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A graphic designer with 11 years of sobriety and a Bettie Page look, she struggles with what she calls her “Alanon issues.” “It’s hard,” she says, “because I feel like I know what he’s supposed to be doing and that’s when I find myself analyzing whether he’s doing it or not.” Dr.Deborah Sweet is a psychologist who treats addiction and trauma.And second, it’s much easier to date someone who speaks the same language.” Bryan thinks about it for a second before adding, “Some will say it’s two mentally ill people going out with each other, but I think many of us that are sober can work through our disease in order to have a healthy relationship.” According to Melody Anderson, a family and addiction expert in Los Angeles, if both parties are working a solid program of recovery, they can have even better chances than non-alcoholics of a successful partnership.

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“But if the sober couple uses the tools of the 12 steps and applies them to their relationship, they can find themselves in a better partnership than most.

Though they might have a higher sensitivity to critical comments, they also have access to tools that can help them to be both loving and kind and honest.

There’s an old joke in recovery circles that goes: how do you know when a date between two sober alcoholics has gone well?

Punch line: They move in together before it's over.

For him, romance and recovery can be a highly successful combination—if done right.

“I think it’s much easier dating a fellow alcoholic,” he says. There is nothing worse than having to ask someone to brush their teeth before you kiss them because they’ve been drinking.

While some people can easily relate to and embrace the fact that everyone has a past, others can find it hard to reconcile the two.

If you’ve decided to move forward with the relationship, here are some dos and don’ts that will make dating someone in recovery a lot easier for both of you.

“I love my boyfriend but when it comes to restraint of pen and tongue, it’s so hard for me not to want to tell him everything that’s on my mind—good and bad,” she confesses.

“I just get so worked up about things and then it comes out at him.

When I want to suggest that my husband calls his sponsor, I have to remember that he has his own program.

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