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5 Tips For Dating During Your Reboot

At some point during the reboot process, single brothers in the Porn Reboot program are going to begin dating.

Some methods for overcoming porn addiction have you holding your seed and abstaining from intimacy for long periods. I disagree with that, though. I believe that having an outlet for your romantic and intimate needs is a very normal, healthy progression. 

It’s not good for you to hold yourself back from intimacy or connection with the women around you. That’s a one-way ticket to sexual repression which is another serious problem. Learning to date in a healthy way during your reboot is a vital part of the process. You need to begin working on building relationships with women in a positive way.

Now if you’re a single man who’s been focused strictly on his reboot for months, getting into the dating game probably makes you feel a bit nervous. Dating in today’s world does come with its challenges and you might find yourself in a tough situation. If you’re early in your reboot, you might have no idea how to have a normal conversation with the opposite sex.

Don’t worry, no matter how extreme your out-of-control behavior is, you’re never too far gone. You can rebuild an amazing and active sex and dating life regardless of how far your behavior progressed. It will take some work but that’s what the Porn Addiction Counseling – Reboot system is here to do. So, how can you get back to dating during your reboot?

1. Figure out whether you’re ready to date

In my experience, I recommend that a man has his behavior under control for at least 6 to 12 months before beginning to date. During that time you should be actively working on bettering yourself, not just using willpower to keep your behavior at bay

You should have different areas of your reboot capital built up, should be aware of your triggers, and should have strong boundaries in place. These are things that take a few months to set up, not a few weeks. If these things aren’t in place, you aren’t ready to date.

2. Put together a dating plan

Once you decide that you’re ready to date, you should approach dating like you do other major life changes during your reboot: with a plan. Of course, different men’s plans will vary according to their lifestyle and what they want. But having a plan in place for your particular situation, lifestyle, and wants will help you out.

Where will you find your potential dates? How often should you see them before having sex? What will you do to reflect on your dates and determine whether this person is someone you actually want to continue seeing? And who will be your accountability partner or partners during the dating process?

3. Date without expectations

Building up expectations for your dates puts you on the fast track to disappointment and letdown. That’s not to say every date you go on will be miserable, but it’s also a reminder that not every date will be something you’re interested in. Keeping a hold of your emotional balance is critical and dating without expectations is an important way to do that.

Take time to get to know the women you’re dating. Having sex with women you aren’t in a committed relationship with will always put your reboot at risk. Slow things down and take the weeks or months needed to determine whether this woman is someone you’re actually interested in.

4. The dating process is not about sex, nor strictly about finding a partner

I know this might sound counterintuitive but trust me on this one. Early in your reboot, the main point of dating is to go out and literally practice meeting people. If you’ve struggled with porn addiction and compulsive sexual behavior for years, you’re going to need that practice.

Go out and have a good time with some different women. Observe how you react emotionally during the process. Be honest with yourself when reflecting on the experience after you get home. You might even find out that you’re not quite ready for dating yet. You’re simply on a fact-finding mission at this point.

5. Have some standards

In the past, you probably would have slept with anyone who gave you the time of day. You weren’t very concerned about the types of women you were with, you only cared about whether you could score at the end of the night. Now that you’re rebooting, though, it’s a different story.

Today you need to have standards, brother. Once you drop your focus on sex, you begin to notice how uninteresting many of the women you saw before were. You’re much less interested in interacting with toxic women. You can begin to determine how you’d like to be treated and find a woman who meets those needs. 

Get Some Support Along the Way

One of the most important things to keep in mind is you shouldn’t head into dating alone. Trying to manage your dating life during your reboot without any support is a disaster waiting to happen. Get yourself in the middle of a group of men, like we have in the Porn Reboot Facebook group, who know exactly what you’re going through. 

The more you surround yourself with support, the better your experience will be. You’ll have men who you can talk to when you’re having a difficult time with dating or you feel like you’re at risk of slipping. Dating during your reboot doesn’t have to be an impossible feat, brother. It’s a natural part of life and you can do it with the right support and approach!

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5 Stages of Change in Your Reboot

Change doesn’t happen overnight.

You don’t decide to quit using porn or acting out on your compulsive behavior and then stop completely the next day. Most of the time it takes a while for you to recognize that there’s a serious problem in the first place. The recovery process is just that: a process.

The five stages of change (sometimes called the five stages of recovery) describe the process of changing a compulsive behavior. You’re probably familiar with it by now if you’ve spent time in any recovery circles or read much on the topic. It’s a helpful outline for understanding how change happens when you struggle with compulsive behavior or addiction. These stages are:

  • Precontemplation
  • Contemplation
  • Planning
  • Action
  • Maintenance

Although quite a few men are aware of the five stages of recovery already, I’ve also noticed that plenty have yet to hear of them. I want to give you a quick outline of each stage to help you determine where you’re at in your process.


Precontemplation is the initial stage where you don’t recognize that you have a problem. Your world hasn’t caught on fire yet. Porn Addiction Effect hasn’t had a significant impact on your life yet. You might feel some residual discomfort or experience a few consequences but it hasn’t gotten out of control. 

Maybe you’re making justifications for your actions. You truly believe you could stop if you wanted to. If your partner confronts you about your porn use, you’re convinced that they’re overreacting and making a big deal out of nothing. All of your buddies watch porn and jerk off, what’s wrong with you doing it, too?

But the difference between you and your buddies is that your behavior is compulsive. You’re not simply watching porn, you’re using it as an unhealthy coping mechanism. Your porn use and compulsive behavior have been getting progressively worse over time. The problem is actively escalating but you still haven’t noticed that there’s an issue.


Contemplation is the stage where you start to experience and recognize some of the negative effects porn has on your life. Sometimes it’s the amount of time you spend watching it or how distracted you feel when you aren’t. Perhaps it started affecting your sex life. Maybe you notice that you can’t have sex without watching porn first, or you fantasize about scenes during intercourse. 

The contemplation stage is when you begin thinking this might be a real problem. The cons start to outweigh the pros. You start thinking about making some changes. You might consider trying to masturbate or watch porn in moderation. For example, instead of jerking off every day, you might cut it back to once a week. 

Once you try cutting back, though, is when you realize how trapped you are. You may be able to stay off of it for a few days or weeks or months, but you inevitably find yourself back where you started. Maybe you find yourself in an even worse situation than before. So you’re back to the idea that it might be time to do something about this problem.


Once you’re ready to commit to making some changes, you’ve reached the planning stage. It doesn’t mean you’ve fully committed yet but you’re starting to look for solutions. You’re searching online for resources, watching videos, listening to podcasts, and reading blog posts like this one.

But the planning stage is the stage where the distinction between two types of men becomes clear: Type A and Type B. I’ve talked about the differences between Type A and Type B men before. One type will move through the planning phase and into the next phase. One will get stuck in the planning phase and spin his wheels endlessly.

Type B men are ready to make changes. They do a ton of research but aren’t ready to do anything about it. These men consume tons of content online but never implement it in their lives. They might even reach out and email us about their problem, but they never follow through on their request.

Type A men are also ready to make changes. They do the same sort of research that Type B men do but they decide on a plan of action. These men don’t just read, watch, and listen to things online; they take the content they consume and determine how they’re going to apply it to their lives. Then they move into the next stage of change.


If you’re reading this blog post right now, you’re most likely in the action stage. Men in the action stage have identified that there’s a problem, researched how to address it, outlined a plan of action, and are now in the process of following through on their plan.

A ton of work occurs during the action stage. This is the time when you need to establish your routine and commit to it. At some point, the initial alarm and fear that led you to seek a solution will wear off. The action stage is when you build your new behaviors into lasting habits so you can persist through these lulls in motivation.

The action stage can take quite a while. You begin to make different choices than you would have before. Sure, you might experience a slip or two during the action phase but you continue moving forward. But you use these slips to understand your triggers, learn to manage your urges, and build up new coping skills. Over time, these slowly become your new way of doing things.


When your routine and habits are set in place, you’ve reached the maintenance stage. This stage is exactly what it sounds like: you continue maintaining the progress that you’ve built from the beginning. 

Your self-image begins to change during the maintenance stage as you recognize how far you’ve come. You’ve built up many areas of your reboot capital, from your spiritual life to your social life, your finances to your health. The maintenance stage is when you finally begin to feel like you’re on the right track, that you’ve overcome your compulsive behavior.

And you will, brother. You’ll no longer be the man you used to be. By the time you reach the maintenance stage, you’ve built an entirely different life than you had before, one that’s worth living. So long as you continue taking action and moving through the five stages of change, a life free from pornography can be your reality, too.

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