After a failed marriage and a miserable divorce that took two years to finalize, I wasn’t ready to jump back into the dating pool right away.  Instead, I concentrated on paying off the debt of a failed marriage, then becoming a yoga teacher attending conferences and going on retreats.  It wasn’t until a few years later that I really looked up and decided that I wanted a someone in my life who was more than just a friend.  But when I was ready, I’d forgotten how to do it. I considered online dating and found out that yes, it’s possible to meet the love of your life online.

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I utilized eHarmony for my online dating.  I tried a couple of others, but there was this trolling mentality with them and I wasn’t looking for a quick hook-up.  Instead, I was looking for someone that I could have a relationship with.  Here are some lessons I learned that should help you step into the online dating world.

Be Real

This is not a post about how to set up your profile.  But I will say, be truthful by using recent, honest pictures of yourself and allow your quirkiness to show through in your profile.  Don’t write what you think other people will want to hear, you want to find someone who is looking for the REAL you, not a pretend version of yourself. Pretending to be someone you’re not isn’t a good foundation for a lasting relationship, but totally works if game-playing is part of your requirements.

Be Picky

I was picky for a reason.  I had no desire to find anyone who had the same traits or hobbies of my ex-husband.  Having been around him and the people that he hung out with long enough, I specifically deleted or passed on certain people.  Out went anyone that had guns, hunting or NASCAR in their profile.  It was automatic, I wouldn’t even bother reading the rest of the profile.  It didn’t mean that if they liked any of those things it was a no-go.  But if it’s important enough to be in their profile then it figures too much in their life.  It didn’t matter what else was there as I was not compromising on this.  I was looking for someone who was interested in health, who was creative, who exhibited some humor and creativity in his profile. And someone who never, ever asked me if I was flexible enough to put my legs behind my head.  Yes, that was from one of the other dating sites.  I passed on that gem, it shouldn’t be the opening line to a yoga teacher, but something to be found out later. 😉

Take Your Time

Online dating took time too, although I’ve heard of some people who signed up during free weekends and just quickly went through profiles until they found their date.  All done in one weekend.  Not me.  It took a year.  I went on numerous first dates and a few seconds and more dates.  Along the way, I learned that I wasn’t just looking for someone who was creative, but creative with their act together. Out went the pianist who was pretending to be separated (strangely enough, he was actually single, not married.) And out went the sculptor who, on our first date, asked how much I weighed.

Be Open to the Possibilities

When my future husband was presented to me by eHarmony, I almost passed on him.  Why?  Because he was a Chef and not just any chef.  He trained at the Culinary Institute of America, one of the most prestigious cooking schools in the U.S.  It’s also the school that my father attended.  Since my divorce, I had spent a couple of years losing over 50 pounds and becoming physically active with yoga and hiking.  And now I was looking at the picture of a chef and my first reaction was “He’s the one.”   It scared me that of all the potential matches, he was the only one that I had that thought with.  And even scarier, it was the man who could cook for me. I thought that I would gain back all the weight I lost, so I ignored him, but I didn’t close him out.  After a week of rereading his profile and looking at his picture, I finally decided to reach out to him. Eight years later, we’re still together and he is still cooking for me.

Trying new things, like online dating, isn’t reserved for just the young.  It’s a great opportunity no matter your age.  How did you meet the love of your life?  And if you haven’t tried online dating yet, I suggest you give it a try.  It worked for me.