The newly divorced mom’s guide to online dating.
Yes, you can do this. And no, it’s not as scary as it seems.
OK, I swore that I would never be one of those people that did it. You know, went online to meet men. I meet people, even men, everyday. That’s not a problem. Of course I just wasn’t meeting anyone that I would ever want to date.
And once I separated and was well on my way to a finalized divorce, I realized that the only way I was ever going to meet an eligible man was if he ran out in front of my car and ended up splay across the hood, or I happened to run over his foot with my shopping cart while I was buying cheap wine in those tiny aisles at Trader Joe’s.
Outside of those scenarios I couldn’t imagine how to meet men. In big cities, especially LA, it’s hard to meet new people. People keep to themselves. You’re in your home, in your car on the freeway sitting in traffic, or in your office. LA is a very closed off city. I went to a few bars with other newly single moms and felt so creepy expectantly perched on a bar stool. Ick. I thought that only loser-ish people who ate Beefaroni out of a can and lived in their Mother’s basement were online dating. WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!
Over 40 million American adults have tried online dating. What eventually changed my mind were other recently divorced moms who had met great men online.I figured if they could find the courage to try it, so could I. So I decided to join the millions of divorced people searching for love online.
I was terrified! Here were some of my concerns:
What if my ex sees my online dating profile?
Guess what that means that he’s online too. That never happened to me but I’m sure other divorced moms have had that happen. Just don’t put any ex bashing in your profile, keep everything G or PG so that it can’t be used against you later. Move on!
What if co-workers or neighbors see me online?
Two words: WHO CARES. (If they see you they must be looking too!) I did “run into” a former client online, it wasn’t that uncomfortable. We messaged each other a “hi” and went on our way.
I’ve also found that if you are over 40, this whole online dating thing might make you uncomfortable. People younger than 40 who grew up doing everything online are way more comfortable meeting potential mates online. They don’t have any problems finding dates online.
So, if you are over 40 get over yourself and get with the program!
Here’s what’s good:
You’ll Go New Places.
I went out to dinners, lunches, coffees and concerts with attractive, fun, successful men. They were divorced dads for the most part, who like me, were learning to navigate life as a single parent. I viewed it as an experience to learn more about myself.
You’ll Learn What You Are Really Looking For In A Mate, Not What You Think You Want
This process really allowed me to understand what I wanted in a mate and in a relationship.
I had dates with some really wonderful men, but for one reason or another didn’t seem to “click”. I realized what traits and character that truly mattered to me, in real life instead of abstract ideas of what worked for me. And I did meet an amazing man. And yes, we met online.
So what’s your first step to online dating?
DECIDE THAT YOU ARE GOING TO TRY ONLINE DATING, AND THAT YOU ARE GOING TO BE SUCCESSFUL AT IT.
Just like a job search, a search for a partner takes work. Would you expect to get a job with a resume written in red crayon? No, so don’t expect the man of your dreams to somehow find you if your photos are blurry or unattractive, if your profile is full of grammar mistakes and misspellings. Or if you never even take the time to write anything in your profile beyond “I’ll tell you later”. Read more about writing an eye-catching online profile.
Some people don’t post pictures, or post blurry ugly photos and wonder why no one contacts them.
Your most important decision is to really, truly do it wholeheartedly. Put the time into getting nice photos. Have a friend help you write your profile.
Do it well or don’t do it at all.
If you want to meet someone of quality online, it will take time and effort. It won’t be easy but it will be worth it.
BE PATIENT. UNDERSTAND THAT IT MIGHT TAKE A WHILE TO MEET A PERSON YOU ARE INTERESTED IN.
This is the most important step. It may take a while to meet someone you’re interested in. Many people, half heartedly try online dating. They’ll go on for a few days, then disappear expecting instant results.
Be prepared. You’ll have to wade through people that you are not interested in, some crazies and some men who seem like total jerks. If you are a woman, be prepared for some creeps contacting you. Just know it’s going to happen and it doesn’t mean that you should close your account and go back to sitting on your couch alone.
DECIDE HOW YOU’LL RESPOND TO MEN YOU ARE NOT INTERESTED IN.
This is going to happen so save yourself some time and decide what response feels right to you.
a) Either respond with “Thank you for contacting me, but I don’t think we are a match. Good luck in your search.”
b) Or don’t respond at all.
I tried both ways, and decided I was more comfortable with responding with a nice “no, thank you.” It felt right to me and made me feel better about putting good karma into the world.
If you are making the jump into online dating, congratulations. You can be successful at this!