Dating/Ipswich – Relaxation Therapy/Complementary Therapy
INTERNET Dating! Is it an unhealthy addiction or a feel good therapy?
I’m a great believer in fate, so shopping on line for a date really went against the grain. However, it was probably fate that led me to try out this new pursuit.
I had woken one Saturday morning feeling a bit low and in need of uplifting. A little therapy seemed like a good idea. I cycled into town and took part in a meditation class, but returned home no more content. Later I went swimming and then had my hair cut, but still, I felt flat and lacking.
That night I sat alone. After four months as a singleton and not a date in sight, the children at their dad’s and my friends busy with their own lives, I turned to the internet for solace.
My friends had met potential partners on line with some successes and many failures, but I was new to it myself.
It was estimated that seven million singletons (half of all the singles), would log on to find love this year and more than a million of them would succeed.
According to a survey by PARSHIP.co.uk, 57% of all single people admitted they were looking for a serious relationship, 19% wanted a casual fling and 21% were happy being single.
So how does it work? Firstly, you have to upload a photograph of yourself, and write about your interests and life in general to create a profile.
Then you can “view” other people’s profiles and they can view you. If you like the look of a person you can “wink” at them, and if you want to take it further you can e-mail or instant message (I didn’t know what IM meant, until my 11-year-old techy enlightened me).
So there was I spending a Saturday evening searching through a sea of faces and reading a bit about those I liked the look of. My profile then received a number of viewings followed by several winks. None of the winks were from the men I had liked. I trawled through those vaguely interested in me and barbarically deleted most of them.
Although there was no Mr Right that evening, my spirits had been lifted along with my self esteem. I couldn’t wait to switch on my computer the next day.
For the next four or five days (it could have been longer) I was glued to my computer chatting to various potentials from around the globe.
There was a New York businessman who was convinced he was going to marry me as soon as he’d seen me (highly suspicious); a former gym instructor from Essex, who sent me a photograph of his hairy chest as a “treat” for me (can you believe the arrogance?); and a bald bus driver who became abusive when he thought my lack of enthusiasm was due to his lack of hair and his career choice. It never occurred to him it was due to his aggressive personality.
To be fair there were as many nice people on line as fruit cakes, including a local man who refused to let me see a photograph of him despite how well we got along. I said it would be a crying shame if we were not attracted to each other when we met. It was indeed a crying shame.
One of my clients once confessed to having profiles on nine different sites! She dated one of her admirers for a year before he told her it wasn’t working out for him. She told me she had contacted him every day since and was never going to give up despite his failure to reply!
I also heard tales of a middle aged woman using her daughter’s photograph as a profile picture and another woman turning up to a date with particularly hairy hands and an Adams apple!
I ended up on two different dating sites and after two weeks of sleep deprivation, ignoring my family, and feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of incompatible men in my life, I decided to delete my profiles and try more conventional methods. I still meet incompatible men, but at least it’s at a slower pace.
So, in conclusion to whether internet dating is good therapy or unhealthy addiction, I would have to say that the jury is still out, but anyone thinking of joining such sites does so at their peril.
On the minus side the sites are breeding grounds for the strange and undesirable; the addictive nature of internet dating can cause hours of wasted time at the computer; and although there are free sites the paid for ones can get costly if subscriptions are not cancelled by telephone in good time.
On the plus side there are many decent and sincere people on internet sites; it is an ideal way to meet people from all over the world; and you get the chance to interrogate your date via email, instant message, webcam, text and phone calls before actually meeting them.
For safety reasons, anyone considering meeting someone off a dating site should ensure that a friend or family member knows where and when they are meeting and arrange to call them after the date is over.
By Helen Skene
Complements Mobile Health and Healing for Suffolk Women
Telephone 01473 743038