Moving On[line]: DOs and DON'Ts of Online Dating

Dating after divorce could mean the game has changed, as pretty much every aspect of our lives are moving online, it’s no shock that the dating scene has followed. While some people may be hesitant about the legitimacy and effectiveness of online dating, over 36% of Canadians use online dating according to eHarmony, with about 20% of current committed relationships starting online. Still hesitant? We will discuss some of the DOs and DONT’s of online dating, but first if you are looking to dive into online dating make sure you can say “YES” to the following:

  • Are you following your feelings? Feelings of readiness should dictate when you re-enter the dating world not a calendar.

  • Have you thought about you want, don’t want, and what you will not settle for?

  • Are you neutral about your ex? Your relationship should be clear of any obsessive, angry, or extremely negative feelings as well as any longing feelings.

  • And finally, have you ended your marital relationship? Even if your divorce has not been completely finalized, both parties should be aware the marriage is over.


Haven't finalized your divorce yet? Do it right here:

Where to start?

When dating after divorce you have a bit of a leg up, you are more realistic in your approach to find “The One”, after getting divorced you may be more open to meeting and dating all kinds of people you might not have considered before.

The first step is establishing what you want from online dating whether that is a committed partner or someone to have a fling with, be honest when assessing what you are ready for and when making your profile, this’ll help ensure to get someone that fits what you desire. Your divorce has changed you in many ways, and may have shifted your views on love, marriage, and relationships, so be aware of this and trust your feelings.

Next is creating your profile, make yourself stand out and be unique while still being honest in the information you provide. People who have been divorced tend to create more detailed profiles, and read others profiles more in depth, so provide enough information about yourself (but be aware of oversharing!).

Now onto some of the DOs and DON’Ts once you are online:

Do Research: Read each profile fully, it’ll be hard but don’t just look at the photo (depending on what you want) because you may have a certain “type” you’re drawn to, and that may not equal your best match. See how the person writes, how their interests match with yours, and if they have what you are looking for, for example, education level or children.

Don’t Obsess: First off, the chances of getting a response on an online dating site are low, so if someone ignores you or doesn’t respond as quickly as you’d like, do not dwell on them. If they do respond, be careful not to get overly attached until you have met them and know how they feel as well, this will help avoid unnecessary stress and for you by making up stories and getting obsessed with a person you haven’t met. 

Do Be Aware: A shocking 80% of online daters over-exaggerate, or even lie on their profiles so be wary that what you may see is not what you might get. Some areas to watch: age, height, weight, income, and occupation

Don’t Take it Personally: Be ready to get rejected, it will happen to everyone. Men and women agree feelings of self-worth are impacted by divorce. So before you start online dating make sure you rebuild any lost self-esteem. While rejection in the offline world may be a bit more clear, online it can be a bit more confusing, the best bet is if someone is not responding or seems distant, shift that attention to something or someone more deserving.

Do go at your own pace: Stuff can move pretty quick with online relationships with the average dating time being 18.5 months before marriage, rather than offline being 42 months of dating. Always remember if you are not comfortable with this that is completely OK.

Just a few other tips before you set off into the online world:

Be careful, online dating adds a new element of cyber security, so stick to reputable sites. Never feel bad about asking someone for a recent photo or FaceTime/Skyping before meeting someone in person, if they are reluctant this is a red flag. Also be sure not to give out your regular email address, use a new or dummy email account specifically for dating purposes. Your personal email address could give dishonest people too much personal information such as your phone number, workplace, and more. Lastly, have fun, trying online dating can help build excitement and confidence in “getting back in the game”!

*If you're divorced/separated/or in the process be honest, if you are currently looking for a separation agreement or divorce application, click here: