Chat rooms, dating sites etc.

Discussion in 'Pornography Addiction' started by occams_razor, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. occams_razor

    occams_razor Active Member

    A significant part of my addiction was using chat rooms. Sometimes they'd be normal chat rooms, sometimes adult ones. I'd sometimes fantasise about meeting up with people from the chat rooms. I even suggested meetups before but I or the other person wouldn't go through with it in the end.

    I wasn't a big dating site user, but every time I've tried them something about me tends to idealise the women on there. It's like they're somehow all amazing just because they're on the website. I remember once a girl who I've talked to a few times in my life gave me a "like" on one of these sites and it made me incredibly excited. Some things she had written on her profile put me off contacting her but it remained pretty exciting. Shortly afterwards I happened to see her out in public and I didn't want anything to do with her. There was no excitement whatsoever for various reasons I won't go into.

    I kind of suspect that for women it's often the opposite. Men on the sites seem a lot less appealing than they would in real life! So both genders have a distorted view. That's my opinion anyway.

    I'd advise not using any kind of chat room if they're a problem for you in any way. When I first tried chat rooms I hated them. Years later I got into them more and more. Often I'd use them on Sundays after being out with "friends" on Saturday night. To this day Sundays can be tricky for me when it comes to the addiction.

    I've known for a long time that I shouldn't use chat rooms or dating sites. I'm generally good at avoiding dating sites now, but I still struggle with chat rooms occasionally. The main thing is not to binge, but I'm hoping to 100 per cent eliminate online chat.
  2. occams_razor

    occams_razor Active Member

    Maybe I'll use this thread to talk about things which make me vulnerable to relapse. Of course chat rooms alone can be enough to constitute a relapse or reset. That's how I should think of them.

    Now, something which might seem strange to some. During my current Monday to Friday routine, I don't see that many women and basically it's not too hard to avoid being triggered by actual women.

    Saturdays are considerably trickier however. But usually Sundays are the problem. I think Sunday is the day when most resets happen. This could be true for a lot of people here, but with me it's probably more so because of what I've said.

    I'll probably elaborate more on this soon.
  3. doneatlast

    doneatlast Active Member

    I'm seeing a lot of similarities to my reboot.

    Dating sites were a hang up for me. I used them with the best of intentions, but they were loaded with triggers. The clicking/browsing was too much like porn, even if I wasn't looking for lewd pictures. The emotional roller coaster of messaging people and seeing if anything will work out would cause many emotional triggers, and that constant "keep looking, something else will pop up if you keep looking" mentality was just too porn-like. I got off of all dating websites for other reasons, but it worked out that it helped my reboot a lot. Occasionally, now that I'm going on two years porn free, I'll check to see what the dating sites look like, and I don't think I've missed anything. I wouldn't have gained a dang thing by staying on any of them.

    I agree on the idealization. There are women I obsessed over on dating sites that I wouldn't have given a second thought to if I met them in person, and I've been quite enamored with women I've met in real life that I would've overlooked if they had an online dating profile. Frankly, I think dating/courtship/whatever you want to call it is fundamentally broken these days, but that's another matter.

    My work week was relatively easy, too. In fact, for several months I had a pattern of quitting during the week and relapsing on the weekends. Sundays were particularly hard. I'd go out on Sunday mornings to mass, and seeing all of the happy families while I was alone was a big trigger of my loneliness. I'd go home from that, and with little else to do all afternoon, it was just too much. But, my perspective is that I was rebooting during that time, because I was at least saying "no" five or six days a week, and that little bit would help me reboot enough to gather strength to occasionally get through a weekend, and ultimately I got through more weekends than not and quit entirely. Sometimes I wonder if counters would be better if it was "times I could have PMO'ed, but didn't" vs "times I PMO'ed" and trying to keep the ratio down.
    occams_razor likes this.
  4. occams_razor

    occams_razor Active Member

    Yeah it seems like dating sites can be extremely similar to porn addiction, with the added potential excitement of actually meeting someone. Maybe with dating sites there's a tendency to "edge" on that potential excitement. Of course it's much easier, for me at least, to just go out to a bar or something and meet someone that way, but that's being logical about it! I'm not looking for a relationship or anything at the moment anyway.

    That's interesting. For me the triggering tends to happen on Saturday when I'm out doing bits and pieces, getting shopping in and so on. I don't tend to relapse on Saturday because I'm quite busy, but on Sunday I have much less to do and I've got those memories of being triggered the previous day.

    Sundays can be stressful for me if I decide to use the free time to try and make important decisions and things like that. So of course the stress can be an issue.

    Yeah, overall it probably makes it easier if you have this situation where most days of the week aren't triggering, but the one or two other days are very triggering. Healing is accelerated on those non-triggering days. We just need to deal with the "shock" of the triggering days.

    For other guys, every day is pretty triggering. But there's no "shock" because every day is similar in terms of triggers.

    I often use a ratio method in the following way. "I've reset 4 times in the past 100 days", for example. This can also be broken down, "4 in 100" can be thought of as "1 in 25".

    Every day counting system has its pros and cons I suppose.
  5. doneatlast

    doneatlast Active Member

    I still don't really know what to think about dating sites. I want to think they serve a good purpose in this day and age, but I really don't know. 10-15 years ago there was a real charm to them because it forced people to write to each other for a time, find things to say, find things in common, pictures were low-res and the term "selfie" didn't exist yet, but the internet has caught up and the instant judgement phenomenon has hit HARD. Heck, most sites are going to a Tinder style set up where you don't even read anything about the person, you just swipe left or right based on the picture.

    Real life dating is awful, too. People are losing social skills by the day - not just in dating, but in everything. Ask anyone who runs a cash register or waits tables and they'll tell you how awful it has become. I've had many times when I'll just greet a nice woman around my age with a polite smile, and get a complete "stranger danger" reaction whilst she stares at her phone. Some of this is because lots of people are super quick to look for hook ups, that intentions get misread all the time, but really we've all just gotten really bad at interacting with each other. If I watch older generations, baby boomers and older, when they are in public I'll see a lot more skills with making conversation with strangers, keeping conversations going without conflicts, and just following basic societal protocols. Not that there aren't jerks in older generations, but there definitely are some social skills there that don't exist as you move into the internet generations.

    I've tried dating women who don't want to talk on the phone, don't have the attention span to write an email, don't like getting together in person, and find texting okay only if it is short, sporadic texts here and there. How is a relationship supposed to form, again...? I really regret those relationships, because they could've been so much more, but they weren't. Dating sites, especially ones in the Tinder model, feel like the ultimate cop-out for not wanting to put in any effort or personal risk. We then get a society full of empty, distant relationships, but lots of hook ups, and even more lonely people with porn addictions. It really doesn't seem to be working.

    I don't say any of this to be a downer, or even because misery loves company, but I think it is helpful to recognize a real world problem instead of just blaming ourselves.

    Also, I like your analogy of "edging" on the excitement of potentially meeting someone from a dating site. There is a lot to that. Being drawn in emotionally kinda masks the porn-like aspects, but that might make it even worse.
    occams_razor likes this.
  6. Machiavelli

    Machiavelli New Member

    The "edging" analogy is certainly a good one. I feel that's the response the creator's are wanting to achieve so the individual purchases a subscription.
    Definitely agree with the lack of social skills today relative to previous generations. Skills need practice, and evidently we are suffering from a lack of it. Personally, I think this statement applies to myself and is something that I'm wanting to improve. To combat, I thought maybe a dating site could be the answer. They are definitely useful but most likely you'll need to be disciplined in terms of how we use them.
    What other ways are there to improve social skills? To "doneatlast" could you go into a bit more your dating past? As in how did you meet and why you think things didn't work out as it sounds you've met with different types of women.
    doneatlast likes this.
  7. doneatlast

    doneatlast Active Member

    Oh, I don't think I have much advice to give. I've met some via dating sites, specialty sites according to religious affiliation or hobbies can be good if they're populated well enough, especially if that is a absolute must-have for you. The experience I have is really just because I'm 36 and been in search with intention to marry for my whole adult life. Is there something in particular you're hoping to know about? Most of my dating ventures have been short lived, and fell apart with bad communication or otherwise.

    The one I mentioned earlier... she clearly was attracted and was personally exploring the idea of deepening a relationship, but never really shared anything with me or did anything to leave us open to the possibility. Despite her being a very extroverted person, it all remained close to her vest. The one before her I met via a dating site and she had a bit of a "freak out" moment when I started talking about summer plans (she is a teacher and was going to be traveling over the summer) and I was hoping to know when she'd be gone, so I'd know in advance not to expect to see her. It all spoke too much of the "next step" and she just shut down. That one made me sad because I know she wanted to develop a relationship as much as I did, but a simple conversation where we sit down and talked about our future stressed her out big time. Frankly, I think she was on a dating site because she really wanted a relationship but had no idea how to make it happen. She also is normally quite extroverted, so it was surprising in her case as well.

    There have been women I've met on dating sites that I became good friends with, but dating didn't work out for one reason or another (usually distances - long stories involved there). Most/all of them have ended up marrying guys they met offline after years on those websites. I've had other situations where I found out after getting to know a person for a bit that they have anxiety issues and never leave the house (hence being online all the time). Many never respond, and I sometimes wonder if they like being on there just to see how many clicks/likes/messages they can get rather than to meet someone. Many would immediately disregard on the basis of something like income, education level, or key interests. It is okay to have some criteria, but sometimes life can surprise you in good ways, and it is good to be open to that, I think.

    As I said, the jury is out for me. I think if everyone approached dating sites with the right mindset, they are a fantastic tool. And, you don't need to find a million good women on there... just one. I just really don't like the bad habits that arise from it.
    Machiavelli likes this.
  8. Machiavelli

    Machiavelli New Member

    I've read on this forum about rewiring with a partner, which can aid recovery, but to get there I feel you need a certain baseline level of confidence and social skill. I think I'm lacking here and it's holding me back slightly. I don't have any real experience with women ( early 20's) and with regards to daily life,don't see many at work. My attitude before was quite relaxed and somewhat ignorant thinking everything will be alright, but as time passes by, I feel as if I'm stuck in a cycle. Maybe slip bc of a certain trigger/environment, abstain for a long period but then do the same. Another issue is that I think I have PIED, but have never been with a women, I'm a little but in limbo here. Have you suffered with this?
  9. occams_razor

    occams_razor Active Member

    Are you sometimes confident socially? Perhaps when talking to another guy your age, or someone older, or in certain groups or situations?

    I think it's usually the case that we have the social skills we need, it's just that something gets in the way sometimes. What that "something" is can vary, a lot. Often it's just an annoying "inner critic".

    Did you ever try going to one of those "meetups" posted online? They can be a good way to get chatting to people.
  10. occams_razor

    occams_razor Active Member

    When abstaining do you completely avoid porn sites, or do you "peek" or "edge" sometimes? Do you do your best to avoid P-subs and fantasising, particularly about porn?

    I like to differentiate between "high-quality" and "low-quality" streaks. The higher the quality, the quicker the recovery, including recovery from PIED. Better to do a high-quality ten days than a low-quality thirty days in my opinion.

    Another huge factor is bingeing. You really do not want to abstain for a while, then binge for a while, then abstain for a while and so on. That's not good at all. But if you abstain, then relapse, then quickly get back on track with recovery, that's good.

    Never "test" your erection, because you're probably just rationalising acting out! If you're getting occasional spontaneous erections that's a good sign.
  11. Machiavelli

    Machiavelli New Member

    At work I'm not bad, not many people my age. Yes certainly agree with the inner critic and I'm starting trying to ignore it/ combat it by improving my appearance. I've noticed that Mon-Fri, I'm in a routine, but on the weekends I certainly am weaker. Whether that be over indulging in food, Internet,TV or fantasy just wanting that high.
    No, I've not used meetups, have you used them?
    I completely avoid P sites. I try to shut down flashbacks and dreams immediately, however am guilty of testing an erection. I think maybe bc it's hard to measure a recivery unless you're with a partner I feel. Thank you both for responding.
  12. doneatlast

    doneatlast Active Member

    On rewiring with a partner, my observation on the boards has been that it is easier to rewire on your own, especially if your partners rotate and aren't a very long term situation, such as marriage. My guess is that when porn forms how we think of sex, when we approach sex our brain tries to turn it into porn, and we can't separate real arousal from what seems like porn until we've rebooted a bit. I think of an unfortunate young man who posted a little while ago talking about how he had to "finish with his hand" each time he was with a woman. That meant that his brain only understood the sexual situation insofar as it resembled porn, but really preferred porn and his hand. If a relationship presents itself, don't say "no" because you're rebooting of course, and if you want to seek it out then by all means seek it out, but if it doesn't happen, then consider it a blessing for your reboot in its own way.

    Men can be intimidated and made strange by women, and I think porn addictions make this worse. Many report having better skills with women when rebooting, and I'm guessing that there is a weird strangeness that sort of melts away. I find taking interest in them as a person, conversation about benign things, making eye contact, saying their names, being sure to smile, and all of those things helps to alleviate the "stranger danger" and defensiveness, and you can at least have good interactions which will boost your confidence.
  13. Machiavelli

    Machiavelli New Member

    Thank you, I will keep that in mind.
  14. occams_razor

    occams_razor Active Member

    Yeah I went to several meetups, but not recently. They're good for socialising because everyone goes to them to talk to other people. Well, and for whatever the meetup is about, although the meetup is often mainly about socialising anyway. But basically you're surrounded by people who are looking to chat to other people. It would be difficult to avoid socialising.

    Sounds like you're doing high-quality streaks. In my case, "testing my erection" is basically a rationalisation, in other words it's my addicted mind trying to get me to relapse.

    Instead of deliberately testing your erection, you could just patiently wait and see if you get a spontaneous erection. Perhaps "morning wood" or whatever. But don't expect this to happen every day or anything. Or maybe a girl looks at you and you get a slight stirring down there.

    Another problem with testing your erection by hand, P-sub or P is that the goal is to get an erection with a woman, not your hand or some pixels on a screen! Guys with bad PIED can still get erect to P, so it's not a good test at all.

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