What to know about dating a recovering alcoholic


  1. How to Date a Recovered Alcoholic
  2. Further Reading
  3. Dating a Recovering Alcoholic - Tips and Advice
  4. About the Author:
  5. Dating a Recovering Alcoholic | Single and Sober

Even better, ask a mental health professional about the disorder and what you can do, as a partner, to ensure that your date is able to stay on the path to recovery.

Advice If You're Dating or Married To Someone with Drug/Alcohol Issues

However keep in mind that alcoholics often have a reason for why they struggle with drinking so much, and recovering alcoholics may still be trying to work through those previous problems. Be understanding if your significant other isn't ready to talk about his or her past, but let them know that you will be there when they are ready.

When the time comes that he or she is willing to talk, be supportive and never judgmental.


How to Date a Recovered Alcoholic

When you think you have opened the channels of communication, also share your own concerns and hesitations about being with a recovering alcoholic. This will bring things out in the open and your partner may be actually relieved about addressing relationship issues instead of keeping things under wraps. You should never put your partner in a position where she has to choose between remaining sober and being with you.

Take all this into consideration before planning dates, family gathering, work parties or any other outing. At the same time, individuals who have stayed sober for many years at a stretch may be more confident of their ability to resist temptation. However others may find this too tempting and would prefer to be in other environments.

Further Reading

Communicate with your significant other to find out what they are and aren't comfortable with. Discuss with him or her whether they are comfortable with you drinking in their presence. And herein lies the crux in some ways, of dating and socializing in a drinking culture. Wine with dinner seems like the civilized thing to do. Meeting for a drink at the bar after work or on a Friday night is seen as a great way to relax and unwind with friends. Meeting for drinks seems like the most common first date.

Unlike illicit drugs, which are illegal in most of the world, drinking is often seen as harmless and socially acceptable — but alcohol is anything but harmless. That cost comes primarily from excessive drinking — bingeing on four or more drinks per evening, or drinking heavily all week long. Though the amount of alcohol consumed and the circumstances for example, in Italy, alcohol is imbibed most often along with food , it is clear that in most countries, alcohol plays a role in daily life.

So, what is a sober person to do in a world of drinkers?

Dating a Recovering Alcoholic - Tips and Advice

And, more specifically, what is dating like for both the sober person and their partner? It is easy to create a list of drawbacks and reasons why it is unwise to date someone with a history of alcohol abuse the main one being: What if they relapse?

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This is an understandable concern and a reason perhaps for both people in the relationship to move slowly and cautiously. This allows time for both people to get to know each other and gain some emotional intimacy before jumping into a serious relationship. Openness and honesty is key in all relationships and especially so when one or both of the partners are sober. This is a time to learn about each other, talk about triggers, and what types of situations feel comfortable. The above is a nightmare scenario anyone in recovery will wish to avoid.

If Shelley had followed the advice below, surely Steve would have avoided this harsh relapse and their relationship could have blossomed.

About the Author:

Without further ado, I offer up these seven tips for dating somebody in recovery and avoiding this cruel situation now faced by Shelley and Steve. Get over the shock that your date is living in recovery. Unfortunately, society often judges recovered addicts harshly.

But why is this so? Well, the answer is simple: Society tells us that addiction is bad. And unfortunately, people often equate recovery with addiction, even though the two are polar opposites! However, if your new date reveals he or she is a former addict, then it's important you don't make too much of an issue out of that fact.

And it's essential that you do not dismiss their prior addiction as some kind of character flaw.

Dating a Recovering Alcoholic | Single and Sober

Simply put, being a past addict should not equal doom for future relationships. It's likely he or she used to live a very different lifestyle to his or her current one. In fact, we recommend you positively embrace your date's recovery. And let's not forget that recovered addicts are often extremely healthy individuals. Many recovered addicts have spent countless hours educating themselves about nutrition, healthy eating, relationships, self-awareness and exercise.

And this usually translates into a healthy and more active lifestyle the rest of us could only dream about! Determine how long your new date has been in recovery. As a general rule, the longer your date has been in recovery the better.

If your date has been in recovery for less than 12 months, know there is a greater risk of his or her relapse. Relapse is when a recovered addict returns to old addictive ways. And it really does go without saying that a relapse could result in an early termination of your hard-earned relationship. In fact, some experts even advise that you should not start a relationship with somebody who has been in recovery for less than 12 months.

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  • Dating a Recovering Alcoholic.
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Although I would not go this far, I would urge you to at least be aware that being in recovery for less than a year carries a substantially higher risk of relapse when compared to dating somebody with more than a year's worth of recovery experience. Recovered addicts are encouraged to actively work on their recovery.

For this reason, there are many support groups located in most towns and cities catering for this need. Being in recovery is more of a verb than a noun. This means the recovered addict should engage in an active program of recovery.