One tiny little suggestion... Don't do what I did when I was new and what many newcomers do... On the first date... we don't do our 5th Step with them. Nor on the second date or the hundredth date. "Do you still want me??? Do you still accept me???"
Some of us (that were like me) went to extremes. Of course, for me, I think it was my childishness and immaturity. Heck, I was drinking like an alcoholic by the time I was 13. And, I had never been on a date sober, let alone in a relatiohsip sober, before I got sober.
I honestly didn't know what to do. My head was a man. My body was a man. But, emotionally, I was like a little kid that had never had the opportunity to grow up emotionally. And, to top it off -- emotions, especially the warm kind... scared the heck out of me. When I look back on it know -- perhaps, I was trying to run them off by telling them 5th Step stuff.
One of the biggest personal problems that I discovered in regards to bad relationships was: I didn't know how to leave them. They would shed a couple of tears and I'd feel as guilty as all get out -- that I had done something wrong or was doing something wrong, and they were hurting, and I'd blame myself for their hurts. Yep. I was a pretty sick puppy.
I was hyper-sensitive. When I had a feeling it was like feelings on steroids. Before sobriety -- I could have a few drinks to chill or to numb out and do the right thing -- which often, was to leave and not look back. But, newly sober -- before getting through the Steps -- I was full of guilt and remorse about things I had done and things that I hadn't done. And, I also later discovered that I didn't like myself. Honestly -- it wasn't just didn't like myself -- I was carrying deep seated hatred and anger at myself. I was not a good candidate for a relationship and it seemed like every which way I turned -- there was another one wanting to "Oh! We'll just be friends!" ... and in reality it was "You're going to be my next ex-husband or something!"
Well. Enough of my 5th!!!
I wish the best of the best of the best for you all.
I think one of the best things I did for myself (and, see, now you'll know for sure I was a slow learner)... at two years sober... I decided to do the "no sex for a year" thing. I thought that would be as hard as getting sober! And, sometimes... it was close to it. But, after the year -- successfully not-doing it -- I felt proud of myself. I felt like I had achieved the unachievable. I felt self-worth. And, I proved to myself that I could maintain discipline -- self-discipline. I went through the Steps again and I had started liking myself. I forgave myself and accepted myself. I discovered that I didn't have to turn to the bottle or drugs or sex... to feel comfortable in my own skin. I had learned to say no. I still hadn't learned how to leave a bad relationship -- because I hadn't been in one.... other than the minor one that had really ripped me a new one, which was supposed to be one of those... "Oh! We'll just be friends!" one's. (She had agreed to the "just friends" and then changed her mind after we became friends).
I can laugh about it now -- but, it sure wasn't funny at all when I was going through the break-up of the "just friends".
I nearly lost my sobriety and my life! And, that was when I began to learn that love -- for an alcoholic -- a sober one -- can be more dangerous than anything that we can go through.
I'm not one of the one's that suggests to people to not date or not get into relationships. I usually suggest they get in there and do it early. Get knocked down a few times in early sobriety -- because, when it gets later in sobriety -- we become even more fragile, in regards to broken-hearts... and a bit of experience can toughen us up!