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My Response to “5 Reasons Why I Might Never Date a Normie Again”

Responding to "5 Reasons Why I Might Never Date a Normie Again" Article

Recently, an article was posted on the popular addiction website The Fix in regards to the addict and normie relationship.

The author discussed why she would never date a normie again. The article goes to list five reasons why, but it came down to feeling misunderstood in her relationship. She said that people who have never dealt with addiction struggle to relate to a lot of things that people in recovery have gone through.

Personally, as a “normie” who has been in a relationship with a recovering addict for the past two years, I have to respectfully disagree.

While the author made some great points, I think the points she made really depend on the relationship. There are pros and cons to any relationship dynamic depending on the person you are with.

Therefore, I am going to take a stab at responding to the five reasons she listed to explain why she would never date a normie again:

  1. “They don’t really understand that you’re not your past.”

    “Despite claims of “I don’t care about your past,” they really do. Oh, do they ever. And they always want to examine it, maybe because it’s so foreign to them. It’s almost like being from another country.”

    My Experience: Not True.

    When my boyfriend tells me some of his crazy addiction stories; it does shock me a bit, especially considering he is a totally different person now. It is weird thinking of the transformation. However, the only person I see him as is the person he is today, and I have no connection to who he was in the past. I do not see him as the person he was in the past because I never knew him then.

    While I will never understand addiction from a personal perspective, I definitely have respect and empathy for the journey to sobriety.  While I did not turn to drugs in my darkest moments, I did turn to other negative coping mechanisms, so the concept of addiction is something I can definitely grasp. Now that I’ve worked in the addiction field, I understand it more than the average normie. I would have less of a tolerance for him relapsing because it would be like meeting a stranger.

  2. “They’re P*ssies”

    “Little things are big things to them because they haven’t had, let’s say, the depth of experience that we’ve had.”

    My Experience: False.

    The author claims that normies are “p*ssies” when it comes to hearing about the past.  She says the past will scare the normie and make them super analytical about the things they do around their partner. While it is true that I am more mindful of certain things I do around my partner, I do this more out of respect than anything else.

    The author also states a normie will never see overcoming addiction is a tremendous accomplishment; however, this could not be furthest from the truth. I have told my boyfriend countless times how I think it was a commendable thing that he has overcome his addiction.

    Still, I don’t like to glorify people’s journeys either. I do not think I have to tell my boyfriend how amazing he is for doing something I feel he had to do in order to be alive right. While I am proud of his past and what he’s accomplished, I would not be with him if he had not. On the same note, addicts should not minimalize the journey normies have gone through simply because they do not involve abusing drugs. There are so many tumultuous experiences one can go through without turning to drugs because not everyone is prone to addiction.

  3. “They don’t get that the darkness is funny.”

    “I need a guy who can hold me while we giggle about what an idiot I’ve been. But normies just don’t have the stomach to deal with that stuff. Oh yeah, it’s cool if it’s in Breaking Bad or Ozark but not so much in their girlfriend.”‘

    My Experience:
    Completely False.

    This is totally false in my situation. In fact, I think my humor is darker than my boyfriend. As someone who has struggled with depression and anxiety, I’ve learned to laugh at the darkest parts of human nature. Making jokes about dying is pretty much second-nature to me.

    I honestly crack up when my boyfriend tells me crazy stories in regards to his drug use, and I will probably make fun of him and say I wish I was there to witness some of the absurd things that have happened. I rarely give him pity. If anything, my dark humor and lighthearted approach to his past annoy him every once in a while. However, life is a crazy journey, and I believe you have to have a sense of humor when it comes to certain things.

  4. “They haven’t really dealt with their sh*t.”

    “It is the rare normie who has really lived an examined life and dealt with their issues. And I don’t blame them. It’s no fun digging around in that stuff and doing inventories and examining character defects and making amends.”

    My Experience:
    Mostly true.

    I will agree with the author when she states that normies usually have not dealt with their lives in the same way that a recovering addict has. When I met my boyfriend, I was honestly taken aback by the amount of therapy and self-work he had done in recovery. In fact, that was one of the things that attracted me to him.  It was nice to know he was always working to improve on himself.

    Me on the other hand… not so much.

    In fact, halfway through the relationship, he basically gave me an ultimatum to go to therapy to deal with my past, and some of my mental health battles that were hindering our relationship. While I rarely go anymore, I am glad I did at the time. I had not thought of analyzing my past and understanding myself until I met him.

    In the past, I dug my problems away and ignored them. Learning about the recovery process makes me realize that it was probably a good idea for me to do some self-work too. Therefore, I’ll mark this as true in my situation. Still, I believe there are plenty of normies that have gone through tumultuous lives who have a history of doing a lot of therapy and self-work, so this definitely varies on a case by case basis.

  5. “They’re not as intense.”

    “As addicts, despite our 400 forms of fear and our four million forms of neurosis, we are risk takers and fearless in love and other stupid stuff. We go whole hog into everything we do.”

    My Experience:
    Meh… we are both pretty intense people.

    I am a super creative person who loves writing, music, and poetry. Therefore, I am naturally highly sensitive and yes, intense. However, so is my boyfriend who is highly sensitive as well.  Two highly intense creative people together… yes, it’s a rollercoaster sometimes, but overall we work it out.

    The author also elaborates that addicts are “risk-takers and fearless in love and other stupid stuff.” I will agree that I am not as highly intense when it comes to taking impulsive actions like my boyfriend is.  For example, he will watch a movie and then immediately buy the soundtrack without even skipping a beat.  He will then listen to the soundtrack a thousand times before getting tired of it and repeating the cycle with something else. He definitely a lot more impulsive compared to me. I take my time, while he will easily gravitate to things, and become “addicted” to it.

Overall, while the author made some solid points, the normie and addict relationship can work. Relationships are hard regardless of the past. Therefore, there are obstacles in any type of relationship dynamic. While there are certain things about dating someone in recovery that can be a challenge, they do not surpass the challenges I’ve faced in past relationships.

What do you think? Should a recovering addict date a normie? Regardless, the number one priority is staying sober and doing whatever it takes to maintain that. If you are struggling with your sobriety, please reach out. You are not alone. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or mental illness, please call now 1-800-777-9588.

Author: Shernide Delva 


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