There is no point in a relationship when addiction can do anything but cause hurt, however, the least hurt is caused in the dating phase. Dating is the initial point in a relationship when attachments have not become strong yet. Rational people date knowing that either party is free to sever the relationship at any point because no commitments or promises have been made. Dating is a preliminary trial period. This is why addiction does the least damage in this phase. Not only is the addict on their best behavior in order to make a good impression, but the person dating the addict is the least attached they will ever be to addict and is free to distance themselves from harmful behavior without a guilty conscience.
It is highly recommended that addicts do not date at all. As a general rule of thumb, addicts should cease most of their life activities to focus on recovering from their addiction. There should be no higher priority than addiction recovery to an addict and their support system. Dating is at the top of the list of activities that should cease during addiction. Dating while struggling with the mental disorder that is addiction is not fair to yourself or anyone who dates you. If you know that you are not mentally healthy, you should not be offering yourself to potential relationships. Mental health is vital to the success of a relationship, and mental disorders are toxic to a relationship. Seek help first, then resume the dating game.
If you are dating someone whom you fear is an addict, be watchful for the signs of addiction, which typically include secretive behavior, irritability or mood swings, weight and health fluctuation, a focus or a fascination on a particular something and a refusal to give that something up. If you are certain that the person is an addict, talk to people who are close to them so that they can discuss addiction treatment or counseling with the addicted person.