From the August 2013 magazine.

August 2013: Dating Rampage

Three coffee dates in one afternoon? A member tells how he survived

Before I stopped drinking and began recovery, dating was not a common occurrence in my life. The shame and secrecy of growing up as a closeted gay boy in suburban Ohio had left me with internal homophobia, which I directed at myself. Celibacy and platonic acquaintances were my only companions between sprees of drinking to blackout and waking up with strangers. I did not have much in the way of a spiritual toolbox.

There were not many people who desired a second date with me. After spending the evening babysitting me as I drank to oblivion, they would put me in a cab hoping I would go home and sleep it off. One woman fixed me up on a blind date with a friend of hers who told me to “lose his number.” The occasional man who asked me for a second date was viewed by me as “damaged goods.” I assumed they were loony, because anyone who liked me must have a screw loose somewhere.

-- Patrick M.

Brooklyn, New York

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