Love In Sobriety
I’ve done a lot of things wrong in my sobriety, a lot. The one thing I can absolutely say that I’ve done right is how I approached finding love in sobriety. As I write this, I’m two weeks from marrying the love of my life, the man I’m positive my higher power wants me with. Hopefully, I can share some of my experience to those struggling with finding love in sobriety.
When I first got sober I was advised of one thing, and only one thing, regarding relationships – don’t get in one for a year. This was fine with me. The only experience I had with dating at this point was one long-term relationship (which ended horribly) and a few casual hookups. I didn’t trust men at all and found it easy to stick with women.
I got a sponsor and began working steps. I surrounded myself with strong women in recovery, women I could share anything with. In fact, these were the first people I learned to love in sobriety. I loved them before I loved myself. We spent every weekend together, laughing, dancing, and having a good time. I learned who I really was. I learned how to live life. These women taught me how to truly love myself.
Through all of this, God was with me. I built a relationship with my higher power by working the twelve-steps. I learned to love God. I learned to trust God. I became sure God had a plan for me. Because of this, I was perfectly happy waiting for the romantic relationship that God would be fit to place in my life. I was sure that if I was meant to find love in sobriety, God would provide for me. That isn’t to say I wasn’t impatient. Sometimes I was. I was lonely going to bed by myself every night. I was lonely watching my friends fall in love in sobriety. Hell, I was even lonely watching my friends fall out of love in sobriety. I was there for my friend’s weddings, births, and breakups. Still, I felt unqualified to give my friends and sponsees relationship advice.
And then, there he was, my love. Of course, I didn’t know that at the time. I just knew there was an attraction between us. An attraction I hadn’t felt in a long time. Geographically, we were separated, so I only saw him a few times a year. We were friends for several years. I managed to convince myself that I didn’t have feelings for him. I began to take action about my dating situation. I hadn’t been in a relationship in over five years! I’d worked on myself, done two 5th steps, and worked with countless sponsees. I loved myself. I was ready! I began to seek love in sobriety like I never had before.
Then this guy, my friend, moved to where I was living. He moved in with a friend of mine, in fact. We began spending a lot of time together. We spoke everyday. I became confused about how he felt about me. I’d speak to my sponsor about him at length. In the end, I decided to let God guide things. If God wanted us together, we’d end up together, and that was that. Not long afterwards, we began dating. I knew deep inside, in my heart and soul, this was the real deal. I’d found love in sobriety.
We’ve had our ups and downs, but through it all I’ve been convinced this is the man God wants for me. As long as we keep God at the center of our lives, nothing can shake the love we’ve built.