I’m sure you’ve heard the term “13th Stepper” before: it’s someone who uses the program for their own personal gain, especially when it comes to dating and other intimate-type relationships. Now, you might not be sure whether or not you’re doing this so, here are 10 signs you’re a 13th stepper.
#1. You go to meetings to meet someone, as in to date them
The main thing that motivates you to go to a meeting is the possibility of meeting someone new that you can ask out. You’re also more concerned about what you’re going to wear to the meeting because, after all, you want to dress to impress.
#2. You only talk to the newcomers that you think are attractive
Forget wanting to help whoever wants it, you’re only interested in “helping” the addict or alcoholic who is, as they say ‘easy on the eyes.’ It’s definitely a sign that you’re a 13th Stepper if you find yourself thinking, “that person is ugly, they can get help from someone else.”
#3. You offer to help newcomers (also that you find attractive) even though they haven’t approached you
It’s one thing to make it known that you are available to sponsor but it’s another thing if you’re ready to pounce on the first new person you see. If you’re offering to help people who haven’t even asked for it (and you’re motivated by any kind of attraction), then you just might be a 13th Stepper.
#4. You offer newcomers rides (as an excuse to hang out or as a way to have them “owe” you)
Newcomers often rely on others for things like getting rides to meetings and maybe doctors’ appointments. If you have a car and are able to do so, it’s really awesome of you to help another addict or alcoholic get to meetings. But, if you’re only doing it because you expect something in return, then you’re really only being self-serving.
#5. You’re busy checking people out in the meeting rather than paying attention to the message
Just like in #1 on this list, you see meetings as a meet-market rather than a place to hear the message of hope. Instead of listening to others’ experience, strength, and hope, or sharing your own, you’re distracted by checking out the other people in the meeting.
#6. You find yourself attracted to people who still seem to be “sick”
This doesn’t only mean the newcomers but, others who are not spiritually fit. There’s a strong possibility that you’re a 13th Stepper if you only find people attractive because they are constantly struggling, are magnets for drama, or are otherwise not in a good place, spiritually-speaking.
#7. Your dating motto is “get them on their knees before God does”
Thirteen steppers throw this phrase around and it basically means to meet someone and smash it before they even have a chance to grow spiritually – before they have a chance to begin recovery and make better decisions. This is a sure sign of 13 stepping if the way you get people in bed is by taking advantage of them.
#8. You have or have considered sponsoring someone of the opposite sex (or otherwise someone you were interested in dating)
Being a sponsor is respected role to play and, as such, should be strictly about helping another alcoholic or addict to get through the steps so that they can begin recovering. If you “use” being a sponsor as a way to pick up and bed others, well then, that’s disgraceful.
#9. You’re “talking to” someone who’s still in treatment or who has recently gone back to treatment
This one doesn’t really need any more explanation. If this is the case, you’re definitely 13 stepping the poor, sick soul who’s still in treatment.
#10. You’re in a relationship with someone and tell them not to listen to what their sponsor says
If you’re dating someone and you have replaced their sponsor as far as giving advice or suggestions, then there’s something wrong with the picture. A healthy recovery relationship is one in which each person still works with and consults their sponsor.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.