How To Celebrate Valentine’s Day With A Partner In Recovery
- Choose A Sober Location
- Share Your Support
- Meet Up With Friends
- Encourage Recovery Support
- Avoid Triggers
- Take The Pressure Off
Partners of people in addiction recovery can celebrate Valentine’s Day by finding sober venues, going on unconventional dates, sharing their support for their partner, and more.
For some people, Valentine’s Day is a time to break out the champagne and toast to a romantic relationship.
But if your partner is in addiction recovery, your Valentine’s Day might look a little different.
Places like restaurants, bars, clubs, house parties, and other locations serving alcohol that couples typically go to on the holiday may be triggering for your partner in recovery.
Below are several ways you and your partner can celebrate a sober Valentine’s Day this year.
Choose A Sober Location
The first step to helping your partner to have an alcohol-free Valentine’s Day is to choose a sober location.
This means skipping restaurants and venues that typically serve alcohol and sticking to sober locations.
You might try an unconventional date such as:
- getting in nature: Find a spot to hike, have a picnic at a park, go camping, go stargazing, have a bonfire, or find another way to get some fresh air and spend quality time together.
- writing each other letters: Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to show your love and appreciation for one another through letters.
- recreating your first date: Go on another “first date” and experience those early memories together by revisiting where you had your first date.
- staying in: Sometimes it’s best to rest in the company of your partner at home without outside distractions, especially if your partner may run into addiction triggers.
- taking a class: Invest in your relationship by experiencing something new together, such as pottery, cooking, woodworking, painting, or another interest.
- volunteering together: Volunteering is a great sober activity that promotes communication, deeper connections, and a sense of purpose for people in recovery.
- going on a road trip: Grab some of your favorite sodas and snacks and drive somewhere fun on Valentine’s Day, such as a scenic overlook or a new city.
Share Your Support
The purpose of Valentine’s Day is to celebrate romantic and platonic love, show appreciation for your partner, and bring relationships closer together.
For someone in drug and alcohol addiction recovery, this show of affection can be reflected in their partner’s support of their recovery journey.
Use this day as a time to remind your partner that you’re there for them, you’re proud of how far they’ve come in recovery from drug or alcohol abuse, and that you will continue to support them.
You can do this through a written letter, a phone message, or face-to-face. Verbally reinforce your support for your partner to let them know that you care.
Meet Up With Friends
Valentine’s Day does not have to be spent alone with your partner.
If you and your romantic partner have a trusted group of friends who love and support both of you, consider inviting them over for a Valentine’s Day celebration.
This can help to keep your partner accountable and connected on Valentine’s Day to prevent relapse.
Encourage Them To Get Recovery Support
Holidays like Valentine’s Day can sometimes distract from regularly scheduled recovery activities, such as support groups, therapy, or outpatient treatment for drug addiction.
If you want to be set up for a successful, sober Valentine’s Day, your partner must continue to go to these places of support.
If your partner goes to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting every Monday at 5:00, encourage them to go to that meeting as normal and celebrate the holiday afterward.
Avoid Addiction Triggers
Make sure you’re aware of your partner’s triggers and be prepared to respond to them or do different activities to avoid those triggers.
Everyone’s triggers are different, so if you haven’t had a conversation about them yet, ask your partner about what their triggers are.
This can help guide what you do on Valentine’s Day so your partner feels loved and safe.
For example, if your partner has a co-occurring eating disorder, indulging in chocolates and decadent foods might be triggering for them, so you might choose non-food-related activities.
Or, if your partner is experiencing grief over losing a loved one unexpectedly around Valentine’s Day, this holiday might feel very traumatic and upsetting, in which case you might have a restful night in.
Take The Pressure Off Of The Day
Valentine’s Day can hold a lot of pressure to perform. This pressure can seem overwhelming for someone recovering from alcohol or drug abuse issues.
Relapse is more likely to trigger in times of stress or unmet expectations. To keep the day light and stress-free, have an open conversation about your expectations for the day beforehand.
This can help to mitigate the possibility of disappointment, tension, or the feeling of failure.
- the size of the gift you’d like to give each other, if any at all (for example, a card as a small token or a larger item or memento if desired)
- how you expect the day to go
- whether you and your partner would like to give/receive gifts relating to words of affirmation, service, etc.
- how to show your love for one another without monetary gifts
- ideas for a low-stress celebration, such as pursuing a shared hobby together
Remember that you do not have to have an elaborate Valentine’s Day celebration. It may help your partner to have a low-key evening together with a movie and some popcorn.
Find Treatment For Addiction
At Spring Hill Recovery Center, our addiction treatment specialists are available to help you or your partner with addiction treatment this Valentine’s Day.
For more information, call our helpline today and learn about your recovery options.
Written by Spring Hill Editorial Team
©2023 Spring Hill Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved
This page does not provide medical advice.
- FindTreatment.gov — Treatment options https://findtreatment.gov/content/treatment-options/types-of-treatment/
- National Institute on Drug Abuse — Treatment and Recovery https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery