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Show ALL Forums  > Dating Experiences  > Dating someone in a 12 step program      Home login  
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 TallChick61
Joined: 1/21/2010
Msg: 3
Dating someone in a 12 step programPage 1 of 2    (1, 2)
If he were just starting out, I'd be much more worried than if he'd been in for a year or more. Early on, he needs to be focusing on his issues, not on a new honey.
 beehearnow
Joined: 9/28/2007
Msg: 4
Dating someone in a 12 step program
Posted: 1/31/2010 12:13:25 PM
I can't spend much time around serious drinkers...and I completely enjoy being around people actively working a recovery program. I would date someone in AA or NA. That being said:

It would entirely depend on where this person is in the recovery process, and whether or not the other person is able to support that recovery process.

For instance, it is sometimes hard for a person in recovery, especially early on, to be around someone who is still an active user. Particularly if that use is a major portion of that person's life.

Are you talking a casual date or activity with a friend or an ongoing, serious dating relationship?

As an above poster pointed out, when someone is working the program, their program work is the focus. If you are seriously dating someone in an organized recovery program, you need to be able to support meeting attendence (including closed meetings) and other related events.

If you need to make changes in your own life, be sure you are doing it for you and not for the person in recovery.

You also have to be able to refrain from "managing" the addict and their recovery process. This is a hard one for co-dependents, but you must be able to let the addict manage their own recovery.

You also need to be able to stick to whatever the plan is in case of backsliding. If you have delivered some sort of ultimatium, you need to be able to follow through. Also, you need to not use backsliding as an excuse for drama.
 Vannili
Joined: 7/8/2008
Msg: 5
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Dating someone in a 12 step program
Posted: 1/31/2010 1:08:47 PM
Once I went to a AA meeting with a friend,she was an alcoholic she drinks /7 after work and she drink tooo much when we go night clubbings, but she won't admit it, (she was jailed for DUI/paid fine and did community work ) she wants some one to go with her so she entice me with >>> "There are lots of men there ,maybe we will find our true love there", so I went with her and I find those men makes me decide to be single for the rest of my life and not mess up with men LOL. She was cute and she flirt with those recovering alcoholics guys and I asked her if she found a" true love?? "there ,her answer was No they are all nutty...
I don't drink booze even I am in a bar/nightclub/pub, so I have nothing in common with people who's fix is booze even they are in recovery program...
 myrgth
Joined: 8/15/2009
Msg: 6
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Dating someone in a 12 step program
Posted: 1/31/2010 1:11:24 PM
I tend to avoid addicts regardless of if they are using or not.
 verygreeneyez
Joined: 3/15/2006
Msg: 9
Dating someone in a 12 step program
Posted: 1/31/2010 2:42:06 PM
~OT~ Did it once, never again. Aside from my own thoughts on 12-step programs (not the least bit positive, so I'll refrain from expounding here) ~ I have NO interest in dealing with dry drunks/dry highs EVER again. JMO
 beehearnow
Joined: 9/28/2007
Msg: 10
Dating someone in a 12 step program
Posted: 1/31/2010 3:20:10 PM

have NO interest in dealing with dry drunks/dry highs EVER again. JMO


It is hard...but not any of us are perfect all of the time. If someone in seriously recovery is dry-drunking(etc), whether they are 12-stepping or not, they realize it is time to take inventory and work on themselves some more.

Many of us have a very hard time even admitting we aren't perfect, let alone acknowledge we need to work on ourselves. I'd say an addict in an honest recovery program of some sort, even if it is self-directed, has an advantage in that area.
 free_pizza
Joined: 7/23/2009
Msg: 11
Dating someone in a 12 step program
Posted: 1/31/2010 4:33:09 PM
If they were a sex addict, I might be willing to give it a shot. But that could just be my general good naturedness.
 carolann0308
Joined: 12/9/2006
Msg: 13
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Dating someone in a 12 step program
Posted: 1/31/2010 5:57:58 PM
Personally I would wait until they had completed treatment and been clean and sober for at least a year or two.
 TallChick61
Joined: 1/21/2010
Msg: 16
Dating someone in a 12 step program
Posted: 1/31/2010 7:46:41 PM
Another thing to consider is WHY he's in the program. Knowing that he has a problem and wanting to find a better way to deal with it is one thing. A good sign, but certainly no guarantee.

Going because he was ordered to by a judge or an employer - hell, no. If it's that clear to others that he has a problem, but he's still in denial, don't walk. RUN.
 christ on a crutch
Joined: 2/1/2009
Msg: 17
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Dating someone in a 12 step program
Posted: 1/31/2010 8:31:15 PM
alcoholics and addicts often have wreckage and rubble strewn behind them. debts, police records, broken marriages, destroyed professional reputations, alienated family members. an addict may be completely clean, strong in his or her program, people of ethics and character. but you want to find out the backstory.


Being in a program to stop the specific behavior is only a SMALL part of the problem.

this is at the center of 12 step awareness. a person cannot be working a solid program without this knowledge.

some of the wisest people you will ever meet are 12-steppers. many addicts consider their addiction a blessing that brought them to the place of love, compassion, wisdom, spiritual growth.
 want to travel
Joined: 7/29/2006
Msg: 18
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Dating someone in a 12 step program
Posted: 2/1/2010 10:41:13 AM
my ex was an alcoholic,we would still be together if she had chosen to get help,i know a lot of very hood people, mainly through work, that have really good lives, because they have worked there programs, one of them has been clean and sober for over 20 years, if i need advice i like to go to him
 Helen0426
Joined: 6/2/2009
Msg: 21
Dating someone in a 12-step program
Posted: 2/1/2010 1:46:40 PM
I've dated a few 12-steppers and they've been as varied as anyone else. One thing that's consistently great is that it's effective. After a few years, relapse rates are low to the point that I wouldn't even worry about it.

As others noted, do make sure the individual's following the recommendation that they have at least a year's sobriety before getting involved emotionally. There are sound reasons for it!

Other than that, with some it takes over their lives, as a replacement addiction, to a pretty unbearable (and often preachy) extent; with others, they're leading full lives otherwise, and it's a helpful tool they revisit now and then when they need it; and all points in between. The only way to find out what you can expect in that realm with one particular individual is to get to know the person better.
 beehearnow
Joined: 9/28/2007
Msg: 22
Dating someone in a 12-step program
Posted: 2/1/2010 4:46:17 PM

So many scared little rabbits here building up another filter to your own fear, just another reason to finger point in your protected judgmental morality, every one of you are surrounded by these people and you don’t even know it.


this was also my reaction to a lot of the posts on here. I'm so glad you chimed in...

As I said before, at least someone in a recovery program is admitting they have areas in which they need to make changes, and are actively working on themselves. There are a lot of people who can't come even close to admitting, let alone working on those things about themselves.

I have many, many good friends in addiction recovery. Some of them have been sober for 20 years or more, some not so long. But they let me, a recovering codependent, hang with them because they accept we aren't all perfect...and are cool with that.

Life is a journey, not a static condition.
 Discerning Virtuosa
Joined: 6/10/2008
Msg: 23
Dating someone in a 12-step program
Posted: 2/1/2010 6:09:28 PM
I thought if they could keep a plant alive for a year or two that it was an indicator of whether or not they were ready to handle a relationship.
 ElenaSemprini
Joined: 1/19/2010
Msg: 24
Dating someone in a 12-step program
Posted: 2/1/2010 6:28:18 PM
I agree that it is better to get involoved with someone who is addressing the problem, but if they're very early in recovery, the chance of relapse is so high that I'd be wary of trying it.

Also, I wouldn't want to become someone's replacement 'drug.'

So...maybe if someone has been in recovery for awhile and isn't in immediate danger of relapse, I'd consider dating them.
 arwen52
Joined: 3/13/2008
Msg: 25
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Dating someone in a 12 step program
Posted: 2/1/2010 6:45:45 PM
As with anything, you have to pay attention. How long have they been in it? If they are starting out, give them time. If they've been in awhile, I think it's to their credit. There's a lot of wisdom to be found in those meetings. I attended CoDA meetings for 10 years, only stopped because they changed the meeting to a time and evening I couldn't go. The lessons learned there will stay with me for life.
 barbee1970
Joined: 12/29/2008
Msg: 27
Dating someone in a 12 step program
Posted: 2/3/2010 4:01:37 AM
I couldn't do it. I was married to 1 who always went back to drinking. It's a revolving door. Not willing chance of that hell again.
 EvilLolli
Joined: 12/7/2008
Msg: 28
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Dating someone in a 12 step program
Posted: 2/3/2010 6:56:40 AM
wouldn't it be like dating anyone in any particular group? Wouldn't it depend on the individual more than that one facet of their life?

I am not trying to say there couldn't be some draw backs to dating a person in a program, but to use it as the deal break could be hasty. As others have said, it would depend on their time in the program and how well the program was working for them. Just like any group there are some good as well as bad members.

The addiction factor is something to think about but it's not the only issue in deciding on a relationship. After a certain age in our lives we all have issues, it's how we deal with those issues that make us some one that is date-able or not.

Would I date some one in a program? It would honestly depend on the person. I have in the past and had it turn into a nightmare. I also have had friends that have gone thru the programs and been amazing people I might have missed if I had held my one bad experience against them.
 beehearnow
Joined: 9/28/2007
Msg: 29
Dating someone in a 12 step program
Posted: 2/3/2010 7:35:59 AM

I was married to 1 who always went back to drinking. It's a revolving door. Not willing chance of that hell again


I was too, but I recognize I had issues also. He has since stuck to his program and is amazing. We are great friends now, and he's been a big help in my own recovery from codependency.


I am not trying to say there couldn't be some draw backs to dating a person in a program, but to use it as the deal break could be hasty. As others have said, it would depend on their time in the program and how well the program was working for them. Just like any group there are some good as well as bad members.

The addiction factor is something to think about but it's not the only issue in deciding on a relationship. After a certain age in our lives we all have issues, it's how we deal with those issues that make us some one that is date-able or not.


exactly. And I'd rather date someone who is seriously working on his issues than someone who thinks they have no issues to work on any longer.
 richno
Joined: 4/22/2009
Msg: 30
Dating someone in a 12 step program
Posted: 2/4/2010 11:18:46 AM
Hi I'm Rich,I've been a member of Al-Anon for alot of years.We work the steps from being powerless over other peoples drinking or druging.If some is truly working a program it shows in how they treat people! Spiritual people are not living in denial! They are focused on today and Knowledge of God's will for them! If you wouldn't describe your self as Spiritual,it may not work.Having a Spiritual connection in a relationship is awesome!You have to trust God and yourself before you can trust someone else! I would take the chance and see where it goes!
 Discerning Virtuosa
Joined: 6/10/2008
Msg: 32
Dating someone in a 12 step program
Posted: 2/4/2010 8:31:39 PM
Hi I'm Rich,I've been a member of Al-Anon for alot of years.We work the steps from being powerless over other peoples drinking or druging.If some is truly working a program it shows in how they treat people! Spiritual people are not living in denial! They are focused on today and Knowledge of God's will for them! If you wouldn't describe your self as Spiritual,it may not work.Having a Spiritual connection in a relationship is awesome!You have to trust God and yourself before you can trust someone else! I would take the chance and see where it goes!


Hi Rich - I been to Al Anon a long time ago myself. It helped me realize that a co dependent relationship is too damaging for me and my life.

I have a question - and I mean no disprespect, but can someone get sober in AA or NA if they are an Athiest? I'm just curious about that. and do Muslims or Hindus have a problem with alchoholism as we do in the western world?
 woobytoodsday
Joined: 12/13/2006
Msg: 33
Dating someone in a 12 step program
Posted: 2/4/2010 9:28:09 PM
Depends. I have an alcoholic son who is *not* in recovery. I've done a fair amount of time in Al-Anon. A few years ago I was very in love with a man who had hauled himself out of alcoholism via Buddhism. We lived together until he died. And on the other hand, I've known peeps with recovery time in AA of twenty or more years who are just as drunk as the day they started. They're just dry.

What you *have* to do is relate to the person in front of you, as they are. Nothing less will do. This can only be done with love.

 EvilLolli
Joined: 12/7/2008
Msg: 34
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Dating someone in a 12 step program
Posted: 2/4/2010 9:52:05 PM
There are a lot more porgrams out there than AA or NA or Al-Anon. The program they are in is important only as far as how it works for them to get to where they need to be. Its not the program, it's how the program works for the person. Individuals are the big difference, not th eprogram, the addiction or the label.
 beehearnow
Joined: 9/28/2007
Msg: 35
Dating someone in a 12 step program
Posted: 2/5/2010 4:18:10 AM

but can someone get sober in AA or NA if they are an Athiest?


Everyone has a source from whence they derive some sort of inspiration, and that source is not necessarily dogmatic. The trick for an Atheist, or even just someone who is put off by what is sometimes a pretty heavy dose of religion in a 12-step program, is to find that personal well.

12-step doesn't work for everyone, and some people are able to remain sober (and not dry-drunk all the time) with another type program or even, if they are disciplined and dedicated, without a formal program. I've seen positive results when someone works both a 12 step program and also somehow gets some behavior modification training. But the bottom line is always how much the person wants to effect change in their own life.

OT: yes, I'd date someone honestly working a 12 step program. Happily.
 Discerning Virtuosa
Joined: 6/10/2008
Msg: 39
Dating someone in a 12 step program
Posted: 2/5/2010 8:23:27 PM
Amen to that, I am very discouraged at some of the peoples responses.


Sophabella - Don't be angered or surprised that some people are not willing to bring alcoholics or addicts into their lives or welcome them with open arms. Many of us - even myself have had devastating and life altering consequences from our experiences with alcoholics and need & want to make better choices for our lives now. A 12 step program is no guarantee they won't be a dry drunk or they won't fall off the wagon. Even when an alcoholic is not drinking they cannot handle any stress - the people around them feel as though they have to tip toe around trying to be careful not to get the alcoholic upset. My feelings and my life were always secondary and it was always about the acloholic and their life. By the time a man has reached my age, if he has destroyed most of his life with drinking there is not a whole lot to work with there. Brain cells have been destroyed for years and they stop maturing emotionally at the age they started to drink. One thing I did learn in Al Anon is that I need to take care of myself first and not the alcoholic. The years I spent dating Alcoholics were very draining on me. Never again. Their problem will NEVER be my problem again.
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