Would you date someone who was in recovery?

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    Dec 01, 2008 6:36 AM GMT
    Would you date or pursue a relationship with someone who was recovering from drug, alcohol, or any other addiction which inhibits one's day to day life and well being? Would you support their recovery or expect them to hit the party scene every weekend? How about if they attended recovery meetings or retreats? Would that be a bone of contention as it may be time that they might have to spend away from the relationship?

    Why or why not?

    What if someone you'd just started dating (assuming that it's going well) revealed that they were in recovery from addiction? Would you cut off ties or fault them?

    Honest answers only please. To avoid a flame war if you have an opinion that you feel may not appeal to the masses you're more than welcome to send me a message.

    Appreciate the input.
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    Dec 01, 2008 6:50 AM GMT
    um knowing that someone is trying to change their life for the better shows how much they care about their future.

    We all make mistakes and its how we fix them that makes us grow up.


    Think about why you like this person,dont focus on their flaws so much as the positive things they bring to the table.

    Again they are in recovery, they arent some active drug fiend are they?
  • cowboyathlete

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    Dec 01, 2008 1:01 PM GMT
    It would depend on how far along they are in recovery, otherwise I would be open to it. I had a roommate years ago who was a recovering alcoholic, but he was still a control freak. Even long after I moved out he would still find me online to ask details about my life that he had no business knowing.

    I think someone who is openly gay and actively in recovery is a huge reality check to our community, which too often centers around drugs and alcohol.
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    Dec 01, 2008 1:25 PM GMT
    I would not, unless the person had completed their program and was showing good resistance to a relapse (realizing that addictions are a life-long battle that never end).

    I am not trained in the support skills (what's the word for those special people? I forget) that are best suited to dealing with addictive people. More harm than help might inadvertently come from me.

    Right now my partner is dealing with a co-worker recently released from detox treatment for alcohol & drugs. Sometimes all 3 of us meet for lunch, and it's like walking on egg shells. No alcoholic drinks, of course, but others around us have them, and we must avoid certain subjects.

    Selfish though this may be, I really couldn't live with someone like that. Especially knowing the high failure rate that would distress me for the sake of my friend or lover, and that I would take as a personal failure when it happened.

    And yes, I do have a very active social life, where alcohol is invariably present (but no drugs), and I wouldn't want to give that up. I don't want to become a social hermit, if that's what this person would require. But neither would I expose him to temptations he shouldn't have, to have my own enjoyment at a risk to him. Therefore, I would avoid such a relationship.
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    Dec 01, 2008 1:42 PM GMT
    I believe most 12 step programs suggest that members focus on the most important health and welfare issues in their lives first... learning to live clean and sober. The slogan "keep it simple" means just that. Generally this means no (new) dating 'complications' for the first year or so. Of course it is up to that individual to choose.

  • cowboyathlete

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    Dec 01, 2008 1:57 PM GMT
    PHLmuscle8 saidI believe most 12 step programs suggest that members focus on the most important health and welfare issues in their lives first... learning to live clean and sober. The slogan "keep it simple" means just that. Generally this means no (new) dating 'complications' for the first year or so. Of course it is up to that individual to choose.

    Assuming they follow that rule, it makes very good sense.
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    Dec 01, 2008 2:10 PM GMT
    As much as I applaud all of those who are helping themselves out of drug and alcohol addictions - staying with their programs, etc. I can't imagine what he and I would have in common. My whole life has been so different - focused on education, health, career, friendships - I just never had any problems with addictions. I've attended a few AA and DA meetings with a friend, and listened to the various stories some of the participants told - and I sympathize completely, but what would we have in common? It would be hard to imagine my dating anyone in recovery.
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    Dec 01, 2008 3:08 PM GMT
    I don't think so. I occassionally partake, and i would not want to do without, nor put the guy in a stressful situation.

    Sometimes I like to have a cocktail or two or three after work, and sometimes I like to smoke herb. Fortunatly, I can handle it and enjoy it. I couldn't do that with someone in recovery.
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    Dec 01, 2008 3:22 PM GMT
    we all have our demons... but there's an amount of emotional baggage that i just don't deserve to have to deal with... and when it needs its own airport baggage trolly....

    yeah i'd pat the guy on the back and be glad he's changing his life for the better (or trying to, for now)... i really wouldn't date the guy- i just don't need that kind of drama and skeeze (this referring to harder things than just cigs and alcohol) in my life. i'd rather have a guy strong and intelligent enough never to have succumbed to that crap in the first place.


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    Dec 01, 2008 3:31 PM GMT
    As someone who has recovered from an alcohol addiction and has seen (and been through) the kinds of transformations that can take place when an addict not only sobers up but also makes a change in his/her lifestyle so that sobriety can be maintained, I think we are remarkable, loveable, well-rounded, intelligent people. I mean, the whole idea behind doing those things is so that we can be functional members of society and good hubbies and lovers.

    In sum, it's okay to take a chance on us.


  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Dec 01, 2008 3:51 PM GMT
    It ain't the brainiest of ideas...

    Guys in recovery need to be focused completely on that fact...Their Recovery
    Dating someone in this process will only short change you and jeopardize him
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    Dec 01, 2008 4:09 PM GMT
    PHLmuscle8 saidI believe most 12 step programs suggest that members focus on the most important health and welfare issues in their lives first... learning to live clean and sober. The slogan "keep it simple" means just that. Generally this means no (new) dating 'complications' for the first year or so. Of course it is up to that individual to choose.



    Yeah, this is right on, so it would depend on whether the guy was well along with his program and had the full support of his mentor. Someone in full recovery is fine with a mate that wants to occasionally have a drink or smoke a toke.

    However, the best advice for someone considering a relationship like this is to get a little training yourself by attending some Enabler classes which sometimes they have at the same time the AA meetings are held and at the same place in a different room. This will also show support for someone who has that disease. You do not have to have been an enabler to attend these meetings, but they are good for learning the traps that you might fall into.

    Obviously, you have to have some commitment to do this, but, would not you visit a mate if they were in the hospital? Just think about it!!
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    Dec 01, 2008 4:44 PM GMT
    SAHEM62896 saidAs someone who has recovered from an alcohol addiction and has seen (and been through) the kinds of transformations that can take place when an addict not only sobers up but also makes a change in his/her lifestyle so that sobriety can be maintained, I think we are remarkable, loveable, well-rounded, intelligent people. I mean, the whole idea behind doing those things is so that we can be functional members of society and good hubbies and lovers.

    In sum, it's okay to take a chance on us.




    Right on.

    Life is a journey. What some describe here as "baggage" is life experience faced head-on. It can lead to greater strength of character, self-awareness, humility and spiritual growth.

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    Dec 01, 2008 5:06 PM GMT
    The classic joke people in recovery tell is about two friends who meet and have this exchange:

    "Did you hear about Jim? He's going to Alcoholics Anonymous ..."

    "How sad ..."



    OK, what's wrong with that picture? Jim is finally quitting a self-destructive behavior that was killing him and is taking a positive step to save his life. The informed response is, "Good for him."


    the question "would you support his recovery or expect him to hit the party circuit" is a no-brainer. You support him; the other choice is like handing him the keys to a car with worn out brakes and sending him up the mountain for the morning paper.


    About 20 yrs ago one of my best friends went into a program. I soon had lots of new friends who were recovering alcoholics (they will tell you they are always "recovering", that it's a lifetime commitment, not a one-time decision.) For the record, I've never met anyone who was in AA who, after that first 6 months or year and getting stable in their sobriety, didn't encourage me to have a glass of wine or whatever when we're at dinner, etc. At the same time, few people in recovery will want to spend a lot of time with a group or an individual who overdoes it, especially habitually. Again, they are talking life and death.


    As others have noted, though, the first 6 months-year of sobriety is touch and go. 12-step programs advise avoiding any serious relationship. A date, probably no big deal. But this is a huge transition period, and the person is finding his/ her way, and rediscovering how to live in the world without the thing that was both killing him and had become his mechanism for getting through life.

    To answer the original question:
    Hell, yes, I'd date someone in recovery (though not likely in those first months). I'd much rather be with someone who's in a program than someone who needs to be ... And if I were with someone already who then entered a program, I'd support it all the way. And if my boyfriend developed a cholesterol problem or diabetes, I'd deal with that and support his health. But if you are determined to drink and drug like there's no tomorrow, don't worry that his needs will slow you down - worry that your needs will subvert his life-saving change. If you're concerned that dating a sober guy will kill your social life or fun, then do him a favor and give him up.


    Anyone in recovery will tell you, getting sober itself doesn't make a person "better" or "smarter" or wiser. So I close with another AA joke I've heard:

    You can take the booze out of a fruitcake - it's still a fruitcake.
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    Dec 01, 2008 5:09 PM GMT
    I totally agree with you PHLmuscle8.

    Everyone has baggage of some sort. That's life.
    Instead of judging perhaps we need to be a little
    more supportive of those in the community who
    suffer with addictions. Having had to battle my own
    demons I know first hand how lonely it can feel
    trying to find your way back to the real world
    with little or no support from some in the gay
    community.

    Dealing with your addiction does not mean
    that you don't care about education, health,
    career and family & friends. In fact it's usually
    the opposite. You educate yourself to learn
    about your problem and to keep it from reoccurring.
    Some even take on new career paths perhaps realizing
    that their work environment may have contributed to
    their usage. Reconnecting with your body after
    recovering from an addiction might inspire you
    to begin working out ? It did for me. Most programs express
    the importance of good health during and after recovery.
    As for family and friends ? You may have to find new ones ?
    But your true friends will always stick by you. Same with family.
    All of these things can and do come into view with recovery.
    Perhaps instead of being so quick to judge or write someone
    off because of how we perceive them to be we can applaud
    the fact that a fellow human being is doing something positive
    to change their lives.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 01, 2008 5:12 PM GMT
    Well said Cowboyo !
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    Dec 01, 2008 5:25 PM GMT
    Not during, however post recovery.......
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    Dec 01, 2008 5:33 PM GMT
    A personal anecdote to add to my comments above:

    I married a guy who had HIV (now deceased), who needed a fair amount of medical care, which included suffering from seizures. Not something a lot of people want to deal with, things like ambulance calls and anxious moments in the Emergency Room, even Intensive Care.

    But I have medical issues, too, my own seizures and ER visits to put up with. So we felt we were a perfect match, able to understand how to deal with some of these medical crises when they happened, and the patience to want to do it. Neither of us were selfish cowards about taking on such a commitment in our lives. And BTW, and perhaps most importantly, we were deeply in love.

    My current partner also has medical issues, though none so serious as mine. Nevertheless, he's better off having some home care, and I provide it, and he does for me. Neither of us took the easy road of looking for a fit partner who would shoulder all the burden alone.

    So when I say I wouldn't want a partner with addiction issues, I hope it's not from selfish interests alone. We simply wouldn't be a good match.

    But perhaps an answer here is partners who are both recovering, who can support each other, who know the challenges, the symptoms of relapse, and the proper responses. Or, on the other hand, does this just double the chance of recidivism? Anyone know how this works?
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    Dec 01, 2008 5:35 PM GMT
    It depends on how long they have both been clean and sober.

    Could possibly be detrimental to both of their sobriety otherwise.
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    Dec 01, 2008 5:41 PM GMT
    Probably but I can't say for certain until I got to know more about the person. Some people just have too many personal issues to deal with that are the cause of the substance abuse. Are they willing to deal with the underlying issues? I have a lot of personal life experiences interacting with alcoholics and trust me it is not fun.
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    Dec 01, 2008 5:50 PM GMT
    Oh, this is tricky. Addiction is a lifelong battle and I guess it depends on the maturity of the non-addict. For me personally, it depends on recovery length. If they were a year sober I would attempt it, but anything sooner really doesn't make sense. Addicts need a lot to discover just how they can stay clean and learn how to be happy with themselves. Anything sooner than a year could damage that process. You don't want to become what makes that person happy, so the longer sober, the better.
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    Dec 01, 2008 6:16 PM GMT
    Why would I need Baggage in my Life?
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    Dec 01, 2008 6:54 PM GMT
    SAHEM62896 saidAs someone who has recovered from an alcohol addiction and has seen (and been through) the kinds of transformations that can take place when an addict not only sobers up but also makes a change in his/her lifestyle so that sobriety can be maintained, I think we are remarkable, loveable, well-rounded, intelligent people. I mean, the whole idea behind doing those things is so that we can be functional members of society and good hubbies and lovers.

    In sum, it's okay to take a chance on us.




    thank u for that
  • reliable1

    Posts: 65

    Dec 01, 2008 7:23 PM GMT
    Regarding "baggage," in my experience, guys who claim they have no baggage simply aren't capable of carrying their own. Then they want you to carry it for them while claiming it doesn't exist.

    Whether to date someone in recovery, I'd suggest following your heart. If your heart is more about going out and partying, do that, if it's more about the guy, date him.
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    Dec 01, 2008 8:53 PM GMT
    reliable1 saidRegarding "baggage," in my experience, guys who claim they have no baggage simply aren't capable of carrying their own. Then they want you to carry it for them while claiming it doesn't exist.

    Whether to date someone in recovery, I'd suggest following your heart. If your heart is more about going out and partying, do that, if it's more about the guy, date him.


    That's both wise, and from the heart, as you say. My only caveat is to know what you're getting into, in order to follow your heart without breaking it.

    Not every path needs to be paved in comfort; sometimes the most rewarding roads have bumps in them. But for myself, I like a roadmap that gives me some idea of what's ahead, so I can be ready.