Gone are the days of young men courting neighbor girls from farms a mile down the road, matchmakers arranging young couples to wed, or young ladies "coming out" into society during elaborate balls that announced their eligibility for marriage. Step aside, Jane Austen, because we are living in a different era. Ladies burned their bras in the sixties and fought for the right to work full time alongside men, so they can no longer expect that gender roles will be like they were in the past. Sorry to break the news, but there's a 99% chance that Prince Charming will not be knocking on the door anytime soon. It is time to stop waiting and open the door.
These days, single moms need to be more proactive if they are looking for love . . . but never compromise safety or personal boundaries in the process. How can you remain smart and safe while looking for love through online dating sites? Check out these tried and true tactics from expert internet daters:
- For the first date, meet separately somewhere in public like a coffeehouse.
- Limit the first meeting to about an hour since you do not want to reveal too much about yourself too quickly.
- Email a trusted friend his picture from the dating site prior to your first date so your friend knows who you are meeting.
- Prior to the first date, text your friend about the details of the date just in case anything should go awry.
- Text your friend when you arrive and then again after the date is over so she know you are safe.
- Do not build up expectations because you will only hurt yourself. Think of the date in terms of enjoying present moment living. Do not carry any false hopes or unrealistic fantasies into the future.
- Know what your boundaries are prior to dating (not as you go along), be willing to state a boundary if it comes up, and be firm about not compromising the boundary. Keep in mind that boundaries are a great test. People who do not respect your boundaries should not be brought into your personal life.
- Give yourself a time limit for subscribing to a particular dating site. When that time is up, do not pay for another month simply because you are waiting for a certain guy to take things past the "wink" level. He had his chance. If he was really interested, he would have pursed the relationship.
Keep dating in perspective by remembering that it allows you to meet new people, socialize, and learn about others as well as yourself. If one person does not work out, keep a positive attitude that there might be someone else right around the corner, perhaps even someone you bump into face to face!