Relationships the Recovery Way
It always surprises me how many people in recovery are not aware that the 12 Steps & 12 Traditions provides clear instructions on how to have the best possible human relationships. Within its pages is also one of the best guides for dating.
p. 53 " . . . that we fail to recognize is our total inability to form a true partnership with another human being. Our egomania digs two disastrous pitfalls. Either we insist upon dominating the people we know, or we depend upon them far too much.
Domination and dependence are actually one and the same issue. Why would you want to dominate someone you aren't dependent upon in some way? Of the two, dependence is more subtle. One of the symptoms of dependence that most women fail to recognize is their martyrdom. Needlessly sacrificing themselves for the sake of another. Martyrdom is a more subtle form of control. Each sacrifice has strings attached. What are the strings? Strings of expected returns of time, attention and love from the other person.
Another subtle symptom of dependence is allowing someone to mistreat you. If you're in a relationship with a person who is hurtful, what rationalizations do you use to continue to allow yourself to be hurt? Your unconditional love? Would you place yourself in a position to be hurt if you weren't getting some kind of return? What are you getting - affirmation of low self-esteem? A bandaid over your emotional insecurity or fear of being alone?
Pages 115 - 121 of the 12 & 12 contain rich content on marriage and dating. Read them carefully - again and again. The beauty of how this is written is that first the problem is discussed and then the solution - more spiritual growth.
p. 115 Our demand for emotional security, for our own way, had constantly thrown us into unworkable relations with other people.
p. 116 . . . we discovered the best possible source of emotional stability to be God himself. We found that dependence upon His perfect justice, forgiveness, and love was healthy, and that it would work where nothing else would.
p. 117 . . . a compelling desire to find a mate of the opposite sex . . . . How by ignorance, compulsion, and self-will, do we misuse this gift for our own destruction.
p. 119 The prospective partners need to be solid . . . and long enough acquainted to know that their compatibility at spiritual, mental, and emotional levels is a fact and not wishful thinking. They need to be as sure as possible that no deep-lying emotional handicap in ether will be likely to rise up under later pressures to cripple them.