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Online Dating Addiction

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By Claire Brent

Online dating is a fun way to meet a variety of intriguing people. When you engage in online dating, very little in the way of physical exertion or pride is put on the line.

The medium is rather anonymous and can be done from just about anywhere – your bedroom, work, your cell phone and more. Therefore, due to its ease and sense of gratification that can come from online dating, many people who engage in online dating run the risk of becoming addicted.

Addiction is labeled as a mental and/or physical state whereby the addict feels compelled to perform certain actions. Online dating addition, therefore, is a state in which an online dater feels a compulsion to check his and other online dating profiles.

He may log online several times a day to check messages or browse through online dating profiles. Often, the addict puts off other activities in lieu of the addiction. For example, he may avoid doing work or he may even avoid real, physical social interaction so that he can spend time online.

Online dating addiction is not one of the more popularly discussed addictions, such as alcohol addiction and drug addiction. Yet the effects on the addict’s physical and social life are just as dangerous. Because many people feel ashamed to discuss their online dating addictions, the addiction can go largely unrecognized and untreated.

However, if you feel that you have an online dating addiction, there are fast and effective steps that you can take to help rid yourself of the addiction. Know that long-term relief takes time, but short-term relief can come if you engage in any or all of the following activities:

1. Seek professional help. Professional help may come in the form of a therapy session with a physiologist, therapist, social worker or clergy member. When you seek professional help, you will be asked to speak candidly with a counselor about your addiction.

He or she will offer tangible steps and feedback that can help you to let go of your addiction. It will likely take several sessions with a professional in order to feel as if you are truly improving, but stay focused.

Your addiction will start to feel like less and less of a problem the more you focus on getting rid of it.

2. Exercise. Exercising releases endorphins, which will help to improve your mood and make you feel happy. When you exercise, there are not only physical changes that take place in your body and your brain, but you also will have attitude changes.

Your self-image will improve over time, as will your physical condition. You may even feel more inclined to date more offline than online.

3. Be social. Whether you are a social person or not, the mere fact that you seek connectivity through online dating proves that you do yearn or some social interaction. Join a club or spend some time at a café.

Just being around other people might help to make you feel as if you are part of a social scene, even if you do not enjoy spending large amounts of time with other individuals.

Online dating addiction does not have to be the painful and trying experience that it is for many people. If you feel that you could have online dating addiction, consult a professional therapist for more information or for an initial diagnostic session. In no time, you’ll be sure to start feeling more liberated and free to pursue your own pleasures again.

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