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 Justagoodguy65
Joined: 9/14/2005
Msg: 7
Dating someone in early recovery from alcoholismPage 2 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
Run for the hills.

I was with an ex-alcoholic who was sober for 3 years when I met her. She fell off the band wagon within a year.

Not to mention...if you're someone that likes to go out and have a drink now and then or enjoy your glass of wine at home, your mate can NEVER do the same. NEVER!! Alcoholics are NOT allowed to EVER drink.

Might be a burden on your way of life.
 babbaloo
Joined: 10/4/2004
Msg: 8
Dating someone in early recovery from alcoholism
Posted: 10/11/2007 5:35:01 AM
I got into a relationship when I stopped drinking. I found that I didn't concentrate on what I needed to do because it was justeasier and a lot like a drink to focus on the woman I was with. I broke it off, and it was for the best! I would suggest becoming part of the solution. Hell, go to an open aa meeting with him. you may really get a deep understanding for what he is experiencing!! Ifyou really like him though, keep him at arms length, he isn't going anywhere, he has a lot to concentrate on right now, until you both feel he is focused on his program. You'll never meet a better type than someone who has been in the cellar and was strong enough to persevere!!!
 danno3848
Joined: 9/26/2006
Msg: 12
Dating someone in early recovery from alcoholism
Posted: 10/11/2007 8:49:54 PM
Depends on how you define recovering. If he is truly recovering that means he's not drinking. If he's not drinking then you are dealing with are real human.. they need lots of support because its not easy.... if he is drinking at all.. then he's really not recovering... and I would be cautious here..

The only problem for a recovering alcoholic, is that recovery is one day at-a-time, pretty much forever depending on how bad of a problem it is. You don't want to be involved with a drinking alcoholic, not at all, so if he starts drinking you have to get outta there.
 rosebuds57
Joined: 1/21/2007
Msg: 13
Dating someone in early recovery from alcoholism
Posted: 10/27/2007 7:31:50 PM
You asked for experience....Yep, my hand is in the air.

About 15 years ago, I met a man who had been in recovery for 10 years. Six months before I met him, I had broken up with a man who was a binge drinker, so I was thrilled to meet a man who did not drink. We dated for a year and then got engaged. We married 6 months later. Not once in those 18 months did I witness him drink one drop of alcohol. On our honeymoon, four days into our new marriage, he decided he could handle a glass of champagne. I asked him not to, and asked not to risk 10 years of sobriety. Luckily, he did not take that drink. Then six months into our marriage I found out that he had been drinking when he was out of town on business trips (which he did quite often). About a year into the marriage he was openly drinking in front of family and friends. About 1 1/2 years into the marriage I was on my way to becoming a battered wife. I left him one night at about 2 am, after he ripped the door to a room off the hinges in a drunken rage. I never went back. That was more than 12 years ago. To this day, if I meet someone who is in recovery, I say.....Good for you! But I can't date you. These are my issues, not theirs.

I can't tell you if this will happen to you or not...probably not. But please remember this very important fact: Alcoholism is a chronic disease.....and is not cureable. The person suffering with this disease is either actively drinking, or the person is in recovery. There is never a moment when they are no longer an alcoholic.
 verygreeneyez
Joined: 3/15/2006
Msg: 15
Dating someone in early recovery from alcoholism
Posted: 11/14/2007 5:35:40 PM
Anyone know what the pecentage of success the AA has?


I don't believe there is a way to analyze that. It would be interesting to know, but because it's anonymous, I doubt there is an accurate way to determine how the success rate fairs. My own personal opinion ~ it's not nearly as effective as private counseling and/or inpatient treatment. After that, it might be more effective, I really don't know. I do know more people who are sober and recovering without AA than those with. Maybe that is just my personal knowledge however.

~OP~ I've been there. Dating someone attempting to become sober/recovering. It was so tough it had to stop. The dry drunks/highs were worse than the real drunks/highs. BUT, that is just how I view it. I was dating a raging alcoholic, hid it well (distance played a factor in HOW I missed it for some length of time) and although he's now in private counseling and at least one 12-step program, there is absolutely NO way I could be helpful in his recovery. Too much water under the bridge for me. I applaud anyone who can do kick the addiction(s) and those who stand by them or become involved with them after sobriety. Recovery however, is a lifelong process. I think it would be a tougher road than I can travel. JMO
 Oregondaisy
Joined: 6/15/2007
Msg: 17
Dating someone in early recovery from alcoholism
Posted: 4/6/2008 10:52:23 PM
Having something/someone to stay sober for could be just what he needs.


That's a bad idea. He needs time in recovery to work on himself. If things don't work out, it's the perfect excuse to go and get drunk. Give him time to get a lot of sobriety under his belt. They call it recovery for a reason.
 Leeanne
Joined: 10/14/2005
Msg: 18
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Dating someone in early recovery from alcoholism
Posted: 4/7/2008 8:30:15 AM
Having a partner in the depths of alcoholism is like living on the most extremes of roller coaster rides!! It's really not a thrill!! It's scary and incredibly difficult to deal with! Now to say the person is in recovery is great - but what about the times when you have to deal with them falling off the wagon?!?! This is a life best lived alone and not with someone who has this addiction!
 Lucky_Vet
Joined: 3/27/2005
Msg: 19
Dating someone in early recovery from alcoholism
Posted: 4/7/2008 8:33:23 AM
op: Remind yourself we tend to want to fix other humans to feel better about ourselves.

This is neither good or bad, but knowing our own motivations can steer us in the right direction.
 Dancing_4_You
Joined: 1/21/2006
Msg: 20
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Dating someone in early recovery from alcoholism
Posted: 4/7/2008 12:33:35 PM
deborah815, if you are in recovery yourself for 13 years, then maybe it's time you add al anon to your schedule. most of al anon nowadays is half filled with double winners--meaning two programs or triple winners, et al.

many people in aa and na find this helpful to assess their relationships. not only with mate potential but in dealing with who they are sponsoring, kids, friends who have not stopped drinking, etc.

like aa, every meeting is different and you should find the one for you.

if your parents or grandparents also drank, you might also want to read jan woitetz's book for adult children of alcoholics, as well as program material--and also try some of those meetings. some are authorized under al anon and some are on their own. so use your judgement.

what i don't understand is if you are sober yourself for this long, why you were not aware of "13th stepping". they have the same rule in al anon. also, are you able to be a friend and keep a sexual distance? if not, and he is under the minimum one year celibacy recommendation, them maybe just tell him the truth about your attraction and ask him to give you a call, in a year from now. that being said, don't wait for him pining away. if he is vulnerable or intense at the moment, that may make him attractive, but believe me that intimacy must come from a position of strength on both parties parts.

as to dating a recovered alcoholic with sound sobriety: sure anyone can fall in the future. however, what is left? a large number of people who do drink, are not in aa and should be in my "opinion". so, it really depends on the person. so many people nowadays are self-medicating for depression and other disorders, so you must also assess that state of being--after a person is sober for a significant while. for others, it's just an intolerance of the substance, but dual diagnosis is more and more recognized as the underlying issue and that is why people switch addictions to other things or people. plus, there is the issue of being raised in dysfunctional families and simply passing on what was taught to you.

if all that is weathered, there are some great couples meetings sponsored by aa that some of my friends will "swear by". personally , being an al anoner, i'd supplement those meetings with al anon as well--different slants. my friend goes to both, but her husband does not (just aa couple meetings and he also does online groups) because he's very introverted. but at least someone is holding the fort in both camps.

a good number of my friends are clean and sober for quite a while, and i must say that they are some of my best friends and always there for me when i need them. i believe the support they offer me, is one of the things they got in AA. however, i met most of them in al anon. in fact, i'm now getting nostalgic and am going to commit to finding a local meeting, having moved to a new area and in dire need of more local contacts!
 grapevine
Joined: 10/2/2005
Msg: 22
Dating someone in early recovery from alcoholism
Posted: 7/24/2008 7:28:14 PM
I'm sorry, but this whole "must live my life by the AA book of rules" and not deviate from same is, IMO, just as potentially addictive and dangerous as the alcoholism itself, at least psychologically.

Perhaps, for some people, it is prudent to wait a year before embarking upon a new relationship. But for some a few months might be fine; for others, it may take a few years and for others, still, it may never be possible. And others may be perfectly capable of forming perfectly healthy relationships immediately after quitting drinking.

If you found out the person you were in love with had cancer, would you put the relationship on hold pending a "green-light prognosis?"

If he or she had diabetes, would you wait to date them until their blood sugar leveled out?

What's the difference, then, in someone who's been addicted to alcohol? (Assuming this person was not an abusive person while drinking, and what have you).

I'm beginning to become convinced that when it comes to relationships we have set standards of perfection so high that there's no chance of ever forming a lasting, loving bond with anyone. And we do that with the veiled excuse that the person is somehow not "good enough" for us, yet how many of us can live up to those same standards?

We all have "baggage," we all have past emotional and physical issues to deal with. Approach relationships with REASONABLE caution, of course! But IMO life's too short to not accept risk and responsibility, and sometimes that means having to deal with adversity and challenges. There's something to be said for strength and perseverance. If you have tangible reasons to not get involved with this man, then by all means, back away. But if you are backing away based on some "one-size fits all" rules imposed by a special-interest group, you may be doing yourself -- and him -- a disservice. Only you can make that judgment, however, since you're close enough to the situation to know the right decision to make.
 jackster121
Joined: 9/2/2008
Msg: 23
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Dating someone in early recovery from alcoholism
Posted: 10/11/2008 2:34:36 PM
I've not been in A.A. but my grandfather was and I believe relationships are discouraged early on. When the emotional element comes into play, then something minor happens, it can be the trigger to send them on a binge. I don't know about 5 years but 1-2 for sure.
 verygreeneyez
Joined: 3/15/2006
Msg: 25
Dating someone in early recovery from alcoholism
Posted: 12/17/2008 10:19:51 PM
~OT~ I don't think it really matters to some specific "groups" of AA members what the Big Book says verbatim. I have been to MANY AA/NA/CA/SAA and even ACA and Alanon and quite frankly, all of ye' nay sayers: I've heard it time and time and time again that a year of sobriety is recommended for any person that is NOT already involved in a relationship such as bf/gf; living together; marriage; etc. prior to embarking on a romantic/sexual or intimate relationship of any nature. (Keep in mind, sobriety and recovery are two vastly different things.) The Big Book, if you all recall, was written a VERY long time ago and has been (like all things) taken out of context at times, unconsciously re-written as time has passed and as times have changed and is terribly subject to interpretation. What one person reads may mean something entirely different to Jane/John Doe two seats down the table. There is much more knowledge out there today than when Bill decided to put his plan/thoughts on the subject into actual printable verbage, so interpretation is a good thing to keep in an evolutionary state (i.e.: those who believe a year is a good milestone prior to emotional ventures being discussed here.) The reality is? Just like all programs or treatments: AA works for some, not for some and it works over and over and over and over for some who have a penchant for relapsing. It's all a matter of the individual. JMO
 Blondecharmthe3rd
Joined: 8/7/2008
Msg: 26
Dating someone in early recovery from alcoholism
Posted: 12/18/2008 4:31:26 AM
Be a friend, back away from romance. Perhaps a friend is what this person needs more than a roll in the hay which can confuse and complicate things further.

I would be cautious.
 brian1207
Joined: 12/5/2008
Msg: 27
Dating someone in early recovery from alcoholism
Posted: 12/19/2008 8:00:29 PM
run run RUN RUN RUN
dont look back RUN RUN RUN
 Dancing_4_You
Joined: 1/21/2006
Msg: 29
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Dating someone in early recovery from alcoholism
Posted: 12/19/2008 11:46:20 PM
since you are also in recovery, but for a longer period of time, i'm surprised you had not known of the minimum one year recovery period. nonetheless, as an al anon family member, i can only urge you to also attend al anon for relationship issues. these can pertain not only to dating, but sponsoring and related issues in the workplace with dysfunctional bosses, coworkers and employees.

nowadays, half of most al anon meetings have AA and NA members in attendance and they are called double dippers. if also in another 12 step program, triple dippers! also, al anon has sub groups that center on being raised in an alcoholic family that is referred to as "adult children of alcoholics".

often the attraction is between us all and sometimes that is good and sometimes not. it depends on the depth of one's recovery. i know some really together people who are in recovery and i know a good number who need recovery. that all being said, the codependency "drama" is not fun and i try to keep clear of it. that does not mean i keep clear of people in recovery, just wary of any sort of dysfunction that presents itself whether in OR out, that is not healthy and sustainable!
 Eye Of The Tigger
Joined: 9/23/2008
Msg: 30
Dating someone in early recovery from alcoholism
Posted: 3/14/2009 12:52:54 PM

I'm beginning to become convinced that when it comes to relationships we have set standards of perfection so high that there's no chance of ever forming a lasting, loving bond with anyone. And we do that with the veiled excuse that the person is somehow not "good enough" for us, yet how many of us can live up to those same standards?


This is an incredible insight...too bad that poster isn't here at POF anymore. I wholeheartedly agree with what they wrote.
 LakeCountyGal
Joined: 9/4/2008
Msg: 31
Dating someone in early recovery from alcoholism
Posted: 3/14/2009 5:02:10 PM
I agree. I have family who've been clean for years now and when you first start out at meetings (like NA or AA) you're usually told to stay out of relationships for a good four to five years. If someone is dating too soon after getting clean, they are more likely to sabotage themselves or still exhibit the dis-functional behavior of an active addict.

There's nothing wrong with dating folks who are in recovery for drug or alcohol addiction but make sure they've been clean for several years first. Otherwise, they may still also be dealing with sexual addiction, are still too impulsive with relationships, etc. Addicts need lots of good strong clean time, before they can handle a relationship.

I learned this the hard way when I dated someone last year who I thought had been clean long enough. His sexual addiction and temper started to flare up because he still hadn't dealt with those issues. I never should have dated him... ever.
 michaelovesmusic
Joined: 6/26/2008
Msg: 32
Dating someone in early recovery from alcoholism
Posted: 7/26/2009 12:00:14 PM
Unfortunately it really doesn't work that way. We have to want to stay clean for ourselves. I tried for years to do it for my wife and kids, and it never worked until I started to look at myself.
 PeggyI
Joined: 5/24/2009
Msg: 33
Dating someone in early recovery from alcoholism
Posted: 7/26/2009 12:30:35 PM
His AA sponsor, and his group will have already told him that he shouldn't date for 2 years. It takes that long to get the alcohol fumes out and your head put back together a little bit. However, beware that all alcoholics will have some issues of some sort for the rest of their lives. They wouldn't have become alcoholics otherwise.
 Ifeellucky
Joined: 4/12/2009
Msg: 34
Dating someone in early recovery from alcoholism
Posted: 7/26/2009 9:37:31 PM
my ex husband started recovery after the first year of my marriage, we lasted 20yrs... would i do it again NEVER
 totoman
Joined: 12/12/2008
Msg: 35
Dating someone in early recovery from alcoholism
Posted: 7/30/2009 1:18:52 AM
There's a lot of misinformation here. First, OP does not say how her guy got into a recovery program. Did he enter it on his own or was he court ordered because of DUI and/or other? It doesn't really matter but I do think it counts if he/she wants to be there.

Second there are many people that can drink tons and tons and tons of booze and not be considered to be "alcoholic". What separates the alcoholic from a heavy drinker is the ability to stop on a whim and not crave the physical enjoyment that can occur from a buzz or drunk. The alcoholic does not process alcohol the same way as a non-alcoholic once it is in their system. In fact, alcoholics are accustomed to operating their daily lives with alcohol in it. Their tolerance increases and they often need to drink more and more to catch that same "buzz".

Third, there are many different ways for a man or woman to stop drinking. The Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) program is just one of them. There is also Rational Recovery and Aversion Therapy just to name a few. For the record, there are no stats identifying the effectiveness of the AA program.

And for those people in this forum that are choosing the AA model as their framework in attempting to understand alcoholism, the organization preaches a member should go at least ONE year without emotional involvement to another and NOT five to seven years people are spitting out in this forum. This may vary from group to group but I repeat it is NOT five or seven years. Even so this is not a hard rule and really is up to the couple.

As for me, I have no dog in this fight. I don't care if you ever want to date a man or a woman who either has had a drinking problem, currently has a drinking problem, or thinks they might have a drinking problem. Let's just get the facts straight before this type of misinformation is spread into reality.
 spitfire6844
Joined: 6/30/2007
Msg: 36
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Dating someone in early recovery from alcoholism
Posted: 8/9/2009 3:53:25 PM

I feel very strongly that it's not a good idea to get involved at this point.


It's not a problem, unless the guy has a co-morbid condition (such as a mental disorder), or he's in trouble with the law, or something like that. If you do activities with him which don't involve drinking opportunities, it should be fine. The key would be to take it slow.

If your gut is telling you not to proceed, then go with that, of course. But, it's not necessarily a bad decision, in and of itself, to date someone in recovery.
 jezebellpgh
Joined: 2/3/2010
Msg: 37
Dating someone in early recovery from alcoholism
Posted: 10/4/2010 10:42:20 PM
Why are people so desperate that they want to date dangerously? I don't get it, there is absolutely no other prospects with almost 7 billion people on Earth?
 *closer
Joined: 3/12/2010
Msg: 38
Dating someone in early recovery from alcoholism
Posted: 10/5/2010 8:21:12 AM
Old thread alert.

But....

I'd like to know who doesn't have some "issue"
or another that they can judge someone as beneath them.


So for the person who doesn't travel, he or she is confined to a small geographical area. Of those people, there are the ones who are married and/or already in relationships. The selection pool then becomes smaller. For those who are desperate, I can see how oftentimes they feel that it's worth getting involved with someone with "issues." I'm not saying it's right; I'm just saying that I can see how it happens.


Good point. When I met my S/O here he was a drinker(and has completely stopped without issue because he understood it was a deal breaker for me and because it made him feel like sh*t and he finally had a reason to quit),separated,on unemployment,after being laid off from a good job and still,the kindest,sexiest man I have ever met.

Had I judged those issues as who he was as a whole,I would never have had the chance to fall in love with the greatest guy I could find in my demopraphics!lol

Desparate is such a meaningless word in the dating world.Who isn't?

WE all want to find someone who will accept our baggage and who's baggage we can accept.Period.WE ALL CARRY SOME.

Why deny that?
 soccerlover92
Joined: 4/28/2012
Msg: 39
Dating someone in early recovery from alcoholism
Posted: 3/6/2013 9:33:10 PM
I'm just coming up on my first year sober, I was always told not to get into a relationship in my first year and I didn't. The cold hard truth is that the percentage of people that first come into AA or rehab that make it to 5 years sober is about 3-5%, and the percentages just go down from there. Whether or not you think he is serious about recovery, I would keep the relationship just as friends until he gets a year under his belt. Though the amount of time isn't nearly as important as whether or not hes working a solid program, building a new character and living by spiritual principles. The one year thing is sort of an unwritten rule in AA. Consider these things and use your best judgement. If all else fails, pray and meditate on the matter and the answer will surely come. Peace and Blessings
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