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HeartChoice: About Internet Dating

HeartChoice: About Internet Dating

Online Dating: After a Divorce, the Web Offers a Quick Way to Find Dates


Q: Since my divorce I have been lonely. I fear no one will every love me or want to be with me. Some friends have suggested the Internet as a way to meet new people.  Is this a good idea?   

A: Absolutely! Internet is the new way most people who have been married before find new partners. When one is no longer in school but working in a job where there are few opportunities to meet new people, months can go by before spotting a new prospect. So get clicking.      

Why Is Internet dating a good (and not so good) deal?    

First, it is a quick way to find a lot of people. By taking the two clicks above, you have before you pages of people who are interested in meeting someone.    

Second, you can sift through these people fast and eliminate those that you don’t want. If you don’t want someone who smokes, drinks, or who hasn’t graduated from high school, you simply don’t send an e-mail to that person. 

After you identify someone that looks good to you, read their profile to see if they have the characteristics you value -- educated, good job, divorced, loves kids or whatever. Rather than going out on a date with someone and deciding midway through dinner that you are not interested, you can sift through 20 people in two minutes and focus on the two that you like the looks of and who have the characteristics that you like.        

There are three downsides of Internet dating.

One is lying. Men lie about the income and status. Women lie about their weight and age. Both lie about something. But lying is not unique to the Internet. Lying occurs with those you meet/date at work.          

Another negative is that you can’t assess chemistry through a machine. You need to meet in person to see if you “click” offline. And this should happen sooner rather than later. Don’t e-mail someone for weeks/months only to discover when you meet them that there is no chemistry.

A related issue is that you can’t assess how the person you meet online “fits” with your friends and family. This can only be done by meeting the person and later introducing him or her to your social network. Having your friends/family meet your Internet person will be very important. And this can’t happen through your laptop.

What cautions should you keep in mind so you don't get hurt?       

Looking for a partner on the Internet is like driving on the Interstate. You must obey the rules of the road- like don’t’ give someone your phone number or address over the Internet. Ask for theirs and you call them.  Then, after exchanging several emails to see if you continue to be interested, agree to meet the person in a public place. As a woman, take a girlfriend and leave with your girlfriend. Be patient.  In general, operate on a 20 to 1 ratio. You’ll need to meet 20 folks before you meet the ONE that is going somewhere. But you only need one!  

Dr. David Knox is the founder of www.heartchoice.com and the author of "The Divorced Dad’s Survival Book."             

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