When I first decided to get sober, I told my fiancé, “I think I am going to go to AA and quit the booze for good.” His reply: “Awww, I’m gonna lose my drinking buddy? ”As you may expect, that relationship imploded shortly thereafter.
If the relationship becomes serious, it would be helpful for the partner to work a 12-step program to gain insight into the disease of addiction and codependency that often accompanies it.” Because relapse is most common in the first years of recovery—leveling off at about five years—Faulkner cautions that those who are sober be cautious about dating people who imbibe.
“If you’re talking about someone with good sobriety dating someone who is a casual or responsible drinker, there isn’t necessarily a problem,” she says.
“If the sober person is in early recovery or if the drinker is a problem drinker, the chances for a good dating experience are dim.
Though most people won’t wait two years into sobriety to start dating, keep in mind that the smell of alcohol, the taste of a kiss [with someone who’s been drinking], the clinking of ice in the glass, as well as the bar and the bar scene could be triggers.”Irene Carroll, a North Carolina–based addiction therapist, says, “Dating is just so risky for people in early in recovery, especially so if you’re considering going out with someone who isn’t sober. ” Naturally, when going out with someone who drinks, sober people often wonder when and how to reveal the fact that they don’t drink.
Carroll offers, “Most alcoholics know places that don’t serve liquor—coffeehouses, museums.
If you’re going out to dinner, it’s okay to wait till you arrive, and when the wine list arrives just say, ‘Nah, I don’t do that anymore.’ Do it casually; whether to go into greater detail or not really depends upon the relationship.”Amy, a 32-year-old stylist who lives in Manhattan and has been sober for 10 years, tells of romancing a particular “normie,” who turned out to be anything but.“I started dating a guy who told me he didn’t drink,” she recalls.“We had very civilized, nice dates but, after a while, I started to catch onto the fact that he really did drink—he was just trying to control his drinking and never indulged around me.When we started going to more parties together, I saw him staring somewhat lasciviously at the alcohol.So I said to him, ‘Hey, don't not drink on my account.’ That opened up the floodgates: Suddenly, he’s getting smashed all the time and we’re going on group dates where everyone but me is getting wasted.”Amy found herself deeply in like after six months of dating, though her gut told her the relationship was dangerous.“I hung in there for a few more months but the truth is that I really wanted to drink during that time: He and his friends made it look so appealing.