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Bonny Albo

Is Dating an Admitted Alcoholic a Good Idea?

By August 25, 2012

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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?

Related: Why Do I Need Help? He's the Alcoholic!, Al-Anon, Detachment.

August 17, 2010 at 2:22 am
(1) Tom Head says:

I would have no problem dating a recovering alcoholic who has been sober for three years.

I would have much more trouble dating somebody who does not identify as an alcoholic, but gets trashed on Friday nights and then drives home.

August 17, 2010 at 12:53 pm
(2) Chrissy says:

It really does depend on what you’re comfortable with. A recovering alcoholic (and congratulations to him!) can’t make you do something different in your life, however they can make you think about how you live yours. Is drinking in front of him what you’re worried about? Or is it a relapse by him and how you’re going to handle it that you’re worried about? Or is it simply the fact that there’s an aspect ofhis life that he’s admitted he has no control over, yet still attempts ot control it everyday?

August 19, 2010 at 5:43 pm
(3) paul says:

if you like pubs clubs and any passtime were alcohol are usualy present.. he will be always edgy ..you must watch alcohol content of food and toothpaste and even adverts on tv screens ect..ect ..it is very difficult and one drink and he will be in danger..i know cos Im the same as him..now its up to you..good luck

August 20, 2010 at 12:10 pm
(4) Barbara says:

A recovering alcoholic is a different animal than a plain old alcoholic.

Three years sober is a very good start – I wouldn’t advise getting involved with anybody who has less time in AA than that, as it’s not good for either you or them – and there are many more years ahead in which he will be growing and changing. Recovery is a lifetime affair.

August 21, 2010 at 9:04 am
(5) ellen says:

Everyone has issues – not just alcoholics. Whatever is going on, it really helps to have friends who will support you. My brother is an alcoholic and has been clean for about a dozen years. I used information about how people are totally responsible for their lives that I learned at Morehouse that enabled me to help him through his journey to living a straight life.

August 24, 2010 at 2:35 pm
(6) Tara says:

You must make sure that if you do decide to date this man; (he has been very honest with you from the offset) that you lay firm ground basics. A recovering alcoholic should never drink a drop. Unfortunately they cannot afford to. Tell him that if he does decide to relapse that you won’t be there the morning after. It’s a hard line but this is very important. Emotional support when they feel cravings is one thing picking up the pieces is another.

August 30, 2010 at 9:09 am
(7) stephanie says:

I have been in AA for 20 years. It has been the most amazing adventure. Recovering alcoholics in the program learn tools that help them build and sustain healthy relationships. They have a support system to help them survive the rough spots in life. I am presently another recovering alcoholic and have found it to be the most open, and honest relationship I’ve ever had. Many men outside the program do not know how to be open and honest .. men in the program do. Going to meetings and having a sponsor are of utmost importance to us … if you can support this and accept the absence of alcohol from your life .. date this man. He’s already shown honesty in your relationship. Go to open meetings with him and listen .. perhaps this will be the most loving and rewarding relationship you’ve ever had. Remember though .. we are all human, and nothing is perfect … unlike others, AAs have tools to work through difficult times. God bless .. go for it.

September 4, 2010 at 7:19 pm
(8) Anne says:

I’m a recovering alcoholic for nine years and I’d want to make sure the person has been stable for at least two years. There are some people who go in and out, and that is a dysfunctional mess. But the people who truly recover become very capable of honest, responsibility, humor and understanding. The twelve steps give people a way to live life, and from the inside looking out, I think many more people could benefit from recovery.

September 28, 2010 at 5:57 am
(9) upstate says:

i like the people that lie and sneak around on the downlow and i know lots of them@ and pretend!
and you don’t even know it!

November 9, 2010 at 1:13 am
(10) SMaxwell says:

It is nice to finally see a blog with some objective insights. I have been sober for 14 years and take offense to some of the stereotyping of all recovering alcoholics are liars, manipulators…..it is just ignorance – plain and simple.

I have met some of the finest people ever in AA. There are no two recovering alcoholics that are exactly alike. The key issue in evaluating whether to date a recovering alcoholic should depend on the amount of time they have in recovery. I would say at least 5 years – and that is contingent on whether they have addressed their root causes. Many people bounce in and out for decades without commiting to sobriety and use the “recovering alcoholic’ thing like a baseball hat.

If the person is stable, can support themselves, have sought counseling to address their causes and you like them and enjoy their company then you should trust your instincts and give dating a try – you might find yourself in a solid, wonderful relationship over time.

February 16, 2011 at 11:15 am
(11) mieoux says:

I would love to see an opinion on this from a psychiatrist who specializes in addictions.

February 25, 2011 at 4:32 pm
(12) LoverBug says:

I have been dating a man in AA for a couple months now, I have gone to some meetings with him, and have fallen in love. I have realized that there will always be a temptation, like the other day he asked me what would happen if he drank again? I quickly realized that no matter how long he has been sober, it will always be a constant battle for him. Therefore, I need to stay strong for him, support him, and give him my strength for him to stay strong. That is something you may have to deal with as well.

But, he is honest, loving, caring, and sensitive. He doesn’t hide these things like some men tend to do. He shows his true self and expresses his fears and worries with me even thought it may hurt me. The honesty is something that I’m getting used to because it is brutal sometimes, but I am thankful to have the honesty vs. the lies.

I say go for it, try it out, don’t be scared, because in order to allow yourself to really fall in love, no matter who he is, you need to open yourself up to pain first.

September 17, 2011 at 12:24 am
(13) asmart says:

Two months…you don’t know him at all. Recovery is a life long affair. AH are manipulators…loving, honest and sensitive…. will change. Honesty or manipulation? They all go through relapses. You mention love…love is not worth the price of constant despair; dysfunction and fear.
“Living with an alcoholic is like living with a time bomb – you never know when it is going to blow up. One minute they are nice – the next they are nasty. It’s like walking on egg shells. Although I knew he was a heavy drinker I never thought it would affect me so much. If I had known I would never of married him”.

January 13, 2012 at 9:16 am
(14) MySelfandI says:

I see a lot of confusion – the person who is 3 years sober is not the same as an active alcoholic. The person with that much time sober has learned how to express their feelings, that honesty is essential, that being accountable is essential and has a faith in a Higher Power. It is not a “constant struggle” if they are actually in Recovery. I am in Recovery. People who are really working their program have lost the desire to drink. That is the miracle of AA. Any person with 3 years sobriety is probably a more honest and open person than someone who never had a problem.
I have on occassion had some in my food or mouthwash and did not relapse over it. It takes more to trigger a relapse. A few sops on a drink with alcohol is another story.
I go to nightclubs, parties, etc where I am the only person not drinking. I often get bored earlier in the night than my friends. I live in New Orleans. And I find drunks extremely tiresome but that is it,

March 5, 2012 at 1:41 pm
(15) STUCK says:

I was involved with a supposedly recovering alcoholic for six years. He left me for someone he met at an AA meeting who didn’t have six months sobriety. He was ordered to go to meetings and therapy and be tested during the week for alcohol consumption. He is drunk every weekend and hides it very well. I’m sure his girlfriend doesn’t know. He only has gotten up to the fourth step. I love him so much and have been through three detoxes and one rehab with him. I just can’t seem to let go. I’m just waiting for their relationship to go south. He told me I am his best friend and soulmate. I love him and I hate him. I’m sure I’m being used. His probation will be up in May and I’m sure he will start drinking more then. I can’t help but wonder if she will help him or if I will have to. My guess is he will never stop drinking. I’m stuck. He keeps getting his medallions at the meetings. What a con and they don’t know. People believe him. He is very good at lying.

March 26, 2012 at 12:19 am
(16) SheldonCooperIsMyHero says:

I have been dating a recovering alcoholic for several months now. In the beginning he had never told me of his addiction and how he attends AA meetings until one night I was over and he had said “I’m going to a meeting later.” So I asked him “A meeting for what?” and he simply said “I’m in AA.” I immediately thought back to our first few dates and remembered that I had drank in front him. He lifts weights to stay in shape so I had just assumed that him not drinking with me was because he wanted to be healthy or whatever. So I had said to him “But I’ve drank in front of you.” he laughed a little bit and explained to me that being around people who drink doesn’t bother him and that he had been sober for two years. I immediately became curious on what pushed him to realize that he needed AA. This is something that I should’ve asked him instead of finding out for myself. I still feel afraid to ask him because I don’t want him to tell me something different than what I already know. I discovered that he was charged for domestic violence a few years back which made my heart break a little bit but I reminded myself of the man that I am familiar with. I haven’t learned to trust him yet and he does have his days of moodiness and but he is one of the most thoughtful and gentle human beings I have ever met in my life and if I ever lost him, it would take a abundant amount of time to get over him. Every day I’m scared that alcohol could take him away from me but I’d say if you enjoy yourself and feel good when you’re around someone who is in AA and you know that they respect you then give it a chance. You only live once. The experiences that I’ve shared with him are some that I had only dreamed of living up to. He continues to amaze me all the time with his words and actions and I hope and pray to God that he was placed into my life for a reason.

May 26, 2012 at 1:50 am
(17) Jen says:

I feel the same way. I’m crazy in love with a man whose been in AA for almost 2 years now. We love each other so much and really have each others backs. He has told me he has to stay in AA the rest of his life and I understand that. He also said “If I ever say to you, that I don’t need AA something is wrong”. As much as I love him and care for him deeply, I want to be there for him. I am also spilling to give him tough love if he relapses. Only because I want the best for him. We both come from a dark place in in our hearts, and are artists. We understand each other and support each other. I worry about him. I want us to have a good life together. I do like to drink an occasional glass of wine or two a night but he says it doesn’t bother him. I have yet to drink in front of him. I only wish he will live a happy life and I can always be a part that. He has a good heart.

August 27, 2012 at 12:55 pm
(18) Renee S says:

Who Date, an app I have on my iPhone, helps to keep me in-line with what is important to me in the people or person I get involved with. Some things are deal-breakers with certain people and some are not. It is personal preference and values.

August 30, 2012 at 8:51 am
(19) Sophie says:

If the person in your life is not in denial and is attending AA meetings, you are very fortunate. That was not my case. I have been living through SHEER hell for 4 months, falling hard for a guy who is doing nothing about his 1 liter of vodka consumption per day or so. I hate myself for allowing this toxic situation to EVEN start. Now I am hurt and the damage is done. I believe that he loved me and I loved him too but the abuse and roller coaster of emotions was so damaging.
My advice: be very careful with anyone who drinks too much. You might think you are in control but you and they NEVER are.

September 2, 2012 at 5:04 pm
(20) AlBeback says:

Shouldn’t really even have to ask this question. Considering that he’s an admitted alcoholic and that he has been able to control it and be successful means that he is probably just about perfect. Most people don’t acknowledge they have a problem, not ever, and the true number of people with drug and alcohol dependencies is about 40% of the population 90% of them will never admit they have a problem. This guy is much more likely to think about his actions and admit when he’s wrong, those are suppose to be positive characteristics not red flags. The chance of attaining a healthy relationship is higher because he’s more than likely to actually communicate with you effectively.

September 4, 2012 at 4:19 am
(21) Rosaura says:

I fell deeply in love with an alcoholic…We had a lovely relationship despite the binge drinking…don’t know how i survived the anxiety…worry..but .sobriety..relapses… but after more than 7 years together… alcohol and pot became daily despair…And I crumbled and he crumbled…his mind was twisted…(Thought I was domineering..” controlling…”against him”…Verbal abuse… arriving home late and drunk…Hell…I loved him… still love him… He is Irish…I miss him… I wil love him forever..I moved back to Brazil Rio……I am trying to get over him…He was the best lover husband… Alcohol is devil…But I would date him again… honestly…

September 26, 2012 at 5:59 pm
(22) mildmannered says:

I too dated an AA man who has been sober for 4 years and went on many wonderful dates and it seemed perfect. He had other issues to deal with, abruptly ended the relationship and eventually moved out of state. He went to AA meetings in his new state and quickly found a new girlfriend there and dated her for many months and then broke it off. Last time I spoke with him he seemed to still have anger and control issues. Yes he does work the program and it will always be a part of his life. I would have liked to been a part of his life as well. It is up to you, if you love him, enjoy being around him and like the life you have together, go for it – we all have flaws.

October 17, 2012 at 2:35 pm
(23) erin says:

never!! we had this convo @ work last night and eventhough he or she was a good prson or not. those are some black deamons. dont fight his deamons take care of yourself i agree with other comment about take your time and think about it.person may be Sincere but as for myself i picked 1 cigg up and picked habit back in full force. a good way cause alcoholics do the same. i have a huge populations of alcoholics in my fan.they started their own club for god sake! happy,sad,violent. get to know him first. test the waters and pay attention to his attitude and how he talks sweet or arrogant. watch those behavios and imagine what could come of anything if something dosent get dne right. ok blah blah just saying put out the pro and cons about it. who knows maybe is prince carming . just be careful!! let me know how it works out

October 29, 2012 at 4:22 pm
(24) SUKI says:


November 7, 2012 at 5:37 pm
(25) Jim says:

I am a recovering alcoholic and have been sober for 4 and a half years. The problem here is not the recovering alcoholic, but it’s how you see your life with him. I have no problems going to a pub or any other places serve alcohol with a date; however I do not make that a habit. If you think he is a great guy and you love him or think you have a future with him then your problem is solved. You have to remember, that whether he’s an alcoholic recovering or not in your relationship you’re going to have to accept things that each other does that you are either comfortable or uncomfortable with and you make allowances for that because that’s what you do in a relationship. He does have an illness but it will never present itself unless he starts drinking again, so you have to be confident in his ability not to drink.

November 10, 2012 at 9:28 pm
(26) Laura says:

I have been dating a recovering alcoholic (3 yrs sober) for over 2 yrs and at first I thought he was perfect, he said all the right things, seemed attentive, caring. Then later I find out that he skipped one of the most important steps in AA (which he went to only briefly). Personal Inventory – he completely avoided to examine anything that led to his addiction and now I am paying the price. He is hyper sensitive, has anger management issues and is not able to communicate calmly at times. I feel like I was tricked and wish I had these last few years back and ran like my gut told me to.

November 25, 2012 at 2:53 am
(27) Debby says:

I had a 2 year relationship with a 15 sober alcoholic the first year was wonderful…he seemed open , honest, loving. Then the real him came out, Insecure, controlling, complaining, and the most selfish person I have ever come to know in my life. I kept trying to be patient thinking he was going thru something, and waiting for him to return to the man I fell in love with, I decided to end the relationship, he kept calling and coming by with roses, telling me he realized he knew he needed to do something about himself and give him a second chance. I agreed to ty again, It was good for a couple months, then he turned right back into the same nasty person only worse..I ended it, telling him I wanted no further contact. He began stalking me, even to my Alanon meetings. I had to threaten him with a restraining order. Some people have more issues than just alcohol, take your time…and go to Alanon…it’s for the family and friends of alcoholics, it will give you support to support him. P.S. I wrote sober and not recovering, because I do not believe he would have been doing the things he was if he was working a program??

November 28, 2012 at 11:50 am
(28) Kathy J says:

I was good friends with a man for four years, dating for about a year and a half. We talked about anything and everything, having many, many intimate conversations. He was kind, sensitive, caring and passionate. The one thing he neglected to tell me was that his first marriage ended due to his alcoholism and that he had been in and out of the AA program for years. He had started to distance himself from me, and when this had gone on for about two months, I pushed for answers. He broke up with me saying he was a recovering alcoholic and wasn’t supposed to have been in any relationship for the past year and a half. That had been how long it had been since he had had his last drink. Supposedly. Who knows. Turns out he started living with someone in the program two weeks after officially ending it with me. I would say if you do trust this man, take things very slowly and do start Al Anon. I started as soon as this guy left me. My ex husband is an alcoholic and I never realized I was in the same relationship with this new guy. This new guy never, ever drank in front of me but he did exhibit the behavior of a dry drunk. He was hiding the truth from me, perhaps fearing I would leave him, but I don’t know. What I do know is I fell in love with a person I thought I knew, was led on by this man, and paid dearly emotionally because of his dishonesty. If someone is honest enough to tell you they are working the program and you can accept the highs and lows then go for it. But be prepared to be supportive, to learn how to detach when necessary and do go to Al Anon. It is helping me get through my sad situation.

November 28, 2012 at 12:49 pm
(29) Kathy J says:

I would proceed with caution. I was friends with someone for four years, and we dated for a year and a half. He started distancing himself from me and when I pushed back after two months, he broke up with me saying he was in recovery and wasn’t supposed to be in a relationship. What he meant was he wasn’t supposed to be in a relationship with me because after two weeks he was living with his new girlfriend. The one he met at his AA meetings. This was a man who was sensitive, caring, loving and passionate. We had many, many intimate conversations about anything and everything. We had fun together and felt sorrow together. I trusted him with all my heart. He had never exhibited signs of drinking when he and I were together. He knew my marriage had ended due to my ex’s alcoholism so maybe his reasoning was he didn’t want me to break up with him due to his falling off of the wagon. Who knows. What I do know is he knew how I felt about him, still led me on (for over a year) and continually lied to me. I was devastated. I am still having severe trust issues with people. I did join Al Anon right away and have been learning to deal with what this man did to me and to understand how others are effected by their alcoholic loved ones. This man had a long past with alcohol but did not trust himself enough to share what he was going through with me. It sounds like your guy does trust you and wants to be honest with you. I would suggest joining Al Anon. Best of Luck to you.

December 23, 2012 at 2:28 pm
(30) City chick says:

Ex boyfriend was an alcoholic but I didn’t know. He was living with someone for three years while dating me. I felt there was someone else and confronted him several times. I finally pieced it all together and his live in and I dumped him the same day. I told him I thought he was a drunk and a liar among other things. He’s pursued me constantly since (nearly two years) telling me he’s in Aa and sober and changed blah blah blah. I don’t think he’s working the program. His behavior tells me he’s not. Current beau of six months is a 5 year recovering alcoholic and much different– works the program and is straight forward– I don’t feel the head games are there which were all along with the ex. I’m not an alcoholic but I do know we all have baggage–it’s a matter of being a whole person yourself, being grounded with God and appreciating the same in another. I think that goes for any relationship.

December 27, 2012 at 3:05 am
(31) Richard says:

Most alcoholics that attend meetings regularly and are actively being sponsored resume healthy and productive lives and are capable of great love. The bottom line is if you can accept them for who they are and they can accept you for who you are the relationship can and probably will work. I would encourage you to take things slow as a lot of alcoholics have undealt with codependency or sex/love addiction issues. If they arent being sponsored by someone with long term sobriety (5+ years) that’s a red flag as are not attending meetings regularly, signs of abuse or control issues, or consistent inability to take responsibility for their actions/problems (get out, they arent ready for a healthy relationship, IMHO). Regardless, there is a much greater chance of it working than dating an active alcoholic (which is just pure hell). Three years would be about the minimum amount of sobriety Id suggest for a relationship with a normal drinker. Lets face it for the first two years of recovery alcoholics are a mess with tons of baggage to sort out and its more than most partners can deal with. I have been sober for over 23 years and I have been blessed with a great life I never thought possible when I was an active drunk.

January 10, 2013 at 1:56 am
(32) Rob says:

Bottom line, everyone has issues. At least alcoholics in recovery have identified it and must work on them to have contented sobriety. Most relationships end in a breakup regardless. There is never a gurantee that a relationship will work regardless of whether he is an alcoholic or not. Obviously we should not be blind to the fact. Any relationship is a risks, men and women cheat whether alcoholics or not. People die. If the guy is honest and making good choices then love openly. All relationships involve risk of hurt. To let fear drive you to miss out on an opportunity would be a mistake.

February 4, 2013 at 2:42 am
(33) j says:

A lot of great advice here. I say if you like someone than go for it! This question does seem a bit racist against alcoholics though. Im an alcoholic and have been sober for 3 years, and find love is blind, although it would probably be easier to date a “normie” you should do what makes you happy.

February 14, 2013 at 9:52 pm
(34) Renee S says:

We all have deal breakers. They are a personal preference in what we want in someone we are dating or what we don’t want. Be true to you by downloading the Who Date app for your iPhone. Identify what you want and who you are really dating.

March 28, 2013 at 8:34 am
(35) T Marie says:

Is your self esteem so low that you would want to grow old and be stuck as a full time nursemaid ? It is a disease and there is always a chance of relapse. There are so many non-alcholic men who lead good clean lives who will be there for you when in need and raise a healthy family.. Eventually it catches up on an alcoholic, colon troubles, smell, cancer, red face, erectal problems. Abuse, anger, the list goes on and on. Their testicles shrink, there is alcoholic syndrome in a baby born with it. Their offspring inherits the chance of being an alcoholic too. Everyone grows old, so now IS the time to pick carefully. I unknowingly got involved with one and it was the most horrible dating experience of my life! He was a closet case, but not for long. What drinking does to the brain and body is DISGUSTING! And if you knowingly have a child with one of them you are irresponsible.

April 23, 2013 at 7:51 am
(36) shellyshelly says:

I’m a recovering alcoholic of nearly three years. As was said before, the first two years are rough. Particularly the first year. Sobriety is about QUANTITY and QUALITY together, not one or the other. I think it’s important to know what you are willing to accept and what you are not willing to accept. Everyone is an individual and has a mix of strengths, weaknesses, and experiences. I think it’s best to date someone who acknowledges their weaker areas and is willing to improve. Not everybody is geared that way. There are men I know with twenty years sober I wouldn’t dream of dating; they are still full of themselves and lack good, basic relationship skills. Then there are some men with only a few years sober that I think I would enjoy dating. So it’s about character, personal development, and interpersonal skills for me. A so-called “normie” (aka a non-alcoholic who has their own collection of flaws) may be more problematic than a recovering alcoholic!

May 9, 2013 at 3:08 pm
(37) Edward says:

Thanks for all the great posts-even the negative ones.

For the record I’m a normie.

I have several friends who are long time recovering AH’s with over 90 years of sobriety between them.

I recently started dating a wonderful girl who is 15 years sober, and is very active in AA. I found my previously mentioned friends a great resource in understanding AA, and the commitment that it takes for someone who has made the decision to quit drinking.

I see the possibility of a real future with this girl. I am going to attend some al anon meetings to enhance my understanding, and, hopefully to enhance my relationship with my wonderful girl.

June 12, 2013 at 11:23 pm
(38) patti rabbit says:

I was 5 years sober, doing alot of service work, NO MAN in my life ( my choice) . Then I met a Guy from Chicago ( 4 yrs in A.A.) really did a number on me…Thought he was honest, had a good relationship w/ his grown daughters,just to learn he beat up 2 former wifes’,was narrcisstic,a liar,cheating on me, & boom! I made the biggest mistake —-married him! Moved to his part of country, had my precious ” sober baby girl, ( was a widow w/ my 2 sons’ ( 12& 14 yrs old) I was too pridefull to just raise all 3 myself & stay in my state, finish college degree, & continue w/ my life in A.A. there. BIGGEST REGRET / BIGGEST LEARNING LESSON ….” WORK YOU’RE PROGRAM “& the steps * no matter how good future sounds*
Bless all my A.A. friends ( old & new)!!!

June 21, 2013 at 2:08 am
(39) Victor says:

Never throw away an opportunity to build a relationship with someone who has already hit bottom and found their way up and out of the hole they dug for themselves. Everybody has to go through a similar experience as part of growing up. Many people cling to their denial their whole lives. Denial that they have any problems. Denial that their problems are affecting their loved ones. Denial that there is anything they can do about it. The 12 steps of AA are a rigorous set of tools that leaves a person well equipped to continually re-evaluate what is important and how to get there as long as we keep going to meetings and cling to the steps. As in any group many will talk the talk without walking the walk. Go to meetings with them for a year to learn the difference. The real challenge in dating an AA is in keeping up with someone who is really working a program. The high road is a difficult act to follow unless you are a truly mature person. It takes a lot of mindfulness in many areas of life: spiritual, mental, emotional, physical and financial.

August 29, 2013 at 4:23 pm
(40) Mack says:

I would totally date a recovering alcoholic – that participates in AA that is….It’s a wonderful program and those who follow it are the best people i know…the program helps with relationships, etc. Besides, you risk your relationship with anybody you date..you just never know what tomorrow holds. I say live in today – if you think he’s perfect today, then go with it, cut the guy a break! You’re not perfect either, right?

September 27, 2013 at 1:01 am
(41) Barry says:

I’m a recovering addict. If he is in AA and he is still sober for three years, he’s done his steps and he’s more than likely been honest with himself. So, he probably does not have the emotional issues that cause most of us addicts to use drugs and alcohol to numb ourselves. That’s probably why you are finding it easy to make an emotional connection with him. Because he is being himself and not someone he is not.

But, if you plan on seeing him long term, you should join Alanon. That’s the organization for people who have a loved one who is an addict or alcoholic (whether in recovery or not.) My ex still goes to Alanon, and she and I have an amazing friendship. In fact, since I’ve sobered up and she has joined Alanon, we are closer to each other than when we were married.

Best of luck to you dear.


October 23, 2013 at 5:05 pm
(42) Simply Me says:

About 2 1/2 months ago I began dating an old flame from 20 years ago. He left several verbally harassing messages on my voice mail last week that I never confronted him about. The next day he sent me a text saying that he decided to join AA and then added how I was good for him. But I cannot be responsible for his life or his choices. While I am glad he took such an important step I am also very concerned that it has come to this with him. Between this and his control issues which were demonstrated on the voice mails I am very leery to continue this relationship at this level. Yet I am also concerned about how he will react to me dumping him. I think we can remain friends but wonder if this is a good idea. Am I over-reacting?

January 9, 2014 at 2:00 pm
(43) brad says:

Run like hell and never look back. I’ve been involved with one for over 7 years, if I were ever single again, I wouldn’t come close to an alcoholic, recovered or not. Chances are great that they will fall off the wagon again and again and the misery it brings. NO WAY!

January 21, 2014 at 9:01 pm
(44) ladyss says:

I recommend to never date one.. I have . And I say its the worst experience. I never wish it on anyone. I fell in love with a recovering alcoholic . I thought it was it. But I wish I never meet him. He relapsed and I saw how ugly of a behavior he had. To bad ..he was so beautiful. I should listened to everyone around me to just have fun. He was so wonderful at first. I should have listened to my gut aslo.

February 19, 2014 at 1:50 pm
(45) Lady A says:

Run like Hell. Don’t be a fool. I fell for the recovering alcoholic’s bs of how he would never drink again, how he nearly died from it, blah blah. He used to live and breathe AA and had 6 years sober when I met him. He relapsed after 12 years of sobriety. He went from being a decent, loving, responsible man to turning into an unreliable, abusive monster. He destroyed the great life we had. We had a beautiful home. We lost it after he lost his great job following a relapse. He drank away all the money we did have and ran up enormous debt. The lies and deceit were endless. The pain he has caused our family is immeasurable. It is not worth the pain alcoholics cause. Find someone else. I wish I knew then what I know now. Keep in mind, everyone shows their best colors when courting. Don’t be blinded. Once an addict, always an addict. The potential to relapse and take you down with them will always be there, no matter what they say. Don’t put you or your children through that hell. It’s not worth it.

March 12, 2014 at 10:11 pm
(46) Su says:

I need advice! I met this guy who seemed perfect! He was soooo nice. He was a foreigner in my country, but we started dating for around 2 months, sometimes he would just disappear from 2 or 3 days. I thought he wasn’t happy with me or he had someone else. I was kinda worried, one night we went out and we had few drinks. I actually don’t drink just a glass and that’s it. but that night was his friends’ good bye party so he had few drinks. He was a bit drunk but everything seemed perfect between us. (I didn’t know he was an alcoholic but that time) then the next day he disappear for almost a week. I was worried so I went to look for him to his house asking him what’s was wrong and then he came out, he was totally depressed and he told me he was an alcoholic in the past and he hadn’t been drinking for almost 2 years, he was just at his house being depressed and he decided to travel a bit and didn’t wanna tell me. He was supposed to stay longer in my city. We were building a relationship but then that day he told he had to leave to get help back in his country but he loved me and he wanted to keep a relationship. He left after a week. The last week was perfect! when he left he told me he loved me and he wanted to keep the relationship and he said he will call me and email me. (He is not good with communications) It has been 10 days and he hasnt talk or write me. I did though. What shall i do?

March 24, 2014 at 9:59 pm
(47) Jean says:

Being in a relationship with an alcoholic is like waiting for an atomic bomb to go off.you lose your self esteem confidence and your hurt more often than you are not inside. You are never sure that it will be a good day or a day where your embarrassed or you lose your money. You never have money for anything,your disappointed continuously.you can’t depend on the a ever they will always let you down. When you have something very important to you it seems they drink more and your let down. Your better off alone because you give and give and hope and pray and believe they will stop or change but it doesn’t happen. Ever. The more you hope the more your disappointment is. I’ve been down into the darkness because of my a so deep it was scary.if you get involved with an a you should not .it rarely works out you have a better chance of winning the lottery being a millionaire than them changing. You waste too much time and it deep least your energy,and makes you a person your not,you do crazy things and pay the price of loosing yourself in it all.my advice run while the gettings good it only gets worse! And believe me I loved my alcoholic more than anyone but you can take so much you gotta let go to save yourself before you can’t.

April 1, 2014 at 9:14 am
(48) Praying says:

You hit the nail on the head – being in a relationship with an alcoholic you lose your self-esteem and confidence. One day can change the entire relationship – havoc is created.
My person created this havoc only yesterday. He took money which was intended to pay for my trip to Africa (college related – I earned a partial scholarship). I cannot earn the money back in time to pay by the deadline. Something so important to me (once in a lifetime opportunity) has been destroyed. He won’t admit it and the hardest part to of all of this is that I have to accept that he really doesn’t care about me. This is the truth that is most painful. It is hard to accept the obvious.
Oh yes, he has all the makings (make-believes) of a kind and caring person. But it doesn’t last – he evolves into this self-centered, hedonistic person that I can’t wrap my head around how quickly the change can occur.
I am now cutting off all ties with him. I’m completely finished. I cannot accept his ability to lie and deceive me to the tune of $1,500. and not admit responsibility and act so aloof. I am so hurt, I’m praying for my own sanity to get through this. I have to save myself!

April 1, 2014 at 7:40 pm
(49) LeeAnne says:

The fact that he has took the initiative and has been attending AA meetings and has been upfront with you about his drinking is a good sign. However (Not trying to sound like a the proverbial wet blanket) TAKE YOUR TIME and be sure that this person is telling the truth. I got involved with a person under similar circumstances, and found out everything I had been told about his AA meetings, etc was bunk. He became verbally abusive and his temper outbursts became scary. I did the best to be supportive, but in the end, the bottle won. Time is the only thing that will reveal his true character, move forward, but be cautious. Good luck………

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