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Sam continues, “Dating in the program is obviously nice, because you speak the same language and you don't have to hide your ugly past.

It takes a lot of work and a lot of time to squelch it in all its myriad forms.

Sam is in a seven-month relationship with a “normie,” and it’s going really well.

During the past two decades, I’ve dated both men in recovery and men who weren’t alcoholics (called “normies” by us in the program).

I’m currently single again, a sober divorcée in the strange world of online dating. How do you allude to your past (and present) situations without lying or scaring off a potential match?

These experiences don’t by any means amount to the exact same thing, but pain is, at the very least, relatable.

It’s called Al-Anon and if you’re really serious about making your relationship work it’s probably one of the best things you can do for yourself and your partner.

“The pros of dating in the program are that, chances are, the guy won't leave me when he finds out some of the things I have done.

Or how many people I have slept with,” she says, half-jokingly.

I’ve been in and out of 12-step recovery programs (like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous) for almost 20 years.

I’ve had many periods of sobriety, from a paltry four months to a lengthy seven years (and everything in between).

You can tell them, “I’ve been in six rehabs, four psych wards, and I’ve been arrested for assault.” And, they’re like, “Of course you have.” The downside is that they, too, are often a ticking time bomb.

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