The Internet has become a boon for many love addicts. Never before in the history of the world has it ever been so easy to connect with literally hundreds of people in short amounts of time. Location is no longer an issue either. Just turn on the computer and you can be chatting with someone on the other side of the planet within a matter of seconds.
Online dating sites are like a shopping mall for love addicts. With literally hundreds from which to choose, love addicts can window shop for potential partners for hours on end. As soon as someone catches their eye, they can engage in a virtual chat session with just a few clicks of the mouse – if the other person is also online as well. If they’re not, they can leave a message and connect at a later date.
For some individuals, online dating in and of itself can become addicting. What initially starts out as a fun, new activity becomes an obsession that consumes significant amounts of time. In some cases, it also becomes very expensive if the addict is paying for memberships to multiple dating sites or chat rooms.
An Opportunity to Be Someone New
Love addicts are often drawn to the Internet because it allows them to create a false persona. Take the story of Melissa, for example. Melissa is a fairly quiet, shy woman in her late 30s. At the encouragement of a friend, she put up a profile with one of her best photos. In her profile she described herself as much more outgoing, adventurous, and fun. It didn’t take long for her to get emails from multiple men – something that was very new for her.
Suddenly she was spending several hours each night responding to emails and engaging in online chat sessions with various men. Sitting behind her computer rather than face to face gave her a level of confidence she had never experienced before. In no time she was sharing intimate details of her life with several of these men – none of whom she had actually met. She loved the attention and felt like she had a thriving social life – even though it was limited to cyber space.
The problem with love addicts like Melissa is that their online interactions become a substitute for real life interactions. She has the illusion of a “love life”, when in reality nothing of substance actually exists. Meeting the men in person is a terrifying option for her because she knows they will most likely quickly realize she is not the outgoing person she portrays herself to be online. The disappointment and rejection would be devastating.
More Potential Partners than Ever Before
Other love addicts use the Internet as a way to find a large number of potential partners. Take Sally, for example, who is a serial dater. She easily attracts men and goes on a lot of dates. Relationships quickly develop (sometimes more than one at a time in her case), but they also quickly fizzle due to their intensity. As soon as one ends she quickly finds another, going from one relationship to the next. The thrill of romance and new love is like a drug for her. With the Internet, it is easier than ever for her to get her “fix”.
Checking out Friends’ Friends
Love addicts aren’t limited to online dating sites to satisfy their cravings. Facebook, MySpace, and other social networking sites have become another way for them to find a plethora of potential partners. The more “friends” they have, the more profiles they can readily access. What better way to find someone new and exciting than by checking out all of their friends’ friends?
The Endless Search for Mr. Perfect
Unfortunately, the Internet feeds love addiction in other ways as well. Love addicts often get caught up in the endless search for that elusive perfect partner. Even when they’re in a relationship many love addicts continue to peruse the profiles on dating sites and social networking sites. With the Internet, there is always someone better out there – if they just keep looking they’re bound to find him sooner or later!
The Internet can become dangerously alluring for anyone who already has or is prone to love addiction. If you find yourself spending all or much of your free time online looking for love or having cyber affairs, you may have a problem with love addiction. Help is available, but only you can take that first step.