It’s been awhile since you dated. You were married, or in a long-term, committed relationship, and then, for whatever reason, it ended. Suddenly, you find yourself in a new world in which the rules of dating have changed and you are unsure how to start.
Online dating for women looking to start over can be scary. Any relationship that is older than a smartphone—that is to say, around 10 years or more—is one that started before a great shift occurred in how people meet their love interests. People have been meeting online for longer than that, of course, but as recently as 15 years ago, it was still (unfairly) considered strange. Now, it is normal, and it comes with its own rules and language.
This can be scary to navigate, especially because after leaving a long relationship—one in which you may have thought you’d be in forever—you can be emotionally vulnerable. Unfortunately, vulnerability is one of the primary sources of prey on the internet: It’s something that the worst among us can exploit for their own bitter or misogynistic ends. Those kinds of people don’t have to bother you, though, if you are strong and sure of yourself. One way to accomplish that is to meet with a spiritual advisor to understand your strengths and weaknesses before diving back into the pool. It can help you swim.
Online Dating Tips For Starting Over
When you are ready, here are a few things to keep in mind when you decide to dive back into dating:
• Be honest, even if you think others aren’t. Starting an online dating profile is an exercise in temptation. I want to be in better shape and plan to be, so it is okay if I say I already am, right? Sure, a little exaggeration is acceptable. After all, we all put our best foot forward when meeting someone. We might tell a white lie about pretending to like indie movies when we see nothing but romcoms—but making an aspirational profile will just end up backfiring. You are who you are, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. You are a woman who has been out of the dating arena, and now you are back in. Don’t hide what shouldn’t be hidden.
• Don’t think the next date has to be “the one.” You’ve been in a relationship for a long time, and for a lot of people, that means there was a certain comfort in having someone near at all times, even if the romance was gone. We are social creatures, and we get used to people. We get used to having someone there in the morning. When online dating after a divorce, it is easy to say, “Well, I don’t see a long future with that guy; he works weird hours.” But you shouldn’t let that stop you. This isn’t about “he might be the one.” It’s about giving yourself a chance to rediscover who you are when you are dating. You don’t have to meet a spouse right away. Nor should you believe that that’s the goal. If you do, you’ll put too much pressure on yourself and will never get started.
• Don’t take rejection personally. So many people are just flipping through and making snap judgements. You might be doing the same. Others may have more solid reasons. It’s easy to think that any rejection is a reflection of you, but that is a non-empathetic way of looking at it. Remember that many people are in the same situation you are in. They might be scared, frightened of rejection, or nervous about acceptance. Maybe they are new to this. Everyone has their own story, and it doesn’t always revolve around you. Shake off rejection and keep moving forward. If you are confident in yourself, it shouldn’t bother you.
• Don’t take the jerks personally. You’ve probably heard that online dating can be a cruel world in which bitter and petty people take out their anger on a whole gender and abuse you with names if you have the audacity to turn them down. Unfortunately, that can be true. It’s not many people, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t shocking and sickening when it happens to you. On many sites, you can report them, but remember: It isn’t about you personally. It has nothing to do with you as a person. Don’t let it throw you off from discovering yourself. You shouldn’t let anyone define you, much less the creepiest and the smallest.
• Go slow—you aren’t part of the on-demand economy. When online dating, there is a lot of pressure to act. After all, you’ve been matched up with someone, and they are messaging you. But that’s not how it works. Whether you are using a more relaxed site like eHarmony or Match or a supposed hookup site like Tinder, you are allowed to go at your own pace and turn things down if you want. There isn’t an Uber for dating. You have full agency over your choices, and you can’t let anyone pressure you into anything.
• It can be like a normal relationship. You might think that everything has changed, but that’s not totally true. The modality has changed, but not the people. You can go on a date and then talk on the phone a few times before meeting again, just like before. You can talk on the phone first (some people suggest that to get a better feeling — but it is up to you!). You don’t have to feel pressure to act in any way. You also don’t have to be calm. You can be butterflied and excited and nervous and dreading it and bursting with anticipation at the same time. Human emotions haven’t changed. You don’t have to pretend that we are in a world that is somehow less fraught with excitement, irrationality, and the joy of falling in love.
The most important tip is to be yourself, and the best way to do that is to know yourself. It can be hard to understand who you are when you’re single if you have been part of a couple for so long. Even people who are fiercely independent begin to see themselves as part of a pair, even if just out of habit. That’s normal and being cut adrift from that can be jarring.
That’s why so many people turn to spiritual advisors: psychics, tarot readers, astrologers, and more. We can help you discover your fears and your hopes, and how to achieve them. We work with you to understand what you need and what your path is. We give you the confidence to stretch out, plug in, boot up, and start dating. We work with ancient wisdom to give you the most powerful and important gift of all: the power of self-definition.
Dating has always been a rough world, and the rise of internet-based protection can bring out the worst in people. But it can also bring out the best. Tenderness and kindness still exist, they don’t have to be blotted out by cruelty. You can find the joy and the sweet terror of a new relationship as long as you are true to yourself.
Starting over with dating can be hard when you’re just getting out of a long-term relationship. Advisors at KEEN.com can help you find your true self so you feel confident to get back out there again.