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Ok, so, yes… I’m having a bit of fun about a difficult topic. It’s one of the most frustrating issues for most daters… how do I change the type of person I’m attracting? Continue reading
Posted in Advice for Girls, Advice for Guys, Dating, Finding a Date
Tagged addiction, behavior, belief, change, cheating, dating advice, detox, experience, God, life, love, men, patterns, relationships, the secret, women
She wasn’t clear about the fact that her boss is, in fact, her ex-fiance and they still have “dinner” together every week. You just wanted to check movie times on his computer and up pops a website with pictures of MILFs with hot co-ed daughters. He wasn’t EXACTLY single when you started dating him. He seems confused when you show up wearing actual clothes. You caught her lying about who those text messages were from…
You might be dating an addict.
(This article is aimed mostly at spotting the signs of a sex addict. If you suspect you are one, I’ve linked out to multiple sites with more in depth information about sexual addiction at the bottom of this post.)
But, if everyone does it… who really cares, right? You like porn, he likes porn, you like it together… it doesn’t really matter that he can only find satisfaction while watching, does it? He doesn’t care how many men you’ve slept with, you don’t care that he cheated on his ex… after all, all of that’s behind you now that you’ve found each other. Maybe not so much. The hard thing about addiction is that it drives destructive behaviors until it undermines everything in an addict’s life and if you are dating one… that means you are the drug of choice. Sobriety is always possible, so don’t despair. But it takes a willingness to admit there is a problem in the first place… and identification may be the most difficult step for an addiction that finds so much positive reinforcement from media, culture and online resources.
Aside from the problem of the rapid spread of STDs, sex addiction undermines the trust and bond of any relationship. Even when the addictive behavior is consensual.
If you’d rather avoid the whole issue in the first place, here are some tips for easy sex addict spotting:
- Charm: Does your date know EXACTLY what to say and when to say it? You have the niggling feeling that he or she is a little too good to be true? Typically, addicts have studied the opposite sex to the point of knowing exactly what buttons to push. They have a masters in seduction. Its actually a good sign when a guy says something awkward or a girl gets nervous and says the “wrong thing.” It shows that they aren’t completely polished and still present and in touch with their emotions… nerves and all. (Note: yes, there are really good people out there who just know how to connect. That is a different level than the “grooming” behavior that an addict exhibits.)
- Liars. If you catch them in little mis-truths, you’re going to uncover the better hidden ones later. Addictive behavior is all about deny deny deny and lie lie lie. I’ll take an excerpt from “Boundaries in Dating” on this one… “Where there is deception, there is no relationship.”
- Hiding things from you. If your date/significant other is hiding things from you, its not a good sign. There is privacy and then there is obfuscation. You are able to have a healthy relationship only to the level that you are able to be clear and honest with each other. Don’t write it off if you’ve been exclusively dating for a while and you find out that they still have active profiles on online dating websites.
- The Eyes Say It All: Where is your date looking? At you or the boobs walking by the table? Is she focused on you or flirting with the waiter? Sex addicts typically try to make waiters and waitresses or other people in the near vicinity feel “special” instead of just treating them like a person. It might come across as a charming kindness to staff or other people, but with an addict, its compulsive and often times excessive.
- Image Management: If its VERY important for your date to be seen as a “hero” or “good guy,” you may very well be dealing with an undercover addict. Do they spend time telling you how much of a “good guy” they are or a “sweet girl?” Are they incensed when someone mistakes their kind gesture for something else? A true “nice girl” isn’t going to get her panties in a twist if someone mistakes her kind intent because she’s not trying to keep a stranglehold on her image. She knows herself well enough to know she really is a nice girl and that won’t change by someone mistaking her kindness for something else. Addicts… well, there is a reason they are protesting so loudly.
- Never Alone: Has your date hopped from one relationship to the next? Are they in the dying stages of their last relationship and already setting up a date with you? This one is a HUGE indicator of an addict. Whether its sex, love or relationship addiction, your date is using people to get needs met (emotional, physical, self esteem, etc) instead of just wanting to share a relationship with another human being. Its a good sign if your date has had time alone as an adult. Especially if they really appreciated that single time.
- Sex Talk: When your date starts bringing up sex really quickly and trying to find a way to talk about it before getting to know you as a person, they are more interested in the sex than the connection. If your date says something about their last relationship like, “We dated for 6 months and then the “passion” just died,” its a good sign of someone connected more to sex than their relationship.
- History of Cheating. Yes, I believe people can change, but not unless they admit there is a problem and WANT to change. If you hooked up with this person when they were with someone else… well, zebras don’t change their stripes and you’ve got a sex addict on striped hooves in your corral. They aren’t going to stop because you are the magical person they were waiting for. Sorry to say, but no one person is “special enough” to get an addict to step away from their addiction.
- A willingness to engage in unsafe sex. If your date doesn’t care to protect themselves, they certainly don’t care to protect you!
A good question to ask your date around date 3 or 4 to see if they are in touch with their life and emotions and not just on auto-pilot using sex to escape pain or emotions: “What are the three most difficult things you’ve been through in life?” If they answer complete with feelings, reactions and details… its a good sign! If they minimalize it, can’t think of anything difficult or seem to have no emotional reaction to sharing their tale… you’ve got a waving red flag in front of you.
You might be saying, I’ve never met someone who DIDN’T meet the above signs… are you sure you aren’t just some idealist who thinks people can be better than that? If your gut reaction matches that, its likely that you’ve been unwittingly attracting the addicts and can change something in yourself to get off the sex addict radar. The sex addict’s typical target:
- Extremely codependent. Revolves life around the emotions, opinions and reactions of others and willing to sacrifice personal needs to please someone else’s wants.
- Overtly sexual. This is the classic “sex on heels” person. Terms like “hootchie,” “player,” “cougar,” “MILF,” “flirt” come to mind. Perhaps obviously, these sex pots attract the addicts like bees to honey. Another addictive attraction would be the girls who are playing to fantasy on nights other than Halloween. Wearing plaid mini-skirts and white tops, a purposeful librarian look, all leather, etc… outfits that bring to mind a fantasy type show up on the addict radar like a blinking neon sign.
- Overly friendly and touchy… talking about sexual issues or drawing attention to their “assets” in social conversation. Even if unintentional, the sex addict reads this as a blatant invitation.
- Has been sexually, verbally or physically abused or feels “broken.” Most sex addicts have a hard wired radar for people who haven’t healed from past issues that affect self esteem and overall psychological health.
I’m not saying everyone who is on the prowl is an addict. If you are engaging in sexual escapades or exploring your options, but can stop at any time (and stay stopped), are protecting yourself physically and are connected with how its affecting you emotionally, then its a choice for you to make. Its when another person becomes the drug of choice or your behavior is endangering you or others, that things get tricky.
Some studies show that as many as 1 in 6 struggle with inappropriate and unsafe sexual activity and there are over 15 million identified sex addicts. If you need help:
Ask Men Article
News Week Article
Do It Now
SARR Self Test, SARR page
Posted in Advice for Girls, Advice for Guys, Dating, Finding a Date, Online Dating, Relationship Advice
Tagged addiction, charm, cheating, Dating, dating advice, lies, life, love, pornography, relationships, respect, romance, seduction, sex, sex addiction