Celebrating Valentine’s Day in Recovery

February 7, 2023

Written By: Buena Vista Recovery

Valentine’s Day is a holiday to celebrate not just romance and romantic relationships, but relationships of all kinds. Taking a moment to show appreciation, love, and more in whatever form is best can be a great way to celebrate the holiday. However, for those in recovery from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, this holiday can be difficult. Whether an individual is repairing established romantic relationships or is beginning their pursuit of new ones in sobriety, the holiday can be a time of stress. Preparing for the holiday and approaching it with the right mindset is necessary to mitigate the pressures that may come attached to this time of year while still engaging in its celebratory intent. 

Detaching from a Romantic Mindset

Romance in recovery is incredibly complicated. However, Valentine’s Day does not necessarily have to be limited to just romantic relationships, and can rather be a celebration of close friendships as well. Distancing oneself from the idea that Valentine’s Day must be a celebration of a particular kind of relationship can open new avenues in which to explore and celebrate the holiday, all while still retaining its intended spirit. 

Having dinner with close friends or exchanging gifts with family members can all be great ways to explore the different types of love that all exist, all while continuing to nurture these important types of relationships. 

Navigating Established Relationships

Addiction is a profound disease that affects those closest to an individual. Oftentimes, there may be intense and lingering effects of addiction that affect spouses and loved ones. Feelings of guilt, shame, resentment, anger, frustration, and more are all common. Celebrating Valentine’s Day amidst these feelings can be difficult. However, it is still possible, and Valentine’s Day can even be the catalyst for healing from these challenges. 

Valentine’s Day isn’t necessarily an unconditional celebration of love. Many individuals in recovery will have to address the consequences of their actions while under the influence of addictive substances and the ways it has affected those closest to them. However, expressing guilt and making amends can be just as powerful an act of love, and can show the commitment each individual still has to continue through their healing process. 

Considering Romance in Recovery

New romantic relationships in recovery are incredibly complicated. Not only must an individual continue to balance their sober efforts and obligations to attend continued outpatient programs and develop personal strategies, but they must also navigate complex emotional situations and challenges in these newfound relationships. While it is common for many to wonder if they are prepared for romance, especially around a holiday that celebrates it, it is important to approach the prospect carefully. 

It is easy to get lost in the initial time in these relationships, often referred to as the “honeymoon phase.” However, while this can be an amazing time of happiness and fulfillment, it is still crucial to continue to focus on personal endeavors. An individual becoming overly defined by a relationship or compromising personal hobbies for the sake of the relationship can be incredibly dangerous for those in recovery. Likewise, it is also necessary to be prepared to discuss each person’s sober journey to ensure that these relationships are understanding and supportive of such a necessary perspective. Preparing for conversations and tending to personal needs are all crucial parts of recovery to consider before pursuing romantic relationships. 

Celebrating Valentine’s Day Right

Valentine’s Day can be an amazing holiday to celebrate, further nurturing loving relationships of all kinds. However, they still must retain the sober focus that all other holidays do, even amidst the emotional challenges that come with romance and reparation of intimate relationships. Having a plan for a sober Valentine’s Day can help those in recovery continue to deepen these relationships while developing a healthy, sober lifestyle. 

Cook Your Own Meal Together

Cooking is a fantastic skill to learn, especially for those in recovery. Having a home-cooked meal and working on it together with a partner can develop feelings of camaraderie alongside one another while also ensuring that an individual is maintaining sobriety and a healthy diet. Working together not only allows those in recovery to actively practice their social skills and highlight the changes made in their sober journey but also facilitates further teamwork and trust for challenges to come. 

Take Classes Together

Learning new skills in recovery is always great, and having a partner to explore new skills and outlets can make these even more effective. Signing up for classes together, whether dancing classes, cooking, artistic endeavors, and more can introduce these skills and experiences alongside loved ones. Having a partner present for these Valentine’s Day activities can also deconstruct any preventive barriers that may exist and create a unique shared experience for Valentine’s Day. Consider classes that prioritize self-care techniques or new hobbies. 

Create Your Own Valentine’s Day Tradition

Creating unique traditions can be amazing in recovery, with Valentine’s Day ready for such new traditions alongside loving supports, partners, or spouses. Exploring new traditions, such as movie nights or creating a scavenger hunt for a loved one, can all be great ways to further explore these important relationships while reinforcing their sober benefits. 

There are many ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in recovery. We at Buena Vista Recovery are ready to help you explore the best way for you to approach that holiday. From creating a plan to help you address your romantic relationships to establishing a new tradition alongside supportive friends and family, we can help you continue to make the most of your sober life while continuing to support your sober goals. We can personalize a recovery program for you to address not just how addiction has affected your life, but also the lives of those most important through education and continued familial healing. For more information on how we can help you, call us today at (480) 741-9414 or verify your insurance here.