Friday, October 15, 2010

Preview of my Training: Caught in the Web: Cybersex, Romance, and Fantasy Addiction

This is a preview on my upcoming training on Caught in the Web: Cybersex, Romance, and Fantasy Addiction

Negative Aspects of Internet Romance Addiction
• Deterioration of personal boundaries
• Seeking multiple and simultaneous romantic partners
• Starting “relationships” with virtual strangers
• Going on a string of dates to find the “trophy”
• Texting, chatting or phone calls that never seem to end
• The need for instant gratification creates “instant dates”
• Premature sexual dialogue/experiences
• Early eroticization of the relationship
• Planning for early sex
• Culminating in cybersex
• Erotic fantasy sexualizes the courtship process
• First encounters culminate in sex
• Dishonesty
• Hiding profiles to avoid recognition of true identity
• Lies and misrepresentations increase desirability
• About dating history or dating patterns
• About intentions
• About age, weight, body type
• About marital, job, career or financial status
• About STD’s

Emotional Consequences
• Pervasive feelings o Negative Aspects of Internet Romance Addiction
• Excessive Spending/Costs
• Dating site memberships
• Cost of dates (drinks, dinners, travel, trips, etc.)
• Travel Costs
• Lifestyle costs (clothing, jewelry, cosmetic surgery, etc.)
• Loss of time
• Living dual lives
• Decreased amounts of sleep
• Chats and telephone calls become consuming
•Loss of Loved Ones
• Family, relationships, marriage, friends, etc
• Loneliness
• Retreating into a make-believe world
• Making low self esteem lower
• Creating anxiety and/or depression
• Risk of harm or violence (i.e., date rape)
• Power and control differential
• Exploitation of personal information (Identity theft)

Love or Romance Addiction

• The euphoria of a new relationship numbs pain (problems go away)
• Obtaining “fix” requires endless hours of searching
• The “fix” is temporary, resulting in a cycle of despair
• New relationships “medicate” the pain of last failed relationship
• The need to feel normal or stop the pain fuels the addiction
• Love addicts need the rush of “new love” or limerence
• Love addicts maintain their fix by:
• “Hooking” partner through seduction, control & manipulation
• Recreating excitement and euphoria
• Through sex (the binding force)
• Through drama or chaos
• Constant searching
• Endless intrigue, flirtations, sexual liaisons & affairs
• Results in negative consequences

Signs of Romance Addiction
• Thinking you are in love despite just meeting the person
• Mistaking sex or romantic intensity for love
• Constantly seeking a romantic partner
• Short, intense, and conflict based relationships
• Pattern of failed relationships
• An inability or difficulty in being alone
• Using sex, seduction and intrigue to "hook" or hold onto a partner
• Using sex or romantic intensity hide or cover (“medicate) problems
• Needing a relationship to feel safe, happy and optimistic
• “Dating” abusers, narcissists, addicts, & emotionally unavailable
• While in a relationship, flirting and/or having an affair
• Pattern of broken promises to stop the pattern of behavior
• Sacrificing time with friends or family to pursue romantic interests
• Avoiding relationships to control the addictiond/or decreases stress.

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