gAy A: A LGBT+ Podcast About Sobriety

Dating Sober ft. Dave

June 13, 2022 Steve Bennet-Martin Season 1 Episode 86
gAy A: A LGBT+ Podcast About Sobriety
Dating Sober ft. Dave
Show Notes Transcript

Steve welcomes back Dave to talk about dating in recovery.

Follow Dave on Instagram @gymdave85 and follow us while you are at it @gAyApodcast.
 
Thank you for listening. Please rate and review if you have found this information helpful.

If you are interested in sharing your story, getting involved with the show, or just saying hi, please e-mail me at gayapodcast@gmail.com

Or Follow Us wherever you are listening so you can get new episodes when they come out every Monday and Thursday. Until that time, stay sober, friends!

Support the show
Steve:

Hi everyone. And welcome to gay. A podcast about sobriety for the LGBTQ plus community and our allies. I'm your host, Steven Martin. I am an alcoholic and I am grateful for getting to experience date nights with my husband sober. As of this recording, I am 350 days sober and say, we're welcoming back, Dave. Welcome back to the.

Dave:

Hello? How are you? It's going to be backpack. Yes.

Steve:

Well, I'm very excited to have you back on for the, a couple topics. What's been new in your life since our last step is.

Dave:

So since our last episode, I have been working a lot. I coach gymnastics. So our state championship season just ended, which is great because I actually have days off now. Other than that, I actually started a group called sober gay Sunday. And it's a sober, gay social group that I'm doing once a month events here in Boston. So. Since we last talked, we had our first event, which was ax throwing, which was an unbelievable success. It is one of my most, one of my proudest achievements. The silver person is this group. It started as an idea. When I first got sober to kind of surround myself with sober men in the gay community, and I got broken upwards. So I had a little kick in the ass to get started on some new projects. And that was one of them. So it's been. That is

Steve:

great. I know that, especially like when I got sober, it was very hard to find a like a sober community locally. So it was kind of, if you want it, you have to create it. So I actually like in Sarasota do pretty much bi-monthly sober socials, so we haven't done anything crazy, like ax throwing yet, but we do like, hang out like every other month, like in, at like a tea house or a coffee house or something, and I'll hang out and get together. And it's

Dave:

been a lot of fun. Yeah. Yeah. That was one of the things like, you know, getting sober and being so open about it online. People were just like, I don't have any sober friends. And even for me, like, I didn't really have a lot of sober, gay friends that I wanted to, you know, that I could hang out with. And so I was like, all right. Get as many people together as I can and, and give that opportunity for everybody. And it was so good, like it was really, really wonderful. And I love those guys so much and it's, it's only just begun, so it's going to be a really good thing in the future. So that's awesome.

Steve:

And out of all the topics you could, you could have chosen to come back on you chose to tonight, we're going to be talking about dating and you also trust sex. Why did you chose dating?

Dave:

So I chose dating because I. I have dated a lot of people. So I have a lot of experience. Even the kids that I coach now are a lot of them are teenagers. And when they go through breakups, they come right to Mr. Dave and they ask how to get through it. I love having a buddy. I love having a partner. I love even when I needed a big group of people, like I tend to kind of gravitate towards one person. And I think that's a little bit coming from being a twin. Not much mind, I have a twin sister. And so that buddy cyst, I've had a buddy system since conception. So dating for me has been a big, big part of my life. And I think that's one of the reasons I kind of gravitated gravitated towards that as my experience. Yeah.

Steve:

Well, what was your dating life like before you got.

Dave:

So before I got sober it was a little messy. I think for me, meeting guys often was intertwined with drinking and drug use, so mostly drinking. But so before I got sober, it was definitely not always the best decision as far as who I chose to start dating and Sometimes we'd also drink together and, and that wasn't always good. And I think before getting sober dating, I think was just kind of hopping from one person to another without really taking the time to get to know them and ignoring red flags, because all I wanted was just to have a boyfriend and drinking was a big part of that. So I think that. Messy and awkward is best to way to describe it.

Steve:

Yeah. Yeah. I can completely relate. I was always a serial monogamist, like throughout high school and college, and it was pretty much like my standard was like, will you have me? And will you take care of me when I drink too much?

Dave:

Exactly. And that's not to say that the men I was dating in the past have not been absolutely amazing. I'm sure a few of them will be listening to this. Now you are great. You will, you were appreciated. I learned a lot from you, but as far as you know, The smaller relationships that I had, it was like not great. Yeah.

Steve:

And what is dating change? How has that changed in your sobriety?

Dave:

Well, actually, so after I initially got silver, so I initially got sober from drinking eight years ago and the men that I chose after in this, this, I was sober after that for about three years. So that's three, your period was like my first. Movement into clear, you know, foggy brain free dating. And those decisions were great. Those men I decided to see were amazing. And I, it came of course from, you know, having a clear mind and not drinking and not doing drugs, but also I think rediscovering myself and rediscovering who I was without drugs and alcohol. Really brought my, my best self to the forefront. And that's, I think one of the most important things is when you're your best self, you find the best people falling back into drinking and drugs. I think, you know, I just fell, fell back into a little bit that, that not great dating space. Since now, this is my second time around right now I'm a 677 days sober. I've only really did one person because I took the time to really rebuild myself back up and to find myself again, into fall, back in love with myself again, which I know is kind of cliche to say, but it's, it's really, really important to love yourself fully and completely. So you can give yourself to someone in a healthy way. So post, post, post sobriety, it's. Yeah. Great.

Steve:

That's excellent. Now, looking back before you got sober, do you have any embarrassing moments of getting inappropriately drunk on a date?

Dave:

Of course, I was always that guy that would like get my music going on for a day. And maybe you have a couple of cocktails before the day just to loosen up. I did one time. Have I just pregame too much for sure. And I remember walking out with my apartment to his car being like, I don't think I can cover. For a full day and I'm reclining into his car and he liked took, I guess, one look at me, smelled me for a second, like listened to my slurred speech for like a split second. And he literally canceled the date right there and was like, I don't think this is going to work out. I think we need to see, you know, not do this. And I just kinda was like, okay, whatever. So that was really embarrassing. Like not even getting to this. Into the car immediately asked to get out of the car, go back into your apartment via loser. Like that was pretty bad. I think, I think we've all had the, the bad dating experiences of getting a little bit too drunk and, you know, maybe crying in front of your date or, you know, sleeping with them on the first day, not wanting to, but that's that one climbing into the car and being told immediately to leave. That was probably one of the worst.

Steve:

Yeah, I can, I can imagine. I know that, you know, looking back, I mean, I had my few shares of times where I would get inappropriately drunk and the date would just not aware of it, or they just were willing to look the other way. Like, I'd go out with like one boyfriend. I remember cause I was never much of a bar person. So if I was going out to the bar, I definitely needed to pregame. And I don't remember like going out half the time, but he told me the next morning that we had a great time. So I just believed him. But like, I was like in blackouts for like most of the times that we were out and it just, you know, I guess it goes to show the type of people I was also with when they wouldn't even notice that I was completely out of my mind and not even physically or mentally present

Dave:

exactly all my gods. I mean, I definitely. Yeah, definitely. I've had similar situations where someone was like, I had a great time with you. I was like, that's great. I'm glad he did. I don't remember. Or like waking up in someone's apartment and being like, oh, I guess I went home with you. Like cool. Like, yes,

Steve:

that's great. Yeah. And what's been one of your favorite dates since getting sober?

Dave:

Oh, this is easy. So I guess that I, for the past two years, almost two years being sober. I haven't really dated a whole ton. I've been working myself, but I did date this guy who took me to key west in a private jet for new years. That's a pretty damn good damn good date. The Asbury. That was pretty fancy, but yeah, that's definitely my. It was wonderful.

Steve:

I can only imagine, I mean, know, even with like going on dates with my husband now, like probably one of the best was just, it was a simple, I just like going out to dinner in St Armand's circle, which is like an area of Sarasota where like most of my memories are drunk. And just the fact that I was like able to enjoy just a night out for dinner without having to worry about like how many glasses of wine can I have versus how much will he have before he notices that I want more. You know, just it's nice going out and not having to be constantly thinking about your alcohol intake.

Dave:

Exactly. One thing I noticed too recently I was talking to some of my non sober friends and we have this. The tea dance that happens every Sunday in Boston, one of the, at one of the gay bars. And everyone's always like, why did they make it Sunday? Like, that's so tough. That's so like such a, you know, a tough time to have it. And I'm like, that's great. That's my one day off a week. That is perfect. And they're like, yeah, but Monday so rough. And I was like, what are you talking about? Monday's rough. I don't understand. It's Sunday. It's on Sunday. And then they'll look at me. And they're like, well, hangover is on Monday. And I was like, oh, My brain hasn't even, hasn't had a hanger for so long that I don't even like, remember that that's a thing that people have to deal with. Yeah. Yeah. Nice. Not to have that

Steve:

at all. Yeah, I do not miss the hangovers. Nope,

Dave:

Nope, Nope. Now not at

Steve:

all. Are you looking for a relationship with someone within the sober community or could you also see yourself in a relationship with someone who drinks socially?

Dave:

So I prefer to drink up to date. And one of the main major reasons that I would prefer that is because I was in a relationship with someone for about a year and a half. And we were talking about my drug years and we had a conversation where I discussed the kind of aftereffects of the comedown of drugs. And he just looked at me in the face and he said, but you're never going to do that again. Right. And I had to look at him and I had to say, I hope I. Do that again. But if I do, you have to be there for me to get me through the come down and get me through the pain, get me to the sadness, get me to the aches in my body. That's something that is part of being an addict is I would love to say to your face right now. No, I'm never going to do it again, but there is that possibility. Relapse is part of recovery and him not being an addict and not understanding the addicted brain. Was a big, big part of me kind of trying to date other addicts or other people who are at least involved or understand the addicted brain. It's, I'm never gonna say never date, a non sober person, but I think the understanding of what we've both gone through makes dating sober people just easier. You don't have to explain to someone. The feelings you get and the, and, and the way that drugs and alcohol affect your brain. Cause it's different than everybody else's. So I prefer other silver guys that prefer other addicts for that reason. But again, it's never like, you know, it's not set in stone. Yeah.

Steve:

No, and I understand it's, it's interesting. Cause like my husband drinks socially, but even then, like he doesn't drink socially. Like he's probably had two cocktails, like in the 11 and a half months I've been so. And it's like, when we were like out at bars and I was like, no, it's okay. You can have one, like, it's not going to ruin my sobriety, but like he can go months and months and months without drinking. But there was also something to be said about just like understanding one another. Cause I would say I was probably like three or four months into sobriety and I made a joke about like, oh no, what if I relapsed? He was like, you wouldn't do that for our marriage. And I have to be like, well, it could happen. Like who knows what will happen? And it's like, that's not why I'm sober either. I'm sober for my son. So I can see how it's hard when someone doesn't like necessarily understand from being on our side of things at times.

Dave:

Exactly. And it's like, and when you start to do it for other things and other reasons and other people, then it starts to crumble and fall apart. That's one of the worst things you can do is try to like, it has to be about you. It has to be about your own recovery. And that is hard. Again, that's hard for people who aren't addicts and alcoholics to understand. So but yeah, it's, I feel, yeah.

Steve:

Yeah. And describe your ideal partner. Oh God,

Dave:

how long you got, maybe you can manifest him, right? I mean, Hey, you know what? I think that's like might be great. Great idea. I mean, I need someone who is confident and compassionate and caring and affectionate and understanding, I think is one of those things. When you're dating an addict or you're dating someone who also has gone through addiction, you have to be compassionate for each other. You have to care for each other. You have to be kind, kindness is a big, big thing for me. I, I like. Guys to look like bad boys, but to have like a heart of gold. So it's also like I liked someone who is successful, but not in necessarily like a monetary way. I think success comes from being really passionate about what you do and having drive in your life and having something that really gets. In the morning and gets you going. I think that's one of the most attractive things as someone who's really, really passionate about something and is successful in what they do. And I like very sexual guy, for sure, for sure. That's a big part of it for me too. So again, I like, you know, confident, compassionate, caring, affectionate, successful, and sexual with things I wrote down.

Steve:

Excellent. Well, if you're listening now, Well, I didn't do the DMS boy. Now when talking about dating, I know that in a lot of the recovery rooms, that's recommended for someone not to date during the first year of their sobriety. Do you agree or disagree with that sentiment?

Dave:

So I agree with the short point, I think that the year, the specific amount of time that I think can be kind of different for every person. I always tell people that are new and to sobriety that like you got out, you, you are the foundation. So you have to build your foundation and have to take care of yourself. You have to recover your mind. You have to recover your body. You have to recover. So many parts of yourself that alcohol and drugs has broken down. If you jump into a relationship with someone that person can sometimes become the addiction. And I think you really need to be super solid on your own two feet about your sobriety and who you are a sober person before you can bring someone else into it. Romantically pet a couple of friends of mine who try to get sober together. And sometimes I've I've, I've seen them one more relapse. And then with a few weeks later, the other will relapse. They kind of have this codependent relationship. And it's hard to watch two people who love each other very much fall and then pull the other one down with them. I, so I, I really do think that you need to take a good amount of time to really rebuild yourself alone. Before starting a relationship, if you're new into sobriety, I think that's really important. Again, the year long thing, if you're going to like, you know, white knuckle it to the days and then immediately go out on that one year and get a boyfriend because it's finally one year that's also not healthy. I don't think you're ready for a boyfriend. If you've been counting down the days before you can go get one, you know what I mean? So. It's different for every everybody. I mean, I waited at Lea. I waited like a year, a year and a few months before I started even thinking about really seriously dating somebody. So it it really depends on how you feel about yourself and how you feel about your surprised and where you're at. But yeah, the, again, I've seen it, just play friends can be addicting to like, yeah.

Steve:

I was seeing my fair share of like even day counters who start relationships and like, oh no. And of course, you know, everyone's different. It could work out, but I'm like, I know at least back when I was counting that days, it was hard enough, like maintaining my relationship of like eight years. Like at that time, like, Yeah, I couldn't imagine starting a new one or like, not even, cause I didn't know who I was at that point. And as I was learning what sobriety is and like, if I was going to stick with it or what it was going to look like, you know, I was still trying to pick which steps I was going to listen to, which ones I was going to skip over.

Dave:

Exactly. And also when it comes to like getting into a relationship and getting into relationship newly sober, You're more likely to relapse when you have big swings of emotional moments in your life. That's what a lot of that tears, a lot of us down, it's big emotional moments. So bringing out a relationship into an interior life is you're kind of asking for big emotional swings. Cause if you start, you know, seeing someone in a, in your new and sobriety and he breaks up with you, you're. Drink because of a B and an early sobriety. You're more likely to drink again because the boyfriend broke up with you or I, and the other, the other end of the spectrum is true to the boyfriend makes you feel so good. You, you start to kind of be like, oh, well maybe I could have a little a drink. Now that I'm feeling so good because I've seen relapses happen often when things are going great, because you get cocky and you get the. 'cause you're feeling so good. You're like, oh, I'll have a drink to celebrate her. You know, it's our, it's our third Dana. My God. I feel so good about it. How I can have a drink. I'm fine. Whatever. No, you're not fine. You're not. So both ends of the, of that kind of emotional spectrum of feeling sad or our breakup, or having him hurt you or feeling so good with him that, that causes another relapse. I think that's kind of dodgy in itself. Yeah,

Steve:

I, I agree. And if someone is prepared and ready to date, but finding themselves struggling in the sober dating scene, what kind of advice would you give them?

Dave:

So I always, I have to for, so some dating advice from someone who's in a sober community, I think is to really fall in love with yourself. I think once you have confidence and once you have love for yourself that that kind of shows. And other people can see that. And then you're, you're going to attract more people with a better outlook on yourself. For me, like after I got sober, I knew that that was the plan was to just like really build myself up, really get myself to fall back in love with the person that I am and who, and to fall in love with sober Dave and not And to not keep beating myself up. And that, that self-love is a, he attracts people better than anything. So I think that's one of the biggest piece of advice we can give is just like treat yourself really, really well. And people will see that and they'll, it'll come off in your personality and you'll come up on how you hold yourself in a situation. And the boys will come. If you're you're feeling.

Steve:

Yeah. Excellent. And we will have you back in the next episode to talk more about sex, but in the meantime, if someone wanted to can't wait and just wants to find you or slide into those teams as you choked how would they find you?

Dave:

So on Instagram, I'm Jim, Dave, 85 DUI, M D a V E 85. Also follow me on sober gay Sunday at at, on Instagram also just search sober gay Sunday, and you'll see our little group there. It's, that's a really good place to kind of check me out too, or check out, check out what I'm doing with that group, because that's, again, one of my most, I'm so proud of that, that little group we've started.

Steve:

Excellent. Well, I'll be sure to put those in the show notes for the listeners.

Dave:

Excellent. Thank you very much.

Steve:

And we'll talk again very, very soon. Sounds good. Thank you. Yes. And thank you listeners for tuning into another episode of Gaye podcast, please rate and review. If you found this information helpful, if you're interested in sharing your story, getting involved with the show or just saying hi, you can find us on Instagram at gay podcast, or email me directly at gay. At gmail.com and be sure to follow us wherever you're listening. So you can get these new episodes when they come out every Monday and Thursday. And until next time stay sober friends.