Lindsay asks: "I just met this guy who seems perfect on paper. Four dates into what seemed like a fairytale and he told me that he's a recovering alcoholic. He goes to AA meetings every week and says he hasn't had a drop to drink in three years. I don't want to throw something amazing away... he really does seem perfect. But I'm not sure I want to get involved with an alcoholic even if he's admitted it. Help?"
In a nutshell: I think it depends on your situation. Notice I say your situation and not the man you're dating. Why? Because the only person you can control or change is you. I don't know your history, nor am I aware if you or another family member has ever struggled with an addiction. But many, many folks who were raised in families where alcohol was a problem find that they are attracted to alcoholics in their romantic relationships. Or, they attract people where alcohol (or drugs, abuse, narcotics) are issues. Now this isn't always the case, and I'm also not saying that any of this is your fault. Its not. But it is something to be think about, be aware of, and act upon if its a theme in your life.
Dating someone with any sort of illness isn't easy, but the first step is the same: educate yourself. Learn everything you can, see how your date's alcoholism may affect you, and seek out preemptive support for when it does. Give it a few weeks or even months to make a decision to determine if dating an alcoholic is something you can do, or if its a deal breaker for you.
What say you, dear readers? Would you date an alcoholic? Have you? Are you an alcoholic? What factors should Lindsay take into account, and what do you recommend?