It is often said that the internet is a real "world" and that we can find anything on it, including love. The dream sellers know how to package this up for us very well. Before the Internet, no media has ever offered so many opportunities and facilities in the quest to meet your soul mate. Dependence on dating sites is affecting more and more people. This is according to a German study. But is this a form of addiction a kind of mental illness? Can it be treated like any other kind of addiction?
In recent years, online dating sites have experienced a tremendous explosion. According to the latest surveys at the present time 1 in 5 French people have registered on dating site, and statistics suggest similar figures in other countries too.
A new study in the field, published in the journal “Perspectives in Psychiatric Care”, indicates that the issues of addiction have become pretty serious. I was struck by the real addiction that these singles' dating sites could create for individual people. Those affected have a particular profile of a lack of self-confidence, accompanied by chaotic management of their social relationships.
Paradoxically, dating sites do not create union, but the acceptance of the life of a single person
Yet there are people who go beyond the limits of a "normal" connection and go down the path of behaviour that could be classified as addictive, thus losing contact with real life. I call this the phenomenon of an addiction of loss of control.
And here is an example of an anonymous user who has agreed to testify for our article;
Alexandra, 45, is a single woman who is aware of her addiction. She tells us “Like most people, I started off in a relationship that lasted for 17 years. It was a result of a break-up that I started to look more closely at dating sites. Some days I spend the whole night on these, sometimes I look at them during my work whenever I am "free" for a minute, then I continue just as soon as my working day is done. It's stronger than I am. Even worse now, my Smartphone allows me to check my mails anywhere, there are no longer any breathers”, explains Alexandra.
How to differentiate between passion and addiction?
When there is fun and the pleasure can be put off till later or left alone if necessary, one remains in the category of "normality”.
But when passion prevails over all other interests, when we experience anxiety, frustration and get into bad moods to the idea of not being able to indulge in this pleasure, we are heading towards addiction.
Addiction is characterized by dependence or the repeated inability to control risky behavior despite the knowledge of its adverse effects, therefore I speak here of addictive behavior.
When lying fast becomes a kind of sport
Loneliness, a lot of lies, a touch of paranoia and, ultimately, in this virtual world of deceit, you can even be tempted to lie to yourself, the classic behaviour of an addict.
Lose 5 kilos, add a few qualifications, post a carefully selected picture of oneself and one not corresponding to our age ...
But the most common lie is to actually allow people to believe that one is single.
So beware, all that glitters is not gold!
Why do dating sites make us addicted?
The Internet seems to have revolutionised romantic encounters, allowing the shy or the lonely to find love in a few clicks.
Loss of control: The vast puzzle of addiction has three distinctive colours:
Obsessive thoughts: the mental
The compulsion to continue the behavior, while experiencing the negative consequences of one’s actions. ("I know I shouldn't do it, but it's stronger than me"). They represent a repetitive pattern of stress; the person is conscious most of the time of this repetitive behavior.
A sense of isolation: the physical
Often in the long term, dependence promotes isolation, social withdrawal, and loneliness. This in turn often leads to depression.
The beliefs: the spiritual
The sense of being much more real on the web than in real life.
The spiritual has nothing to do with religion; The spiritual is perhaps simply stop having a veil over one’s eyes and to finally see the world as it is, with the true view of an adult.
It is not the dating sites that get us hooked...
Internet addiction, also called Cyberaddiction or Cyberdependence, is a psychological disorder resulting in an irresistible and obsessive need to use the Internet, so why would this not also apply to dating sites?
We could also speak of social networks such as Facebook or Twitter.
The manifestations of these evils are caused by the selfishness of the addict, which is very often based on FEARS. Selfishness, egocentricity is indeed at the basis of most of the mental turmoil of the addict.
The addiction is all about him, him, and him.
And that is exactly what you are offered by all these dating sites, explains Claire Rogers (Life Coach).
It is not the taste of whiskey that makes us addicted, but the effect it gives! The result from addiction to dating sites is simply a great fear of what one is, a fear to admit what we are.
The result of this confinement is nothing but loneliness.
The element of limiting your access to the network will probably develop your ability "to exist" (in the sense of influence by your own actions) in a real environment.
For most of us, loneliness is a real problem.
Internet addiction causes a feeling of distress and problems at a psychological, relationship, social or professional level which indicate a loss of control in different areas of our life.
The evaluation of your addiction can only be conducted with the help of an addiction specialist or coach (life coach).
The journey shared will undoubtedly be of value.
Meditation also allows you to work on the present moment, and this will allow you to break through your loneliness, to find yourself again and make a friend of yourself.