One of my VIP's is ready to head back into the world of dating. She knew I had dated quite a few years (5 years to be exact!) before Grand Dude came into my life. We were talking about the differences of dating when you are in your 40's versus in your 20's.

Dating sites on the internet is most definitely one of the differences. Today 20% of relationships can trace their origin back to an online dating site.

I will be honest, I did the online dating and I tried most of them over my 5 years. I think each site has it's strengths and you also get what you pay for. I also came to the realization that since this is such a different way of dating that I could only handle about 3 months of it (real intense!) and then I would need to take a break from that world.

My VIP asked about some of my suggestions in regards to online dating and here they are:

1. If a man lies on his profile; I moved on immediately regardless how wonderful they appeared to be. If they felt the need to lie to get a date; why would I think it would stop there.

2. Don't lie on your profile.

3.Never date anyone who has been divorced (not separated) less than one year. It takes time to heal.

4. Never post a photo of yourself; but would always include in my profile 'Photo upon request' and would send one immediately upon request. Reason is that it cut down on those looking for sex and would prefer for someone to want to date me for who I am not how I look.

5. Never date someone who won't share their photo, see point number 1. Oh, the stories I could tell before this became mandatory for me.

6. Never mention sex or age of your children; but do mention if grown or at home. Never send a photo with child in it. Call me paranoid; I call myself cautious. On a first date, if the man is over-interested in details about my daughter there will be no second date. One man actually brought me a gift for my child on our first date ... it was dumped in the trash when I got home .. that gave me the creeps!

7. Know what your 'must have' or 'must not have' list is and live by it ... do not compromise.

8. First 3 dates, always meet in a public place. Never allow someone to pick you up at home or follow you home.

I always knew within the first 10 minutes of meeting someone face to face whether there was going to be a second date. And trust me, the same is for the man. I can't begin to tell you how many dates I had when we were both knew this was the only date we would have; but we had a wonderful evening anyway. These were men I enjoyed asking what their experiences on the dating sites; not much different than mine and there are some very funny stories to share.

I met some wonderful men through the internet dating experience that I probably would have never met otherwise. Only one of them sparked the chemistry in me. Grand Dude and I were introduced online. Funny story is that we actually knew of each other and had mutual friends. We just didn't know each other was single until we connected online.

Author's Bio: 

Debbi Dickinson has been a single divorced mother for 9 years. She has a teenage daughter. Debbi is also a recovered alcoholic for 9 years who’s marriage didn’t survive her getting sober.

Newly sober and divorced she struggled with reclaiming her life and writes about her experiences in her blogs. Through her own mistakes, she shares her experience, strength and hope for the bright future which today she now enjoys.

She is intimately familiar with the struggles of single parents endure whether it’s answering our children’s questions about divorce, spending holidays alone or finding love again. She also tackles topics such as dealing with ex-spouse, setting boundaries and steps to reclaiming You!

Debbi is widely published including being regularly featured in Huffington Post.