Getting Back Out There. Online Dating Do’s and Don’ts

Getting back into the dating scene after a divorce is a process. You may take some time to learn to be on your own again, or you may just not have the time now to be a single parent. Some people don’t wait and jump right back into the game. The problem is that the game has changed pretty significantly over the last few years. If you were married for any length of time and are now dating for the first time in a long time, then things are going to seem really strange.

As with everything else in the world now, dating has gone online. While there had been online dating sites for a long time, it wasn’t something everyone did. Well, welcome to the future of dating. Fire up your cell phone, download one or several of any number of apps, set up your profile, and jump right in.
Let’s take a step back. Before you jump in, the rules on dating have changed along with the technology and it is good to have a few guidelines for utilizing technology for getting out there.

Don’t pine for anyone.

Here is the first truth of online dating: the chances of someone you are interested in replying back to you is pretty low. There are a lot of people online and people are possibly getting multiple responses to their ads and profiles. It is unlikely and unnecessary for someone to respond back to everyone who reached out. Don’t sit by the computer trying to analyze what other people are thinking and doing when you have not even talked to them yet. Don’t cause yourself stress and anxiety trying to be a mind reader and absolutely do not read into anything or take anything personally.

Detach yourself from the outcome on first contact

Once you send someone a message or an email, let it go. You may or may not hear back from the person. Online dating is a numbers game. Do not latch on to the first person you see. Send out messages to people who you are interested in, but cast your net wide. The more people you contact the greater your return will be.

Do not invest in anyone too quickly

This applies to anyone regardless of how you meet: do not invest in anyone too soon. Get to know people. It is nearly impossible to get to know someone as you should in only a couple of dates. Don’t cut yourself off from other possibilities too soon. There is no rush here. It takes a while to get to know someone and even longer to trust someone. If you move too quickly you may find yourself in a place you do not want to be and, more importantly, you may miss out on the person you will really want to be with.

Never Presume

People’s social media profiles are their “highlight reels”. If you set your expectation on someone solely on their dating and social media profiles, it is almost guaranteed you are going to be disappointed once you meet and get to know the person. Almost nothing is as it first appears. From a person’s looks to their attitude, sense of humor, or their seemingly never-ending vacation of a life they present to the outside world. Do not presume or assume anything about a person. Don’t build someone up in your mind because that will only lead to the person never meeting your expectations and this is not fair to you and it is not fair to the other person. Get to know the real person. Take profiles, pictures, and descriptions with a grain of salt. Assume too much and you will be disappointed, but if you go in without expectations, you may be pleasantly surprised. Or you may want to run screaming.

Be realistic

Do your research into online dating and the sites you decide to use. These dating sites are a business. They are selling a product. That product is a dream. The dream of successful dating, the dream of getting remarried, or the dream of a fantasy. Keep your expectations realistic. There is research that shows that about a third of the people on online dating sites never meet anyone. Be mindful of the world you are entering and keep your feet in the real world. The point of dating is to have fun. Don’t put too much stress on yourself. If the process is not fun, then maybe you are not ready for it.


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