If you’ve recently re-entered the dating scene after a little hiatus that we call “marriage,” here’s some battle gear to help you prepare to date 2014-style.
In the last 10 years, the dating scene has changed tremendously. When I met my husband online in 2003, meeting a mate through the internet was still considered deviant— maybe even dorky—but now it’s how at least 20% of singles are connecting with their partners.
Regardless of age, if you look around your social circle and see your friends coupling off making you feel like you’re wearing a scarlet letter D for divorce, you’re not alone. The good news is that meeting people is easier than it’s ever been before and there are now tons of matchmaking outlets that weren’t available before you tied the knot.
Online dating is now one of the top three ways to meet a mate. The expansion of mobile features, which allows you to access your profile on your smartphone, has made dating on the web even more accessible. Your excuses about having to travel all the time for work or your that your teenager hogs the computer are no longer valid. You’ve got a smartphone, right? So use it!
Follow the special online dating rules below to make your reintroduction to dating as seamless and painless as possible for you and your children.
Rule #1: Plan out your date nights.
If you have joint custody, you have the luxury of free nights off to date. Make sure you’re taking advantage of them to go meet Mr. Right. If you know that your free weekend is coming, make sure you put in extra time online 1-2 weeks beforehand so you’ll be ready to meet up on a few in-person dates following a series of email exchanges and phone calls.
Rule #2: Your children always come first!
They are the ones that will be in your life, no matter what. If you get stars in your eyes over a guy and it causes you to neglect or change your relationship with your kids – he is not the right guy.
Also, you should not introduce your kids to a new partner until you feel that they are going to be in your life for quite some time. And never put photos of your kids on your dating profile. Not only does it keep you from being a sex symbol but it exploits your children and could put them at risk. Absolutely mention that you have kids in your profile but a date needs to earn more information about your children than whatever you say about them online.
Rule #3: Tap into your social circle.
If you’re feeling insecure about online dating, there are plenty of sites and apps popping up that can help by tapping into your own social circle for dates.
Rule #4: Use Meetups!
These began as online communities for people to connect with individuals who shared the same interests. Now Meetups have become a major connector of singles.
Some Meetup groups are specifically geared towards those looking for love, while other gatherings are for adventure-seeking pals with similar hobbies, who might just happen to be single. Either way, it’s a great avenue to expand your dating portfolio and meet new friends after divorce.
Rule #5: Don’t forget to ask for help.
Many singles assume that their friends know they are looking and would set them up if they had anyone right for them. Sometimes friends don’t know when you are really ready to put yourself back on the dating market again. It’s up to you to tell them. Make sure to make it well known: You’re single (again!) and looking to mingle.
Also, people are too wrapped up in their own lives to play matchmaker without prodding. Make a list of people you know who associate with the kind of guy you’d like to meet. Then specifically ask them to set you up with one of their friends.