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 grapevine
Joined: 10/2/2005
Msg: 22
Dating someone in early recovery from alcoholismPage 3 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
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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