For proponents of this, the reasoning is that this is a time of great personal growth and self-work. Additionally, it is a period when sober skill building occurs, which both solidifies sobriety and allows the individual to gain skills to apply in relationships going forward. If a newly sober person does get into a relationship too soon after getting sober, the concern is two-fold.
Without more adaptive coping skills, the individual may reenact the negative patterns of former relationships that either occurred or led to alcohol. Also, the risk of relapse may be heightened by the emotional aspects of coping with a relationship, and the demands it may make.
Whether or not someone chooses to avoid relationships for a period of time in early sobriety or not, certain aspects of dating a recovering alcoholic remain. It loosens us up. It releases endorphins, making us feel confident, good-looking, and hilarious. We have to feel all those feelings without liquid courage.
Unfortunately, addiction is a disease. So if you decide to take the relationship to that next step, at least know relapse could occur at some point in the future. Ultimately, whether or not a relationship with a former addict is a good risk for you will depend upon you, your hopes for the future, and the stability of the specific person you have in mind. One day, Shelley meets Steve through an online dating website. As your partner progresses through their recovery, you have to find ways to be supportive as they work through their various issues if you are committed to the relationship long-term. She assumes Steve must be a wild one, and she tells her close friends of this fact.
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?
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?
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. Learning how to navigate this disorder and how it affects romantic relationships gives you important tools which can be valuable whether your choose to continue your relationship or not.
Deepen your understanding of the disease. Alcoholism is a chronic mental health disorder that a person will struggle with for his entire life. Over time, a recovered alcoholic should be able to cope more effectively with his illness, but during times of stress or significant life changes his desire to drink may intensify.
Ask a mental health professional about the disorder or read a book about the struggles people with alcoholism have faced to expand your knowledge. Discuss her alcoholism with her.
Ask her to share with you her experience. Share with her your views and experiences with alcoholism. Be open about your concerns and hesitations about dating her. Creating an air of openness and honesty lets her know that she can be forthright and builds trust between the both of you.
Attend an Al-Anon support group. Al-Anon is a support group focused on the people affected by alcoholism, such as wives, husbands, parents, partners and children; these groups allow people to share their experiences and benefit from the support of others. Find a local Al-Anon group.
Make time to go to one of their regular meetings. Share your story and why you have come to the meeting. Continue your participation in the support group for as long as you feel necessary. Avoid making alcohol a central part of your social events or regular life. Help Guide reports that for most recovering alcoholics it is important for them to avoid things such as social interactions and social situations which trigger cravings for alcohol. Ask the person you are dating how he feels about you drinking alcohol.
Discuss with him whether he is comfortable with you drinking in his presence.