Expert Guidance > Social Media: Modern Dating in your Post-Divorce World

Tara Richter, certified dating coach, author & radio show host provides online dating advice in this edition of our Expert Guidance series:

A boy sends a friend request to a pretty girl on Facebook. The girl adds him and they start chatting over instant message. After a week of flirtatious winky faces and LOL chatting, he asks her for her phone number. She obliges and they exchange smart phone pictures. After a few late night phone conversations, he gets the courage to ask her out. They finally meet for coffee and both recognize each other from across the espresso bar.  They gaze into each other’s eyes for the very first time, yet it feels like they’ve known the other person a lifetime.

The dating game has definitely changed. The days of a man approaching a women in a bar and her giving him her phone number, the only number he could get ahold of her at not a long list of; emails, work phone, iPhone, Skype, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, is long gone. The technology dating scene is now here. You can meet people online, playing video games or through friends of friends on Facebook. So how has this digital age changed things? What are the new rules?

I go over all the Internet dating rules more thoroughly in my book, “10 Rules to Survive the Internet Dating Jungle” yet I will briefly touch base on the more important rules here. First of all when you are meeting people from the Internet you definitely want to utilize my Rule # 6 Be Safe Research Your Date.

Unfortunately, people lie and hide behind the computer screen. Practice defensive dating. Do your research it’s free and easy. Once you have some information on a person just Google them. Typing someone’s name in Google can bring up a plethora of stuff. Just make sure it’s the right person.

Check their other accounts like LinkedIn. Do they really work where they say they work?   Go to your local county sheriff’s website. Most counties will have their inmate database online. You can search sometimes up to 20 years ago if someone has been arrested.

Go to your clerk of courts. That’s where marriage certificates and divorce decrees are recorded.

Go to the property appraiser’s website. All that information is public.

Do they really own they house they say they do? Be your own private detective.

When you’re choosing a dating site for the first time, after all my research in writing my second book, I discovered that the same people are on all the websites.  If they have a profile on one dating site, they probably have them on multiple other sites, Rule #2.

So the best thing is to test out the free sites first. Websites that are 100% free are pof.com and OKcupid.com. Other sites claim to be free like Zoosk.com but are not. You can create an account, yet can’t contact anyone until you pay.  Test out the free dating sites first and see your experience. Both of these sites also have mobile dating apps that you can utilize from your smart phone. That’s a helpful feature that many of the paid sites do not have.

Once you have started chatting with someone, you’ve done your research and think this guy/girl may have potential, make sure to meet them in the flesh within two weeks, Rule #5.

Technology dating is a great tool to meet people you normally wouldn’t run into on a daily basis, yet the whole point is to meet! Through all the text messages, Skyping and tweeting the one thing the computer cannot mimic is chemistry. That is something that can only be determined in person. Don’t drag out your Internet romance for too long before seeing them. You want to make sure they look like their photos and you two connect.

I don’t even call these dates. When meeting for the first time I call them “meet n’ greets” because that’s what it is. It’s not a date, it’s a short 20-30 minute meet n’ greet to make sure they are not 10 years older and 30 pounds heavier than their photos. If you keep it short and sweet, somewhere for say a cup of coffee, it’s easy to break away. If for someone reason it’s not totally clicking between the two of you, it’s easy to say you have errands to run and make a quick exit.   It only cost a couple of bucks and a few minutes of each other’s time. No one should be too heartbroken over it.

If it didn’t work out, be honest with the other person as to why. It stinks when you go out with someone and you think it was wonderful, yet they never return your phone call. You have no idea what happened and eventually just chalk it up to them being vanished to the island of lost men. Honesty is always the best policy. That’s the only way we learn, grow and develop. If it hasn’t worked out for you yet, just remember there’s a billion some people on the planet, eventually you’ll find your perfect mate in the dating jungle.

 

Tara Richter

Certified Dating Coach, Author & Radio Show Host

www.datingjunglebook.com

Expert Guidance: Dating Strategist Damona Hoffman

I’m excited to present a guest blog, as part of our Expert Guidance series, with Damona Hoffman, dating strategist and author of Spin Your Web: How to Brand Yourself for Successful Online Dating:

So you’re young, gorgeous and recovering from “The Big D”? The bad news is you have to do the single waltz again. The good news is, you get to date lots of new hotties who were off-limits to you when you were married. With a few simple tips from this modern dating expert you can be back to dating like it’s your job in no time.

1) Expand Your Social Circle – Meeting new people is easier than it’s ever been before. Join meet-ups, book clubs, or simply start to say ‘yes’ to invites you would have declined in your married days. New friends mean new friends of friends. Let them know you’re looking and tell them what you’re looking for.

2) Give Yourself a Makeover—Try getting a new wardrobe (or a few pieces, it can do wonders for your self-esteem.) And if you’re still thinking about your ex, then give your mental state a makeover too. Men like dating women who are positive, fun, and available so stop replaying what went wrong and focus on finding Mr. Right.

3) Give Online Dating a Whirl—It’s the fastest and easiest way to meet new people. Even if you don’t find you ideal mate’s profile listed, it’s a great way to get back on the dating horse and good as a confidence boost. One of my clients in her 30s signed up for a sugar mama dating site and has been getting her groove back with guys in their 20s who have energy that her ex lost years ago.

4) Have App Will Travel—New apps like Coffee Meets Bagel let you connect with guys through your social media circle. It keeps you from being introduced to those you already know (like your ex) but gives you the  peace of mind that you are dating someone who is only a couple of degrees of separation from you.

5) Asking For Help— Many singles assume that their friends know they’re looking to be set up, but sometimes friends don’t know you’re ready until you tell them. Let your friends know that you’re back in the game and be specific about who you’re looking for so you don’t get saddled with their hairy cousin Larry just because he’s available.

6) Hit The Gym—Not only will you look and feel amazing, but you’ll also meet like-minded singles and get your hormones pumping. Both sex and exercise release endorphins so even if you aren’t getting some, you’ll feel like you did.

7) Take Yourself On A Weekly Date—Going out by yourself can be hard but staying home by yourself is probably harder. Grab life by the cajones and hit the town solo. You’ll meet many more people than if you go out with gaggle of your married girlfriends who have to be in bed by 10 p.m. because of the baby.

8) Walk A Dog—If you don’t have one of your own, many dog shelters need a dog walker once or twice a week to take their lonely pooches around the block. The dog park is a great way to meet a mate. Dog lovers attract dog lovers and if your loaner dog sniffs the butt of a cute guy’s dog, call it an icebreaker.

9) Mack at the Mac Store—Everyone has something Mac related, be it an iPod, iPad or laptop. The Genius Bar is the dive bar of Generation Y. You might pick up some handy tips and a smart, sexy guy while you’re at it.

Once you stop worrying about meeting someone new or whether you’ll ever be dateable again, you can actually get back to dating quicker than you’re giving yourself credit for. There’s someone out there for you if that’s what you’re looking for. Just take time and ease into it so you get a clear headspace.

For more advice to get you online dating like a pro, visit DearMrsD.com and claim your free video “The Biggest Online Dating Mistakes You’re Problem Making and How to Fix Them!” Match.com, JDate, and HurryDate are just a few of the dating sites that recommend Damona “Dear Mrs D” Hoffman’s new book Spin Your Web: How to Brand Yourself for Successful Online Dating.  Pick up your copy now at Amazon.com!

 

About DAMONA HOFFMAN

Damona Hoffman (aka “Dear Mrs D”) is a professional dating strategist with nearly a decade of experience in the world of online dating. In addition to writing a bi-weekly column on JDate.com’s JMag, she is also a contributor to The Huffington PostYourTango.com and hosts the weekly radio show “Dates and Mates” on UBNRadio.com. Dear Mrs D has been seen on Fox, NBC, CBS and various radio programs. For more information, visit: http://dearmrsd.com; on Twitter https://twitter.com/DearMrsD; on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DearMrsD

About SPIN YOUR WEB

This short and savvy book touches on several key points to finding love online in the 21st century. You’ll find solutions to some of the most challenging dating situations from cross-cultural relationships to finding love post-divorce and dating via smartphones.  The author guides readers on the same path that led to her own happy marriage, all with her signature candor and humor.

 

Street smart turned Web smart: Online dating safety tips

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On our quest for nirvana, women both single, divorced and in between are turning to the Internet to help us date. While in recent memory, meeting people online was stigmatized , it’s now become almost normal. We see commercials all the time for Match.com, E-Harmony, and even special sites like OurTime and Christian Mingle. However, regardless of how mainstream this has become, there are still crazy people in the world who use the Internet to prey on women.

We’ve all heard of the Craigslist killer, Philip Markoff who used the sites personal ad and erotic services to meet women whom he was convicted of killing. More recently in the news we heard about the OK Cupid Cannibal Cop Gilberto Valle— the NYPD officer accused of conspiring to kidnap and eat up to 100 women. In the interest of keeping this blog PG I won’t go into the chilling details that I have read about both these men.

This isn’t to scare anyone, and I hope it doesn’t deter any of you from getting out there and meeting new people, but it doesn’t mean that we can stop being vigilant about our safety. Just like you don’t walk home alone in a bad neighborhood at night, there are new things we need to learn to keep ourselves safe . Here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned that are helpful and I hope it helps maximize your experience.

Never give out personal information too soon!
You should be in control of your online dating life at all times. It’s totally fine to remain anonymous until you feel ready to share your information. Don’t feel pressured into giving out personal information like your full name, address, phone number, or email address. Once you’ve given it out, you cannot take it back. When possible take advantage of sites that have member to member communications, like Match.com and Eharmony. These allow you to communicate without giving away too much information.

Something that I found helpful and I know that has worked for others is creating another email address separate from the main one you use for friends and family. It’s easy and free now to get multiple email addresses from Yahoo, Gmail, etc. Remember when coming up with other email addresses and Usernames, that they should never include contact information

Get ‘street smart’ about web dating.
Your own intuition is a powerful tool in the online dating community. Listening to it and being cautious can go a long way in keeping you safe in the online world. Be aware of certain red flags that might indicate you’re dealing with a scammer or bot. Here is a list of things to be aware of from Match.com. They say ‘be ware of…

• Quickly asks to talk or chat on an outside email or messaging service
• Claims to be from U.S. but currently traveling, living or working abroad
• Asks you for money
• Vanishes mysteriously from the site, then reappears under a different name
• Talks about “destiny” or “fate”
• Claims to be recently widowed
• Asks for your address under the guise of sending flowers or gifts
• Makes an inordinate amount of grammar and/or spelling errors
• Sends you emails containing strange links to third-party websites
Just remember to go with your gut. If you feel that someone is too good to be true or that details don’t add up, block them from contacting you and report them to the social provider.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s advice to avoid online romance scams is available here.

Whether a veteran or first timer in the world of online dating, safety always comes first. Take it slow and use your gut to make decisions about communicating online. Hopefully this helps you all on your way to meeting someone right for you.
Ready to meet someone? Stay tuned for taking things offline!