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The Pros and Cons of Dating Within the A.A. Program


When an individual in the A.A. program feels ready to date again, an issue arises that is common among A.A. members: Should you get involved with a fellow A.A. or find someone outside of the room?  The issue is much debated and, of course, there are pros and cons on both sides.

Being in a relationship with a fellow A.A. can have its benefits.  Each partner will be a good influence on the other when it comes to attending meetings.  If one shows up at a meeting, you can bet the other will be right alongside them.  The most important reason why two A.A. members are good for one another is that each of them will understand where the other one is coming from when addiction and disease driven problems arise.  They will be highly empathetic.   Instead of getting angry or resentful if a problem does come up they will likely be able to handle it a lot better than a “mixed couple,” assuming both have addressed their addictions and the underlying issues that accompany them honestly.  Shared experience can be an invaluable resource when developing an understanding of what your significant other is going through.

Still, dating within the program comes with more negatives than positives.  Both partners in a relationship are constantly working a 12-step program and judging sometimes occurs.  One might say the other is not working the steps properly or at all, which really means that the other person isn’t  living his or her life “correctly.”  Telling people they aren’t living their lives correctly is very degrading.  The biggest drawback of dating in the program is if one of the partners’ relapses.  More often than not this will lead to the still-sober partner breaking it off, leaving the relapser heartbroken, oblivious as to what to do next, and while heartbroken, using more and more.

I personally have not had any experience dating a fellow A.A. person, and I want to keep it that way.  I’m a person with the disease of addiction.  I’m sick in the head.  I would rather refrain from having to deal with someone else who is also as sick as I am, maybe even more.  Dealing with my alcoholic disease is enough for me to handle right now.


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Filed under: Life, Love and Relationships, Recovery · Tags: 12-step, A.A., Alcoholics Anonymous, dating, relationships

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