Online Dating After Divorce: Why You Should Do It

happy woman

As I get older, it’s rare I’m out past midnight on the weekend.  Even more so, when I found myself separated in my mid-30’s. I can easily transform into a creature of habit and back then, routine took on greater importance in my life.  My Friday nights consisted of take-out (my fav was Panera Bread) and Netflix.  Pretty lameI know.

At the time of my separation, my girlfriends were married or married with children. Outings with them involved more planning or I was the 3rd wheel.  Now don’t get me wrong, I was grateful for ANY time spent with friends. We all know how laughter is good for the soul. 

As time went on and my heart started to heal, I knew I was ready to open myself up again to meet someone new.  It was summertime and I was tired of take-out.  I wanted to enjoy a nice dinner and a glass of wine on an outside terrace, or watch a movie on the big screen rather than from my couch. I wanted to wake up on the weekend and spontaneously head to the beach for the day. Those things all sounded great in theory, until reality set in. I’ve been out of the dating scene for 7 years. Yikes! Where was a divorcee, in her mid-30’s to meet a man? Why the internet, of course. I say that with such ease but it took MONTHS for me to build up the nerve.  

In the past, I either dated guys that were friends first, or had known a mutual friend. The online “prospects” would be complete strangers to me. I would have no insight into their pasts, only what they wanted me to know. Another concern I had was my safety.  I was now a single girl, living on my own. 

The thought of someone following me home worried me.  

Once I finally gained the courage to join, there was the daunting task of creating my profile. With Match.com, you’re asked to fill out a questionnaire, as well as, have the option to add additional information about yourself.  My profile took several hours to write.  My plan was to go into this with an open mind. I promised myself I wouldn’t get upset if I wasn’t able to find my match.  

As I began to think about the type of guy I wanted to meet and the qualities most important to me, I knew I wanted to go on a date with a guy who had never been married, one that’s been divorced and one with children. I wanted to hear their perspectives on relationships/marriage. My profile was now complete and I was ready to upload it. As soon as I clicked the "submit" button, the “winks” and messages started to roll in. I remember staying up into the early hours that morning reading profiles.  

A few days into the process, I actually felt overwhelmed and logged out for a couple days. I wasn’t the type of girl to serial date. I had always focused my attention on one guy. After a short break, I was ready to begin again.  

The interaction always began with an email. If he seemed interesting enough, we exchanged numbers. I wasn’t crazy about the guys who preferred to text rather than call. I needed to hear their voice. I needed to know if we could carry on a conversation before committing to a date.  

I was forewarned that I may encounter a few frogs before meeting a prince. The first guy I agreed to a date with was my first and only “frog”. You know immediately if there is any chemistry between the two of you. There was none. However, after that initial date, I’m happy to say I met some nice guys going forward. Dating became less awkward and I finally started to enjoy my summer. As the dating continued, I realized I had more in common with other divorcees. They understood where I was at emotionally and mentally. They, too, weren’t looking to rush into anything too serious.  

Before any date, I made sure a girlfriend knew where I was going, who I was with and their phone number. I even had an “escape plan” if I felt nervous or the date was a complete disaster. I would text my girlfriend and she would call me with an emergency. It's important to stay safe when meeting new people. 

It wasn’t until the end of my membership that I met Eric. If you’re familiar with Match, you know they send you daily matches in addition to your own search. My profile repeatedly appeared in his daily matches. Whenever he opened them, Match would direct him to my page. Little did he know, on my end, it appeared as though he kept checking out my profile but just didn’t want to make “the first move.”  

Eric was the only guy that I initially reached out to. We emailed a couple of times before speaking on the phone. His voice was deep, but kind. We agreed to meet at a local Italian restaurant for dinner. I remember when I pulled into the parking lot, there was a tall and strikingly handsome man standing by the entrance, on the phone. My stomach fluttered as I recognized his face. 

Our reservation was at 7pm. We closed the restaurant down at 11:30pm. The conversation was comfortable and effortless. Almost three years later, I can say the same for our relationship.  We’ve built a relationship on communication, trust and respect.   

My advice to you, if you’re considering online dating, is TRY IT. Life is too short and too precious to waste. Be smartm but have fun. You never know, your match could be one click away.