10 Things Every Woman Should Know About Searching for 'the One'

10 Things Every Woman Should Know About Searching for 'the One'By Kristi Dosh

If you're hitting the dating scene for the first time in decades, you might feel like a fish out of water. Dating these days takes a different skill set, from learning to text to honing your Google prowess, and you might be wishing for a marketing degree when you draft your online dating profile. Below, experts and divorced women tell you what to look out for as you embark on this new journey. Photo by Getty Images.

1. Everyone is a detective. Chances are, you'll Google your date before you meet. "Dating is scary. You don't know the potential dangers, and Google is a good source," says Jackie Pilossoph, founder of the blog Divorced Girl Smiling and author of divorce novels such as Free Gift With Purchase. If you find a red flag, feel free to bow out of the date. If you go through with meeting, don't rattle off everything you've learned about him; it can make him uncomfortable and prevent organic discussion. But if he brings up something you already discovered, fess up. "It breaks the ice," Pilossoph says. "With most people, you'll end up laughing about it together."

2. Texting has replaced talking for most topics. Pilossoph, who was in her early 40s when she returned to the dating scene, says her first post-divorce date had to teach her how to text. "I don't think he called me once throughout the relationship." Still, she suggests embracing texting. "I have two children, and I had to go back to work. I don't have time to talk to my new boyfriend on the phone every night." While texting is acceptable for making plans or flirting between dates, Pilossoph says, "the worst thing you can do is text if something is bothering you." Serious conversations should be in person.

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3. Social media is a great place to find dates. "I've been hit on over Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Craigslist," says Debbie Burgin, a divorce coach who helps others navigate the emotional and logistical demands of a divorce and author of The Joy of Ex. Burgin doesn't think it's a bad thing and encourages women to follow their gut when meeting strangers. You might also search a new date on social media and find you have friends in common. It's the modern form of a setup. "It makes you feel more comfortable," says Pilossoph.

4. It's easier than ever for men to play the field. "Match.com is like Amazon.com of women," says Laura, a divorced mom in Sacramento, CA, who's found men have more options in online dating. Because of this, guys take the attitude "if this doesn't work then I'll go back online and get a new one," says Burgin. Her own dates have remained active on sites despite going out multiple times together. Pilossoph's advice is to talk with the guy you're seeing when you're ready to take down your profile and ask if he's in the same place. If he's not, find out what's holding him back.

5. Men have less of a filter now. "What men would write stunned me," Laura admits. From graphic descriptions of their manhood (pictures included!) to accounts of how they enjoy making love, the anonymity of the web may make it easier for dudes to dish about sex. Although some things can never be unseen, it's easy enough to decline to respond and even block these guys. Laura also encountered men who'd send long emails with intimate details of their lives before meeting her. "I'd have a short period of correspondence and then either meet them or move on." Once you exchange a few emails, suggest going out or quit responding.

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6. Matchmakers are companies now, not friends. A matchmaker used to be a pal with a penchant for setting up singles. Today, it's a booming industry, albeit one with issues. One problem, says divorce coach Nancy Kay, is women flock to these services more frequently than men. She paid $5,000 only to find out one of her dates had paid nothing and been recruited through PlentyofFish.com. Before you let a service vet your dates, make sure you vet the service. "Insist on talking to five or more previous clients and ask how carefully they were matched to what they were looking for," Kay advises.

7. Playing hard to get is more likely to backfire. Not only is it fine for you to ask him out or call first, he might even expect it, says Debbie Martinez, a life coach specializing in divorce. "Women who want to be pursued and don't call men are taken as not being interested in the guy," says Martinez. It all goes back to the fact that men now have access to a plethora of women from online dating and social media, which allows them to avoid rejection by waiting for a woman to make the first move. Want to text him after the date to say you had a nice time? "Do it," urges Burgin. "It's only a text."

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8. Chivalry isn't dead, just different. The advent of online dating and blurring of gender roles have changed chivalry. Instead of him picking you up at your door, you'll likely meet at the restaurant because "you don't know the person," says Burgin. Pilossoph agrees that it's not safe to share your address with a stranger right away. As in the past, though, the man should pick up the check if he sets up the date. While he likely won't walk you to your front door for that first kiss, Pilossoph says she still expects the guy to lean in first to make it happen.

9. Dating has become a competition. With so many people to choose from online, dating has turned into a competitive sport in which guys feel they must sell themselves. On a recent first date, Kay's companion spent three hours talking about his famous father and high score on a dentist exam. "I kept checking my watch; he didn't ask about me at all!" Laura says she's had dates detail their 401(k)s. "The line I like to use is, 'That's not my measurement of a man,'" she explains. If that doesn't ease his mind and steer the conversation elsewhere, keep looking.

10. There are more serial monogamists. Laura couldn't believe how many divorced men were jumping right back into relationships when she reentered the dating pool. "They seemed like they were sometimes pursuing the relationship over pursuing me," she said. Pilossoph explains: "If a man was married, he may look for monogamy and commitment again because it's what he knows." When a guy tries to escalate things too soon with Laura (one wanted to move in with her after three dates!), she shares her need to move slowly and get to know one another.

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