Dating 101
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What are the things to be worried about when dating in my late 30's? 

It's never easy to go back to dating after being married.  Even if it starts off pretty strong, the dating scene can get pretty old, real fast.  It's important to be ready to face the challenge with a healthy outlook, realistic expectations and patience.  Don't expect to meet the right person immediately.  Take it slow and understand that many of your prospective dating partners will either be divorcees with a bit of baggage or those who have never been married.  The latter could have commitment issues or high expectations for finding the right person.  Those who are divorced may share some similar grief and burden with you, but don't make this negative baggage the main connection for which you form your new relationship.  Instead, make topics of conversation mostly positive and forward thinking.

It's important to recognize the dating partners that are looking for a quick "hook-up" or social interest partners (someone they can call when there is nothing else to do or no one else available).  

Nothing Serious Partners

It's not uncommon for someone to seek a casual relationship after divorce instead of another long-term commitment.  Just be clear you both have similar expectations. 

Social Interest Partners

If the relationship stalls in one way or another, it may be time to move on.  If the relationship is all texts and calls but limited or no dates, it's possible you are one of many people this person calls upon with no intentions of forming a lasting relationship or real relationship at all.

Looking for a Relationship Partners 

You may find being with someone new after a long relationship brings about feelings of youth and energy.  But, as time passes, the person and relationship are less attractive to you.  So, take your time with commitments, intimacy and sharing resources or your residence.  You have plenty of time to meet the right person!

Who pays on the first date?

Men typically still pick up the tab on the first date.  He should always offer and be pretty quick in doing so.  If she seems annoyed, then he could offer to split the tab.  He could also suggest she pick up the tab on the next date, which is an excellent way to casually ask her out again.   

I just separated from my wife after a 24-year marriage. Do women date men who are separated these days or should I wait until I am divorced?

Yes, some women will date separated men. However, you should be upfront with your date about your divorce not being final. Also, know that you may be opening the door to some additional legal issues.

Your date may want to know how long before you expect your divorce will be final. Answer truthfully but spare your date the personal details. Those are meant for later in the relationship should it get that far. Talking too much about your soon-to-be-ex can be a red flag to your perspective new dating partner that you're not ready to let go of the past.  This is your problem, not hers, and totally normal at this stage of the separation stage of a divorce. But, if you are ready to date, then you should be past a great deal of the emotions that are typical of this stage.

If you are not over it, then you may be better off waiting until you are more emotionally vested in moving forward.  In most cases, if you are dating at this stage, you aren't as much seeking a new relationship as you are seeking a replacement for your soon-to-be-ex.  While many experience this "desire", recognize that it is often a formula for disaster since your interest in a new love is based only on your perspective. 

Most people seek someone who is free of the past and problems associated with it.  They want someone who is fully available, ready to begin a new relationship without still needing to close the doors of the current one.  Just consider your decision carefully for all that are involved.

How soon after you start dating should either person say, 'I love you"?

There is no steadfast rule.  You may say it after 1 month or 1 year depending on your relationship.  However, if the other person isn't ready, it can scare them off.  Some relationship experts say about 2-3 months is a reasonable time. Generally, just make sure it is someone you truly love rather than someone you're just attracted to based on the newness of the relationship.   Sometimes we have feelings of closeness, admiration or physical attraction that may seem like love, but in fact, it isn't. 

If you are only attracted to someone based on one or two things or if it is really early in the relationship and you don't know much about your new companion, you may need to give it some time to see if this person has all of the qualities that warrant "true love". If you move too fast and the person says he/she loves you too, then it will be a more complicated break-up if you later realize you made a mistake.

You should be able to sense there is a love connection and genuinely enjoy time you both spend together. The feelings about being with one another should be mutual. This means you both share your feelings, laugh, talk and initiate dates and conversation. While your love interest may have certain personality traits such as shyness or reserved behavior, you should generally know if he/she is into you. Only you and your dating companion will be able to truly know when the time is right.

Remember, to love someone doesn't imply this is the person you plan to marry.  It just means you have developed these feelings and want to share that feeling by telling him or her.  Often it will also lead to a level of exclusivity, but don't just assume so.  Be clear about your relationship goals and expectations for a long-lasting future together. 

Read our entire article on these three little words by clicking here.

Are dating sites safe?

Anywhere you go to meet a stranger is going to present a crime of opportunity.  However, with reasonable precautions and good common sense there should be reduced risk.  The online dating stigma has changed considerably over the last 10 years.  Many people find online dating to be one of the best forms of meeting someone new. However, since the prevalence of dating through online sites has increased a great deal, so has the incidence of crimes associated with online dating, particularly sex crimes like date rape.

Sex Crimes

One of the most important ways to protect yourself from such a crime is to meet any new potential date at a public place or with friends for the first few dates.  Most crimes of this nature happen in a private residence, so it is important that before you decide to be with this person alone, you have established the person's identity and background.  Avoid drinking or putting this person in control and don't allow him/her to pressure you to be alone until you are ready.  Always inform a close friend or family member about who you are meeting and location where you plan to meet.  If you leave that location, let your friend or family member know where you will be going.

Money Scams

Another crime that is prevalent through online dating is a scam to pressure someone to send money.  According to the FBI warning, criminals use dating sites to target lonely and vulnerable men and women and then pressure them to send money.  Once this happens, the scammer continues to develop the "scam" relationship by suggesting they need more money to come visit or for emergencies. 

Scam warning signs:

The chance of recovering any money is very slim.  This is one reason why these crimes are so prevalent.  A huge warning sign is that the correspondence has a good number of grammatical errors or broken English.  But this is not in every case.  If you suspect you are a victim of any crime via the internet to include dating sites you should report it immediately by visiting

Select from the list the next dating topics of interest:

Dating Sites

First Dates

Online Dating

Reasons to Try Online Dating

Taking Online Dating Profile Pictures

Creating Online Profiles

Safety Concerns of Online Dating

Where to Meet for Your First Date

First Date After Divorce

How Long to Wait to Date

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