Because relapse is most common in the first years of recovery—leveling off at about five years—Faulkner cautions that those who are sober be cautious about dating people who imbibe. “If you’re talking about someone with good sobriety dating someone who is a casual or responsible drinker, there isn’t necessarily a problem,” she says. “If the sober person is in early recovery or if the drinker is a problem drinker, the chances for a good dating experience are dim. Though most people won’t wait two years into sobriety to start dating, keep in mind that the smell of alcohol, the taste of a kiss [with someone who’s been drinking], the clinking of ice in the glass, as well as the bar and the bar scene could be triggers.”
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