You’ve been frequenting online dating sites for a while now. You know a lot of the available candidates by their first names. You have met most of them without ever finding anyone that you wanted to share more than a few moments with. You know, in your head and somewhere deep in your guts, that there is very little chance your daily browsing will lead to finding a meaningful relationship. And yet you are drawn to your computer every day without miss, sometimes several times, to indulge in more catalog browsing, to check your message box, and to dream for a second that the next one will be better than the last one. If only…
This type of behavior, where we find ourselves repeatedly doing something that is at best pointless but often harmful, without being able to stop, is what is commonly known as addiction. And addictive behavior is not limited to gambling or drug and alcohol consumption. For a lot of people, online dating has also become an addiction.
If you find yourself wanting to stop spending hours in front of your computer everyday, looking for something you know you won’t find, but are unable to, here are a few suggestions:
Pick up an old hobby or find a new one.
Instead of going straight home after work, where you will find yourself alone with not much else to do than to turn on your computer, go to the gym. Or, better yet, register for a class, where you will be busy and you will meet people. Having an enjoyable scheduled activity that keeps you away from the computer may be enough to help you re-center your attention. If necessary, register for different classes. The busier you are, the less tempted you will be.
Cultivate relationships with friends and relatives:
one of the problems of online dating is that people end up spending more time having virtual interactions than real face-to-face relationships. Seeing friends and relatives will likely give you a renewed appreciation of what real human contact can bring. And again, it will keep you busy and away from the computer.
Put your home computer away for a while.
Quickly check your personal emails at work at the end of the day and make your home a computer-free space for a while. If you feel it is going to be hard to resist temptation, put your computer in storage or leave it at a friend’s house. And buy books, newspapers, magazines, listen to the radio or rent movies to occupy your time at home.
Take things one day at a time.
Take the time to reflect on what you really want out of life, work, relationships. Think of this period as a gift to yourself: after all, how many opportunities do we get to free up some time to take a step back and reassess our lives? Try to get a better understanding of the way you function. That, in turn, will help you have a better control over your actions.
Change your search method.
If, and only if, you have decided that what you really want is to find someone to share your life with, consider changing the way you have been conducting your search. Instead of going back to a regular dating site -trying a new one won’t make any difference and you know it – turn to a professional matchmaker. A person, not a computer. Someone who will introduce you to people who – like you – are serious about finding their mate. Ironically, you probably will have to turn on your computer to find your matchmaker -this is, after all, the 21st century. But hopefully this time will be the last!
At Simantov, we are now offering a free one-hour telephone consultation with an experienced matchmaker. Simply email us using the code “Online Dating Addiction”, let us know where you live and we will be delighted to set up an appointment with you.