Online dating has come a long way since Match.com launched in 1995. Enough to say that things have changed a lot if you’re starting to date after getting a divorce. Twenty years later, using online dating services no longer carries the stigma it once did. Given the popularity of online dating, it’s safe to say that virtual courtship is here to stay.
Don’t worry if this is all new to you, though. You won’t be the first person looking for a fresh start via online dating. Dating after divorce can be hard, so the following tutorial is here to help you.
Be Tech Ready
Online dating has evolved from being solely computer-based to being an app-based service. Now, mobile dating is where the magic happens. If you want to participate, you need the hardware to do so. This is probably obvious, but worth stating: you need an up-to-date smartphone like the Galaxy Note5 to optimize your experience. You are a dater now, so you shouldn’t be at home in from of a computer screen. Instead, you should be out experiencing the world and meeting people, while still staying connected with your smartphone.
Choose a Dating Site
There are hundreds, maybe even thousands, of online dating sites. Aside from the “regular” dating sites (eHarmony, Tinder, OkCupid, Match), there are a ton of specialized dating sites to choose from, such as Our Time (for adults over the age of 50), Farmers Only (not for city folk), Alikewise (for book lovers looking) and Gluten Free Singles (no dough here). Ask your single friends which sites they prefer and then try a few of the recommended sites.
Create Your Profile
First things first: Whatever you put online will exist for all of eternity. Keep this in mind as you build your profile.
Photos are important. According to Match.com’s CEO, you’ll get 15 times more attention than people who didn’t bother to upload a photo. So, find your best high-resolution photo, and keep it classy. Your photo will play a big part in determining the kind of attention you garner.
As for the personal information you provide, be honest. But, do not put your entire life story or anything too personal on your profile. Also, don’t talk about your ex, custody battle or anything else that might make you appear bitter. You might be upset about your divorce, but this isn’t the venue to highlight it. Frame yourself in a positive light and don’t take yourself too seriously.
Ask for help with your profile. PewResearch shows that 22 percent of online daters have asked a friend to review or help them build their profiles. So don’t be embarrassed to ask. An outside opinion from a trusted source helps showcase the real you.
People on the Internet lie. Some are scammers. Some are more horrible than that. Even if a site vets its users, you need to be careful. Don’t trust everything their profiles say, and do your own research before getting too involved with somebody you meet online.
Other safety rules to follow:
- Create an email account that is only used for dating sites.
- Don’t list your home address or phone number.
- Protect your personal information.
- Meet dates in public places, and let a friend know where you are going.
- Trust your instincts.
- Never, under any circumstances, send money to anyone you meet online. You’d be surprised how many smart, tech-savvy people get scammed out of money online. Don’t be one of them.
The most important thing to remember, aside from the safety spiel, is that you should have fun with online dating. This is a great opportunity for you to meet new people and to hone your dating skills. While emotionally draining, dating after divorce isn’t the end of the world. Attack this new phase of your life with a positive attitude.
Consider the possibilities. Be adventurous. You are worth it.