Old school in love and married couples will laugh at the possibility, but for those who find themselves single in mid-life, its hopeful.

The number of couples meeting online has taken on a life of its own in the last ten years. And it only seems to be growing. Trends of meeting online are increasing and it doesn’t seem to really concentrate on one age group or another. 20 somethings are falling in love online and 40, even 50 year olds are finding a new lease on love with the help of the internet.

In my friend circles 71% all met online; nearly all of our friends are married or engaged. When you think about it its a lot. Yes, my James and I met online.

Meeting online really worked the best for me when I was ready to start dating after my divorce. I wanted to date, but was afraid. I didn’t trust myself in the way of love and I certainly did not trust men. I was definitely at a point in my life where I thought they (men) all lied and didn’t really care about what I wanted or thought. Dating online gave me the time I needed to get to know someone without the burden of being on my best at all times. My make-up could stay in the bag and my hair could be up in a bun while I talked about life, the lessons I still wanted to learn and even flirt. Most men would have given up on me, as it took me six months to actually commit and follow through on a date (in person) with my James. He was so interesting, so funny and so cute. I was afraid I would blow it with all my fear and baggage. This wasn’t my first rodeo, but I wanted it to be. I wanted to have the innocence I once had when it came to love. No, I am not young minded enough to believe that was possible, but through our talks online, I kind of did have that first time innocence.

In my experience with online dating I met a few that were clearly out for only one thing, a few that could have had a stamp on their forehead that said “I will always be single for a reason” and some that just didn’t get it. I also found many that were nice and lonely and just wanted to talk and be friends. Weeding through the madness is mind numbing at times but well worth it. Through the search, again I found my James.

I obviously took my time with this relationship, remember it took me 6 months to actually, physically meet him for a silly cup of coffee. Yes, our first date was over coffee. It’s not like James asked for a full dinner and movie commitment, he merely asked for coffee with me some afternoon for about an hour. And it still took me six months. All I can say is that James is a very patient man, whom by the way still pokes fun at me from time to time about it. To catch you up, after that cup of coffee we were inseparable and married about three years later. We are still together and will celebrate our third wedding anniversary this summer.

Some great tips on dating online: (from me and from some other great sources)

  • Don’t be afraid to ask all the questions on your mind (I actually gave James two 20 questions forms-and yes, he answered them)
  • Learn from your mistakes and don’t carry them forward (if you’re anything like me you may already have enough baggage-you don’t need to over stuff that bag) :)
  • If it doesn’t feel right, cut bait, you are not obligated to continue ‘talking’ to anyone
  • Talk on the phone before actually meeting in person
  • Meet in a public place during an active time
  • Get to know them, in person, before inviting them to your place
  • And trust yourself, if it feels wonky, it usually is

Although most couples still meet in school, church, bars and work the numbers for online dating and or love connections are increasing every day. Be careful, be wise and be open to a new beginning.