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Help! My friends say I’m addicted to online dating

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Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert

Dear Julie,

After my divorce three years ago, one of my single friends suggested I try online dating. I wasn’t sure if it was for me, but now my ego is invested and I’m going on at least five dates a week. When the dates are over, I log back on to see who else I can meet.

While I’m excited to meet so many different people, I never can get to the point of wanting to be with just one guy. I’m not sleeping with anyone, but my friends think I’ve got commitment issues and the thought of taking down my profile makes me anxious.

Then when I see a guy I’ve dated has met someone else and moved on, I feel bad.

Is this normal?

Online Dating Addict

Dear ODA,

Joining an online dating site after a divorce is a great way to rebuild your self-esteem. Sure the ego is being stroked with so many men writing to you and watching your inbox fill up with male suitors. There?s no magic timetable of how long you should play the digital field, but at some point, being a permanent member of an online dating site can be demoralizing.

Decide exactly what you’re looking for and make sure you’re upfront about it both on your profile and during your dates. Let men know that you’re newly single and will be casually dating multiple guys for a while. At some point, you need to decide if you really want to be in a relationship or not. Becoming one who needs to log on for hours a day every day without ever finding a relationship doesn’t mean you’re an online dating addict. It just means you’re enjoying meeting many different types of people online that you wouldn’t have had the chance to meet offline.

If it’s truly your goal to find one special person to share your life with, when you find chemistry and mutual interests with someone, you need to give the guy the chance to be your one and only to see what it’s like to be in a relationship. Yes, that means taking down your profile. If it doesn’t work out, then just reactivate your profile and keep searching.

When you’re ready to go steady, you’ll know it. Until then, enjoy meeting a variety of people. I always say there are 64 colors in the Crayola crayon box. I feel the same way about online dating. It’s not an addiction unless you feel it’s a problem. Don’t let your friends comments influence how you feel about dating after a divorce.

Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.

Julie Spira

Do you have a question for Cyber-Dating Expert Julie Spira? Send your questions here and read other Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert columns for online dating advice.

Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating. She was an early adopter of online dating and creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, sign up for the free Weekly Flirt.

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