relationships in early recovery

Topics and discussions related to being single and or dating while in recovery
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relationships in early recovery

Postby sober13 » Thu Apr 06, 2006 11:08 pm

What does the big book or Bill W. say about personal relationships with the opposite sex early in recovery ? I have heard not to get into any personal relationship for with any women for the 1st or 2nd year of recovery .
Thanks .

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Postby Dallas » Fri Apr 07, 2006 2:42 am

Hey Sober13,

In regards to the first 164 pages of the Big Book, the prefaces, forwards, and Dr.'s Opinion, which describes AA's Program of Recovery... I've never found any reference to any time period that indicates specifically that a person should or should not wait, in regards to a relationship with a person of the opposite sex.... nor, have I found it to say anthing in regards to the same sex, if person happens to be gay or lesbian.

If you are new in sobriety... or old in sobriety... and considering a personal relationship... I would suggest that you read the entire Big Book, and see if you find something that I didn't find.

When I was new in AA, I used to do something they called "Sponsor Shopping." If there was something that I wanted to do... or didn't want to do... and I didn't want to listen to the suggestions from my Sponsor... I would go ask other people what their opinion was on something... hoping to find an answer that was more to my liking and in line with what I wanted to do or not do. Then, I might be able to feel "justified" or "right" about doing things the way I wanted to do them.

Sometimes, I wouldn't get the answer that I wanted to hear... so I would change the way I used the words when I asked the question... hoping to get someone to take the bait and give me an answer that I wanted to hear.

I doubt that you, or anyone else, would ever do anything like I did... because I've never yet met anyone who was more self-willed, self-seeking, self-centered, and determined to run-my-own-show... as I was.

I was very rebelious and defiant when I first landed in AA, and it took me a while to get over it. It didn't matter to me, what someone else had to say about anything... nor did it matter to me if it was in the Big Book or not! I didn't care. I was determined to live as I had always lived, which meant living life on my terms. Sometimes, I still get rebelious and defiant... and determined to do things my way. But, as time has gone on for me sober... I've changed a lot, and not as rebelious and defiant as I used to be... and most of the time (not all of the time)... I can hang with the idea of "living life on life's terms."

I guess you could say... that I didn't have what someone else may have wanted... if they were considering any kind of long term personal relationship with me!

If I didn't have a Sponsor, like I do now, and I was still giving suggestions to myself, in regards to personal relationships... here is what I would hope that I would say to myself: "Wait until you've gone through the 12 Steps, and read the Big Book from cover to cover... a few times... give yourself some time to change, and to get to know yourself... and be sure that you don't feel like you would be "less-than" if you weren't in a personal relationship. Then... after a lot of keeping-it-very-light dating, with several different people, to get an idea of what I might be looking for in a relationship with another person... make a list of what kind of person I would want to be with would be like. And, be very specific. And, don't compromise in my list. And, if someone happened to show up who matched everything on my list... then, take time to think about it, and to get to know the person for a while... before I made any kind of commitment."

That's what I would "hope" that I would suggest for myself. And, I "hope" that I would follow through what I suggested to myself. Because, after all... even if I did do everything right... I might still be making a mistake.

I used to hear that the reason they suggest newcomers to wait for a year, before they get into a relationship... is to protect the old-timers from getting wrapped up with a newcomer. They said it was more dangerous for the old-timer than it was for the newcomer... because the newcomer wasn't as sensitive as the old-timer was... and they could rebound better than the old-timer if there was a break up. The newcomer could probably get through it... but the oldtimer couldn't. I can see the logic in that!

Just out of curiosity... I'd like to hear what you have to say about it, or maybe, what your sponsor has said about it.


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Postby waitresscheryl » Thu May 18, 2006 9:31 pm

I found this a rather interesting topic. If I had asked for advise about relationships early in recovery I would not have been married twice in early in recovery. When I first got in recovery, I did not even asked my sponsor for advise, or even would talk about it, I just decided I was going to do what I wanted to do, than when things went bad, it was the other person's fault, rather selfish don't you think. I had the idea that if I was not married or in a relationship that it made me less of a person, in other words, I had to live through that person, I did not have my own identity. Is any of this making any sense? I just wanted to share my own experience on this subject. So for me it really was not a good idea to be in relationships early in sobriety, because I did not know who I was, I was just finding out. Cheryl :D Today I am not in a relationship, even though I would like to be, but now I do not have to try so hard, I do not have that desperation I had than for a relationship. Hope this is making sense, not always real good with words, trying to get across what I am trying to say. :wink:

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Postby Rusty Zipper » Fri May 19, 2006 11:36 am

for me i believe it realy depends on ones recovery... week, just not do'n much, not drinking and hit'n a few meets willy/nilly style.... better, not drinking, going to more meetings, working a bit w/a sponser, sitting at least at the table, reaching out to the newcomer, ### #### drinking coffee, not makeing it, or strong, working the steps, hit'n knees, reaching out to others ### #### service, no two-step'n.. working daily, or at least useing a sponser when decsision making, sitting up front, and plenty more .... the latter was me..... i was in a relationship after a year, the other, just under... we loved each other, going on three years together. we were going to get married... what happen'd.... the Rat came out, The Beast was woke'n... 5 months of hell...someone said to me way long ago, the program your working now, agressive and strong, will be there for your future... and also for if, and when a bomb goes off... well sober13, the bomb drop'd ......... my baby is dead... ya think that's a bomb sober13? ... i shure do!!!... and thank god i have my program, my sponser, my homegroup, my AA friends and my online friends! .. if i didn't, it would be the the agains, the yets and maybe join'n her! and let me tell you, even with all of this, its hard. i'm doing it, growing from it and geting even more spiritual growth... sober, who carried me.... God, The Powers That Be, HP, or whatever anyone would like to call it.... sober, i hope any of this may have help'd.... all good wishes, and if ya can, give a little love.......... The Zip

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Dating in early sobriety

Postby sparklebabyyy » Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:26 pm

Hi there :D
I have 50 days sober today, and the person I am seeing has 21 months. Neither of us intentionally started something knowing we had such a large gap between our time. He thought I had over a year, I thought he had less than a year. However it seems to be good for me. I feel great, keep in contact with my higher power, call my sponcer every day, stick with the winners, stay plugged in to the meetings and he calls me out on my bull #### when he sees me doing, saying, or acting in a way that may cause something that could possibly lead to a slip. Everything happens exactly the way it is supposed to happen, exactly when it is suppose to happen and everything is God's will. I figure he came into my life for a reason and seems to be doing no harm so I don't see what the issue is as long as you are putting yourself and your recovery before sex or a relationship.

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Postby Dallas » Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:30 pm

Good luck w/ it. Best wishes. And, welcome to the site!

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Postby mcfinn » Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:49 pm

All I can give you is my experience, strength and hope. I am 2 years sober and starting dating a women with 6 months sober. It didn't work out when she started drinking again. She wanted me just as a friend not a boyfriend or an AA friend. I am hurt by this cause rejection sucks for this alky! But I didnt drink and I learned from the experience. I will not date anyone with less then a year under their belt.

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Re: relationships in early recovery

Postby Myinitialsareaasigh » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:45 pm

As far as the big book talking about relationships maybe this

pg 69(i so love that)
" In this way we tried to shape a sane and sound ideal for our future sax life. We subjected each relation(new?) to this test
was it selfish or not? We asked God to mold our ideals and help us to live up to them."

The key part maybe is "am i trying to get into this relationship for some selfish reason?"
I have always used relationships to boost my self-esteem maybe to have that hot girl on my shoulder or just cause i feel incomplete without one.

When my selfish reasons for having relationships are changed without being in one maybe then i'm ready to be in one.

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Re: relationships in early recovery

Postby Dallas » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:26 pm

Great reminder. The book is packed full of great suggestions and guidance for all areas of our lives -- especially in regards to relationships and sex.

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Re: relationships in early recovery

Postby Toast » Sat May 19, 2012 5:45 pm


Its been my observation that alcoholics often choose ' non challenging' relationships just like we choose ' non challenging' environments to strut our stuff in. We can't not be king of our own castle.

The problem is eventuallly either the relationship or the environment doesn't live up to the lofty expectations we never had in the first place and we look for someone or something to blame? Never once realising that it was our sick thinking that was the problem all along!

Choosing the easier softer way doesnt work with alcoholics either drunk or sober.

Be well

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