Ask the LifeQuake Doctor – Aug 2018
Dear Dr. Toni,
I’m 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’m sixty and my generation were much freer about sex in our college and twenties years, but darn, sixty-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’re friend material first. I’ve been doing this for six months now and am getting discouraged.
My question is this: Am I wrong for wanting to spend three months developing a friendship first? Will I never meet someone 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 Al-Anon meetings if you have codependency issues—many love addicts do. There may be people in this culture who will have more respect for you.
You might also consider 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.
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.
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 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’m 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, I just feel mildly uncomfortable. I would say what bothers me the most is that I’m 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 do not think you are agoraphobic from what you described. It does not sound like your anxiety reaches unmanageable levels. What may be going on is that you are an HSP: a highly sensitive person. HSPs are drained by groups and have to clear their energy upon returning home from being with people.
HSPs are often highly creative and introverted. 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 very active people physically, delete. If they appear shy or introverted, talk to them on the phone or on the aforementioned apps and see if they too are highly sensitive. There are seminars and conferences designed specifically for HSPs, and you may want to 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, and it does not 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.