After being married for 13 years or so my life changed dramatically and I was once again single for the first time since I was like 18 or so… I was clueless. I found that I had an enormous amount of emotional energy and energy in general so I threw myself into doing things with my son, into work and I started running, a whole lot.
I did date some besides from dating sites, I met guys at social gatherings, from facebook, from church, from friends lining me up with someone. I rarely wanted a second date. I usually just wasn’t attracted to the guy.
Eventually I got on Match.com which wasn’t bad, there was a lot of traffic there. I also tried Chemistry.com and a few others. But my fave hands down was Christian Mingle. On CM I found the men to be genuinely interested in finding a Christ-like woman. I didn’t get onto CM until spring of last year. Here are some guideline though I generally followed which might help you navigate the internet dating world:
*Your Profile~ Ok, this is huge. Yes, many guys really read this. Please be real. If you are funny then be funny, if you are serious, be serious. Talk about activities you like, books you like, music you like, let them know what makes you tick without giving too much away..they like a little mystery. Do not get your friend to write it, it needs to be your language, your description. But get help if you are stuck.
*Your tagline~ Please don’t be boring. Come up with something goofy or funny or all about you. Sometimes the guy’s tagline alone would make me smile so I would respond to his request to chat just from that.
*Your pics~ PLEASE be real. I hear this complaint from guys more that anything else…She was 10 years older than her picture, or 50 pounds heavier. Oh yeah, and ladies, guys are visual..You need to load on up at least 3 pictures. They wanna really see your face and you may want to load a full body shot. Get some help, if you have no idea what color to wear, consult a stylish friend to assist and maybe take the picture for you. Guys if you load a pic of your without your shirt on NO I am not talking to you. Keep your clothes on please.
*Winks~I personally think this is the stupidest feature ever. If you think I am cute come on now, open a chat box and tell me HI. And no, I don’t ever wink at a guy.
*Emails~ I always responded. Yeah, I did. If he had the nerve to say something to me then I needed to take the time to answer him. If I didn’t like him I would simply say “No thanks” or “That was sweet, I am not interested.” “Good luck to you, no thank you” or “No thanks and God bless” You do NOT apologize. You do not owe this person an apology, it is not your fault you don’t wanna talk to him. If he acts ugly after the NO (and he may and that is HIS problem) you do not respond back and you immediately block and/or report him.
*Chat~ Ok, this is what I like best. You can immediately get to know him a little better and you can tell a lot about him hopefully. I rarely drive this part. Let him ask you questions, he needs to pursue. “How are you tonight” “I am great” is a fine response. Less is more, remember he needs to pursue and you don’t need to let him know everything about you quickly. Do NOT tell him your name. I waited until the 3rd or 4th chat for this. He isn’t getting my name, my child’s name, my address, where I work, no no no. You will know when you feel comfortable for this. IF he asks your phone # immediately that is not good. They will ask for your email as well, proceed with caution. Always keep in mind, you usually easily block emails, texts, calls, etc. But you can’t change your address so easily 😉 You want someone with energy who is interested in you and interesting. Boring doesn’t work. And the single best questions I found to ask are “What is God teaching you now” or “What are you studying in your Bible now” WOW, you will learn a lot from his answer. And whatever he says, probe him further. Many times his answer meant GAME OVER for me. Next.
*Know what you want~ if you don’t know what you want then don’t waste his or your time getting on the site. Do you want to get married soon? Do you just want to date? Make friends? Have a chat buddy? A texting buddy? Do you want more kids? Do you have a job? A car? Please be honest. If he is an upstanding guy and interested in you he will start to ask these type questions before he asks to meet you. I would never take a step to meet someone before I knew all those vitals and more. Consider what is important to you, maybe make a list of what you need to know before you take the risk of meeting him. If he asks you any stupid questions or gets too personal do not hesitate to end the conversation. You do not have to be nice about this “I gotta go” will suffice then block him. Listen, some of these guys are nasty, when they get rejected they can be mean. Just block him then you don’t have to deal with it. He should never ask you “what are you wearing” or anything that disgusting.
*He asks for your # ~ if you feel safe then you can do this. I do not recommend chatting on the site for months before you speak by phone. The person will be different from chat to phone then from phone to in person. Many times you will like one of those 3 “personalities” but not all 3. That’s the key is to find someone you like all 3 ways. You may want to only text for a while then move to voices to see if you even like him in text mode, it will be different that chat mode. I don’t like unresponsiveness or neediness either. If his gear is way lower or higher than mine I move on. Once you talk, again don’t give too much away too soon, there will be time for this. At this point I drive a bit cause I am invested in him a bit by now and I need to decide if I am going to take my time to meet him in person. So I want to know his intentions, dreams, goals, #kids, where he lives, about his family, his denomination, etc.
*He asks to meet you~ This will only be by phone and he will have to ask or he isn’t meeting me. So if he says “I would really like to meet you” well that is great but he didn’t ask to did he? Remember, you are the princess and he best treat you as such or you ain’t got no time for him. You are a locked treasure chest and You and You alone hold the key. You will only meet him in a public place such as a coffee shop, a park if you feel this is ok, a very casual restaurant, whatever. But you meet him there, he does NOT pick you up. I don’t do this until date 3 or further out depending on my comfort level.
He best be opening the door and making good eye contact with me. Do NOT hesitate to end the date immediately if he does something you don’t like. It is perfectly fine to say “excuse me” when he begins to detail his stay at the mental institution (Yes, this HAS happened to me). Go find a server or an older gentleman to walk you safely to your car. Your safety and comfort level is your #1 priority. You owe him nothing.
*Date 2 ~ Again he is going to have to ask me for a date formally by phone or he isn’t getting one and he won’t succeed in asking the night of or a couple days before. DO NOT go on date 2 unless you are very interested in him. If you are very unsure talk some more, wait it out or just say no. And no, it isn’t ok to drag it out and continue chatting, this is not fair to him. Or to you.
*Continuing on dating site~ for me I will still be on there until several dates. Maybe not as often but until we decide we are exclusively dating and we have clearly defined that fact and what it means to each of us and where we are possibly headed I am not leaving the dating pool. And he will have to ask me about this. I sure ain’t gonna mention it first since I am a princess.
*Being alone ~ I am not going to be alone with someone until several dates, he is not coming into my home until I am extremely comfortable. He will eventually get to sit on my sofa with me but I will be quick to tell him it is time for him to go home I am sleepy and I get up and take him to the door. And no, it will be quite a while before I am ever alone in his place especially for any length of time. By the way, a gentleman will NEVER push you on any of your boundaries, if he does he isn’t a gentleman and you ain’t got time for that.
*Meeting family/children ~ After making a couple of really dumb mistakes I learned this has to wait. You have to put your kids first. Until I was sure I really liked the guy I wouldn’t talk to him in front of my son on the phone, he knew it was my week with my son and he would have to call me after 9pm or call in the mornings or wait. I don’t care how much you adore this new guy already. Whatever, men come and go, you will have this kid the rest of your life and you are his only mamma. Loverboy can wait to meet your kids for at least 6 months. YES, a minimum of 6 months. Yeah, I know how smart you are and you are intuitive and you know everything about him. Trust me, wait 6 months. If he can’t wait that long kick him to the curb OR draw him a map to wal-mart and point him to his car.
For Andrew and I ~ we only chatted a couple maybe 3 times. We were never on at the same time so this took about a 2 month span of time. I made him GUESS my name and he wanted a clue so I told him the first letter and he said “Dana”… 🙂 By this point of trying to find me on there so much he was impatient and very upfront and wanted my #. These weren’t long chats, he is very private and introverted, I picked up on this. I didn’t give it to him right away but at the end of the chat I did and made him promise not to call me, to only text until I was ready to talk. We only texted a little bit and he was saying he wanted to see me. I said Andrew you don’t even know me yet. He said “yeah, I know I like you, I want to learn more, in person.” I really liked his forwardness and confidence. He told me later he knew I was talking to other guys and he wanted to snatch me up before someone else did 🙂 So we talked on the phone the next day and he waited maybe 5 minutes of talking before he said “I want to meet you for lunch” I said “when” he said “right now, yesterday?” I giggled and we found a way to meet that day. It was very easy to be the princess with him because he was the ultimate gentleman and he always respected me and whatever I said. It was almost always about me and what I wanted. He gave me a whole lot of space physically too which made me trust him and feel safe. He did make a move to hug me though on our 2nd date. And I let him. We still always hug upon seeing each other and before we say BYE. The first time we held hands or had any kind of closeness was date 6 and we had our first kiss at the end 🙂 Slow is best. I am not only in love with my prince but I really like who he is and I love his heart. It has been over a year now and we have been engaged a couple of months and I still learn something new about him almost every day and that is so exciting, I wouldn’t trade out one single thing about our journey. It is all part of the tapestry of our love story God is still writing for us.