t yours to control
Even if they make the decision to seek help, their recovery process is a personal journey that isn’t yours to control. It’s a road riddled with relapses, denial, and slow progress.
As much as you wish you could speed up the process or ensure its success, it’s ultimately up to them. And thus, you’re likely to get pretty frustrated if you’re not in the driver’s seat.
7. Trust is usually the first casualty
Addicts often lie to hide their addiction or to manipulate situations to their advantage. It’s a survival mechanism for them, but it leaves the trust in your relationship shattered. It’s tough, not knowing if they’re being honest or if their addiction is speaking.
8. They might not be ready for change
Change is a personal decision that can’t be forced. Even if they profess their readiness to change, remember that addiction is a complex issue that can’t simply be wished away. They have to be ready to put in the hard work and face the demons driving their addiction. And sometimes, they just aren’t there yet.
9. You might get pulled into their addiction
It’s not uncommon to see loved ones getting sucked into the addiction vortex. You might find yourself picking up their habits to better understand them, or they could pressure you into it. Either way, it’s a scary path to tread.
10. You might have to rethink social activities
Inviting them to a work cocktail party? Bringing them home for Christmas dinner? With an addict, you need to think twice before including them in social gatherings. Their unpredictable behavior, coupled with potential triggers present in these settings, could lead to uncomfortable and embarrassing situations.
11. The risk of theft is real
When the addiction claws are deep, they could resort to stealing to fund their habits. And it’s not just strangers at risk here. Family, friends, you – anyone close could be a target. Your valuable heirloom or the emergency cash stash might vanish before you know it.
12. Patience has a limit
As much as we like to think of ourselves as patient and understanding, everyone has a breaking point. The constant lies, broken promises, and unending drama can wear you down. Sooner or later, you’ll find yourself throwing your hands up in frustration and walking away for good.
13. Health complications and premature mortality are genuine concerns
Let’s not beat around the bush here – most addictions are life-shortening. The constant wear and tear on their body from substance abuse will lead to serious health complications. It’s a harsh reality to face, but you might end up losing them prematurely.
Look, I’m just going to have to say it: It’s one thing to be with someone who eventually develops a habit, but entering into a relationship with someone who’s already deep in the throes of addiction is a whole different ball game.
It’s akin to stepping into a war zone, blindfolded and unequipped. You may think you’re prepared, but the harsh realities of the situation will hit you like a ton of bricks. We all want to believe in the power of our love to heal and transform, but bear in mind that love alone can’t cure addiction.
In the end, it’s not about being judgmental or unsympathetic towards addicts—they need our understanding and support, not our condemnation. But it’s equally important to safeguard your emotional health, financial stability, and overall well-being. You owe it to yourself to make wise decisions about who you let into your heart.
Remember, it’s okay to choose you. In fact, sometimes, it’s the bravest thing you can do.