Relationships In Long Term Sobriety

A discussion of topics related to relationships in recovery and treatment
Posts: 132
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:10 am
Location: Lake Erie, Ohio

Relationships In Long Term Sobriety

Postby Susan » Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:25 am

Well, things are not going well here after 14 years of sobriety. 8 years of not dating to work on myself. I just tried this friendship thing that was interesting. My sponsor taught me early on, you cannot do anything with a male Friend that you do not do with sponsor, if you do, you are not just friends. That means kissing on the lips too, yup. I started doing this with a male friend recently and what a mess. I just realized he does it with many other women in the fellowship too. Men think, as long as I am not having sex we are just friends. That may be misleading for women. Anyway, no matter how much I have tried to recover my picker is still broke! I must say I was very embarrassed when I found out he did this with many women. There feelings were hurt, mine were hurt , what a mess. Keep me in your prayers. :roll:

garden variety
Posts: 750
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 7:39 pm
Location: Ohio

Postby garden variety » Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:16 pm

Hiya Finch,

My heart goes out to you. I know some of the things you're talking about. Especially about sending and receving mixed messages and such. I found out pretty early on that for me it's best to use rule 62 almost all the time with things like this.

I ususally greet at my home group. And I've found about as much variety in "greetings" as I could have ever imagined, and boy do they range all over the place, from a peck on the cheek to someone grabbing my fannie, both men and women! I've had "lip-lockers" too which always take me by surprise. But since I've been one of the disgnated "greeters" at the group, believe it or not folks do have limits. I've yet to be greeted with a "romantic" kiss that clearly communicated something more than a "friendly" greeting. I know what kind of kisses those are, and I'd be willing to bet you probably have a good idea of the kind I'm talking about. But God forbid, there are pretty much no limits on the greetings. And these are the ones that aren't supposed to mean anything.

The "first" time it hits me was when this younger lady with a couple years decided to greet me with a kiss. I think she liked the comment I made when she did a speaker lead at my home group a week before. Then the week after that, there are 4-5 guys in line before me shaking hands, she shakes all of their hands and gets to me and, reaches around my shoulders (I'm 6'4" tall so she was reaching) then lays on a lip-locker. At first I backed away, but said ah hell with it and went with her kiss.

Man at the dirty looks I got from those guys! And I must have turned seven different shades of red. Somebody even said "get a room". But I knew the girl pretty well and she winked and we both read each other right. She did that every week for a long time. Then she stopped. I was a little bit puzzed at first, but I watched her the next week and sure enough her sponsor was sitting right up front and close - watching her. So I'm sure somebody was minding our biusiness and said something to her sponsor. She got me once this year, though. It was around the holidays and her sponsor wasn't up by the door. Whammo lip-locker again - I couldn't do anything but laugh out loud. But again, it was clear between us both that we were actually kissing in a friendship way - but those guys woud have told you otherwise.

I was greeting at another group, and I won't mention any names here, but there is this lady friend who has a "conference" type of speaker lead in her 70's. This is someone I talk to regular too especially about girls that come my way looking for maybe "sponsorship with benefits". Anyways, I say "Hi Baby" to her before I even know it - it just "blurted" out. Then she does the same thing that other girl did and gives me a lip-locker. And she nailed me with that bright red lipstick! Once again the other greeters looked stunned, but I just shook my head and smiled and laughed it off. I made it a point to be a little more careful with my greetings to her after that!

Anyway, what I'm saying is that I never know how a person wants to be greeted, so I just let them call the shots. It's usually one of three: A hug, A hug and a peck on the cheek, or a big hug and lip-locker - that is from women. And I've "almost" mastered the art of figuring out what it's gonna be as it's happening - you know, so there isn't any of those bumping heads and kissing collar embarassments. Now from men, I haven't got any kisses, but I do get hugs from some guys you least expect it.

I even had a new young fellow call me up in tears because this other fellow with a few years sobriety was hitting on him. Let me tell you what, if you've never dealt with folks in the fellowship having "same-sex" "significant other" types of problems, boy what an awkward thing that is for the first time. But after that first time, at least for me, the same rules apply to men hitting on men as men hitting on women. One time I was pretty indignant when a guy was "13th stepping" another fellow who was looking for a sponsor, and I was someone who he was talking to regular. It was pretty comical after it was over - I laughed to myself. But I was saying stuff like "Why the nerve of that guy! He's just a predetor picking on new folks like that!"

All that to say, Finch, don't be too hard on yourself. A kiss is a wonderful thing. If you think about your first "real" kiss from someone you were nuts about - or just suprised but your breath was taken away. Don't sweat it - a kiss is supposed to feel good and if kissing like friends felt good, and maybe hit it you with a "curve", don't sweat it. I'd just say don't be afraid of it happening again. Just set those reasonable limits in your own mind. Maybe it takes some work, so volunteer to be a greeter. You'll know the "ins and outs" of kisses - maybe more than you might want to know. But whatever you decide, keep whatever good memories and feelings that you may have felt in the place inside you for things that were good or felt good and don't be ashamed. We're all a lot like kids on a school bus for the first time.

But I did have one relationship that just ended a few months ago. She was real wice woman, not in the fellowship. But I knew, and so did she, from the beginning where we were going. We were clear with each other. So I guess I'm saying I kissed an awful lot of ladies in the fellowship - it's more like I just let a kiss be a kiss. I ususally didn't initaite, but I did respond, and it was most often with surprise and then enjoyment - being in the moment. None of that ever turned into a mess or anything ugly, but it did teach me some pretty good lessons about the crazy way folks in this fellowship greet each other.

God bless you girl!

Posts: 132
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:10 am
Location: Lake Erie, Ohio

Postby Susan » Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:56 pm

Thank You Paul for your input, I really appreciate it. :)

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