Last week, Martha Stewart revealed that not only was she interested in dating, she's got a Match.com profile. Many people were shocked to think that a woman her age (she's 71) would want to date or more importantly take lover, but the rest of us know that a vibrant woman like Martha should be dating, and having sex.
We want to give Martha big kudos for embracing the Internet age and signing up for online dating. It's a great way to meet a lot of people quickly. She may not find her perfect match through an online dating site, but it is a great way to meet people outside of your own social circle.
There are a few rules that Martha (and her contemporaries) should keep in mind when they first start online dating.
Don't Have Sex On The First Date
Unless you want to AND you're prepared. That means you've brought protection from STDs and you're only looking for a physical relationship. Know that relationships can change after you have sex, so if that's what you want -- go for it. A few years ago, online daters had a third date rule -- that was the date when sex became an option. No one should ever feel pressure to make a date physical. Especially if you 've just jumped back into dating after a long period of time off. You know best when you're feeling sexy, make sure that you keep to your own schedule.
Avoid Dating George Clooney
Unless you're just in it for fun. When a man says he doesn't want to have a relationship with one particular woman...believe him. Then just sit back and enjoy yourself and don't take it too seriously. This isn't your first rodeo, so you should be able to spot a selfish lover quickly. Trust your instincts. If you think that your date isn't as emotional invested as you are in being in a relationship, walk away, it's probably true. Life is too short to be dating anyone who doesn't fit your lifestyle .
Keep Your Options Open
Just because you've made the final purchase doesn't mean you can't window shop. Dating online shouldn't narrow your options. You should continue to look for someone nice in your social circle or neighborhood. Getting to know someone in an exercise class or where you work or volunteer, takes the pressure off of dating. While you're letting that relationship develop, you can continue online dating so you won't be sitting home alone on a Saturday night.
Establish Your Boundaries
Don't want to have someone sleep over at your house? Just want a companion for social events? Want to date someone who lives in a different geographic location. Perfect. Tell your date what you expect from dating. Being honest will avoid hurt feelings and confusion.
Don't Abandon Your Past
Don't feel like you have to be a "born-again" virgin to get back into the dating scene. If you're dating other people your own age, they'll expect you to come with baggage -- including ex-spouses, children and grandchildren. Someone worth dating will embrace you and everything you bring with you -- just as you will embrace them.