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Match Singles in America Study Says Put Your Phone Away

Online Dating Anxiety Disorder

Every year, our friends at Match conduct an in-depth survey of singles to determine their habits in a variety of topics.

In the 7th annual Singles in America study, released for Valentine’s, the dating site surveyed 5000 singles and showed that many suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) on social media, and that some are addicted to the process that I call Online Dating Anxiety Disorder, or ODAD.

On the Match blog, they posted their findings and found that 15% of singles say they feel addicted to the process of looking for a date. It gets worse for millennials, where they are 125% more likely to feel addicted to dating, than older generations.

Singles in America - ODAD

RELATED: Online Dating Anxiety Disorder: Is it Worse During the Holidays?

What’s interesting to note, is that men suffer more from online dating addiction, with 97% admitted to feeling addicted to finding a date, as compared to 54% of women who are feeling burned out while looking for love.

What is Online Dating Disorder, and Do You Have it?

Online dating anxiety disorder, online dating addition disorder, or even online dating fatigue. I call it ODAD and it happens to singles who swipe all day long on mobile apps and to those with the shopping cart mentality who feel there’s another pretty face around the corner. When this happens, I encourage singles to take a break, take a walk, go to the movies, and leave your mobile phone at home.

RELATED: Holiday Dating Online: Does it Make You Anxious?

If this feels like a dating doomsday story, that’s not exactly the case. The good news is over half (53%) of singles have created a dating profile and 40% of singles actually met someone they found online, as compared to 25% of singles surveyed who said they met someone from a friend.

So if you’re feeling burned out on dating and tired of swiping, my best advice to you is to take a mini break. Spend time with your friends, read a good book, have a girls’ or guys’ night out and then jump back on the digital dating saddle and log on for love.

Leave Your Mobile Phone OFF the Table During a Date

Single in America Match Phones
Source: SinglesinAmerica.com

Remember, your mobile phone is really for emergencies if you’re on a date, or for confirming a date with someone, other than the person you’re sitting across from. Keep that phone in your purse and pocket and focus on getting to know your date. The Match survey found that 75% of singles are turned off if you answer your phone on a date and 66% aren’t keen on you texting during a date.

While this seems to make common sense, one of the biggest complaints I get from clients as a dating coach, is that their date was texting and tweeting during the date. Don’t do this. Put your phone away!

If you happen to love your meal and can’t resist taking a photo for your instagram account, ask permission from your date to do so, instead of just snapping away. Let your date know you’re a foodie and love the meal in front of you. This way he or she will be pleased on the selection of the date and won’t feel like they are lower on the dating totem pole than your not-so-smart phone.

For more on the survey visit SinglesinAmerica.com.

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s the CEO of Cyber-Dating Expert and has been coaching singles on finding love online with her Irresistible Profiles programs for over 20 years. Julie’s the recent winner of the 2017 iDate Awards for Best Dating Coach and is the author of the bestseller The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online and ranks as the most influential person in social media in “dating” and “online dating.”

FOLLOW @JulieSpira on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. SIGN UP for the Free Weekly Flirt newsletter for dating advice.

Holiday Dating Online: Does It Make You Anxious?

ODADIt happens to the best of us. You go home for Thanksgiving or Christmas to see friends and family, only to be questioned about your relationship status. From “Are you seeing anyone special?” to “How’s your love life?” These are common questions that cause many singles to pull the covers over their heads. Others are being smart about it. They’re logging on for love to find someone to keep them warm during the holidays, or perhaps even attend a holiday party with.

Still, I know how tough it is at the holidays being single. I’ve been there. I’ve watched the posts from others on Facebook who are shared their coupledom with everyone, from kissing under the mistletoe to the eight gifts on Hanukkah, which just magnifies how tough it is being single at the holidays.

Here’s a survival guide to help you through the holidays, online and IRL.

Anxiety over your relationship status during the holidays is common. Add a digital element to it of being connected via email, Facebook, or Twitter and it’s magnified big time. Online Dating Anxiety Disorder (ODAD) is overwhelming. While it isn’t a clinical condition, most singles are now members of more than one dating site. Those who suffer from ODAD know that horrible feeling they get when they push the send button too fast to reply to his or her email and then wait by their computer or mobile phone for the reply to come in. When you have ODAD, you’re a member of so many sites, you can’t remember where you met the date you’re about to have dinner with. Text messages become a part of your dating regime and if the time in between the texts is over four hours, you start to feel anxious and catastrophize.

It can be confusing to hear someone say, “It’s Doug from PlentyOfFish, um, no I mean Match; actually, it was eHarmony right?” This is not how you viewed your first conversation with your soul mate would be, right?

When you suffer from online dating anxiety disorder, you typically log on after a great date to see who else has written to you instead of going to sleep with a smile on your face from a fabulous date. It’s a condition that many suffer from and don’t know how to get out of the downward spiral, other than to unplug and deactivate for a day or two.

If you’ve recently ended a relationship with someone you’ve met online, it’s more likely than not that you’ll be taking a peek at his or her profile to see their online activity. It’s natural to be curious, but it’s a habit that I urge you to break.

It’s also breakup season

Since the famous Facebook breakup chart was released a few years ago, the trend of breaking up during holiday season became a known fact. Digital snooping is also on the rise, especially during the holidays. It brings out the worst in us. At Plenty of Fish, they surveyed over 9000 of their users between the ages of 20 -40 to find out what their holiday dating habits were. POF found that 82% of the women were actually checking the Facebook statuses of guys they were dating to see what they were doing when they weren’t around. Their survey also found that 26% of singles slept with an ex over the holidays, because they just didn’t want to be alone and single.

A few years ago, I wrote a post called, Recycling an Ex at the Holidays about my own personal experience of being invited to my former Match.com boyfriend’s holiday party after having had no contact for six months. While I did attend his company party with him, I made sure there were ground rules put in place; specifically, that we weren’t getting back together and were going as friends.

While recycling an ex over the holidays is common, the feelings after the holiday parties have worn off will leave you in a worse place emotionally than if you put your energies into spending time with friends or trying to cultivate a new relationship.

It’s Peak Season for Online Daters

The good news is that more singles are signing up for dating sites between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. Match reports they see a jump of about 25-30% in new members signing up between Christmas and Valentine’s Day and at Cyber-Dating Expert, it’s the busiest holiday season ever with new singles joining online dating sites and brand new dating profiles being created.

It’s peak season in the Internet dating business, which typically coincides with holiday breakup season. It’s the perfect time to start filling your date card, but how do you coordinate holiday dating without feeling overwhelmed and a bit anxious? My biggest recommendation is to look at online dating and flirting on Facebook as ways to expand your social circle. Think of it as meeting new friends at the holidays and enjoying the company of someone you like, not necessarily someone you’re about to fall in love with.

Online Love is a year-round event

People meet online and fall in love all year long. I know a couple that met online on Christmas Eve on Facebook who are now engaged. I know of another couple that met online on eHarmony on Valentine’s Day who are now happily married. Just yesterday I learned of a couple fell in love at first sight that met on Match. She hadn’t had a serious relationship in over 10 years and now they’re smitten. Yes online dating is a numbers game. You’ll be juggling dates, canceling dates, rescheduling dates, it’s exhausting, but it can be so very rewarding as it has been for millions of others.

Stop Stalking Your Ex

I’m here to tell you that being single on the holidays is fine. We get over it. Stalking an ex online or on Facebook isn’t fine. You’ll feel anxious if you see him or her logging on looking for your replacement. You’ll feel anxious if you don’t see him or her logging on assuming you’ve been replaced. Your heart will fall to the floor when they delete their profile, assuming they’ve ridden off into the sunset with someone else. You’ll be burning up the phone lines if you see a Facebook relationship status change or a photo posted with someone else.

You really don’t know what’s going on in your ex’s mind and it doesn’t matter. All you can control is how you feel about it and what you?d like to do to add more positive people in your life. He or she is an ex for a reason, so please knock them off their pedestal.

Fall in love with you

At the holidays, please take a deep breath; log on to fill your date card if and when it feels good to you, not because you’re feeling lonely. If you need to take a break from dating, that’s fine. There are no rules, other than to fall in love with yourself first. It’s the best place to be to start any new relationship.

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

Julie Spira is an online dating expert and was a very early adopter of Internet dating. She’s the CEO of CyberDatingExpert.com, author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online, and creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For online dating advice FOLLOW @JulieSpira on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.

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