Love addiction and online dating
But it was all because I couldn’t deal with being alone after the death of my husband. The guys writing to me were also online, so they'd often answer really quickly, until I was having multiple flirty conversations. Since I’d never really dated in my formative years, my dates often seemed surreal. And if I did, I would probably be too sleep-deprived to recognize him.
In 1970, I met my future husband, George Albert Hansen, at a pool party at his parents' house in Walnut Creek, CA. I was super stressed out by all the classes and exams, but George calmed me down. Like I was watching someone else interacting with these guys, saying clever things, nodding empathetically. But if I couldn’t sleep, I could always swipe right or left on Tinder. I was having adventures and figuring out public transit.
Soon, looking became winking, winking became hot-listing, hot-listing became e-mailing, and e-mailing became seeing other people. Unlike me, she stopped checking her profile soon after we met.
There was no official breakup; I just didn't return calls as quickly, started canceling dates with her so I could try out new potential matches, and eventually we drifted apart. None of them has quite lived up to OFM..there's someone better out there, right?
His mother and my father worked together as physicists at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. George was 11 with curly dark hair, brown eyes and a serious manner as he politely showed me his model train set. He’d drive up almost every Wednesday from Santa Clara, where he worked as a software engineer, just to have dinner with me. A gifted test taker, he coached me through the bar exam. We spent all our time together to the exclusion of others. Especially at night, when everybody else was home with their families. My life became a sick experiment in performance art dating. I was “getting out there,” the generic advice foisted upon the bereaved by those who do not want to spend time with them. Last November, I was dating four guys at once: a cowboy, a lawyer, a Tai chi instructor and an architect, plus I was still online.
Over the years, George and I saw each other at family parties. In 1981, when I was a 17-year-old nerd, I needed a date for my senior prom. We were both introverted, anti-social, only children. People kept telling me to “get out there,” so I did. Kind of like going crazy at an outlet designer shoe store even if you don’t know what kind of shoes you want. I'd talk to, and meet anyone who sounded nice and/or cool and was willing to meet within a 15-mile radius of my house in daytime at a public place. It was all starting to feel pretty pointless, however. I was too busy staying online all day because I liked receiving compliments from men I’d never meet. When I was trying to my juggle dates for the week, I got so frustrated I threw my cell phone at the wall.
Love addicts value this person above themselves, and their focus on the beloved other often is obsessive.
Dating experts advise that finding a suitable companion can take a lot of effort and easily be as time consuming and involved as a career move, not to mention hard on your self esteem.
OFM had it all: intelligence with a streak of creativity, the ability not just to hear but to listen, a searing sense of humor with a tang of sarcasm, and a really great rack. Finding someone better was no longer innocent curiosity; it was easy — and it became an obsession.
We started seeing each other regularly — quickly moving from making out in my car to doing much more in my bedroom — and talked on the phone every day. Except for this: I still checked my profile once, twice, three times a day. Yes, OFM listened, but what if someone else listened better?
Love addiction doesn’t necessarily pertain only to romantic or sexual relationships.
It is possible for a person to relate as a love addict with their friends, children, sponsor, guru or religious figure, or even with a movie star, whom they have never met.