Updated on May 1, 2024
3 min read

I've been attending AA meetings for a few months now, but I'm having trouble finding a sponsor who I really connect with. Any advice on how to find the right match?

Finding the right AA sponsor is an important undertaking. It’s completely normal and understandable to take some time to connect with someone.

Let’s go over some strategies to support you during this process.

Where to Look for the Right AA Sponsor

I recommend exploring the AA website and directories for sponsor listings. This can be beneficial if you have specific preferences or prefer a sponsor with a similar background or set of experiences as your own.

You can also dedicate more time to talking to trusted members. Seek recommendations from other AA members you respect and feel comfortable with. They may know potential sponsors who aren't readily visible at the meetings you normally attend.

If spirituality, gender, or other factors are significant to your recovery, consider attending other types of AA meetings focused on those areas. This can naturally increase your pool of compatible potential sponsors.

How to Recognize a Supportive Sponsor

There are some key things to watch for when considering a potential sponsor. Notice how they interact with others⁠—both their sponsees and members at large. Are they good listeners who offer compassionate support and helpful advice?

Look for someone who projects a warm, open demeanor and seems well-grounded in their own sobriety. Finally, observe their contributions at meetings.

Do they helpfully share their experiences? Do they focus on solutions and demonstrate a genuine desire to support others in their recovery journey?

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How to Get to Know Potential Sponsors

Initiate casual conversations with potential sponsors before or after meetings. This can be a low-pressure way to gauge your initial comfort level.

If you feel a connection, suggest meeting for coffee or a walk. This allows for a more in-depth conversation to discuss your needs, their approach, and whether your personalities align.

Some sponsors may be open to an informal "trial period" where you work together for a few weeks to see if the relationship is a good fit. This can eliminate the pressure of a long-term commitment right away.

Additional Tips for a Successful Sponsor Search

  • Prepare questions: Before meeting with potential sponsors, brainstorm a list of questions that are important to you. This could include their length of sobriety, how they work with sponsees, and availability.
  • Embrace honesty: Be upfront about your needs, expectations, and reservations. This sets the stage for open communication and a productive relationship.
  • Check-in with yourself: Throughout the process, regularly check in with yourself. How do you feel after interactions with potential sponsors? Are you feeling hopeful, understood, or perhaps a bit apprehensive?

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Other Sources of Support

AA offers additional resources to help you in your search for a sponsor. You can talk to members you trust or even your group leader. They may have suggestions for potential sponsors, and more importantly, they can provide support and encouragement during this time.

If you're feeling impatient or need some guidance in the short term, consider asking a respected member to be a temporary sponsor. This can provide valuable support while you search for a perfect long-term match.

Finding the right sponsor may require patience and persistence, but the rewards of a strong and supportive relationship can be transformative for your recovery. Trust yourself, don't hesitate to ask questions, and stay open to the possibilities.

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Updated on May 1, 2024

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