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What is the 13th Step?

I have heard people refer to "The 13th Step" or "13th Stepping." What does it mean or refer to?
There are no dating rules in A.A., but within the fellowship there is a cultural resistance to dating newcomers. See this answer for more.

Typically, "The 13th Step" is used as a derogatory term which loosely refers to "hitting on newcomers."

Most commonly it is used to refer to men who have several years of sobriety that make a habit of trying to date or take advantage of women new to A.A. (but is not always limited to men).

Referring to "13th-stepping" can be a way of describing predatory behavior which takes advantage of the emotional instability of newcomers to A.A. — those who are "pretty mangled" by emotional trauma before they get to the fellowship that they hope offers a safe harbor.

One definition of Step Thirteen is to say that it involves adding Step 1 to Step 12, ignoring the rest: "My life is unmanageable and I want to share it with you!"

The term is not always used with the negative connotations and sometimes used to simply add humor in describing the foibles and challenges encountered when dating in A.A.

Keywords: 13th, Stepping, thirteenth, relationships

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