10 Must Follow Rules for Successful Online Dating

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By Cindy Holbrook, Correspondent - December 23, 2013

Fotolia_51979527_XS.jpgAfter a divorce many women feel as if they should start dating right away.  You might be pressuring yourself because you are sad and lonely or your family and friends may be encouraging you. Successful online dating, begins with you being ready to begin dating after your divorce. Online dating is an excellent way to meet a variety of people and have some exciting new experiences. Every person you meet will teach you something about yourself or something about a man that you do or do not want in a potential long-term relationship.

Here are 10 must follow rules for success when dating online:

1. Know Thyself

Know the reason why you are dating, are you looking for your soul mate or just curious about how different men would treat you? It's perfectly all right to play the field and have fun. Dating is all about learning what you do and do not like in a potential partner.

2. Use paid Sites

You will find unscrupulous people on both free and paid online dating sites, however the chances are far greater on the free sites. Men that are paying for an online dating site are more likely to be honest. However, you still need to do your due duty in checking the integrality of any individual that you choose to date.

3. Be Honest

Answer the questions on your profile as honestly as possible without giving away to much information. If there is an activity that you love, talk about it. If there's one that you hate, state it. Don't bash your ex. Anyone who reads your profile is interested in you as a person - not your ex! Being honest includes posting a recent picture of what you look like today.

4. Be Discreet

Be careful about what information you share. Protect yourself as well as your children. You can say you have children, just don't list their pictures or names. Also, don't mention where you live, work or attend school. Online dating works and you can have fun with it - just be safe and protect yourself! Set up a different free email to communicate with people you meet online. This way, if he turns out to be a jerk, you will not have to change your primary email.

5. Be Curious

Curiosity is a part of safety. When you begin talking to men, whether it be on the online dating site, texting or phone, you will want to listen to what he says. Later in the conversation (or on another day) you can ask him the same questions to see of you get the same answers.

6. Call Him

At first this might seem like a strange rule, but if you call him, you know that you have a working number that he has answered. Be sure to give this phone number to a trusted friend before your first meeting. You should also give your friend, his name, the location of the date and a time that you will call her by.

7. Meet Publicly

Meeting in a public place is for your safety and is recommended by almost all relationship experts. Some of the best first dates are for coffee in the morning. You can meet him at a restaurant, or at a coffee shop. If you hit it off, you can extend the date by walking around a mall, going miniature golfing, to a museum or a movie.

8. Backup Plan

You'll want a backup plan if you don't hit it off. You could tell him at the beginning of the date that you will have to cut it short because you have another appointment. This way at the designated time, you will be able to make a graceful exit. Some experts state that you should end the date at this time, even if it's going well as it will peak their interest and a second date.

9. Second Date

Dating is all about getting to know other people. It is impossible for you to know someone in one or two dates. Each date should build upon the last. Your second date can be more intimate, maybe to dinner or a picnic in the park. It is also an excellent time to try a new activity that he enjoys or to pursue one that the both of you like such as swimming or going to see a play.

10. Red Flags

The last thing you want is to wind up with the same man, with different looks and a different name. Don't let your heart get ahead of your head. Look out for red flags. Create a list of the qualities you want and don't want in a potential partner, even if you are just dating for fun. Don't settle for less. You deserve a wonderful man that will love and accept you exactly as you are.

Most of all when you begin dating online, relax, have fun and be yourself. Dating is all about exploring oneself as well as others. It's about enjoying life. It's about finding out how people think and react differently. Be true to yourself and be patient. Every person you date is getting you ready to meet your soul-mate.

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