Dating Dos and Don'ts

Kissing Strangers

When my marriage ended, I went online right away for a number of reasons. I wanted to distract myself from the crumbling foundation of my life around me and wanted to meet men to see what was going on eleven years later.

I went on Match.com first and paid my eighty or whatever dollars, loaded a picture, and a created a profile write-up. It felt empowering to be on there. I chatted with a few guys, and then decided to try another site and joined OkCupid. Now I was chatting with more guys and was learning terms I’d never heard of before, as well as behaviours.

Talk about men behaving badly!

Two months later, I decided to take it seriously to meet men rather than just remaining faceless and chatting only. A few weeks into that, I wrote an article about the breakdown of my marriage and my takeaways from online dating so far, though that crazy journey hadn’t even really begun.

A friend read the article and suggested I turn it into a book. So I did. I planned on doing a year in the life memoir of my online dating experiences and would learn everything I could, and experience as much as I could, so I could report back to other women about what was out there and how it all goes down…according to my experience.

That book won’t make the light of day. It’s too damn personal. What I did, though, was turn it into a quick and dirty guide to online dating based on my experiences so that other women heading into the pond have an idea as to what might hit them while swimming in shark-infested waters.

But why am I qualified? Well, I chatted with hundreds of men over the course of a year and a bit, went on many dates, and so I feel have a really good handle on men and what dating online is like, because… I dated hard and I did it for research lol.

Dating Dos and Don'ts

Are You Ready to Start Dating Again?

After separation and divorce, you need to be honest with yourself once you decide to get back out there. You should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you ready to start dating?
  • What do you want? Your options are Friends With Benefits (FWB), relationship, to date a few men, hang outs, and hook ups.
  • What does he want?
  • What did I do that contributed to the breakdown of my divorce/separation?
  • Are you over your ex?

The only one who can determine if you’re ready to start dating again is you. Some people say you need a month for every year together.

Others spit out two years as the magical number. And then there’s everything in between and sideways of that.

You will know when you’re ready to be with another person when you want to be intimate, emotionally and physically.

If you still have feelings for your ex, you aren’t ready. If you still cry over the break-up, you aren’t ready.

If you never think about them and feel excited at the prospect of meeting new people, then you are as good as ready. You can be scared and uncertain and doubtful of your success, yes, but you are otherwise ready.

Dating helps you figure out what you will and won’t tolerate, what you do and don’t need.

Date a lot, meet a ton of men, sample the pool, see what’s out there until you find what fits for you and makes you feel good.

Dating is exhausting, though, physically (all that prep work!), mentally (trying not to think “not another date with some guy I probably won’t like”), and emotionally (you think it went well but … you never hear from him again. Awww, that kinda hurts, dude).

Men who are already built need only apply.

And that seems to be a tall order these days.

I am not a charity. Say this to yourself too.

We need to make decisions that benefit us going forward.

We need a man who is already built.

Take some time to figure out if you’re ready to really start dating. Maybe you won’t know until you try for a bit. You will figure it out pretty fast once with other men if this is for you right now. And if not, take more time and try again in a few months.