taking your first bytes of online dating; part 2

In Part 1 of these excerpts from Lost My Partner – What’ll I Do?, we discussed your emotional readiness to begin dating. The excerpt continues:

What’s Different Now

How old were you when you last dated?

What were the dating rules and customs?

Many people report that when they first re-enter the singles’ world, they feel like Rip Van Winkle – on the inside it’s as though they were still the age they were when last single. On the outside, though, the world has changed.

Some of the biggest changes you’ll probably discover include:

a) Women making the first move. It’s not uncommon now for a woman to initiate a phone call or email to invite a man to a movie or a sports/cultural event.

b) Sexual conduct. Even in this time of increased caution, many people engage in sex sooner than they once did. A WORD OF WARNING: Don’t believe that just because you’re a certain age, you’re safe from sexually transmitted diseases. For example, according to Centers for Disease Control, over 50% of newly reported case of AIDS in 2005 were in people (heterosexual as well as homosexual), over age 40. It’s wise to play it safe. Check with your doctor about safe sex practices.

c) Women paying for themselves. In some cases, a woman may view paying her own way as freeing her from any obligation to the man. Or it might just be a case of economics. If both people live on fixed incomes, it’s more thrifty to share the expense of a night out.

Regardless of what others are doing, you are the best judge of what is right for you. Keep in mind, however, that if you were a teenager when you last dated, you probably followed your parents’ guidelines about what was permissible. Now that you’re an adult, you’re able to make choices about what’s right for you.


taking your first bytes of computer dating; part 1

(Excerpted from our book, Lost My Partner – What’ll I Do?)
Once you’re ready to start dating, you might think about trying one of the many online dating services. While online dating is one approach to meeting people you might not otherwise encounter, it can also be a scary experience the first time out.

Computer dating can be a great way to get back into the dating scene, but it’s usually most helpful as a tool to improve your social skills, rather than as a fast track to true love. Think of the experience as similar to chatting with a stranger at a party or other social gathering.

So keep your expectations realistic and follow these guidelines:

- Dating websites want a profile of you. Think of this as your “ad” and use an attention-grabbling (but not sexual) “headline”. Ask a friend to go over your profile and suggest ways to highlight your talents and qualities. Keep it light and preferably humorous.

- Think about what type of relationship you’re looking for and what interests and personal qualities are most important in a potential date.

- Once you’re ready to meet with someone, arrange to get together for a short period of time for coffee or a light meal. You don’t want to invest more time and/or money in case you don’t hit it off.

In Part 2, we’ll point out 3 important warning signs you should always keep in mind with online dating.