Dating addictions

For some people dating becomes a habit. A pattern which becomes addictive. It’s the ultimate ‘thrill of the chase’, where you land the date, charm your counterpart, make them like you, and then go again looking for the next hit.

With my ‘no-judgement’ hat on, I say each to their own, and as long as you’re honest about your intentions, then there’s probably nothing wrong with it. Of course if the subject of the pursuit is unaware of the short term nature of the engagement, then it can be quite upsetting. Why? Because they’re being charmed for short term gains of the addict. So as their feelings grow in vain hope, the addict is preparing for the next hit.

This pattern is somewhat narcissistic behaviour, because it doesn’t take into account the other person’s feelings. It’s full of self gratitude, and devoid of respect. This can be especially frustrating when you feel a connection, the date is going well and there seems to be mad chemistry. The addict is charming and charismatic, and really seems to be into you too. It leaves you feeling like there could have been something amazing, if only you could have seen them again!

Is there any way to know on the first date whether you’re in this situation? Is it addict behaviour or is it indeed real? Are we vibing or am I the subject of another chase? The answer is yes, you can work it out. We all have a radar that’s usually in poor working order when it comes to screening for ourselves. If we are screening for a friend, it’s just all so obvious and our radar picks up all the signs that allow us to see what your friend can’t. When it comes to protecting ourselves, it’s usually clouded over, fuzzy, impacted by the prospect that the person REALLY LIKES YOU.

So if this has happened to you, where you’ve gone on several dates, only to be charmed, used and ghosted, and left wondering what happened, you need to learn how to tune in your radar. Start processing the information a little better. Did your date come-on really strong from the outset? Touching you and flirting hard? Things that start fast can often burn out even quicker. Did your date discuss recent partners? Were there any long term relationships? Or have they been single for years, but active on the dating scene. Now look, I don’t want you to forgo a good time by turning your date into an investigation, I’m just saying that there might be some signs that you’re on a date with a dating addict.

If this is happening to you, feel free to match their energy levels, have fun, but take note when they’re about to ‘convert the try’. Make your decision at that point as to whether you’ll give them their hit, or leave them wanting more. Of course the obvious conversion tactics are inviting you back to their house, or moving in for a passionate kiss while you’re still at the bar. But there are subtle conversions too, some people just enjoy meeting people and going out, with no intention of really developing anything with anyone.

I think if you’re going to be used by an addict for some type of self-gratifying behaviour, it’s going to be very hard to avoid. You can probably make an educated decision if you’re asked to go back to their house, but if it’s just a great date, you might be hemmed in. But at least know when it’s happening right in front of you, so you don’t go and tell all your friends that you met someone amazing, only to never see that person again.

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