Is it time to find a partner,if so,drinker or non drinker?

Right ok,ive been single right the way through my recovery (6 yrs) and to tell you the truth it hasnt bothered me at all but some reason ive started to feel its now time to start making an effort in finding a partner,at the moment I feel like my sobriety is super strong but im very weary about bringing a drinker into my life as this probably means going to pubs/clubs which i havent been doing throughout my recovery.
What would be the general thought on this?
Do i stick to my own?
Would dating a drinker be asking for trouble?
What do drinkers think of non drinkers?
So many questions
Myself i think its going to be a mission!!!


If you’re looking for a partner why not be super picky? Why choose a partner that is a drinker? At the very least they’ll be much more likely to have serious health issues in their later years. Why would you want to go out to pubs? That seems like a terrible time to me! Not to mention if you choose a partner that’s a drinker you’ll have to smell that nasty poison during intimacy at times.

Be picky, don’t settle. A partner that rarely, (responsibly??) drinks is probably okay I would say. Just my 2 cents. Congratulations on 6 years!


thats a great 2 cents,thanks very much


I think you have made the right choice by staying single and sober. Certainly seems like you have the foresight needed for a healthy relationship. My current partner drinks and it has not caused any strain whatsoever. Sounds like you’ve been strong in recovery so I doubt you’d have an issue either way.

Look for a partner whose values align with yours. This includes sobriety but doesn’t have to be the end all be all.


I am fortunate to have a married a woman who doesn’t drink, like, ever. I used to joke that I’d drink for the both of us. I guess that was an excuse to drink to excess. :grimacing:

If I ever had to find a new partner, I would think I would strongly prefer a non-drinker, someone who has more in common than not. But that’s just me.


My other half drinks. Her whole family drinks. They have drank infront of me, and it doesn’t bother me. I have bought them alcohol, and havent been affected by it.

With that said, as the years have gone by…they all have drank so much less. I cannot even remember in the last year seeing it happen.

Her kids were respectful of me from the start.

I guess if the potential partner you seek drinks…if its meant to be, they will be reapectful of your choices.


Congratulations on your 6 years!! I like the advice you got so far. Look for someone who shares values and you enjoy doing things with…not just hanging out in a pub. Dan nailed it…be picky!!! :blush:


Great work on your 6 years.

I am personally on a hiatus but would think it would be better to find a partner that I connect with. I am approaching 1.5 years and do not get triggered around others drinking. I don’t think it would be a huge turn off if my partner was a drinker but not someone I would actively seek out. Like Dan mentioned - be aware that a partner that is drinking will have alcohol on their breath and this won’t be so appealing during intimate moments.


Even though there’s lots of success stories, with one drinking and one not drinking if you have the choice, I would choose one who doesn’t drink it just makes everything simpler.


Ive been sober nearly 6 years and i was in a relationship with a smoker and drinker for 2.5 years until I broke it off
I now refuse date anyone who doesn’t match my standards
I’d rather be single and wait for the right person than relapse
Me and my sobriety comes first


Hello, Tony.

What are you using for your recovery program? I need to know what you are using as a daily program. What you use to manage emotional pain of shame that directs all alcoholics to feel they need to consume alcohol to relieve that pain.

Without that information here is what I will share with you. I have 30 plus years in recovery. I still attend AA and CA meetings. I do not date women who are in recovery because they have too much other baggage to deal with. I know that is going to rile some readers, especially women. But I have found that women in recovery often have some history of physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse that they are also recovering from, and this stuff affects their ability to have healthy intimacy. I know people in recovery who are married to persons who are also in recovery. I just don’t want to waste my time dating a bunch of recovery women to find one that meets my criteria of not having a bunch of extra emotional or mental baggage. Yes, I admit this is an overgeneralization but it is my choice for me personally, I am not trying to convince anyone that all women in recovery have extra baggage in relationships. There are plenty of women out there who are not recovering alcoholics/addicts to date. I do talk to women in recovery and have them as friends, but I avoid dating any of them. That is my choice, and nobody has to like it except me.

I am fine to date persons who drink. One of my best friends is also in recovery, and he manages a bar. Lots of people tell him he is crazy but it has never been a problem for him. I can vouch for that fact. I don’t have any problem dating a lady who drinks, so long as she respects my recovery and she does not drink a lot. She can drink every day so long as it is only a couple of drinks, I guess. I have not actually been involved with any lady who drinks more than occasionally or for events or when meeting with company or going out with friends.

I got no issues going out with people who want to have a good time. I am comfortable being in bars, it does not cause me to want to drink. Yes, I have had thoughts of drinking when I have been in bars. But the thoughts are short lived, I have never worried about these thoughts lasting very long because they never do. I have always allowed such thoughts to run their course, and they all end with no resulting desire to drink or use. I don’t want to drink, and putting my favorite booze in front of me will not make me want to drink it.

The person you date absolutely must respect your recovery program. I am assuming you go to AA meetings like I do and you have a network of friends in The Program, and you attend meetings regularly. I will not date anybody who does not respect my attending meetings, even if I have over 30 years and somehow they think I should not need meetings anymore. It is my choice how I operate my recovery, and they either respect it and do not do anything to interfere (that includes making negative or suggestive comments) with my recovery or I say goodbye to them. If I feel they threaten my recovery, I kick them to the curb. I have not had any problem finding women to date. They seem to find me even when I am not trying, so I feel comfortable being this choosy.

Yes, I have felt at times discouraged with dating, but I know that feeling can and does go away and dating seems to come in waves, sometimes you have too many women to date and other times nobody is interested in you. Whether there is interest from women in me or not, I do not let that validate or invalidate or define my self image or my self esteem.

I will add this: I spent four years working with a therapist on relationship issues. MY relationship issues, not those of the women in my life. I was tired of blaming the women for my relationship not working. I decided to clean up my side of the street, and this therapy was often very painful and uncomfortable because we dealt with childhood emotional stuff as well as adult stuff, and some of that can be very difficult to confront and move through. I did a LOT of work on self esteem and boundaries. My point is that I feel it is my responsibility to be emotionally present and be as emotionally healthy as possible if I expect to have a successful committed, intimate long term relationship with a special lady. I want her to have all of me and I want to give all of me to her, being 100% vulnerable and not compartmentalizing any emotional feelings and be able to reveal all of my feelings to her. I want someone who can do the same with me. That, I have found, is a VERY tall order for some people to fill when their partner or potential partner reveals this is what they expect from them. My experience is some (not most) women are just not ready to be completely emotionally present and vulnerable and they shy away from guys like me. On the other hand, it would appear that most women want the man to be emotionally present but they are having a hard time finding such a man to date.

I recently completed a divorce from someone I was married to for 25 years. Hardest decision I have ever made in my life and the fallout was in some ways devastating, but I have carried on and have I believe found a special lady who meets all my criteria and she says I meet all her criteria. So I say to you, go out and date and as you see from other comments in this thread, I concur that you should be choosy and one last thought for you: I hear you saying you are fixated on what the other person thinks about you if they drink and you don’t drink. You are a good person and you are worth it to be selective in dating and what some other person thinks of you does not or should not affect your view of yourself or your self worth. So it does not matter what they think about you not drinking. They have to accept it or you kick them to the curb, it is that simple. Your recovery comes before EVERYTHING ELSE. It matters whether they respect your recovery, not what they think of you.

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Hi,great reply, thanks for taking the time,
No recovery program up to now but im looking into it,this last year has been the toughest yet for me, my recovery program up to now has been my close family and friends,the only shame I have now is the shame of spending so much money and losing so much time through my drinking addiction.I found talking sober by accident while looking for a sober dating site,which you’ve put me off thanks :+1:t2:,its helped me alot knowing other people are here and going through similar things and we can help each other,its made me think that it might be time for myself to join a program,thanks again for your reply


I met Sheila when i was about 8 years sober had a few girlfriends who were in the fellowship but that was just for cuddles , but sheila was in christian fellowship and she drank a glass of wine maybe two or three times a year i told her on our first date who i was and i was a recovering Alkie . this July married 30 years have two grown up sons 28/26 and they dont drink never asked them why , keep on trucking


I’m also 6 year sober and I started seeing someone 2 years ago. He’s a “normal” drinker-which turned me off at first. I wanted someone else to be fully abstaining as well.

What I’ve learned in over observing over time, not everyone drank like me to where it’s a problem. The most I’ve even seen him drink is two drinks at in one sitting and he drinks rarely. There’s been a half a hard tea he opened last Friday that is still sitting in the fridge. That kind of drinking is totally foreign to me.

That being said, when I moved in here a year ago at 5 years sober, I wasn’t honestly sure how I’d do with alcohol in the house. So, it was up for discussion. If it jeopardized my sobriety, either it would go or I would.

Because I work my recovery program, it hasn’t been an issue for me at all. I’m not remotely tempted by it…I’m actually very much repelled by it.

I don’t need him to live his life as I live mine. We can meet in the middle and be good because I do the work on myself so I am ok.

Would I have started out dating by choose a partner who is an active alcoholic and parties all the time? No. Our values wouldn’t have aligned enough to be successful. While I think dating others who are in recovery also could be a good thing, it could also fail miserably with both potentially ending up in a relapse too. I’ve seen that happen more than once.

Having this experience has helped me to expand a little more so I felt called to share. :heart:


Hi,thanks for the reply,seems like youve got everything well under control there,stay strong!!!