Getting back to dating after divorce is a big step. These easy-to-follow take the fear and stigma out of online dating.
By Ian Oliver
It’s understandable to find online dating intimidating, desperate, and even scary especially if you have been out of the dating pool for a while. Like most things, it’s the lack of familiarity and understanding that has probably created the uncertainty and fear. I remember the first time I bought something online, I kind of went through the same process. Fear of putting my personal information out into the cyber world, skeptical of what the product would REALLY look like when I actually got it. But in the end I was excited when my package arrived and pleasantly pleased.
Online dating is somewhat similar. It’s a great resource if handled properly and has become so mainstream with millions of people on these sites, many of which are great quality.
I like to compare online dating to online shopping because it is fairly similar. With shopping, you might only be able to go to stores that are in your close area, in which case, you are limited to only what those stores have. With online shopping you can find things anywhere in the world and there is an infinite amount of possibilities, looks, styles, prices, etc. Same rules apply to dating.
When dating in the “traditional” sense, you perhaps might be more limited to meeting only people that you know through others or only people in the areas that you frequent. Online dating, gives you the ability to find people who are looking for the same things you are in any part of the world.
Taking It Slow
The first step is to only sign up for one site to begin with, and it’s critical that you control the process by creating your own search with your own criteria and then carefully review those that email you first and only respond to the ones you like. It might be tempting to respond to all but for the sake of time management and not getting overwhelmed, go for the ones you like right off the bat and if need be revisit the others later.
Once you’ve found a couple of great matches email back and forth first a few times before exchanging cell phone numbers. Then have a chat. Hopefully it feels easy and fun and if it does, arrange to meet for a coffee, lunch, or a drink in a public place. Don’t meet for dinner or anything else that is too big of a time commitment on the first meeting.
If there are ANY red flags or bad signs during the emails or during the phone call, end it. Remember that there are tons and tons of prospects online. And if something negative surfaces this early, be glad it did early and move on. Online dating makes it very easy to move forward and recover from bad dates because there are so many good ones to look forward to!
It is OK to have several dialogues going on at once in the initial stages of online dating as long as that feels comfortable to you. But again, for the sake of time management and not being overwhelmed, maybe keep three going at a time until you get the hang of it, and believe me, you will. Once you start to go out, you will want to narrow the field down to one or two at the most.
If you follow this advice you will be in control of the process and eventually you will find yourself enjoying reading the profiles and being glad that you took the first step. Be relaxed about it, know that you’re behind a computer screen at first so there is less pressure and be thankful that this resource exists so that we no longer have to meet people randomly in bars or wait for that co-worker to set us up.
ABOUT IAN OLIVER
Ian Oliver has advised and guided individuals and families with comprehensive relationship advice and is a blogger for Huffington Post Divorce.
His new bestselling book, Getting Back on Top, was inspired by the work with these couples as well as his own post-divorce journey.
In addition to his passion for and commitment to helping couples transition into the single life, Ian devotes a large amount of time to children-related philanthropy through organizations such as Promises2Kids, Voices for Children and the San Diego Children’s Museum among others.
100% profits from this book to these and other selected U.S. based children’s charities.
Ian lives in Manhattan Beach, California. When he’s not writing, advising, or spending time with his kids, you can find him in Bikram Yoga or on the beach or traveling.
For more information visit his website at www.2ndchanceatromance.com
Like him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/2ndChanceRomance
Follow him on Twitter @getbackontop
Get his book from Amazon