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Divorced Dating and Social MediaNo one can argue that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and countless other social media sites have irreversibly changed the way people date and interact.  It is a no-brainer, but many people are still having problems adjusting to this new paradigm.  In order to help people get the most out of their online dating experience, we decided to list a few common roadblocks people face along the way.  Whether you recently received your California divorce papers, or you’re a long-time divorcee from New York, these tips can make the dating experience a lot easier.

First things first, privacy settings are your friend.  Go into all of your own profiles, and change your settings so that only the people you want seeing certain pictures or status updates can view.  The last things someone is going to want to see when dating someone who is divorced are pictures of you and your ex-husband and you trying to get over that loss by drinking yourself into a coma with your friends.  Announcing that you just filed your Texas divorce papers, followed by images and tales of debauchery are not going to work to your benefit.  Nothing says, “Do not date me” like Jaeger-bombs and “$10 Tequila Tuesdays” with the girls/guys.  One of the assets that divorced people have over those who have never been married is a perceived sense of stability.  Even if that is not the case, use that perception to your benefit, and don’t ruin it by running out and acting like you are reliving your college days.

When you land that date, see if the person you are about to go out with had the foresight to do what you just did.  Are they surrounded by beautiful members of the opposite sex, drinks in hand, when you’re looking for someone stable?  Are their status updates laced with profanity or antics that you just don’t have the time, patience, or desire to endure?  Many positive things can be gathered as well, though.  You can see if that person had previously been married, if they have children of their own, their job, and so forth.

Although the majority of people in the world are good, there are always those who aren’t.  Using Twitter to keep friends and family up-to-date on your location (and the subsequent timestamp of such posts) can help keep you safer than neglecting social media altogether.  True, it isn’t polite to be on the phone during a date, but the periodic check in should be no big deal.  If it is, that is a sign to get out of there right then and there.  Obviously, checking in every half hour is excessive, but the occasional, “Doing great!”  or, “Restaurant X is really nice!” are quick and easy ways to document your whereabouts, and in the off-chance that someone is less than upstanding, having them know that you’re regularly checking in may keep them from trying anything nefarious.

Friends of friends are a good way to find dates, but it is also a great way to find out more about the person you happen to be dating.  An interesting paradox in social media is that, although people are more private about their lives in person, many of them are more than happy to share that same information with the world at large.  Use that to your advantage.  It may seem silly and somewhat embarrassing, but everyone at some point or another has “Facebook-stalked” someone.  See if your mutual friend will go on to your date’s profile using their account, and see if any further information is available.  Finding something out early on now could end up preventing you from seeking an online divorce later down the line.

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