The one year Dating rule

Old 01-13-2013, 11:45 AM
  # 41 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Severance Colorado
Posts: 150
Somehow this got into A.A. and keeps getting passed around. Nowhere in the book does it suggest that we give up any aspect of our lives for any reason.
This disinformation is the type of malarkey that drives people out of AA and recovery altogether. Someone said it somewhere and someone repeated it.
It's like this:

Picture 5 monkeys placed in a cage. A new community is formed. From the ceiling of the cage hangs a bunch of bananas. A stepladder is placed under the bananas. As the first eager monkey rushes up the ladder, a firehose knocks him off and hoses down all the monekys. Shocked, they sit back and regroup. Later another moneky tries, with the same result. It make take repeated attempts by each monkey before they become conditioned (socialized really) to not climb the ladder.

At some point, the lesson has been learned by this closed culture and controls how they respond as a community. Then one monkey forgets and steps onto the ladder. But the firehose doesnít have time to react. The other four monkeys grab the offender and beat him senseless. Theyíve learned that in this society, you donít climb the ladder.

Now the process of attrition and replacement in the society begins. One of the original monkeys is removed and a new monkey is added to the group. He spies the bananas and leaps onto the ladder, only to be dragged down and beaten by the rest of the group. After several attempts, the new monkey learns.

Another original monkey is replaced with a new monkey. And the same process follows. Then another and another and another. Soon we have a group of five monkeys whoíve never been soaked by the firehose, but wonít climb the ladder. This learned behavior was socialized into the group over time.

It no longer matters how many generations of monkeys follow. The new behavior is that a monkey climbing the ladder will be dragged off and beaten. None of the monkeys in the cage has ever been knocked off the ladder with a firehose. None have been soaked down. They donít know what the consequence is because itís been replaced by group behavior. They canít remember being soaked. They donít know why they do what they do. The accepted norm for this closed community is to beat anyone who tries to climb the ladder.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:23 PM
  # 42 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 625
A friend of mine wrote a book entitled, "Be the person you wish to find". I think it's excellent advice. An old sponsor said it differently, "If you want to find the perfect partner, you need to become the perfect partner." I've always liked that way of putting it too.

Fact is, it took me years of recovery before I became the person I could spend the rest of my life with.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:34 PM
  # 43 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 625
For those who think this concept of waiting a year came about through treatment centers or that it is somehow new to AA - it was taught to me by my sponsor in the seventies as it was taught to him and his wife in the forties. In fact, they were told by their sponsors that they needed to sleep in separate beds for the first year - and they did.

For most of the folks coming in at that time, to drink again meant to die - and quickly. So we tended to take whatever stupid suggestions we were given rather than have a vote on it amongst us young'uns in recovery and check the big book to make sure it was in there.

Maybe the advice is valid - maybe it isn't - but no one ever got drunk cause they waited too long to have a relationship.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:56 PM
  # 44 (permalink)  
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I think, God, HP or whatever you call him has his own timing when something right comes into our my humble opinion
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:01 PM
  # 45 (permalink)  
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I'm repeating myself- but I don't care where it comes from, I think it's good advice

a lot of people are vulnerable and/or impulsive in early recovery, and a lot of us are less well equipped to deal with crises like relationship problems or breakups.

Your monkey analogy is all full of gravitas and redolent with meaning Leadfoot...but I'm not entirely sure it really applies here?


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Old 01-13-2013, 05:50 PM
  # 46 (permalink)  
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Monkeys, I thought we were talking about dating.....hmmm...perhaps I should see my way out of here lol
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:56 AM
  # 47 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 47
Thepatman, I wish you the best in your relationship.
Yeah the 1 year rule does make some sense, but I also as you seem to have done, found the perfect one.
We are both in the program, I'm going on 14 months and she's going on 5 months. But each of us are very serious about our sobriety.
As has been said, you never know when the right one will come into your life. But don't pass up the chance to be happy the rest of your life.
My girl and I just got engaged and know this is the right thing for us.
As to the codependence thing, guess what, we all want to be wanted, need to be needed and love to be loved. Yup the world is codependent.
Do what is right for YOU!!!!!!!!!! No one else knows whats right for us.
Also I appreciate your reference to "The Secret". That book changed my life!!!!!!
Havent seen the movie, but would HIGHLY recommend the book to anyone, not just those in recovery.
That book and the information it contains should be part of anyones life and especially those in recovery.

Once again, I wish you the best of luck and all the happiness you deserve in life my friend.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:58 PM
  # 48 (permalink)  
A work in progress
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Posts: 16,633
Actually, the one year "no dating rule" (which we've established isn't a rule and isn't even from AA) is a smaller part of the RECOMMENDATION or SUGGESTION that you avoid major life changes for the first year (or early sobriety, which works out to around a year for most people). Which also isn't from AA, though many people with long experience do recommend it.

I don't agree with the monkey analogy, because I think that suggests that people who repeat it are merely repeating what they were taught, not what their own experience has taught. I know a number of people who have related from their own experience that dealing with the emotional demands of a new relationship or a new job or a move across the country in early sobriety threw them for a loop. That certainly doesn't mean these kinds of situations cannot be successfully negotiated, just that it puts additional stress on the newly sober person, who is already dealing with a ton of personal changes.

There are always exceptions, and maybe this relationship will be good for you, and well worth any additional work it requires. Just proceed with caution, and keep your sobriety as your number one priority. Don't isolate yourself in a blissful cocoon with this other person--you need to stay connected to your fellow recovery peeps. If this relationship is going to be good for you, you need to keep yourself alive and well so you can fully share as an equal partner. If you find yourself getting stressed out about relationship stuff (and however blissful it seems now, relationships present complications and stresses sooner or later), don't struggle with it alone. Talk to your sponsor and other people who have more experience.

Good luck--hope it works out happily for you!
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