So it happened. Your divorce is final. While you have mixed feelings about your marriage ending, no doubt you have a strong aversion to what will inevitably come next: dating. The very thought may repulse you, or make you feel a little nervous. Can you get back into the game now that your relationship is over? Do you even have the time? How are you supposed to meet new people?
Your answer: Online Dating.
Whether you’ve tried it before or have never done it, online dating is a great option for those who are recently divorced. You can do it on your own time, go at your own pace, talk to who you want to, and “meet” potentially lots of awesome people. So what are you waiting for?
Here are 10 online dating tips for the recently divorced:
- HAVE FUN! Take a deep breath and remember to have fun. Online dating may seem a bit daunting right now. Heck, just the word “dating” may seem daunting right now. The nice thing about online dating is that there is no pressure. You get out of it what you want. So go in with a fun-loving attitude, and you’ll get fun in return.
- START WITH JUST ONE DATING SITE. You don’t need to sprint right out of the gate. Start small and just join one online dating site. Browse around the biggies and see which one feels best to you. Remember, you can always cancel later, so don’t get too hung up on whether it’s the “right” one for you. As you gain experience and confidence, then you can certainly sign up for another online dating site.
- BE HONEST. Being labeled “divorced” can be a hard pill to swallow. Unfortunately, it is your new reality. But take heart–there are many divorced singles just as amazing as you who are turning to online dating. So check the box “divorced” because it is in fact, true. You may worry that people will judge you or not want to talk to you because of it. But think about it–do you really want to talk to someone who will judge you before getting to know you?
- MAKE A KILLER PROFILE. If it’s been a while since you’ve tried online dating, or perhaps if you have NEVER tried online dating…. I will let you in on a little secret. Your profile is your key to a good online dating experience. Here are two articles with great tips that will help you with your profile: How to Make Your Online Dating Profile Stand Out and also How to Get More Views on Your Online Dating Profile
- GO AT YOUR OWN PACE. You may have a lot of friends trying to set you up or give you loads of advice about online dating. Take it all with a grain of salt. Tell them “thank you” but remember that YOU are in control. Go at your own pace. If you don’t want to be on everyday, then don’t! You probably don’t have that kind of time. Get on when you want to–maybe once a week? Or just on the weekends? It’s totally up to you. If you forget to get on, be sure to set up email notifications so you don’t miss getting messages.
- SEARCH WIDE, THEN SEARCH NARROW. Your life has changed recently, and you may be questioning what you want in a significant other. Think in general terms as you perform your first several searches of profiles, and try to be more open. Remember that you can always narrow things later. For now, allow yourself to get to now people outside of your norm. Mix it up.
- HIT SEND. You can certainly sit back and wait for others to message you first, but why not get the ball rolling? If you find a profile that looks interesting and you think you might like talking to that person, compose a short message and hit send! Then forget about it. If they respond, great! If not, no worries. Messages can be short and simple, but not generic. Pick something from their profile to mention in your message so they know you are paying attention. Keep it light and fun.
- FRIENDS FIRST. You just divorced, and you may need some time to let things settle before you actually go out on a real romantic date or get involved with someone. So make your motto to be, “Friends First.” It’s way less pressure that way, and you’ll be developing something deeper and longer lasting anyway. If it leads to something later, that’s great! But if it doesn’t, you’ll have made a new friend. Definite plus.
- GET THAT FIRST FACE-TO-FACE OVER WITH. If you have never done the online dating thing, then that very first meeting in person will be completely nerve-wracking. Just get it over with so you can check it off your list and feel more comfortable with doing it again later. That first meeting doesn’t have to be anything fancy–just some coffee is all you need. Once you meet your first “date” then after that it’ll get easier.
- BE SAFE. Never offer personal information to someone you don’t know or trust, and never offer financial information. If it feels funny to you, trust your gut. When you meet for dates, do so in a public place, and tell someone where you will be and for how long.