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Should you follow Faulkner’s advice and ask your beloved attend meetings?Do you invite him or her along to socialize with your sober posse? Bring your questions to everyone you know with more sober experience: Ask your sponsor, your sober fellowship, and, if you’re the praying type, pray for guidance.“ He had a reputation as a serious partier and he wasn't in a program,” Amy reveals.

You’re going to have to address serious quandaries.

When we started going to more parties together, I saw him staring somewhat lasciviously at the alcohol.

So I said to him, ‘Hey, don't not drink on my account.’ That opened up the floodgates: Suddenly, he’s getting smashed all the time and we’re going on group dates where everyone but me is getting wasted.” Amy found herself deeply in like after six months of dating, though her gut told her the relationship was dangerous.

The rules of dating had shifted completely since I was a young lass and, without the social lubricant of martinis or wine, my old-school M. of getting wasted and ending up in bed with a cute guy from the party clearly wasn’t an option. Insensitive, I have gone on hundreds of dates—a handful with guys from the rooms but mostly online finds, generally social drinkers. So I decided to look into what’s worked for other sober folks, and to see what experts had to say about the matter of dating in recovery.

cautions that relationships are “the number one relapse trigger” so it’s first important to take the time to “heal yourself first.” Faulkner’s healthy-dating-in-sobriety checklist is key: “You should have a solid base of recovery—two years; no relapses; you should have worked the steps; you should be meeting often with your sponsor to discuss dating; and you should regularly be attending your home-group meetings.” She adds, “Both people should attend Al-Anon meetings, too.

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Either accept the glass graciously and then put it down, or simply say, “No, thank you, I don’t drink.” Honestly, most people aren’t as concerned with your drinking as you think—and if they are, they may have a problem themselves.

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