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 tigerdreamer
Joined: 4/11/2009
Msg: 1
addiction recovery and dating riskPage 2 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
When is someone in recovery an acceptable dating risk? Are there indicators that someone may make it this time?

I'm in my 50's and the guys I date mostly are too. We are in this dating pool again because something went wrong. I would like to believe that some of us have been doing our work and are ready for a better relationship. But I am finding many of the guys (probably women too, I'm just not dating them) are dealing with addictions. How do I know when I should consider them an acceptable risk. I know the programs recommend at least one year, but then what?
 GoneSailinBabe
Joined: 7/6/2008
Msg: 2
addiction recovery and dating risk
Posted: 4/26/2009 1:40:58 PM

if you find someone that treats you well, is respectful, and is working on themselves, take it slow and find out who they are..


I think this applies when anyone looks at another for a relationship.
Addicts are humans.
We're all flawed, we all have issues that are not pretty or seen.

Would you want someone to hold you accountable for all of your life, and determine YOU unworthy of love simply because of your mistakes in your youth?

Addiction is a very difficult journey and one that most frequently begins in childhood, and is caused by what happens to a child.

A child.

Any one who judges, is someone who cannot imagine the torments that those souls have tried to survive as children.

Think of that the next time you look at someone with an addiction, see the child they were and then decide if they're worthy of love from you.
 CompletelyDone
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 3
addiction recovery and dating risk
Posted: 4/26/2009 1:55:25 PM
I think dating anyone (regardless of addictions) constitutes a "risk" and the only way a person can determine an "acceptable" risk is by examining their own ability to deal with whatever the consequences might be. If you know that you can handle whatever happens, that is an "acceptable risk". On the other hand, if you think you might need to set up some boundaries around where acceptable becomes unacceptable, that will be the place where you know you will detach or divorce yourself from further risk.

To clarify, if I knowingly get into a relationship with a recovering alcoholic, I must give considerable thought to whether or not I can personally handle whatever choices that recovering alcoholic chooses to make. If, for instance, he suddenly lapses, starts drinking and loses his job, how will it affect me if I am involved with him financially?

The same holds true if I am dating someone who isn't considered an addict but has historically been unfaithful or abusive with someone else. It isn't his behavior I need to concern myself with so much as I need to determine what I can reasonably handle and honouring my own boundaries.

Anytime we're meeting strangers, we take the risk of caring about someone without any guarantees that they will be who they say they are or who they seem to be in the first months of dating. If we aren't capable of handling disappointment, rejection or any of the other multitude of possible outcomes in a way that doesn't level us or hurt us to the core, we need to consider whether or not we should be risking anything at all.

Knowing ourselves, what we can handle and what we can't handle, what we can stretch for and what we can't, what we can practically afford to give away and what we must keep, is our best survival weapon where risk is concerned.
 carolann0308
Joined: 12/9/2006
Msg: 4
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addiction recovery and dating risk
Posted: 4/26/2009 2:56:08 PM
Only the individual can decide what they are willing to accept in a relationship. There are just as many people out there on the dating scene that have NOT had addiction issues therefore more attractive to most. You can certainly put it on your personal deal breaker list and no one will think the less of you. Or you can say who cares they are sober now and treat me well.
But with addiction the odds of the problem reoccurring is great. If you are willing to take the risk and deal with the possible consequences then go ahead. For me personally I would not date a former addict I have children and my responsibility to them will always outweigh any dating relationship. When I get older and they are out of the home life will change. If the person was clean and sober for a number of years I probably would date them but at any age I would not be interested in co-habitation.
 tigerdreamer
Joined: 4/11/2009
Msg: 5
addiction recovery and dating risk
Posted: 4/26/2009 3:08:46 PM
Thank you all for your thoughts. It sounds like the consensus is that addictive personalities are not a good choice. I will keep all of the suggestions strongly in mind as I continue.
 tigerdreamer
Joined: 4/11/2009
Msg: 6
addiction recovery and dating risk
Posted: 4/26/2009 9:03:56 PM
gonesailinbabe,
I agree we should have compassion for everyones trials as humans. We all have our own lessons to learn. As a friend, I can have all the compassion in the world and I don't even have to think of them as a child to love my friends. However, that is different than connecting my life to theirs in an intimate, physical, emotional or mental way.
Compassion does not mean putting my life in a toxic situation and that is what I was asking about. It seems there is no clear answer for when that line is crossed.
 daynadaze
Joined: 2/11/2008
Msg: 7
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addiction recovery and dating risk
Posted: 4/26/2009 9:21:10 PM
I have no stats LOL but I'm guessing that many more single, available people to date people are not addicts, in recovery or not, so if all you are meeting are men with addictions, you might want to change your landscape.
 JstAnthrLonelyGirl
Joined: 7/19/2008
Msg: 8
addiction recovery and dating risk
Posted: 6/21/2009 12:42:26 AM
Coming from someone who is a recovering addict. Any addict that has recently started the process of becomign clean, should not according to every therapist I have every spoken to try to participate in a relationship for at least 1 year following the completion of treatment. Relationships are often the reason so many people relapse. If they are recovering. Let them recover first, everything else comes second.
 keeper515
Joined: 11/26/2006
Msg: 9
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History
addiction recovery and dating risk
Posted: 6/21/2009 7:03:24 AM
Lots of good advice in answer to this question
It bears repeating that all the 12 step programs recommend not getting into a relationship for one year after getting clean/sober/straight.
Thinking of getting involved with a boozer ?
Google ‘Thiq alcoholic’ and see what might happen .
Look at all the facts and base your own decision on them.

If the addict is contentedly in denial not recovery - read the forums here for first person experiences from both sides.
 daynadaze
Joined: 2/11/2008
Msg: 10
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addiction recovery and dating risk
Posted: 6/21/2009 8:10:25 AM
First, he should treat you with respect, if not, dump him without a thought. He should also treat himself with respect, no dry drunks or woe is me or sweating being sober, he should have reached the stage where he's not thinking of his addictions all the time. Also who does he hang out with, if he's still connected to people who are risks, then he's not really wanting to sober up, he's wanting to keep his finger in the pie. If he's not taking total responsibility for his addictions and recovery, then he's not really sober. There's nothing worse than a so-called sober person on a dry drunk who feels sorry for himself because he has to give up his addiction. (sober and dry drunk not necessarily meaning alcohol, just terms that are used referring to addictions)

Be aware of your intentions, if you are looking for addicts to 'fix' then you would be someone they should not be around. I'm not saying you are doing that, just that it's something that is often a high risk to addicts trying to sober up. So if you find yourself being attracted to a lot of addicts, check yourself about why this is happening.
 JstAnthrLonelyGirl
Joined: 7/19/2008
Msg: 11
addiction recovery and dating risk
Posted: 6/24/2009 1:31:25 AM

The relapse would have happened anyways! It just gives the cry baby something or even better someone to point their finger at and try to keep from taking responsibility for their own bad choices!


Nice, obviously you've never been addicted to anything. That's a sad answer.... and it's not always true.
 tigerdreamer
Joined: 4/11/2009
Msg: 12
addiction recovery and dating risk
Posted: 6/24/2009 9:42:05 PM
The more answers, the more I am rethinking things.

Thank you to all of you for your thoughts and experiences. Special thanks for the extra reading material. It was very informative.


<div class="quote"> Anything less then that, and they are still too emotionally immature to handle a relationship. Most addicts are "stunted" emotionally when they first start using, so once they finally become clean, they can still be stuck in that immature way of thinking until they've had time to "grow up" a little bit after becoming clean.
This sounds like the final nail.

To all of you who are fighting this battle, my prayers, wishes and respect.

To all of us who are working through our own failures and shortcomings, we haven't failed till we fail to get back up. (a poorly remembered quote from somebody)

I am truely grateful for the decency and honesty with which everyone has answered this thread.
 CompletelyDone
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 13
addiction recovery and dating risk
Posted: 6/25/2009 1:10:36 AM
6 years clean and sober this July! Only because I have taken 100% responsibility for my choices!


Wow... that's simply awesome. Way to go Rockman...

I know from experience, it takes a helluva man to throw that ugly demon off his back and you have my greatest respect for your willingness to own it.


Recovery is for those who want it, not for those who need it!


You said a mouthful! It's so basic that it's hard for people to wrap their minds around but man... it's huge!!!

Good teachable posts here Rockman!!! Whew... I'm impressed!

 tigerdreamer
Joined: 4/11/2009
Msg: 14
addiction recovery and dating risk
Posted: 6/25/2009 7:09:10 PM
Evening rockman,


Well may you be wise enough to nail everyone down then. Everyone has character defects and personality issues. At least the person in recovery is doing something about them.

That did sound harsher than I meant it. If I had said nell instead would that have been gentler.

I did start with the idea that I understand many of us have our issues, especially at my age. I think it is prudent to assess risk in life. That doesn't mean it is the only thing I base my decisions on.

I am looking for someone who has done some work to improve and grow. I had no past experience with this issue and was looking for personal experiences. I did the research on the statistics and that didn't look very good.

I wasn't commenting on any individual. Since this seems to be an issue I am running into, I was trying to get a feel for how to think about it.
 Yankee again
Joined: 1/26/2008
Msg: 15
addiction recovery and dating risk
Posted: 6/25/2009 11:56:46 PM
Rule one they need one year of sobrity before they can commit.

Run girl run..........it is not worth the pain. I just got out of one reationship I met on line. He claimed to be in AA. Quoted the books well. But he could not walk the walk.

Alanon will tell you to go on with your life. It is not worth it until he is sober and working a program.

Go to alanon. And protect yourself. Not all addicts are the same. Beware you need guidance.
 tigerdreamer
Joined: 4/11/2009
Msg: 16
addiction recovery and dating risk
Posted: 6/26/2009 5:06:30 AM

So when reading anything about this topic always remember to question the motives or the person sharing!

Good advice for life in general. Thanks Rockman.
Sorry about the loss of favs.
 michaelovesmusic
Joined: 6/26/2008
Msg: 17
addiction recovery and dating risk
Posted: 7/26/2009 10:37:50 AM
As a Recovering adict I must admit to being very scared of some of the sentiment in this Thread. But that is my shit and I wont dump it here. However I would ask the following question to the person wondering if she should date and addict.

"Would you date someone that has cancer"?
 cncgandolf
Joined: 7/29/2007
Msg: 18
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addiction recovery and dating risk
Posted: 7/26/2009 10:47:43 AM
"When is someone in recovery an acceptable dating risk?"

When they have completed a really solid step 8. That is when they have developed a healthy relationship with others and are in the process of cleaning up the wreckage of their past with a solid sponsor approved plans for doing it. They have good self-esteem and the ability to be empathetic and keep awareness of others (their relationship) in balance with themselves.

The women in my sober home are strongly encouraged to not start new relationships until a solid step 8. Those who have waited and focused on recovery until then have reported and demonstrated much better relationship skills and success.

Those who seek out people who are early in recovery are called 13th steppers ... likely relationship addicts looking for the broken as the best they can do.
 cncgandolf
Joined: 7/29/2007
Msg: 19
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addiction recovery and dating risk
Posted: 7/26/2009 10:56:06 AM
""Would you date someone that has cancer"?"

If they were in treatment. If they were following their program of recovery. If they were likely to recover if they followed their program of recovery. If they were doing the work to rebuild their life.

In 'The alcoholic speaks to his family" there is a line about "you wouldn't be angry with me if I had diabetes or cancer." and my answer is: If you were doing all of the recovery work those two deseases require then I would not be angry .... if you knew you had those diseases and were not doing the recovery work, then yes I would be frustrated and yes I would want to walk away from the hopeless pain.

Recovery requires adoption of a lifestyle for the person with the disease (addiction or diabetes) and their family, too. 12 step programs are the most successful lifestyle to date. And, as the Big Book says, the lifestyle has benefits for all ... even if they can't figure out either their addiction or how they might have been affected by someone else's addiction. That is why my step guide provides a Big Book workshop for all ... identified or not.
 michaelovesmusic
Joined: 6/26/2008
Msg: 20
addiction recovery and dating risk
Posted: 7/27/2009 6:52:18 PM
I can not speak to the AA literature, only to the NA Basic Text and certainly do not make excuses for my choices on dealing with the issue's I have. My point in raising the question about "would you date someone who has cancer" was this:
Number of deaths for leading causes of death
•Heart disease: 631,636
•Cancer: 559,888
•Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 137,119
•Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 124,583
•Accidents (unintentional injuries): 121,599
•Diabetes: 72,449
•Alzheimer's disease: 72,432
•Influenza and Pneumonia: 56,326
•Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 45,344
•Septicemia: 34,234
As one can see Addiction is not up there. Should we look at people that eat too much red meat, or smoke, as people that we should stay away from ? We all must answer that question for ourselves. Life is so short, and I know for me living in the day or the moment appears to be the best way to live. I have been in many relationships , with so called "normal" people, who broke my heart so if dating is about risk avoidance, then so be it.
 tigerdreamer
Joined: 4/11/2009
Msg: 21
addiction recovery and dating risk
Posted: 7/27/2009 7:59:27 PM
I think to some degree all of life is about figuring the risks/odds. Yes, I still cross the street, get in my car and even horrors, dive into a pool.
The difference with an addict is all of the ways they can pull their loved ones down too.
And yes, living in the now is good, but we still have to figure on things like retirement and rainy days.
Sometimes living ONLY in the moment gets you in bigger trouble in the long run.

It seems, like most situations, one can only make an educated guess and try the best they can.
 cncgandolf
Joined: 7/29/2007
Msg: 22
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addiction recovery and dating risk
Posted: 7/28/2009 5:56:35 AM
"As one can see Addiction is not up there."

Because living with an active addict is a living hell you wish had an end to it ... or the death certificate lists something other than the addiction as the cause of death.

I can quote NA Basic text too as the women in my home work their steps from it, too.
 graham_best
Joined: 9/2/2012
Msg: 23
addiction recovery and dating risk
Posted: 10/10/2012 5:42:46 PM
you drive me nuts. you drink, your not in the program, you don't work in the field (if you do you hate it, more of a reason to ask why your here) and generally you don't have anything good to say about drinkers. why do you read in and give advice? at your age you'd date someone but not move in with them? you have blanket rules that aren't conducive to each other wouldn't you say? I wouldn't date an addict, but, um but, but, well, I'd date an addict but I wouldn't live with one. coming from an alcoholic I must tell you dear, you say the same shit we do. I think you might have a problem.. Just saying.
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