What to know about dating a recovering alcoholic

Alcoholism is a chronic mental health disorder that a person usually struggles with for his or her entire life.

So read a book or go through online resources about the struggles people with alcoholism have faced. Even better, ask a mental health professional about the disorder and what you can do, as a partner, to ensure that your date is able to stay on the path to recovery.

Five Questions to Ask Yourself

However keep in mind that alcoholics often have a reason for why they struggle with drinking so much, and recovering alcoholics may still be trying to work through those previous problems. Be understanding if your significant other isn't ready to talk about his or her past, but let them know that you will be there when they are ready. When the time comes that he or she is willing to talk, be supportive and never judgmental.

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When you think you have opened the channels of communication, also share your own concerns and hesitations about being with a recovering alcoholic. This will bring things out in the open and your partner may be actually relieved about addressing relationship issues instead of keeping things under wraps. You should never put your partner in a position where she has to choose between remaining sober and being with you.

Take all this into consideration before planning dates, family gathering, work parties or any other outing.

Dating a Recovering Alcoholic | Single and Sober

At the same time, individuals who have stayed sober for many years at a stretch may be more confident of their ability to resist temptation. However others may find this too tempting and would prefer to be in other environments. Communicate with your significant other to find out what they are and aren't comfortable with.

Discuss with him or her whether they are comfortable with you drinking in their presence. Make AA part of your lives Alcoholics Anonymous is one of the most popular resources for people struggling with alcoholism.. In fact many alcoholics remain in AA for years after they've quit drinking because it offers them support in resisting temptations.


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Your association with the AA should be something that both of you are proud of. Besides being a great help to those trying to kick the bottle, the AA is also a valuable resource of information and support for families affected by alcoholism.

Dating a Recovering Alcoholic - Tips and Advice

Over time, a recovered alcoholic should be able to cope more effectively with his illness, but during times of stress or significant life changes his desire to drink may intensify. Ask a mental health professional about the disorder or read a book about the struggles people with alcoholism have faced to expand your knowledge. Discuss her alcoholism with her.


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Ask her to share with you her experience. Share with her your views and experiences with alcoholism. Be open about your concerns and hesitations about dating her. Creating an air of openness and honesty lets her know that she can be forthright and builds trust between the both of you. Attend an Al-Anon support group. Al-Anon is a support group focused on the people affected by alcoholism, such as wives, husbands, parents, partners and children; these groups allow people to share their experiences and benefit from the support of others.

Find a local Al-Anon group.

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Make time to go to one of their regular meetings. Share your story and why you have come to the meeting.

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Continue your participation in the support group for as long as you feel necessary. Avoid making alcohol a central part of your social events or regular life. Help Guide reports that for most recovering alcoholics it is important for them to avoid things such as social interactions and social situations which trigger cravings for alcohol. Ask the person you are dating how he feels about you drinking alcohol. Discuss with him whether he is comfortable with you drinking in his presence.

Be respectful of his desire to maintain his sobriety and change your drinking patterns based on his needs. Acknowledge that relapse is possible.

Even alcoholics who have been in recovery for long periods of time have the potential to relapse.