Even when they’re 100% amicable, divorce proceedings have a way of dragging out – especially when kids or property (or both) are involved. In some states you’re required to be separated for a full year before a judge will sign the decree.
But the relationship itself is officially over, and possibly has been for quite awhile, years even. You’re definitely ready to become one of those “dating while separated” guys, but chances are you could use a little strategic online dating help.
For starters, if you’ve been out of the dating scene for a few years or more, you may feel a little rusty when it comes to dusting off your profile and presenting the “new you” on Tinder and Match.com.
Or maybe you’ve been in a relationship for so long that online dating is a brand new world?
Either way, VIDA has you covered. These 5 essential online dating tips for guys will help you meet the best singles in your area!
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The Best Way To Handle Those Two Elephants In The Room
When you’re setting up your profile, you’ll come across two tricky questions: “Relationship status” and children.
Separated is a loaded word – you know it’s over, but your potential matches may think you’re packing some heavy baggage, including the fact that you technically still have a spouse.
Many women take the extra step of filtering out men who are separated when searching for matches, so selecting it as your relationship status may drastically limit your options.
Other sites don't give you many options at all – for instance, on OkCupid your choices are Single, Seeing Someone, or Married. “Married” is technically correct, but will likely keep you out of most search results.
On Match, “Separated” is accurate, but that’s another relationship status many if not most women actively filter out. Given that 40-50% of married couples in the US end up divorcing, it’s pretty common to meet people with a previous marriage (or two) under their belts.
If all that’s pending in your divorce is a few more meetings between the lawyers before the judge signs off, go ahead and check single or divorced, depending on your options.
Later on, after you and your match have been on a few dates and built up some attraction, you can always fill her in. By then she’ll have realized that you’ve truly moved on, and it’s just a matter of time until the divorce process is completed.
But if you feel like that’s an ethically gray area for you, opt for a site where “separated” isn’t an option. That leaves “divorced” or “single” as the most accurate description for your current situation.
That takes care of the first elephant in the room – now let’s talk about the second one.
Having kids is on the list of things you really shouldn’t lie about in a dating profile. (Here is when it's okay to fudge a little!)
So when you’re creating your profile, if you’ve got ‘em, check the box. That may mean women who want to date men without kids will skip your profile, but that’s not actually a bad thing.
Why expend time and energy matching and messaging with someone it’s not going to work out with anyway?
That being said, there’s a fine line between giving her the impression you’re a great dad in your profile and making her wonder if both you and your kids will show up on the first date.
Limit the kid mentions to once or twice in the body of your profile, and maybe include a photo of you having fun with them. Definitely don’t make them the star.
Start Looking For Love (Or Whatever) In The Right Places
The number of online dating sites and apps have exploded in the last few years, which may leave you overwhelmed with choices.
It’s easy to get distracted by niche dating sites, but you’re actually much better off sticking with the biggest names in online dating:
Those are the places where you’ll have access to the most possible matches, and you can always screen for common interests from there.
Out of those four, Tinder is a must for guys who are dating while separated. It’s still the most popular dating app in the US, and you’ll find local singles looking for an entire spectrum of relationships on it, from hookups to marriage.
No matter where on that dating continuum you fall, the sheer number of potential matches makes it the perfect place to get your dating feet wet.
Match.com is a good bet if you’re ready for something on the more serious end of the relationship spectrum. Messaging requires a paid subscription, so you won’t come across as many fake profiles or women who aren’t serious about moving things off the site.
OkCupid and POF are arguably two of the best free dating sites, so they’re immensely popular. You’ll have no problem finding plenty of intriguing local women to message. But “free” is a double-edged sword, as the percentage of fakes and flakes is much higher than on Match.
Want more expert guidance? Learn how to choose the best dating site for you!
Nail The Most Important Part Of Your Online Dating Profile
Yup, your photos. And grabbing them off Facebook and obviously cropping your ex out isn’t going to cut it.
If you don’t have many pics to choose from, ask a buddy with a good camera to snap a few of you in interesting outdoor places, like a cafe, park, or beach. Hiring a pro photographer is also an option, although you want to choose one that specializes in natural looking candids.
No matter which dating site or app you end up using, you’ll want to select 3-7 strong photos to use in your lineup. You’ll often have the ability to upload far more than that, but resist the urge.
She can swipe left at any time, so all it takes is one terrible photo to torpedo your chances. Finding more than 7 photos where you look equally attractive is tough for just about anyone.
Your primary photo is key, as that’s often the one that determines whether she swipes east or west. Follow these simple primary photo rules and you should be golden.
They were determined by scientists, so you know they’re legit:
- You’re the only one in it. Group photos are great for “proving” you’ve got an active, fun social life. But she doesn’t want to guess which guy you are, and you don’t want to risk her feeling disappointed when she figures it out.
- It’s cropped to traditional “headshot” proportions. Chest and up is perfect. The brain naturally prefers images that are easy to interpret, and it doesn’t get much simpler than this.
- You’ve dialed up the contrast. Don’t risk fading into the background. If you “pop” from your surroundings, you stand a better chance of holding her attention.
- She can make eye contact with you. No sunglasses or hats allowed when it comes to your primary photo – and choose one where you’re looking at the camera.
Here’s what it looks like when a photo follows all the rules:
Check out these expert online dating photo tips that will increase your chances of getting better matches!
Write A Dating Profile That Gets Her Hooked
Depending on what site or app you’re using, the length of your profile will vary. But the intent is the same – catch her attention, keep it, and leave her wanting to know more about you.
If your profile can accomplish those 3 things, you’re that much closer to scoring a date.
Here are 5 dating profile “Do’s” to keep in mind, no matter what site or app you’re using:
- Be a good storyteller. Whether that’s through humorous anecdotes or descriptive language, resist the urge to describe yourself using a string of boring adjectives. If she can feel a personal connection with you after reading your profile, she’s much more likely to reply to your message – or even reach out first.
- Include a bit about what type of woman you’re looking for. A profile that’s 100% about you isn’t doing you any favors. Instead, make it 70% about you, 30% about her – that’s the most attractive ratio.
- Mention your career. Even if you’re not looking for the next Mrs. Right, having a good job and a solid future is a point in your favor. For instance, 73% of women on Tinder are looking for a smart guy with a good job.
- Let the “real you” shine. She wants to know specifics, because those make you seem like a genuine, authentic person. Mention your hobbies, your pets, what you like to do on a Friday night – all those details paint an attractive picture of what a fun guy you are to spend time with. Work in some humor if you can – a whopping 97% of single women think a sense of humor is hot.
- Mind your grammar. Your mom was right, women really do you judge you on it. Both your phone and your laptop have spell check, so no excuses. In fact, 58% of singles surveyed said bad grammar was worse than bad sex!
Of course, any good “Do’s” list has some corresponding “Don’ts”:
- Badmouth your past relationship, no matter how bad it was. The only thing you’re doing by making your ex look bad is making yourself look worse.
- Lose your confidence. Even if you’re not sure you’re ready to be back on the market, don’t advertise it in your profile. Projecting confidence is attractive – insecurity is not. She doesn’t want a fixer upper, she wants a fun positive date for Saturday night.
- Skip your profile entirely. Having a bio on an app like Tinder nets you 4x the matches.
If you need some inspiration to get you started, check out these irresistible dating profile examples you can use on any site or app.
Send Her The Right Message
All that’s left now is starting an online dating conversation! Which, for some guys, is the biggest in a long line of hurdles. The problem is this: the more attractive the woman, the more she’s bombarded on the daily with messages from guys just like you.
If you want to be among the chosen few who get a reply, catching her eye is essential.
Here are the 3 keys to a successful dating message, and none of them are optional:
- Be creative.
- Keep it classy.
- Pose a question.
“Creative” has a pretty broad definition, which works in your favor. Her inbox is crammed with boring messages that fall completely flat, like “hey there” and the like.
Not only are those lame icebreakers, they’re also difficult to respond to. Put yourself in her shoes – maybe she’s checking Tinder between meetings, or after a long day at the office.
A message like “hey” effectively puts the burden of starting an interesting conversation squarely on her shoulders – and that’s work. So she skips it.
By contrast, a message like this is actually fun to answer, so she probably will:
You asked her a question, so you’re taking charge of the conversation. All she has to do is reply. See how much easier that makes it on her end?
Make sure to steer clear of her physical appearance – for instance you may think asking her if she could get any hotter is a creative question, but it’s likely not going to work. Attractive women don’t need you to remind them they’re hot, and those kinds of messages get old quick.
Want to learn how to save a ton of time and frustration by using copy and paste messages without getting called on it? Check out this messaging strategy guide!
You’ve Got Some Solid Online Dating Strategies, But…
That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. Men can spend an average of 85 minutes a day on dating apps, which adds up to around 10 hours every week.
If you’re not getting the results you want, that kind of time commitment can get pretty frustrating. But you have to put in the hours, because 67% of online daters are guys, so competition for the highest quality local singles is fierce.
Everything from your profile to your photos to your messaging game needs to be firing on all cylinders if you have any hope of locking in a date, much less scoring a phone number.
Wouldn’t you rather just meet attractive women without going through all the hoops and hassles?
Imagine having a professional writer craft your profile and send irresistible dating messages on your behalf, and the women you want to meet most write back thanks to your irresistible photo lineup that was chosen by experts.
And then – since we’re imagining a perfect world – your entire message exchange is handled for you, so all you need to do is show up for all the dates with incredible women.