The thing about a cult is that you can get kicked out if you do something wrong. In AA, if you don't follow the suggestions, you don't have to leave AA, everything is a suggestion; you don't have to get anybody's permission to do anything. Not having a relationship in the first year is a suggestion because in the first year of recovery, people are fragile. Think about it, you drink to get through life, if you feel uncomfortable, you drink, feel anxious, drink, feel happy, drink...So then you go to AA, you're not drinking, you have to figure out a way to get through life without alcohol, that can make a person vulnerable, plus you don't know who the hell you are without drinking everything away. I know I was a mess when I got sober 32 years ago. I didn't follow ANY of the suggestions, I got in a relationship but nobody told me I was bad, nobody kicked me out. I'm just glad I didn't drink, I've seen a lot of people drink behind relationships, both good and bad.