I believe it is, for some. I know (other people's) sponsees who do maintain solid, preexisting, f2f relationships with their sponsor via Facetime, etc. It works if they're honest and mature about their recovery.Tracy h wrote:...as newcomer I'm curious whether non-f2f sponsorship is viable option.
I decline to sponsor this way - I have a number of former sponsees who have moved away, and I ALWAYS counsel "Get a new, local sponsor that you see at least once a week!" Why? I believe that after taking someone thru the Steps, ACCOUNTABILITY is a sponsor's secondary purpose. I don't sponsor guys I cannot "see" regularly; typically, that's about once a week. Sponsorship is a two-way street: if I sense someone is evasive, furtive and distant with me, it's not working out. For that uncertainty, I'd be disinclined to take on a Virtual Sponsee I'd never met, likewise.
I can imagine a few exceptions, such as sponsoring someone in prison or who moves to Moonbase Alpha, etc. but none of those hypotheticals have applied to me, yet. otoh, and contrary to what I hear many other sponsors say, I'm flexible with txt msgs and emails instead of mandatory verbal phone convos, IF I'm seeing the guy in meetings, weekly also. I'm not really "sponsoring" someone invisible IRL who isn't calling, texting, emailing (FaceTime,etc.) on some routine basis, in my mind. In theirs? Whatever.
The basis of the relationship, whatever it should be, really ought to be understood and agreed to by both parties in advance. It works if you work it - or doesn't, perhaps. In my experience, of 3 sponsees who moved away and didn't get new spons and didn't maintain phone contact, 2 relapsed within 3-4 months; the other is +3yrs sober says he has a new sponsor at last! I know that Sponsorship isn't "the reason" most sponsees stay sober (or relapse, from lack of) but it's a factor in most people's recovery.