2013: The Year Online Dating Works for You!

Well, New Year's Eve has come and gone. You've made a lot of resolutions and hopefully, you will be able to keep most of them. Somehow, when you prioritize, the personal things that are "nervous-making" get put down to the bottom of the list, like dentist appointments or cleaning out your closets. If you want to meet a special "someone" and you're single or divorced, this is the year to consider an online dating site.

Our book Love for Grown-Ups is a relationship guide based on interviews with women who married or re-married over the age of 35. All these women made happy, successful marriages and lots of them told us they'd met their husbands through an Internet dating site. One woman went out with a man and they weren't right for each other, but he said he had a friend that he knew would be right for her. Guess what? They got married!

Here is some advice we got from the women we interviewed:

Get help creating your online profile! Don't do this alone. Make a list of things that you feel tell the story about you and then ask a friend to look at them and to help you develop or delete some of your ideas. It's easy for you to dismiss some things that you're too modest to mention, but a good friend will help you out. Ideally, it should be someone who has had a little experience with dating sites. Go on a few and take a look. Don't get nervous, lots of people sign up for dating sites. just look at their statistics!

Be Specific -- it matters. Don't describe your interests in general terms. Don't just say "I like football." Instead, write, "I always follow the Oakland Raiders." If you like The Doors or Mozart's Clarinet Concerto makes you swoon, say so. Saying "I love music" is too vague. Same goes for all sports. Are you a runner? Are you certified in scuba diving? Are you hooked on reading Modern European history? Think carefully about the things you really enjoy doing and add them to your profile.

Be Truthful - it doesn't make sense to lie. You wouldn't want to be lied to, so don't do it yourself. If a guy shows up and he's about twenty pounds heavier than you thought he'd be, you'd wonder what else he was lying about. Give your real age, height, weight and, if you have children, say so. If you're divorced, add that too, but that's all you need to say about your ex-husband. Don't trash him -- it sends the wrong message about you.

Post three photos -- and they should be tastefully sexy! If you have a dog or cat, include them in one of the pictures. Try for a little variety. One bride we interviewed had a picture of herself in a bulky coat... no responses. When she replaced it with one of her in a cocktail dress it made a big difference!

Know what you're looking for in a potential mate. If you're not interested in someone who already has kids, say so. If you don't care if he has kids, make that clear. If you're a die-hard Democrat and can't imagine being with a Republican, better mention that, too. If you want a companion who enjoys traveling, make that known.

Use correct grammar and spell check It shows that you're careful and and you are taking the on-line dating experience seriously. Yes, the little things count.

Reluctant as you might be to create an online profile, we suggest you do it. We've heard so many great stories about people who've connected through the Internet. We'd like you to be one too!

Let us know if you've decided to start 2013 right with an Internet dating site.

Ann Blumenthal Jacobs, Patricia Ryan Lampl and Tish Rabe are the authors of "LOVE FOR GROWN-UPS: The Garter Brides' Guide to Marrying for Life When You've Already Got a Life", a relationship guide based on interviews with women who married over the age of 35. The book tells you how to find Mr. Right, marry and find life-long happiness. The Garter Brides are a sisterhood of women who all got married later in life. They offer tried and true advice on how to have the love and life you want.

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