Dating in sobriety
One guy told Hannah point blank, “I love fucking you, but you're a transitional girl — not exactly marriage material.”There are no hard and fast rules.When two people in recovery date, they have a lot in common: the same AA meetings, the same friends, the same problems.The old “I’ve wrestled with my demons and won” line? How about a simple, “I’m a pretty hot colossal f**k up”?It’s always a little awkward when a potential date wants to “meet you for a drink.” Telling them you’re sober feels like confessing to some horrible chronic STD.Sam confesses that her current boyfriend drinks moderately. If there is anything that will jeopardize the relationship, it will be that I don't feel that I can be with someone who drinks as regularly as he does.“Hannah echoes a similar sentiment, “Normie guys are great, I guess, but I think after some time, it would be too easy to convince myself that maybe I, too, could have ‘just one’ glass of wine with dinner.It's nice to have a sober partner to keep me accountable.” There are also some guys who don’t view women in recovery as long-term partners.
Sam is in a seven-month relationship with a “normie,” and it’s going really well.
I know how lonely I felt in the beginning of my recovery, but I also know when I got really serious about staying sober, I got serious about the suggestion to not date.
It is such a slippery slope, and if you are truly in recovery, the one person you need to learn how to have a relationship with, is yourself. There is a lot of emotional baggage that comes with our addictions, and though we don’t need to jump in and dig out everything all at once, we have to be very diligent about things like integrity, being honest, being present, and taking life in slowly rather than running through it like we did in our addictions.
During the past two decades, I’ve dated both men in recovery and men who weren’t alcoholics (called “normies” by us in the program).
I’m currently single again, a sober divorcée in the strange world of online dating. How do you allude to your past (and present) situations without lying or scaring off a potential match?
I’ve been in and out of 12-step recovery programs (like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous) for almost 20 years.