Dating someone new should be fun and exciting, but when the person is an Alcoholic, it can make dating a bit more difficult. You want to be sure that you aid the person in their effort to get and stay clean without making them think that you are judging them or are worried that they may relapse.
The person you date should feel like you support them and are excited to get to know who they are as a person rather than feel like you are trying to avoid their disease. The following guide provides tips you can use to make dating an alcoholic in recovery easier.
The first thing you need to do is realize that there is a good chance you don’t understand what they are going through. Someone who has never been addicted to something can’t really grasp how difficult addiction can be. Take the time to really educate yourself about alcohol addiction so that you can get a better understanding of their addiction and learn ways to help them. The topic will come up eventually and showing that you took the time to educate yourself will mean a lot to them in the long run.
Prep Your Home for a Visit
If you know that the person you are dating is coming to your house to hang out, take the time to put any temptations out of sight. You cannot stop someone from drinking if they really want to, but putting alcohol out of their sight can help them to stay on the right track. The old saying, “out of sight, out of mind” holds true with many alcoholics.
You can simply put liquor in a cabinet or put beer in the very back of your fridge. You don’t want to make it obvious that you are trying to keep the items hidden as it may hurt the person’s feelings. It is a way that you can support their recovery without them even knowing it.
Choose the Right Restaurants
Many people don’t realize how difficult it can be for alcoholics to see other people drinking when they are first trying to get sober. It serves as a huge temptation when they see people drinking, especially if the people look like they are really enjoying themselves. You want to be sure that the restaurants you choose don’t highlight drinking. It’s best to take a recovering alcoholic to a great restaurant that’s known for its food rather than its whiskey selection.
Talk Openly About Addiction
When the person gets comfortable with you, they will want to talk about their addiction and how it has factored into their life. Be open and honest with them. Listen closely to what they have to say because it can help you get a better insight into who they are as a person. Many alcoholics turn to alcohol to treat something bad that happened in their life. Your date will more than likely tell you what led to their addiction and it can help you to better understand what their potential triggers are in the future.
Learn the Person’s Triggers
Triggers are things that trigger people to want to drink. Some triggers may not be as obvious as you may think. There are many people who are triggered by sadness or anger, but there are other times where events or people can trigger someone to want to drink. Knowing what the person’s triggers are can help you to try to avoid them by staying away from certain places, people or events to help avoid their trigger.
Don’t Drink Around an Alcoholic
When someone is in recovery, seeing someone else drink can be difficult for them. If the person says that you can drink around them and it won’t bother them, but they have only been in recovery for a short period of time, don’t believe them. They aren’t ready to be around alcohol yet. There is a lot of growth that has to take place before someone is able to avoid the temptation of alcohol when it is right in front of them. Respect their recovery efforts and avoid alcohol while you are around them.
Support Their Meetings
Alcoholics often go to group meetings on a regular basis. It helps them to be able to talk about the difficulties they are experiencing in life with people who truly understand what they are going through. They need to go to the meetings to gain their balance, find support, and keep their life on track. If you don’t support them going to their meetings, there is a chance that they could stop going and end up relapsing.
Support Their Need for a Sponsor
When alcoholics go through recovery, they often have a sponsor that they can turn to when things get rough in their life. You need to support their need for a sponsor and allow them to talk to the person any time they want to regardless of what is going on in your relationship. A huge mistake that many people make when dating an alcoholic is that they get jealous of the time that the person spends with alcoholics in their group or talking to their sponsor. It’s important to remember that the person was once in a very hard place and that these were the people who were able to help them pick themselves up and start their life over again for the better. Do not get jealous of their relationships.
Dating a recovering alcoholic can be tricky. It will take time to get used to all of the quirks that come along with this type of relationship. The great thing about dating a recovering alcoholic is that they are often more in touch with their decision making than someone who has never battled addiction. They know how quickly one small decision can impact their life and the ones around them. Recovery often leads to them becoming great partners because they learn how to communicate well and try hard at everything that they do in life because they know how precious it is.
Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2009. Call 602-346-9142.