Ever feel like you can’t tear yourself away from dating sites and hookup apps? Have you wondered why someone you know refuses to take their profile down, even after finding a new partner? Although different people have different reasons, consider these four ways that online dating can be addictive…
1. Bring on the Ego Boost!
The attention received on dating sites can make some people feel realllly good. Those super flattering selfies, that look nothing like you, can garner a lot of interest and every new message sends another wave of affirmation. The person addicted to the ego boost may not even care if they meet anyone in person because they are getting off just from all the online attention. All those winks PROVE they’re desirable, right? This is a common pitfall among people who don’t get much attention IRL, those who are insecure, and jilted lovers trying to get over an ex.
2. It’s a Lot Like Gambling
Let’s consider the similarities between online dating and gambling. With gambling there’s a random pattern of wins and losses which keeps people hooked, and it’s hard to let go of the notion that you could hit the jackpot at any moment! I find that online dating is like that too… your messages get ignored a lot and you keep getting rejected, but every time you get a positive result, (a reply, a date, a relationship), it makes all those misses fade away. That next true love is right around the corner! Also, when it gets out of hand, online dating can be a huge distraction from life, and this is something that is at the core of gambling problems and other addictions.
3. The Greener Grass Illusion
People who experience this type of dating addiction think that there is always someone better out there than the person they already have. They can’t let go of their profile because what if Mr./Ms. Perfect comes along and they miss their opportunity? And it’s not always an issue where the person is cheating. This happens a lot in the early stages of dating and prevents some people from ever making a commitment in the first place. They are addicted to the idea of meeting more and more partners, each having the potential to be sexier and more compatible than the last.
4. It’s a Big Safety Net
For people who can’t stand the thought of ever being single, online dating is like a great big safety net as they walk the high wire act of dating and relationships. Online dating and hookup apps can give these folks a sense of security. They like to have multiple other potential partners on the back burner in case their current foray doesn’t pan out. Unfortuantely, this is another version of online dating addiction that has mostly to do with insecurity and fear.
Have you ever felt addicted to online dating? Share with us in the comments below!