At first sight, a harmless attempt to arrange your personal life gradually transformed into the want to log in and check who wrote, what she wrote, what she answered.
There are fewer and fewer meetings in real life and the virtual world has absorbed you deeper and deeper. The original goals are lost in this carousel of endless possibilities and illusion of choice. People will get bogged down on dating sites like in a swamp. They begin to live in two worlds at the same time. Not realizing that it takes a lot of energy and distracts almost all of the attention.
What is the first step towards recovery?
Alas, if you realize the problem of another person, and he does not want to get rid of it, no method will help. The main thing is to realize your internet dating addiction and accept it, and only then, think about the ways to get rid of that problem. One way is to load yourself up with good habits that will eventually replace bad ones. The power and effectiveness of this method also lies in the fact that the focus of attention is shifted to what you are doing, and not to what you want to forget about.
For example, you want to stop eating after 6 pm. What will you think about all day? Most likely, it is that after six you will need to «survive» without food. Such thoughts often lead to overeating during the day, and then a possible breakdown in the evening because «during the day I already overate….»
Anticipation makes us keep looking, collecting, hunting, updating the Facebook feed, Twitter feed, checking mail, moving from video to video on YouTube, watching another episode of the season, moving to another level in the game. And all this is in anticipation of the «award». Dopamine is responsible for the anticipation. It is for the anticipation of the award, and not for the possession of it.
Scientists’ experiments confirm that the expectation of happiness is much more pleasant than experiencing it. For example, the anticipation of a date is emotionally more intense than the date itself. So, with online dating addiction, the anticipation and imagination of the future communication with the interlocutor make you spend more and more time on these sites and get more pleasure.
Symptoms and signs of addiction
Since people who are addicted to dating do not themselves understand and do not know that they suffer from addiction, the latter can be determined by a number of signs such as:
- feelings of excitement, anxiety, or fear;
- defensive behavior when talking about addiction;
- loneliness and depression;
- euphoria when using online dating site;
- failure to meet deadlines;
- mood swings;
Online dating addiction signs can also be manifested as physical symptoms:
- deterioration of vision;
- poor nutrition (weight gain or loss);
- personal hygiene problems.
These symptoms arise as a result of the fact that a person loses contact with the real world and falls victim to internet dating site addiction.
Guide for online dating addiction recovery
How to stop eating sweets? Stop buying sweets! Remove all the factors that provoke you. It can be places, people, situations. Here are a few tips for you:
- Realize that there is a problem. Rate on a scale from 1 to 10 the willingness to get rid of it (if it is less than 4 — there is awareness, but there is no readiness).
- Write down each time you return to the habit and what preceded it (triggers). Minimum 2 weeks.
- Write down how you feel when you commit the compulsive act and how you feel after.
- If possible, remove all triggers from the environment.
- Find something that relaxes you and do it instead of a bad habit.
- Sleep 7-8 hours. Lack of sleep and stress always increase the risk of bad habits and addictions coming back.
- Find people who have dealt with it and find out how.
- Remember what good habits you would like to have.
- Start introducing good habits, they will crowd out bad ones.
If all of these fails, consult a psychologist. Going to a psychologist can be point number 1 after realizing the problem.
When you give up your favorite things, be it sweets or websites, it is difficult in the early days. It gets easier by the end of the week.
After a month, it becomes very good. The understanding that this will pass gives confidence in the victory over «site addiction». For complete success, you need to find triggers (signals) that trigger the desire to go to the site and come up with a replacement for the usual action.
Triggers should be monitored and removed. As an example, this can be the time when you have a free moment alone. As a rule, it is late evening or weekend. Or you can consider visiting a site as a reward for successful projects and work performed. If you really want to write and communicate with others, then you can blog or talk to real friends. For example, with those you have not seen for a long time. Plus to read books that you have wanted to read for a long time.
The result is a simple algorithm: having noticed a trigger, quickly do something from the list of allowed substitutions.
Dating site addiction in relationships
Is visiting dating sites adultery if a person is already in a relationship? Briefly, this question can be answered like this: it is not.
This is not betrayal — this is a strong psychological dependence a man cannot get rid of. But for a girl, it does not matter, and she can experience what happened exactly as a real betrayal. She is in pain, she is disappointed, she loses faith in her lover, stops trusting him, and can no longer respect him as before.
Very often, after discovering this virtual betrayal, the girls themselves turn into involuntary fans of dating sites. They begin with a painful obsession to look through the accounts of those girls with whom their young man spoke. They compare themselves to them, and these comparisons are not in their favor, their self-esteem starts fading. They want to start dressing like their rivals, to lead the lifestyle that they present on their pages. And at the same time, they just start to feel sick of everything connected with those girls whose accounts they visit.
If a young man is constant in his passions and he likes similar girls, with similar habits, having a similar style of dress, and their interests largely coincide, then, hating her rivals, the girl of that young man gradually begins to hate a lot about herself.
What are dating sites for men?
For some men, these sites are a relatively cheap and simple tool for getting a girlfriend or having an easy, non-binding romance. At the same time, work can be carried out in several directions at once and they remove new girls as they mature. Sometimes the situation becomes more complicated since you have to confess your great love to several chosen ones at once; besides, having several mistresses at once is tiring and leads to the fact that not very pleasant overlays happen from time to time.
Immediately, we note that the type of men just described is not so common. This image just boggles the imagination of both women and men. The former perceive him as an antihero, and the latter as an object to follow. So, when young people boast about their victories and dashing adventures, most often they hang fake medals on their chests: in reality they manage to seduce not so many women, if at all.
For most young people, hanging on dating sites is more of an escape from loneliness and a means of boosting their self-esteem. It is also a way to overcome the fear of members of the opposite sex. Very often, virtual acquaintances do not lead to anything. Young men become less sociable after girls give them transparent hints that they do not mind taking a step forward, not because their interlocutors are not interesting to them. They are constantly postponing dates in real life because they are just scared. They are afraid that they will not correspond to the image of themselves that they have inflated on the net.
How to relate to this new type of psychological dependence and what to do about it? First of all, girls should understand that this is an addiction, not a betrayal. This judgment is true even for those cases when it becomes obvious that a young man combines hanging on dating sites with active visits to porn sites. Most often, young people who are addicted to dating sites do not plan real cheating at all, they simply cannot get rid of the habit, which at one time, perhaps, helped them a lot. They became more confident in themselves, mastered communication skills, stopped being afraid of girls, or falling into a stupor in the situation of meeting them.
But in order to get off this hook and stop compulsively browsing the accounts of unfamiliar girls, one must admit to themselves those things are not very normal.
Wrap It Up
To get rid of any addiction, you need to understand that you are suffering from it. Well, loved ones should understand that visiting dating sites addiction speaks not of excessive love, but rather of unfulfilled loneliness. Switching from virtual food to live communication is sometimes not easy. So, try to make your partner feel more desirable, cared for, and loved! Make sweet romantic surprises a part of your everyday life, and you will see that dating sites addiction will gradually fade away.