Dear Dr. Toni:
I am a recovering love addict and per my program took a year off from dating. I went online with a dating service and have been really shocked at how quickly men expect you to show physical affection toward them. Granted, I am 60 and my generation were much freer about sex in our college and 20’s years but darn, 60 something year old men want to kiss you on the first date and get mad because you want to get to know them and see if they are friend material first. I’ve been doing this for 6 months now and am getting discouraged.
My question is this, am I wrong for wanting to spend 3 months developing a friendship first? Will I never meet some one if I don’t give out within the first month? Should I think about women as an alternative choice?
Exasperated in Minnesota
First off, I want to applaud you for going one whole year into sobriety. That is a huge first step for a love addict. Secondly, given that you are now past your first year, perhaps there might be people to meet who also are sober dating. Do you go to meetings for any other twelve – step programs? You might consider going to Alanon meetings if you have co-dependency issues as well. Many love addicts do. There may be people in this culture who will have more respect for you.
You might also consider being bold and putting in your profile on the dating site that you are in recovery and seeking a man who is willing to go slow and develop a friendship first. You might not get as many people interested, but it will weed out the guys who have a different pace than you.
Another possibility is to do some research on non-profit organizations and volunteer your time at charity events that are raising money for a cause you believe in. A man who is humanitarian might be the type to also volunteer. I hope this helps.
Do not give up faith that you will meet a man who is the right match for you. Keep your intention clear and your self value and self respect high, you will magnetize that person.
Dear Dr. Toni:
I think I might be agoraphobic. I do go out but I prefer to stay at home. I live alone and sometimes I get lonely but crowds make me nervous and group functions drain me. I do like one on one interactions in my home with friends but people like to meet you places and do things and I end up getting tired after about two hours and want to go home so I am thought of as a drag. I have a job but I work from home using the internet as part of my work. Is it wrong to prefer to be at home rather than out in this crazy, chaotic world we live in? One of my friends thinks I need meds for my social anxiety. I don’t have panic attacks when I’m out, just feel mildly uncomfortable. I would say what bothers me the most is that I am single and you have to go out to meet people. Do you have any suggestions as to what to do about this?
Home Confinement Addict
Well, I don’t think you are agoraphobic from what you have described. It doesn’t sound like your anxiety reaches unmanageable levels. What may be going on is that you are an HSP – Highly Sensitive Person. HSP’s are drained by groups and have to clear their energy upon returning home from being with people.
HSP’s are often highly creative and introverted. Georgia O’Keefe the painter was an HSP. Many great artists spent large amounts of time away from the world but used the time to create great works of art. With FaceTime and Skype you can meet people online and screen them before ever meeting them. When you read people’s profiles, pay attention to what they like to do. If they are a very active person physically, delete. If the person appears shy or introverted, talk to them on the phone or above mentioned apps, and see if they too are highly sensitive. There are seminars and conferences designed specifically for HSP’s. Check them out. These may be the friends and lovers who would have the most empathy and compassion for your inclinations. Some people are just home bodies. It doesn’t necessarily mean you are addicted to your home. Empaths just feel more comfortable in environments that are quiet and calm. The key is to tell the truth in your profile if you do decide to do online dating. Being authentic will draw the right people to you.
Dr. Toni Galardi is a licensed psychotherapist, author of The LifeQuake Phenomenon and is a well known expert on career repurposing as part of recovery in the addiction field. Dr. Galardi also trains therapists to be coaches in her method of career repurposing coaching.
If you have a question for The LifeQuake Doctor, you can write to her through: firstname.lastname@example.org by calling 310-890-6832. She works by phone and SKYPE in private practice. Her website is http://www.thelifequakedoctor.com