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What to know about dating a recovering alcoholic

I continue to see people with less than one year who don’t even have one step under their belt try to get into a relationship. ” For those with time however, relationships can still be daunting.

Priscilla is a 29-year old nurse from Bridgeport, Connecticut with five years of sobriety who has been with her current boyfriend, who is also a recovered alcoholic, for less than two years.

“Essentially, we can bring in our support systems—whether it’s spiritual or someone we trust in recovery. “I don’t need to be in a meeting or to talk to another alcoholic for that.

The issue is to put a pause between the frustration and anger before going to the person [we’re angry at]. I still call my friends from the program—even if it’s just to bitch and complain.”“If each person is working their own program, whatever that means for them, a lot of things can go more easily,” says Dr. “There’s more opportunity for balance—with money, with how they spend their time.

“I just have to remind myself that I am not the Grand Designer of this world; if I was, I would stop famine in Africa, end all war, and make my boyfriend hang up his clothes every night.But she struggles with the fact that “alcoholics can be stubborn and we always think we what’s right.” Yet she also admits that underneath her desire to control is a fear that Ryan may relapse.“I try my best to live one day at a time—you never know what tomorrow will bring,” she says.A graphic designer with 11 years of sobriety and a Bettie Page look, she struggles with what she calls her “Alanon issues.” “It’s hard,” she says, “because I feel like I know what he’s supposed to be doing and that’s when I find myself analyzing whether he’s doing it or not.” Dr.Deborah Sweet is a psychologist who treats addiction and trauma.It can be fantastic.” While Bryan admits it hasn’t always been easy, he now believes that when both people are in the program, “they’re more willing to work on themselves.They also usually have friends and sponsors and people they can get support from—a lot of whom are also in successful sober relationships.”But what happens when only one person in a relationship is working a program of recovery and the other one is not?“But if the sober couple uses the tools of the 12 steps and applies them to their relationship, they can find themselves in a better partnership than most.Though they might have a higher sensitivity to critical comments, they also have access to tools that can help them to be both loving and kind and honest.But not all sober relationships are of the shotgun nature; for many who find love on the AA campus, sober relationships can mirror the rest of world—meaning they’re hard, scary, and (usually) worth the effort.Bryan is a recovered insurance agent from Houston who, at 42, is 10 years sober and recently married to a woman he met in AA.


  1. Nov 19, 2015. Kate I think when we started dating, there was a lot of grace on both sides. Jeremy didn't have to explain his sobriety to me because I understood it because of my mother. I got where he was coming from. I know what it takes to work a program in recovery, which I would credit to being some of our initial.

  2. Apr 30, 2014. Recovery is a time for self-care and reflection, establishing structure and controlling urges. Most weeks, Saturday nights are spent at 12 step meetings.

  3. Apr 7, 2016. Whatever the situation you find yourself in, here are eight tested tips for dating somebody in recovery. This guide compiles tips from experts as well as a number of tips we discovered by questioning folk who've managed to sustain a loving relationship despite prior addiction to drugs and/or alcohol.

  4. Feb 9, 2012. There's an old joke in recovery circles that goes how do you know when a date between two sober alcoholics has gone well? Punch line They move in together before it's over. But not all sober relationships are of the shotgun nature; for many who find love on the AA campus, sober relationships can mirror.

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