Should Addicts Date Other Addicts?

Should addicts date other addicts? As a mother, my first thought is to say no. One of my daughters, (who is an addict) seems to gravitate towards dating other addicts and alcoholics. I thinks it speaks to her lack of self-esteem; she doesn’t feel worthy of dating a healthy man. I have seen her meet healthy men and at some point she stops seeing them, saying they aren’t her type. It is also possible that we don’t want healthy people to see how sick we are.  We see this type of behavior often such as with women who keep going back to people who are abusive.

Alcoholics Anonymous suggests that it isn’t a wise idea to date anyone until you have at least one year of sobriety.  I agree with that. After a year of sobriety, if you are really working on changing yourself, you are usually in a pretty healthy place.  Even after a year, however, should addicts date other addicts? If you are a member of AA, there is a pretty good chance that you will meet someone in one of the meetings that you are attracted to. There are a lot of men and woman in one place so it stands to reason that it is possible to meet someone you’d like to date, if you are looking for that.

As an addict and alcoholic myself, I would never date another addict or alcoholic. I am fortunate to be married to a wonderful man who may have four drinks a year if at all.  No matter how much sobriety someone may have, the possibility for a relapse is always there. As someone who has relapsed, I know it is possible to relapse for a day and then get right back to sobriety. The problem is, however, that a relapse can also lead to years of hell and we never know which road we will take. It must seem almost hypocritical for me to say I would never date another alcoholic, but I know the hell that we can put people through with our disease and I wouldn’t want to go through that myself. My father was an alcoholic and so are other members of my family, so I know the hell from that standpoint as well.

All of this being said, I have seen people meet in AA who went on to have beautiful lives of sobriety together. They are a joy to watch. I think that it is up to each individual as to whether they want to date another addict or alcoholic. We can’t help who we fall for after all.  I think it is important to start any relationship with an open mind and open eyes.

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