ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Common Sense Online Dating Tips

Updated on July 17, 2012

Recently, my friend, a divorced woman in her late 30s, came to visit. My children love her, so they hung all over her, even when we wanted to discuss "grown-up" topics, like my friend's love life (or lack thereof). My daughter, an eight-year-old with VERY good hearing, offered some unsolicited advice when she "accidentally overheard" (translation: eavesdropped) on a conversation we had about online dating. It turns out that she has very strong opinions about the matter, and rather surprisingly, her take on it was quite insightful. Here's what she had to say.

Look beneath the surface; he might be Prince Charming on the inside!
Look beneath the surface; he might be Prince Charming on the inside! | Source

There's More to Someone than Their Photo

As we were discussing the photos of the available men my friend had searched for, my daughter asked, "Why would anyone decide who to go out with based on a photo?" After we stopped laughing, several hours later, we realized it was a good question. Why should she immediately discount the guy with curly red hair or the one with the bulbous nose? Once we stopped only looking at super-hot guys, tons more availability opened up, and the guys seemed to be better matches for her.

My daughter's attitude is extremely healthy, and while probably unrealistic for most of us to put into practice, we could all use a reminder that a photo only shows the surface of a person, and that the person's true worth is inside. If you're rejecting someone with a great profile just because he's bald or has funny facial hair, you could be missing out on the love of your life! Sure, appearance is a factor, but don't let it be the ONLY factor.

Be Open to New Things . . . to a Point

When we mentioned that a standard first date involves meeting for coffee, my daughter vehemently declared that she would NEVER go on a coffee date. Intrigued, we asked why. Well, because she doesn't LIKE coffee, of course! After we had a giggle at that, we informed her that there are other drinking options at coffee shops, and she loosened her stance to say that maybe she would do it if she could get hot chocolate. We agreed that would be an acceptable compromise.

Her compromise position was very smart—she agreed that if she were dating, she would try something new (a coffee shop), but stay within her comfort zone (hot chocolate) so she could be relaxed and happy. A win for all!

The lesson we can take from this? Be open to new things when you're starting to date someone new, but if you know that you don't like one thing, ask for something else. Be open, but still be true to yourself.

Dates Suggested by an Eight-Year-Old

  • Rollerblading in the park
  • Bowling
  • Paint your own pottery
  • Museum
  • Pizza!

Choose an Activity that You're Comfortable With

My friend had been conversing with a guy who suggested doing something active together like ice skating or Rollerblading. Immediately my daughter spoke up: "You should definitely go Rollerblading and not ice skating, because with ice skating it is really cold when you fall down, and then you feel like you have an icy puddle in your pants. And I bet that would be uncomfortable when you're trying to get to know someone!"

Two good rules when you start dating someone new: try to keep the opportunities to embarrass yourself to a minimum, and if you're trying to avoid ending up with bruises or wet pants, it'll be hard to focus on communicating with your date.

Don't Blow All Your Money on a Fancy First Date

After we discussed the coffee shop option for a first date, my daughter wanted to know where people go if they really hit it off and want to extend the date. We told her that it is customary to go to a nice restaurant for dinner in that case. Of course, she was aghast at the wasteful habits of adults: "What happens if you pay for dinner at a fancy restaurant and then break up a month later? All your money is gone! You should just go to Taco Bell."

Once again, my friend and I struggled to keep our laughter under control. However, she had made another good point: dating can be expensive. If you don't have deep pockets, don't pretend that you do just to impress your date, because one of three things will ultimately happen:

  1. You continue to go out with this person, but cut back on extras after the first few dates, making her think you're cheap and take her for granted;
  2. You continue splurging on fancy meals and expensive dates, and get yourself into financial trouble; or
  3. You stop dating the person you spent so much money on, and decide that dating is a bad investment because you lay out too much money for no positive emotional return.

Solution? Think creative, inexpensive dates, if your budget is tight. (If not, more power to you! Enjoy your Michelin-starred restaurants and opera, while the rest of us catch a movie and go to the Cheesecake Factory afterwards for a treat.)

Have you ever tried online dating?

See results

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)