Dear Dr. Romance:
How realistic is it for a woman over 40 to expect a personal ad date to lead to marriage? --
It's not realistic for anyone to expect one personal ad date to lead to marriage, but if you know what you're doing, it is possible to find a spouse via dating someone you met online. Just keep in mind that it's a big, anonymous world, and get to know your potential date face-to-face as soon as possible. Understand that it will take a few months just to find out if the person you're dating has real potential. Go slowly -- it takes time to develop a healthy relationship. While you're figuring that out, try not to get caught up in the excitement of it all, and keep your wits about you. Pay attention to what your new friend is saying about himself, how well he hears what you are saying, and look for clues to character. Your job in the dating game is to figure out if the other person is the right kind of person for you. Watch for clues about how he handles money, whether the two of you can disagree and work it out, and, if he has to be right about everything -- run!
Dr. Romance's 3 tips for finding new love
For a while after a relationship ends, you may not feel like considering a new relationship, which is probably good. Jumping right from one relationship to another usually doesn't work. A relationship that follows too quickly is called a 'rebound' relationship because it's often a bad choice. Because you haven't had enough time to process your feelings, or to learn from your mistakes, your judgment will be off.
Once you have had some time to recover, however, the following tips will help you to find a successful new love.
1. Get a life: Even before you're ready to risk a new relationship, you can begin to get out and do things that interest you. Make your life as fun and social as you can without a relationship. Create a social network by joining groups who are doing things that interest you. If your life is full of activities you really enjoy, you'll be more successful at finding a successful relationship.
2. Look for friends: Looking for love is a big waste of time -- singles' activities, online dating sites and singles bars are all riddled with problems, and take you in the wrong direction. Now that you've developed a life full of social connections, seek to make friends. You'll get to know all kinds of people, and out of these people someone will soon stand out, and you'll have the advantage of already knowing each other before you decide you want to date.
3. Pay attention: Meeting your new love by making friends who share the same interests gives you a great opportunity to observe the character of the person before you declare your interest.
Read "The Fine Art of Squirrel Hunting" for more dating help, and you'll find everything you need to know about dating in The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again