I'm the founder of Romance Language, an online dating consultancy, where we write and post online dating profiles that highlight my clients' most attractive and unique traits.
When I'm writing a profile, I look for character-revealing details that show your real personality. The trick is telling your story online while revealing voice in the most riveting way. Divorced women, by definition, have little or no recent dating experience. Assuming you want to find Mr. Next, you need, at the very least, some tips about the way the game is played, circa 2008.
I'm a die-hard, never-lose-hope, romance advocate who is also a successful veteran of the dating scene. I met my late husband through video dating in the 80s, and I'm now partnered with a man who came to me for an online profile of his own. And, for the record, I'm twice-divorced and twice from the same man!
Reason 1: Online dating offers an instant pool of available men (no waiting for your friends to set you up, no hoping Prince Charming will appear at the bus stop). You call the shots, at your pace.
Just want to look? Fine, and that's even free! Between your job and your kids, can't imagine finding the time to look? No problem — sign on at 3 a.m. for some inspiration (but be warned — this exercise will not put you to sleep!).
Not ready for the all-out press? Take it slow — no one's telling you how many dates are enough. On the other hand, are you feeling confident and excited about doing some serious flirting? Great — float a bunch of e-mails to attractive men and get ready for the ego boost (just make sure your calendar can stand the demand).
Get back in the game. Whether your marriage was a horror show or a lukewarm bore, you're out of practice, right? Romance feels like a distant dream - or worse, a laughable impossibility. All the good ones are gay or married, right? Wrong. A lot of them are online, just waiting for you to crook your little finger. But wait, you say, I'm not sure I'm ready. Okay, but you can look, can't you? And you can learn. Go to www.romancelanguage.org, click on one of the match.com icons, provide just a few pieces of information, and for free, see what's out there (and remember that new men join the pool every day).
Reason 2: You're already really busy. No kidding. Just another reason why online dating was made for you. Compare the efficiency of online searching and screening with endless rounds of singles events or classes, trips and benefits (where there might be single men).
For time spent, online is the hands-down winner. But while I do recommend online dating, I also encourage anyone who's looking to look everywhere. Keep your antennae up and your smile bright. It takes no extra time to live your best life. Do what you already do — go, network, play, learn, experience. The same great big beautiful busy life that makes you happy is a life that any good man would be thrilled to be part of.
Reason 3: You're just not sure. Who is? Again, it's all about control — yours. Maybe the thought of one date a month is the most you can wrap your heart around, and you'd rather the guy made the first move. Fine — post the profile and respond only if and when you're absolutely compelled (if you're still overwhelmed, remember you can just do nothing).
Maybe you have the time and energy for a steady stream of contenders. Also fine — do your own searches, write to several appealing men, carefully consider all the men who contact you, agree to meet as many as you like. You can also date a lot for as long as you're having fun, and take a break whenever you want. You make the rules.
Online dating is great for anyone, but for divorced women it's particularly supportive and validating — because you make the rules — and you should from now on.
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