When I was dating a fellow alcoholic, I felt like we had an instant connection, a kinship, if you will. It was serendipity, or so I thought. After all, we were both living the sober lifestyle. How much more compatible can you get? It turns out, however, that our sobriety was the only thing we had in common. Needless to say it didn’t work out. If you are recovering and single, chances are you will consider dating another addict. Since you are attending AA meetings instead of going to bars, nearly everyone you meet is in recovery, which increases those odds. However, before you take the plunge, you may want to consider whether dating another addict is right for you. There are both positive and negative aspects of this type of dating relationship to consider.
The first thing you need to consider is the strength of your sobriety. Early sobriety can prove to be very unstable. A roller coaster of emotions and just getting to know yourself is quite stressful, and relationships take energy and work that you just don’t have to give right now. This is why most people in recovery suggest that you wait at least a year before beginning a new relationship.
Once you have your first year of sobriety in, you should be able to reasonably consider beginning a new relationship. Here are some advantages to dating a fellow addict:
- Those who date other addicts often find that they connect on a deeply spiritual level. You are both experiencing personal growth since being in recovery, and you can use this as a strong foundation on which to build your relationship.
- People outside of recovery just don’t get it, and you may end up feeling like you can’t really be yourself, because they won’t understand. You may worry that if they learn about your past, they will look down on you. If they are a social drinker, it might be difficult for them to understand that, for you, one drink is one drink too many. They may also struggle with why you need to go to so many meetings.
- Keeping your recovery as your highest priority may cause you to want to be with someone who appreciates the journey, where you have come from and where you are going.
On the flip side of the coin, dating another addict can create some pretty big problems. Consider the following:
- It is highly likely that both of you will treat the relationship addictively and become obsessed with it and each other.
- Sometimes, you will find a partner who isn’t serious about his or her sobriety or claims to be sober, but isn’t. Chances are they will eventually drink or use in front of you – a temptation that could be too great for you to handle.
- Your partner could end up relapsing. If this happens, you may find yourself trying to act as their sponsor, which is something you should never try to do. Also, you may begin to experience cravings again, which will put your own sobriety in jeopardy.
At the end of the day, who you choose to date is a personal decision. Just keep in mind that dating someone who is also in recovery can cause intense emotions that could possibly affect your serenity, and ultimately, your sobriety. You both must keep your recovery up front at all times to ensure a healthy relationship. The stronger you both are, the more likely your relationship will be strong, too. If you or loved one who may need treatment for alcoholism or drug addiction, please contact Oceanfront Recovery today to discuss detox and treatment options. One of our professional and compassionate intake advisors will speak with you at 877-279-1777 today.