Why Digital Relationships Become Addictive

Women's Dating

Why Digital Relationships Become Addictive

Dr. Wendy Walsh
Dr. Wendy Walsh Updated:
Discuss This! Discuss This!

Today, singles are connecting everywhere online, including dating sites, Facebook, Twitter and chat rooms.

However, what some of these singles looking for love fail to consider is the alluring quality of digital relationships, something that has now gone viral in America’s dating culture.

Simply put, a digital relationship may or may not involve phone calls or video chats, but it usually does not involve face-to-face relationship building.

Because of the time delay in transmitting emails, it does not involve real-time communication complete with body language, vocal tone and eye contact, but it does involve plenty of real-life feelings.

Digital relationships move fast.

Because an online relationship is mostly an attraction to your own projections (i.e. he fills in the blanks on your own fantasy), they develop at an enormous speed compared to real-life relationships.

In the first email, you’re disclosing basic information about yourself. Within days or weeks, you’re calling each other babe, sending sexy messages, sharing deep secrets and maybe even having cybersex.

This can even occur before an actual in-person date or introduction.

“Growing a healthy relationship

requires talk, touch and eye contact.”

Take face-to-face time to develop a relationship.

No amount of FaceTime or Skype can replace the connections that are created in person.

To top it off, sending promiscuous pictures and text messages early on in a relationship only sets you up for a relationship based on sex, not intimacy or commitment.

It baffles me that people would send pictures of their privates before they’ve even let someone into their home.

Remember, online dating sites are a misnomer. They should be called online meeting sites.

The dates should take place offline. Growing and maintaining healthy, intimate relationships requires plenty of talk, touch and eye contact.

Avoid falling into the trap of a digital relationship:

  1. Use online sites to identify potential partners, not to date.
  2. In the first few emails, use good boundaries and stay on G-rated topics and facts about yourself that you wouldn’t mind reading on Twitter.
  3. Move to telephone chat within one week of meeting. Ask for extra photos and maybe do a Skype chat. This will help you avoid online scams by people pretending to be something they aren’t.
  4. Meet in a public place within the first two weeks of chatting. Make it a short date for coffee. If you both decide you like each other, the second meeting can feel like the first date.
  5. If a potential mate won’t get on the phone or meet in person, stop emailing. This person is addicted to the online attention and is not interested in a real world relationship.

Photo source: visualphotos.com.