Depending upon how long you’ve been out of the dating game, the idea of joining the ranks of “single and looking” may be overwhelming. Hell, it’s overwhelming for folks who have been active in the dating scene for years. So, what do you need to know to make your transition from wounded, divorced man to dating Don Juan seamless? Consider the following before dipping your toes back into the dating pool.


Online Dating–It’s a Thing

Dating has become a primarily online venture. Sure, people still meet the old fashioned way. But even people who express a determination to mix and mingle in real life maintain online dating profiles. Couples are still hooking up the way that they have for centuries before the internet: they meet at work, the market or the dog park. Do you have to try to find someone online? Nope. But there’s no denying that it can be a great way to connect with people with whom you share common interests, as opposed to hitting on a random chick in a bar and hoping for the best.


Don’t Expect Too Much of Yourself

Even if you were only married for two years, don’t expect to be the smooth operator your were prior to your marriage right away. Your first post-divorce date may in fact be an awkward debacle where you’re not sure what to say or what to do. Don’t let that stop you from trying. Just like when you were an eager teen, it will get better with time. Before you know it, you’ll be pulling off the old moves flawlessly.


Be Who You Are

This should go without saying, but don’t change yourself to get  a date. If you’re connecting with potential dates online be sure to use an recent photo and don’t fudge on specifics like height or income, should you choose to share such details. Basically, be honest. If you’re into watching The Vampire Diaries with candles lit every Thursday night, admit it proudly. If you love the Dallas Cowboys, admit it without apology. If you can’t imagine life without your pug, don’t tell a potential date that you’re a German Shepard man. Do not be “fake”. Do not pretend to be someone you are not.  Be yourself. Be honest.


Chivalry is Not Dead

Modern women are independent and they don’t need you. But, never doubt that women still respect a gentlemen. They may not need you, but if you’re a gentleman who listens respectfully, opens doors, pulls out her chair and offers to pay for the meal, even if she declines, you’re definitely earning points in her book. If she insists on paying for her half, allow her to do so graciously. For a lot of women, it’s more about the man offering to pay than the actual act of picking up the tab. Even if your date is a hardcore feminist (not a dirty word, by the way) she will appreciate the fact that you offered.


Don’t Talk About Sex

Unless the date is a booty call, don’t start asking questions about what your partner may enjoy sexually. Don’t send him or her pictures of your genitals. That is not a turn on. Some men seem to think that sending a woman a picture of their junk will make her instantly horny. In actuality, it makes her think you’re a creep who is only in it to bone her. If that’s the case, by all means, sext away. If not, save the sexy texts and talk until at least the third or fourth date… and even then, proceed with caution.


Make It All About Her

The number one rule for dating is to be present in the moment. Don’t constantly be on your phone. Do not answer calls or texts. Don’t be checking your email. Don’t take pictures of your food and post to Instagram. Don’t be on Facebook all night. Be present in the conversation. Make eye contact. Turn on the charm. (Also, do not check out other women. That’s a tasteless move that may leave you holding the check and nothing else.)

Dating etiquette may have changed slightly over the years, but the basics are still the same. Be who you are, put your best foot forward, don’t put too much pressure on yourself or your date and make sure you are having fun.


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