Technically, I'm not yet divorced.
The State of California requires a six month minimum waiting period to actually finalize a divorce just in case you're silly enough to think that your ex is really going to change. Spoiler alert: He's not going to change. Move on.
Technically, I've been dating.
I've gone out on a few get togethers. Some coffees and bike rides. One particular situation got a little too serious a little too quickly. It was fun at first, but unfortunately, it wasn't an ideal situation. I started to notice a few traits that set off too many alarms. Having learned my lesson, I cut that one off.
Technically, we never should have been matched.
Sometimes I wonder about the guys I've picked in my life. Would a computerized program have ever put us together? In many cases, probably not. I get too excited or make too many excuses or ignore red flags. Since I trust algorithms more than I trust my lizard brain, I've decided to follow multiple friends' advice and get technical about how I meet guys.
It's not that I want to get into another relationship any time soon. I just want to have a little fun. A coffee here... a bike ride there... maybe a movie... dinner... who knows? It would just be nice to have some adult time with a nice guy and not have to think about getting too serious.
I'm not exactly new to dating, but I AM technically new to online dating. Before I even put a picture and a profile up, I wanted to make sure I knew what to do, and more importantly, what NOT to do. So after doing a little reading, I boiled it down to these essentials:
7 Do's and Don'ts of Online Dating
- Be Real: When writing an Internet personal ad or filling out an online dating questionnaire, be as specific as possible. Think about who you are and what makes you unusual and list both your successes and your failures. Avoid the whole "If you like piña colada" crap, and be honest. “I love a fun night on the town, but I don't mind a quiet dinner at home."
- Spell and Grammar Check are your Friend: Always do a spell check. Even more important is to check your grammar to make sure you're using the right your/you're or two/to/too or there/their/they're. If you aren't sure, ask a close (and discreet) friend to read it over for you.
- Don't Stretch the Truth: Be honest about who you are: Your age should be within several years of your actual age. Make sure any physical description correlates with what your mirror reflects. There's a difference between "in shape" and "fluffy".
- Use an Appropriate Photo: You don’t have to post a picture with your description, but the number of responses increases if you do. Use a fairly recent picture and for the love of Pete, don't Photoshop the shit out of your pic. Do you really want someone to gasp when they see your much older face? Don’t use a picture of yourself with somebody of the opposite sex and stay away from looking too sexy in your picture, unless, of course, you’re looking for a one-night stand.
- Date Within a 25-mile Radius: It's not impossible to date people outside of that radius, but it can be impractical to just meet up for coffee when someone lives annoyingly far away.
- Be Safe: Meet publicly and make sure someone knows where you are. This is an obvious tip if you've watched enough Lifetime movies, but just in case... tell a friend!
- Don’t Chat Too Long Before Meeting Up: Sharing online can give a false sense of intimacy and reduce inhibitions. Apparently, inhibitions are a healthy function. Who knew? Makes sense. I mean, once you've sent racy pics, your lunch conversation is probably not going to be a get-to-know-you kind of chat.
There are lots of places to meet singles online, but if you're like me, you're kind of picky as to where you spend your time and who you want to connect with. One site in particular has had great success and just recently had a makeover: JDate. Sadly, I am not one of God's Chosen People. If you are and want to date within the tribe, you should check out JDate's new look. The new features include:
• A cleaner, streamlined user experience that simplifies interactions
• New “daily matches” feature offering members a simple curated look at their best matches
• Improved user experience for iPad/tablet users
• Expanded and improved mobile presence and capabilities
• Re-designed inbox to enable ease of interaction with other members
There's even a Calendar of Events to meet other singles in real life.
Ready to check it out? Click through for more info on the all new JDate!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored. I'm being compensated for sharing info about the new JDate website. L'chaim!