As a single adult in today’s “social media” world, it can be very tricky to navigate through the dating scene and be honest, humble and accountable. Here are a few questions we hear all the time, with suggestions based on our experience.
What do I need to know about dating and pursuing marriage in a porn saturated world?
As a single adult looking for companionship in a porn saturated world, you are living a different life than your parents, grandparents, or anyone who has walked the face of the earth to this point. As you know the internet has changed the world for good and for ill. Even dating has changed. It has been said that there is no such thing as a “blind date” thanks to Facebook, texting, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and all other forms of communication. You know things are different, but that doesn’t mean you know how to date in a world where pornography is so rampant. Here are a few tips and hints to help you on your journey.
Why should I avoid pornography?
Speaking with a group of pornography and sexual addicts, we once asked “If someone could have said something that would make the difference between you getting into pornography or not what would have it been?” Unanimously they said, “that it would damage my ability to make friends, get into healthy relationships with girls, and my relationship with my wife.”
It is essential for you to know that pornography use and its associated behaviors damages our ability to develop relationships. Many times people think that they can’t make friends and so they use pornography to make them feel better, but what they don’t realize is that the pornography hinders the part of their brain that allows them to connect to other people.
If there is any reason to avoid pornography and other addictive forming behaviors, it should be that pornography and addictive forming behaviors hinder and hamper relationships. Seek fightthenewdrug.org for more information on the addictive nature of pornography.
Should I date or marry someone with a pornography addiction?
We get this question frequently. Our question in response, is, “Is this person regularly working on their recovery from an addiction? Are they honest about their struggles?” If so, then proceed with caution. If not, this is a red flag for the relationship.
Do not marry someone with a previous pornography addiction who has not worked recovery for an extended period of time by attending 12-step and therapy, meeting with a spiritual leader, and becoming educated about sexual addiction. We have heard it said that at least a year of sobriety is a good time benchmark before marriage.
How do I ask “the” question?
Many single adults wonder, “How do I ask whether my dating partner uses pornography and when?”
The best way we’ve found of doing this is to ask, “When was the last time you viewed pornography?” All of us, if being honest, would agree that we’ve seen pornography a time or two, or more in our lives. Someone who is dishonest will say “never.” This should be a red flag.
Someone who is struggling with an addiction may come out and be honest about their struggles. If they are in recovery, they will often tell you before you have to ask. If your partner does have a problem with pornography, you will want to know what specifically they are doing to recover. They will need to be engaging in therapy, 12-step, education, and honest work with a spiritual leader.
In our experience, it is good to ask someone after you have been dating exclusively for a time and before you are engaged.
When do I tell my dating partner about my addiction?
In our experience telling someone after you have been dating exclusively for quite some time and before you get engaged is the best time.
What if I already have a problem with pornography or other compulsive sexual behaviors?
It is essential that you get into recovery in order to build and develop healthy relationships. If you are struggling with a pornography addiction please see the section “His Recovery” or “Her Recovery.”