The one year Dating rule

Old 01-09-2013, 09:38 AM
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The one year Dating rule

Hi all, been a while since my last thread but I thought expressing my feelings might help. I'll be short. Been sober since last November, broke my hand pretty bad after an ice slip December 25. Waiting for an emergency operation at the ER I met this girl. We spoke for 4 hours while I waited. I was like we knew each other since forever. I asked her phone number when they called me for the operation. (so not me, but I thought why not, I might die anyway). We texted back and forth, so many things in common it's crazy. She was still sick from her cold so I offered to tag along to the back to the ER to keep her company. We spoke again non-stop for 5 hours. She was really touched that I went with her with my broken hand hurting like hell.

To keep things short I already told her about my drinking issue. She doesn't mind and doesn't drink herself except on rare occasions anyway. I really care and have already developed feelings for her, as she also for me. I was treated like a doormat in my last relationship that ended a year ago. She already cooked for me because I only have one hand. She treats me really good and I'm not used to that.

I was really not looking to meet someone. We met at the ER, first date at the ER eating crisper for dinner. LOL! it's not like I planned this, right? Anyone else had success stories meeting someone special in the first year of sobriety?

Thanks for reading and your time.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:56 AM
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If I'm not mistaken the "one year dating rule" is from AA. Lots of rules there. In my opinion it's not easy to meet someone you feel an initial connection with. Being single and meeting date worthy people is difficult. If you feel healthy and confident in your sobriety I think anytime is the right time.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:11 AM
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its not a rule from AA. it is a suggestion form its members.there are no rules.
with relationships, i must check my motives. it would be a very good suggestion to do a 10th step and see iffen yer putting people ahead of yer HP to make ya happy. doin a 4th step on all my past relationships showed me a lot. doin it with my sponsor helped,too.

yes, there are relationships that work when they start in the 1st year. how many? i dont know.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:26 AM
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Not a rule only a suggestion. The problem with relationships in the first year is that you are despertly looking to fill the void left by alcohol and your brain just is not working right. A relationship can be very intense because you are very emotionally vulernable and if the relationship falls apart you have to deal with the pain of the breakup and quiting drinking at the same time which have caused many a relapse.

At three months sober I would proceed very cautiously and IMO keep sex out of the equation.

Keep in mind that my track record with relationships has not been exactly stellar.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:32 AM
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Right. It certainly is not a rule.

"We want to stay out of this controversy. We do not want to be the arbiter of anyone's sex conduct." (Chap 5)

Its a common suggestion. One that is valuable for many, but ultimately its your call. I would seek guidance from someone close to you.

Best wishes to ya!
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:48 AM
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When someone told me "wait a year to date", I usually responded with, " you are right and that I will also wait a year to get a job."
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:55 AM
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Some great responses so far.

I am by no means Mr. Relationship (who is, amongst alcoholics??), but one reason I don't exactly encourage relationships early on is that we are also finding out who we are. I used to be a chameleon, in the name of wanting to be accepted by everyone, and was used to playing roles. Matched with vicious low self-esteem and wanting to get out of my own skin, when I got sober, I had a hard time of figuring out who the hell I was. It's taken me time to actually get to know myself and to be the kind of person I actually like being around. So, having said all that, getting into a relationship with someone else not only stalls a bit of that process, but I am not sure what I am bringing to the relationship. How can I offer my full self when I don't know who my full self is? Is it fair to the other person? My moods were all over the place too in early recovery, and is that fair to them?

These are the things I experienced, so take it for what it's worth. I would never tell anyone not to anything - I am not in any position to do so. But I would lay out my experience and let them search their own inner voice. My final words would be to focus on yourself until you're solid on your feet. But it's your call
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:59 AM
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So no relationship or sexual intercourse for a year !!!

I've been sober for 8 days, do I really need to wait another 357 days to seek a relationship?

Excuse my ignorance as im new to this and never attended AA. I only read 24 hours a day and have been active In this forum
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:05 AM
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There is nothing magic about the number 365. We dont suddenly become able to maintain a healthy relationship because we didnt drink for a year. There are folks who have a few months that I would trust to date my sister more than some who have years under their belt. Its about doing the work to get well if you're talking the program of AA. We lose a lot of the selfishness and self centeredness through the process of the steps which enables us to better understand what it means to be in a healthy relationship. It also gives us the tools to continue living a good life regardless of whether or not the relationship works out.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:16 AM
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I think it's more about the quality of sobriety, than the quantity. Personally, I wouldn't advocate dating before working the twelve steps, as it's only through the steps we find out who we are and what we want out of life.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:53 AM
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HMMMMM! Ya know I think as long as one puts their sobriety first and their relationship 2nd, and that is made clear from the might be worth a try. Actually since she doesn't drink it might help with your resolve to stay sober.

It is not easy to find someone you can click with like you have with her, so take things slow. If it is meant to be it will BE. Just don't be afraid to walk away if it is threatening your sobriety.

GOOD LUCK Thepatman
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:54 PM
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Instead of clicking thanks on all your posts, thank you all!! I love every side and perspectives you brought. A key element that sticks out is that I still remember who I was before my drinking career. She's igniting my old self, my spark I call it. I thought I had lost it for good. I laughed with her like I never have in years, totally sober. It's like I'm 18 again. I honestly never had so many things in common with anyone else before. Name it, food, movies, values, sense of humour, fishing and camping, sex (too late for that one as some posts suggested) LOL!
+ the way we met must have come from a higher power.

btw, I am not in AA. I believe in the concept please don't get me wrong I know it works. But my mom used to bring me there when I was young. It worked for her for a while, relapsed so many times. I buried her in 2007 of Alcohol/cigarettes related throat cancer.

Not many girls would accept me with my Alcohol issue and not run for the hills. She's special and digs me sober, she could be the one, life is short I will continue seeking sober happiness. Anyone who as seen the Bronx tale movie. She reached to unlock my truck door after I opened the door for her first.... ;-)
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:59 PM
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That is very special and your right that kinda thing happens once in a Blue Moon, so maybe it is meant to be.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:59 PM
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This is NOT from AA, it comes from Rehab Centers or members of AA who attended a Rehab.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:17 PM
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I'll take a slightly different tack Pat.

Not to embarrass you, but I remember previous threads where relationships really messed you up?

I don't think it's a bad idea for everyone to lay off the dating for a while, no matter where the idea came from originally.

I know I'm a better partner for focusing on my recovery and working on myself for a few months.

I learned to be ok with me and who I am, and that makes being with someone else a heck of a lot easier, if I'm honest.

I didn't wait 12 months...but I didn't throw myself headlong into anything either.
It's ok to take things slow I think - real slow

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Old 01-09-2013, 02:38 PM
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Thanks Dee. I agree with taking things slow. It's actually a discussion we had and we agreed to this. But if she is the one I will not let her walk away.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:51 PM
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Dee offers good sound advice above, but since when did an alcoholic take notice of that. Our most successful treatment centre (now closed) had a strong suggestion of no emotional involvement for two years, which became common advice around our local AA. I took it on board, for about two minutes!

For one thing I didn't understand what was meant by emotional involvement, and the difference with casual dating. My sponsor explained that it was not wise to get too deep too fast because we risk unhealthy emotional dependence and when things go wrong as they usually do, we end up drunk. So I took that on board too, for about two minutes. I was different you see!

There were a couple of things going on here. As a newly sober young alcoholic driven by overpowering instincts, I was desperately lonely and honestly believed a relationship would help. I simply did not know any better.

On the other hand I was very serious about getting sober and that was (and is) my number one priority, so while I went off in search of miss perfect and a social life, often taking foolish risks, I was at the same time working hard with my sponsor on the steps and learning how to live sober.

The result was that I made some huge mistakes but I was able to learn from them, rather than drink over them. Perhaps that is the essence of recovery, to have the courage to try, to suffer the consequences of mistakes and learn, rather than drink. Don't they call that growing up?
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:38 PM
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Mine was a success story that ends....

I had just got back on to the day shift since my boss removed me from night crew because I was drinking and skipping shifts where they needed me most, I was a month sober when I met this beautiful cashier in the lunchroom and go figure I was in no condition nor interested in pursuing a relationship but out of curiousity I decided to say hello to her with a silly kind of voice and made her chuckle as I sat down in the lunch room to eat. Mind you things were still rough at room after being asked not to go out on my own, had my money taken from me so I wouldn't go drinking secretly when parents go away... I really had no mindset to get involved with someone until I earned trust back at home first. However we started chatting... like normal co workers do and she seemed so friendly so I continued looking out for her each shift I was given and I realized... I had a thing for her lol. But she rarely worked because she was going to university in Toronto and she basically had classes every other day so she worked rarely. Once in awhile we'd run into each other at work and we would chat. Me being a sissy I never had the courage to ask to hang outside of work because I saw her only so much each rare time so I didn't feel it was time yet to see if she'd like to chat outside of work.

Eventually I discovered she had facebook when one of the girls I talked to at work only as friends and never had that feeling of more then friends with that girl, had I discovered she was on HER list so I added the girl I started to like onto my list. Giving her a message along the lines of "Hey it's me! You know the brown dude with glasses! We talk when wehave a chance lol, thought I'd add ya so we can keep in touch!" and thats where we basically messaged each other every other day until the movie Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 1 came to theaters so I played the ole "no one will go with me because they don't like twilight" line and asked her if she'd like to join me to go see it and she said sure!

Well after months of seeing each other we decided that night we went to the movie was our first date on november 26th 2011.

Well for most of the beginning of our relationship I kept my drinking past to myself, I was afraid she'd not understand my alcoholism so I never told her, but I felt the impending guilt of not saying where I was going each thursday night whenever she asked if I was free to do something (by now my AA was just as important and couldn't skip it) so when we reached 6 months of dating I decided it was time to tell her because I realized I was falling in love with her and if we were to be together for a long time it was time to tell her. So I sat down with her one lunch hour she was local to my job so she walked over when I told her I had important issues to discuss. So anyways sat down with her and I was scared out of my wits and then it just came all out and she looked at me which felt like forever I was afraid she'd get up and walk away but she put both arms out and said "hug me" I did and was so relieved and she asked me how I felt... if she had waited a minute longer I was going to start crying in happiness but she asked me right then and there and I laughed and told her how great I felt to have told her and that I was afraid to tell her because I wasnt sure if she'd want to be with me still and she told me she didnt judge me for my past and that moving forward was ultimately the best thing I was doing for myself and she admired what i was doing for myself now.

I feel like crying as I write this... it's been 4 months since she broke up with me... her and I dated for 10 months and sure.... things were up and down with the two of us, both emotional and sensitive and been through troubling times on each end of our lives, her family issues and me drinking my face off and not caring.

She attended my 1 year medallion and I cried like a baby in my mothers arms and in her arms too where she cried with me as well but in happiness. my ex heard me speak for the first time while dating me and I was nervous but brave and she was impressed on how far I've come with my AA.

Times got bad between us... me being a year sober had been a challenge and old worries kept creeping up on me and it got to the point she just couldn't see me anymore because I was afraid she'd dump me for another guy just as one of my exes did to me in the past where I did nothing wrong and yet she called me up, on our anniversary and said it was over and she was seeing someone at that moment so my trust factor was greatly questioned whenever I dated someone because I feared they'd leave me. So it was a success story and her and I had an amazing time when not bickering over text messages etc. then she left me and I've been alone ever since... and sad now. been sad for the past 4 months.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:00 PM
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I''m really sorry about your story, I truly feel for you Theo. we get burned sometimes. But fear and self doubt can keep us from ever trusting again. that is not fair, we are Alcoholics, fact. But we deserve to be loved.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:28 PM
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I would be wary of relationships that feel too "perfect". Long conversations, deep spiritual connections, never felt this way kind of things. In a way it's almost like a binge. Alcoholics like to live things intensely and when we can no longer do that with booze we sometimes project it all onto an unsuspecting bystander.

Instead of saying "oh my god have I found my soulmate?!" take a step back and soberly say "have I found somebody that I could have a lasting connection with? how do I see this in the long term? when the excitement wears off?".

All I'm saying is be careful. If this is the real deal (and having spoken about your not drinking is a great first step), maybe you can work out future together. Personally, I know that I treasured my alone time in the first months of sobriety (and still do almost a year later).
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