If you are in recovery, you’re not really advised to go to bars and clubs so AA becomes the obvious way to meet new people because you spend a large chunk of your time in these meetings. Many people in recovery who have experienced dating in AA will mostly advised you against it but for someone who’s never done this before, you may be wondering if it will really be harmful.
The old saying “All’s fair in love and war” somehow excuses almost every reason why you shouldn’t date someone from your AA group. After all, if you are truly and deeply in love, why should you stop yourself from this emotion?
The reality is – every AA group is composed of diverse individuals and while some people may have bad experiences, many couples were also formed in AA. This article will not tell you whether you should or you should not date in AA. Instead, it’s going to show you some advantages and disadvantages of deciding to engage in dating in AA.
Do you have a crush on someone in your AA group and you’re thinking of asking this person out? Or maybe you’ve been asked out on a date? Should you say yes or skip it? Here are some positive possibilities of saying yes to the date.
You will be with someone who will not judge you for your past
When you’re back in the dating pool, you will meet people who will judge you upon finding out that you had a drug or substance abuse problem in the past. Some people may even decide to end the relationship right there even if everything is going well. Divulging the information that you were a former alcoholic can be a make or break turning point in any relationship. On the other hand, if you date someone in AA, there is no reason to hide or omit truths about your past and fear that they will issue unfair judgment.
Your partner will understand your struggles and issues
One of the primary reasons why people decide to date someone within their AA group is because they feel that the other person understands them more. Being in recovery is a constant struggle and there will be tough times where you need someone who will understand and stand by you during these moments. If your partner has been through the same thing, this may work better for your relationship.
You share the same recovery goal
Many people in recovery worry that if they date again, they may be tempted to drink if their sober partner starts drinking alcohol over dinner or in social settings. If they then date someone in their recovery group, this becomes an easier process because both partners are supposedly on the same page towards recovery.
Having someone who shares the same recovery goal as yourself means you’ll have someone to discover new sober activities with and you can enjoy being with one another without the influence of alcohol or drugs.
There are many stories of unsuccessful love pairings in AA groups. Why do these relationships fail? What are the reasons why dating in AA may not work out?
You or your potential partner may not be truly ready
Those who are new to AA are often vulnerable and may feel attached to the people in their group meetings. The problem with this is that the emotion may not truly be love, instead, it could just be a pleasure of being attended and listened to.
Even if you’ve passed the one-year mark, this does not mean that you are actually ready to date and commit to an emotional and physical relationship with another person. You may still have issues you need to resolve on your own before dating anyone, whether this person is in your AA group or not. If you consider dating someone in AA, then the challenges are doubled because this person will also have issues and problems to deal with.
If one of you relapse, it will affect your relationship
If you date someone in AA and then your partner suffers from a relapse, this may cause cracks in your relationship, especially if your own sobriety journey is going well. Just because you feel that you’re solidly sober does not mean that your partner is too. Keep in mind that recovery is not an instant process. Substance abuse is a disease and relapse is a reality that may happen to your or to your partner.
Meetings can be awkward if the relationship does not work out
Just like any other relationship, there will be challenges and somewhere down the road, you may both realize that the relationship is not working. If the breakup is bad, this may trigger you to go back to drinking again and jeopardize your sobriety. But even if the breakup is mutual, it may cause some friction and awkwardness, especially when both of you are in the same AA meetings. What was once a safe space for you can turn into something you’ll resent and it can even make you feel awkward about sharing during AA meetings.
If you or a loved is suffering from substance abuse, help is available.
Contact Anaheim Lighthouse today.