After all, if you are truly and deeply in love, why should you stop yourself from this emotion? The reality is - every AA group is composed of diverse individuals and while some people may have bad experiences, many couples were also formed in AA. This article will not tell you whether you should or you should not date in AA. Should you say yes or skip it? Here are some positive possibilities of saying yes to the date.
He even married a fellow step member during his first year in recovery, but the relationship did not work out. Now, Chris, who has been sober for 25 years, is married to a woman who is not in recovery.
He says that his recovery has strengthened their relationship. Because his wife is not in recoveryChris has had to be open and communicate about the time that he dedicates to his program.
Kelly Burch is a freelance journalist who regularly writes about addiction, recovery and mental health issues. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Vice, and more. Connect with Kelly via her websiteFacebook or Twitter. Remember me Your privacy is important to us and we will never rent or sell your information.
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He's been nothing but supportive. I think at this point especially if you're in your late twenties or older most people know someone in recovery and how powerful and transformative it is.
Having the honest conversation now will make it less awkward in the future. I've had guys tell me this on the first date.
No big deal. Based on what you've told her, she probably has some idea already.
Jan 25, For example, Jenna* started dating a guy in AA but after a few months, he started getting distant: "Things were going really well then he started to pull away. I questioned him on this and he ultimately came clean with the fact that he is currently in AA and working on his 12 steps and has been discouraged by his sponsor to date.". Sep 24, We are grateful that we had all of the unconditional love and support from our community during this time to remind of us where we started and to be grateful 'just for today.'" Once people in recovery feel ready to begin dating, they often question whether they should pursue a relationship with someone who is also in recovery or a so. Sam continues, "Dating in the program is obviously nice, because you speak the same language and you don't have to hide your ugly past. However, the chance of that person relapsing can also be.
Another vote for telling now and for thinking of this as a continuum. You don't have to list out all your low points on date four, in fact I strongly recommend sticking to the broad statements that others have suggested - You are in AA, maybe how long you have been in recovery, and that's about it.
I would also recommend deciding ahead of time what you want to disclose so that you don't flounder in the moment.
In other words share what makes you feel comfortable, not what I'm recommending, but your level of comfort. If telling her changes things, there was nothing there to change.
One of the greatest things about sobriety is that it allows us to be the same person all the way through-no more shame about who we are. She has practically asked the question so waiting any longer with this particular person would amount to dissembling.
This is about 'intuitively knowing how to handle situations that used to baffle you. I'm just going to echo the fantastic advice you've already been given. I'm in recovery as well and I disclose as soon as it feels appropriate i.
Just mind your boundaries when you tell her. With her having a family member in recovery and those mentioned health problems, you'll want to mind getting too close to that stuff unless you know this relationship is going to develop into something more significant. You'll be fine, and she'll be fine with you. Three potential unpleasant scenarios seem at play here: 1: She's not cool with your being in AA. Like everyone says, this seems unlikely.
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Like everyone says, this seems a lot more likely. To me, although apparently not to everyone else, Scenario 3's probability seems high enough to make your gut feeling non-pathological. However, there are a couple ways you can hopefully avoid Scenario 2 AND Scenario 3: a Just tell her you're in AA, and that you're telling her this because it seems weird not to, because of the nature of your conversations. If she invites detail, politely tell her that you don't usually share those details with people right away.
Maybe it wasn't actually unrelated: she picked up on that first bead, and was among other things signalling safe space which is NOT the same thing as requesting disclosure.
You in turn can disclose in a more casual manner, sprinkling your conversation with things like "Oh, I'm going to be in that neighborhood this evening for a meeting", at which point she can ask "Oh, what kind of meeting? If your recovery is a fundamental part of who you are on a daily basis, especially if there are appointments which must be kept as part of this process, then you should tell her. If it's going to bother her it's going to bother her It's not anything to be ashamed of.
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You don't need to shout it from the mountain tops, and there are many situations where it simply doesn't make sense to telegraph it, but for me personally, my experience has been that the sooner the better when it comes to the regular dating of a specific person.
Personal Anecdote: I met a woman on-line who mentioned "law enforcement" operator in her profile.
During our on-line communications and phone calls, I did not mention anything specific about myself with regards to sobriety. I invited her out for coffee, and she agreed. I showed up to the designated Starbucks, and we sat down and started talking.
Eventually, the talk turned to silly things we had seen in our neighborhoods, and as part of this conversation, I mentioned that I lived in a certain community unknown to me at the time, the complex was notorious to local law enforcement for relapse related crimes and other shenanigans. Without missing a beat she said: "You're not one of those rehabbers are you?
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I actually kinda am. Gradually the conversation haltingly begins again on a completely different topic, the weather I think The date ended 15 minutes later, and I called some friends on the way home venting about the "insensitive ass" I had went on a date with.
I went to sleep mad, and woke up upset. The following evening, it was suggested that I do a bit of work to rid myself of my resentment, and just call her to thank her for the date and perhaps see if there was an explanation for her comment which might make me feel better since it was bothering me so much. Turns out, it was meant to be an off-color joke, and my response stunned her as much as her comment stunned me.
She felt terribly about saying it, and thought that I was surely not going to contact her again, especially given the awkward way the date ended Which I assuredly hadn't planned on, and was only following a suggestion from a sober support. Funnily enough, we've been married for nearly 3 years now.
While Debaser's story has a happy plot twist, I do think it's worth mentally preparing yourself for her to be not-OK with all or part of your situation, just for your own self-protection. Not everyone IRL is as accepting as folks in Metafilter; and there are people who will applaud you for your lifestyle change, yet not want to engage you in an intimate relationship. That is their right. I think keeping both feet firmly planted in the reality of non-drinking life vs.
Part of that reality is that some folks we wish would be willing to be our allies or more are going to opt out. I wanted to comment on one other thing not specific to this woman you are dating: Normally I'm okay with having this conversation after getting to know someone over a few months, but I'm uncertain as to whether or not I should tell her sooner considering that alcoholism in her family has come up as a topic of conversation.
The only dating advice you'll ever need
I strongly feel that as a general practice, if you are pursuing someone with romantic intent, waiting a few months isn't fair to the other person. They might develop an attachment to you during that time that would make it difficult for them to make a clear-headed choice.
If I were being courted by someone, and they didn't let me know this very early in the process, I would be very perturbed, even though non-drinking isn't a deal-breaker for me. It removes my agency to make healthy decisions for myself in a timely way.
One of those decisions might be that I'm not wanting to date someone who has a specific approach to not-drinking that may be at odds with my own. Whether we think that is fair-minded or not, it exists.
I think you tell her when she asks. Otherwise, hell yeah, listen to your intuition. Maybe AA is important to you but not part of how you want to immediately present yourself to another human being.
I think that is perfectly OK and does not cast dark suspicions in my mind on the validity of your recovery as if another person could ever know this. I think the "bead" idea sounds good to me. I wouldn't lie but I also wouldn't dump it in someone's lap, nor would I appreciate it being done to me. I think saying what you have said so far is honest and real and I would appreciate the chance to ask you questions about it, and to tell you about myself in the process.
I hate to counsel anybody to go against their gut feeling in interpersonal stuff. If it's just scared, I'd go against that feeling. Get it out, get it over. I don't think it's a big deal if you wait a bit until it feels more comfortable, though, as long as that doesn't turn into weeks and months. I suspect this is the remark that prompted your date to tell you about her relative.
I would say this: when you tell her, try not to do a huge unload about it. Just tell her and let her take the lead on how much you go into it. If you guys get off the ground there will be plenty of time to tell all. I think this is not as big of a deal as it feels like to you.
I bet she has a pretty good idea of where you're coming from. I think the biggest reason to say something soon is so you can stop fretting about it.
As a daughter of an alcoholic I'm not sure that people are always 'cool' with it or that it is totally reasonable to expect them to be - maybe they are trying to break away from a taught tendancy in themself to care give or rescue. This does not have to mean they think any less of you - it is a big and brave thing to begin recovery but I pesonally have pulled away prior because I'd want more chance of being someone who can be there for me more than I have been accustomed to.
I have to say I found it incredibly difficult to do this. It might go your way and you clearly like her, just know too that there can be a lot of residue from an alcoholic family and some of us need to learn a different language.
Dec 15, I wanted to date someone who was committed to becoming a better person, and passionate about their chosen career or vision. A few weeks into seeing Greg, I knew he checked off just about all the boxes. But I was reluctant. After my last entanglement had ended, I was nervous to date someone else in AA. I just started dating someone new and I'm not sure how/when to best disclose information about my history in AA and recovery from alcoholism. Normally I'm okay with having this conversation after getting to know someone over a few months, but I'm uncertain as to whether or not I should tell her sooner considering that alcoholism in her family has come up as a topic of conversation. Sep 24, Dating In AA: The Pros and Cons of Dating Someone From Your Home Group Categories: Life in Recovery, Love and Relationships If you are in recovery, you're not really advised to go to bars and clubs so AA becomes the obvious way to meet new people because you spend a large chunk of your time in these meetings. Many people in recovery who have experienced dating in AA .
Not meaning to put a dampener on things, just another perspective. Keep your eye on soberity, as you must, however it pans out. Dude woah. I read the first few responses and raced to the bottom to reply. You do not have to fall all over yourself to tell her you're an alcoholic. Having said that and speaking from experience here. I just want to say it is important to point out that you sound like a great guy and this girl sounds like a great match.
It might not work out. If you told her casually that you don't drink and she didn't ask any follow-up questions or act uncomfortable, this is a great sign!
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Bad matches are overly inquisitive! If she knows about AA and feels comfortable talking to you about this, this is also an incredibly good sign! There is no ASAP and you don't have to poll your friends or the internet for the answer. You are exactly in the right place. Operate from that standpoint. It's great being a little vulnerable. You don't know what she'll say. You may be of service in ways you don't understand by talking to her about your experience, gently and slowly.
This could be the start of something great. There is no excuse to focus on failure when success is right in front of you.
Dating someone who just started aa
It seems weird not to disclose any kind of thing you do at least once a week to someone by date 4. Not that someone is owed these details, just it's weird to not mention something you spend a good deal of time doing. If someone was a gym rat for example and this hadn't come up in casual conversation, I'd probably wonder why.
Do you have a sponsor? Have you discussed this issue with them? Their response will be useful input into the quandary that you are facing. Judging by what I read in your question I feel that she will respond favorably to your disclosure.
However, only you know the full extent of your conversations, how well you are matching at this point, and how to present this additional information about yourself. Talk to your sponsor, they know you better than any of us do.