Men talking to women at meetings

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Re: Men talking to women at meetings

Postby Sober25 » Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:58 am

There is nothing wrong with men and women talking to one another at meetings. It is great that we can have friends in AA. I do, however, strongly recommend newcomers should not be in a hurry to get into a relationship. I also recommend the ones who have been in the fellowship for a while not to pounce on the newcomers. Newcomers should be focused on their recovery. That is a full time job. First things first.
AA has one program of recovery - the 12 steps. It's tried, tested, proven and gauranteed.
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Re: Men talking to women at meetings

Postby ann2 » Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:03 am

I've been following this thread without commenting but now I have something I'd like to share. When we get to AA, we are embarking on a spiritual adventure, working on ourselves, doing the footwork so that the psychic change can take place. I'm not saying that the opposite sex interferes with this journey, but there is a distraction in our innate human drives. We seek mates, as part of our make-up. The place people normally find a partner is in a group of like-minded individuals, so AA fellowship can present the situation that our basic instincts respond to as ideal for their fulfilment.

However, that's not what AA is -- it's not a dating service, it's not a singles club, it's not a matchmaking opportunity. Being used as one doesn't solve the alcohol problem. From the step 12 essay in "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions":

It is only where "boy meets girl on A.A. campus," and love follows at first sight, that difficulties may develop. The prospective partners need to be solid A.A.'s 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 either will be likely to rise up under later pressures to cripple them.


The first part of the focus always has to be

- becoming a solid AA
- attending to the possibility of deep-lying emotional handicaps

It's of course okay to talk to a member of the opposite sex, but doing that can create expectations in oneself or the other. And it's not bad or wrong that that happens -- it's just part of being human. So following our "natural" impulses can sometimes lead us from the purpose of being at the meeting.

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Re: Men talking to women at meetings

Postby newby1961 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:44 pm

:lol: I have been going to meetings in various US states for almost 30 plus years and I have a little over 6 years. I got involved at times with someone I met at a meeting. Heck I met my ex in detox and we stayed in a crazy alcoholic relationship for 7 years. He just died a few years back in his 40's from drinking to much, it ate his guts out.If that's not sad I don't know what is? One of my past sponsors had a guy as her sponsor and it was a great fit for her. People have so many opinions about this, and if its not in the book then for me its not fact. The scary part for me is that we all come in to the rooms pretty broken, and we all just want to belong and feel loved, unfortunatly most of us are too sick to know how to do that in a healthy manner when we 1st get to the rooms, and sadly some of us never get it. I have seen a lot of people relapse and I have done it more times than I can count, and a lot of the times it was over finances or romances. I read one post where they said this was not a dating service, for some people its all sorts of services that's why they say stick with the winners. An old timer once told me "Little gal, the difference between men and women in this program is, men will pat your a % % and women will save it." I have had both men and women say the exact thing I needed to hear at a jumping off point.I love meetings that try to bring up 13 stepping as a topic, wowee if that's not an argument waiting to happen. So I guess for me the answer lies in trusting God, cleaning house, and helping others regardless if they are man, woman, or whatever? God's speed
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Re: Men talking to women at meetings

Postby Ken_the_Geordie » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:08 am

Thanks, Newby, I liked your post; and if I've not said it before, welcome to e-AA.

Regards,

Ken
I'm more commonly known as Tosh (it's a nick name, but everyone I know in real life calls me it); just in case there's any confusion; I tend to use Tosh or Ken interchangeably and it confuses some; including me. ;-)
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Re: Men talking to women at meetings

Postby hazel4 » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:54 am

Hello and Welcome Newby

Enjoyed your post. Must admit I may have taken to AA earlier had I even known there was a Step 13 :lol:
Liked the quote penultimate sentence, the "whatever"....Never met one of those at a meeting, but then perhaps AA would have been the least of their problems.
Keep it coming. You have made my day!
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Re: Men talking to women at meetings

Postby Toad » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:01 am

Hi,
Learned something along the way ---------------
Before Recovery -------- It takes what it takes.
After Recovery ----------It takes what it takes.
Choose wisely.
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Re: Men talking to women at meetings

Postby Krys C » Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:56 pm

I've seen plenty of new comer interactions and men and women interacting especaily new in sobriety. The issue is about motives. As a new comer and a woman, in many of the meetings i was the only woman (and still am years later). I talked to who ever would stand my whining early on. One of my very good friends who got sober the same time i did was a man, and we both struggled through the step work beating our heads against the wall together. He was married, and frankly he was too much like a brother to interest me. No one ever questioned our friendship. But our motives were to help the other, not get laid.

What i've noticed as i've gotten time, is that someone who has a solution is very appealing to anyone who doesn't. Mix in the fact of opposite sexes and especially with newcomers that appeal gets muddied some where. Which is why i have learned to recognize when i need to back away from a male newcomer and send him to another man to talk to. Its one thing to talk program with a newcomer it's another when they get that star struck goey eyed look.

I have no idea why anyone would want to date a newcomer if they are working and have significant time. Frankly there is just too much drama going on to make that anywhere near appealing. But i believe if my motives are good, i may approach anyone out of the spirit of helpfulness. If my motives are not good, than it would do me well to work with my sponsor or another woman.

I've also got a friend who is crusading against newcomers dating people with time. It's suggested to wait until you have a year to get into a relationship. His crusading really has more to do with him needing to inventory than about saving anyone. I have to realize that every day i deal with spiritually sick people, inside and outside the rooms. Sometimes people get upset with me and it has nothing to do with me, it has to do with their own spiritual malady. I ask god for patience and tolerance when dealing with all of my sick friends.
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Re: Men talking to women at meetings

Postby yfrog » Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:59 am

Hello all :)

I am a woman, and when I first started going to AA meetings I felt scared and vulnerable. I remember holding back the tears throughout my entire first meeting, and when it was over all I wanted to do was run away and get home. But as I was walking out, a bunch of AA members were milling around outside chatting, and one of them must have seen that I was upset and stopped me to ask if I was OK. This person was a man, and I am grateful that he stopped me. I told him it was my first meeting and that I was feeling overwhelmed, and he walked me over to one of the women, who gave me her phone number and said I could call her during the week if I needed to talk.

I guess I'm trying to say is that I don't think there should be an absolute rule that men shouldn't talk to women at AA meetings, but I agree with what Blue Moon said in an earlier post about perspective - the man who spoke to me after my first meeting was not a newcomer, he clearly saw that I might need some interaction and offered it to me, however briefly. He also knew that as I was upset it would be best to 'hand me over' to one of the female 'AA veterans'.

The following week I went to a meeting every day and by the end of that week I was feeling a lot less vulnerable, and I did start to feel comfortable talking to other AA members, men and women. However, I think I would have been a bit wary if another newbie had approached me to talk about recovery.

My take on it is this: I think newcomers should be careful around other newcomers, but I can't see why men and women shouldn't talk to each other if they want to, as long as they remain neutral and are respectful of each other.

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Re: Men talking to women at meetings

Postby Sober25 » Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:03 am

yfrog wrote: ...but I can't see why men and women shouldn't talk to each other if they want to, as long as they remain neutral and are respectful of each other.

yfrog


Very well put, yfrog. Women and men talk to each other. That's just a fact of life. :D
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Re: Men talking to women at meetings

Postby judyweaves » Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:28 am

I've known gay men and lesbians in AA who choose a sponsor of the opposite sex to avoid romantic feelings with one of their own sex. Are there any traditions regarding this?

Sometimes I think the wording should be: AA is not allied with any sex :D (just kidding).
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Re: Men talking to women at meetings

Postby TheresaR » Sun Jan 02, 2011 12:06 pm

Mostly in AA I have only heard women with the women and men with the men for sponsorship. My own opinion is that for the most people this is best. Sometimes I hear people say there should "never" be cross sex sponsorship, which makes me cringe because there are a lot of exceptions, especially when you get into the LGBT side of things. Though I never knew anyone that was motivated by wanting to avoid potential romantic feelings, usually they have motived by other reasons like just wanting to have a sponsor they felt the most comfortable with that they felt had the most to offer.

So I do not believe it should be held as a rigid rule. I've had both a gay male sponsor, a straight male sponsor, and a female sponsor.

On the flip side seen more then a few men chasing women under the guise of wanting to help them in early sobriety, and all sorts of other crap, and women seeking help from men for all the wrong reasons to. Hence why I think for most it is good to follow the men / men and women / women rule.
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Re: Men talking to women at meetings

Postby Blue Moon » Sun Jan 02, 2011 1:18 pm

TheresaR wrote:Mostly in AA I have only heard women with the women and men with the men for sponsorship. My own opinion is that for the most people this is best. Sometimes I hear people say there should "never" be cross sex sponsorship, which makes me cringe because there are a lot of exceptions, especially when you get into the LGBT side of things. Though I never knew anyone that was motivated by wanting to avoid potential romantic feelings, usually they have motived by other reasons like just wanting to have a sponsor they felt the most comfortable with that they felt had the most to offer.


Some people get very anal over this, perhaps those who got "burned" in the past. I wonder what a bisexual is supposed to do. But IMO the potential for problems in a sponsor/sponsee relationship can exist even with same-gender sponsorship ... it's a control issue. For me, one red flag is when someone takes pride in announcing how many "sponsees" they have.
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Re: Men talking to women at meetings

Postby Glynn » Mon Jan 03, 2011 6:13 am

This is an area that is very close to my own heart. I am a man and I talk to anyone and everyone, I hug anyone and everyone if they are comfortable with physical contact and I am very happy to help anyone too. The problem is that not everyone out there is as they seem. I am now a little more guarded, but it is very difficult for me to tell people I can't help them because I am a bloke! I may just be the best person available. (We are not all in meetings with lots of people in them.)

In AA, I see everyone as a fellow sufferer first, second and last, doesn't it say that if someone asks, I will be there?

Yes, if there is a suitable woman available, I will point the sufferer in that direction, but, contrary to popular belief, there are men and women who can get on with the opposite sex without getting into bed at the first opportunity. :shock:

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Re: Men talking to women at meetings

Postby Steven F » Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:11 pm

Glynn wrote:... but, contrary to popular belief, there are men and women who can get on with the opposite sex without getting into bed at the first opportunity. :shock:


I know that to be true because I can experience that today. But I must also admit I didn't know that was a possible course of action for a long long time...
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Re: Men talking to women at meetings

Postby Sober25 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:39 am

My sponsor is female and I'm male. It has never been a problem. Personally, I've never sponsored a female yet, but I guess that is because I've never been asked.
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