RETURNING TO DATING: HOW TO USE TECHNOLOGY IN A HEALTHY WAY
Technology is almost unavoidable in today’s world. Nearly everyone has a cell phone and computer, and both devices — along with many others — are used for every day activities such as working, shopping and entertainment. As a recovering sexual addict, one of the challenges you will have is learning to use technology in a healthy way.
As you return to dating and searching for healthful relationships, technology may play a large role. For those in recovery who are looking for safe relationships, technology is often encouraged as part of the recovery process.
It is always smart to talk with your therapist before proceeding. However, after you have laid out a dating plan, you may try to incorporate technology into your dating life through apps or websites that help you meet people.
Keep in mind that there are people using dating technology that may not have the best intentions, such as sexual predators or financial scammers. Safety should always come first.
Tips for staying safe while dating using technology:
- Trust your gut — If your instincts are giving you warning signals, listen. Under no circumstances are you ever obligated to complete a date or conversation. If you feel uncomfortable, leave the situation immediately.
- Meet in public or with a buddy — There is safety in numbers. Always plan to arrive and leave on your own when meeting someone from online for the first time, and either bring a friend or let someone know where you’ll be and when you expect to be finished with the date. Then, check in with that person regularly during and following the date.
- Pay your own way — You own nothing to someone you’ve met online. If someone wants gifts or money, this is a warning sign, so walk away.
If you feel you’re in an unsafe situation, or if you think your emotions might override your instincts, consult with a sponsor, friend in recover or your therapist as soon as possible.
Are you returning to dating using technology while in recovery? What does your dating plan entail? What other tips would you recommend to someone dating using technology?