All posts by Brad Pinch

The 10 Legal Documents you Must Address After Divorce

The divorce is final and you begin to breathe a sigh of relief. Finally, the red tape is cleared, the documents are complete, and the papers have been filed. You are surely done with the U.S. legal system for the foreseeable future.

Not so fast.

Even after the judgment has been entered, there are a few steps to take in order to effectuate the provisions of the divorce decree and ensure the financial and legal aspects of your life now appropriately reflect your single status.

Let’s look at the top 10 legal documents you should address after divorce.

1. Address your retirement plans including 401Ks, IRAs, and Pensions

After a divorce, retirement assets may be shifted between parties. Whether you are giving up funds or receiving them, there are rules that govern asset division in a divorce. Proper handling is critical in ensuring that the right party pays applicable taxes.

The type of retirement plan determines the rules that apply. If the courts and IRA or qualified plan custodians recognize your divisions as incident to divorce, there should be no tax consequences. Pension plans are a little messier and might require you to speak with an attorney.

If you need to transfer part of your retirement balance to your ex-wife, move to get this done quickly after the judgment is final. In doing so you can quickly regain control of the account and continue with your periodic contributions without worrying that the funds will end up in your ex’s pocket.

2. Update your Life Insurance Policy beneficiary designation

Upon divorce, it is important to review beneficiary designations on existing life insurance policies and make necessary changes. If there are no children and no financial obligations between each party, it is important to immediately designate a new beneficiary under the policy after a divorce.

In some states, probate laws prohibit a former spouse from receiving life insurance proceeds unless the insured again designates their ex as the beneficiary after the divorce is final. It varies, so if you don’t want your ex-wife to hit paydirt if you get hit by a bus, updating your life insurance policy should be high on your list.

If you do have children, you may want to name them as the beneficiaries. Another option is to consider naming an adult custodian who will be the beneficiary and responsible for distributing the funds to your children on a schedule you deem appropriate.

3. Create a Will or Trust, or revise your existing estate transfer elections

It is imperative to update your estate plan following a divorce. If you don’t, then at your death your assets could be distributed in ways that you may not want or expect.

By not explicitly stating how your estate is to be distributed after your death, you’re leaving it up to a probate judge. Why burden your loved ones with the stress (and high costs) of probate court when you can easily and explicitly declare your intentions right now?

Start by revoking your old will (or trust) and creating a new one. Sites like LegalZoom walk you through the process of creating estate plans and are very inexpensive compared to hiring a lawyer directly.

4. Ensure your Tax Withholdings reflect the correct number of dependents and new filing status

Updating tax forms such as your W-4 helps your employer withhold the correct federal income tax from your pay. After your divorce, you will likely want to adjust your number of dependents and change your filing status to ‘Single’.

In my divorce settlement, we agreed to each claim one dependent on our tax returns. Our children were born several years apart, so we rotated which child we’d claim each year. As such, I had to reduce my number of dependents by one.

I made the unfortunate mistake of forgetting to update my tax withholdings late in the year. Not only did I not have enough taken out of my paycheck to cover my taxes for the year, but when I did make the changes I was faced with the realize that my paychecks were going to be $400 lighter each month.

Don’t make the same mistake that I did.

5. Reassign Medical Power of Attorney to one or more individuals you trust

A medical power of attorney document designates an individual who you trust to make healthcare decisions on your behalf should you be unable to make those decisions. Do you really want the woman you just divorced making decisions about your health should you become incapacitated?

A durable power of attorney for health care allows you to appoint an individual, and even a couple backups, who are aware of your wishes and will see them through should the worse happen. Most commonly, power is transferred to another family member such as a parent or sibling.

6. Review and adjust your HIPAA Authorizations as necessary

HIPAA allows individuals to indicate who, besides yourself, may have access to your medical information. These forms are generally completed during new or routine office visits, allowing the doctor’s office to reveal healthcare information to a spouse.

If you no longer want your spouse to have access to your medical records, you will want to make sure to update this at each of your doctor’s offices.

7. Transfer Motor Vehicle Titles and refinance Auto Loans as necessary

Often during a divorce each spouse has a vehicle, but each vehicle is in both spouse’s names. If each spouse is awarded one vehicle as part of the divorce settlement, courts will routinely require that both spouses remove the other from the vehicle title and loan.

The complexity of transferring a vehicle title depends on a few factors, including whether the title is solely in your ex-spouse’s name or both of your names.You will need to update the title based on the court’s decision, which may be as simple as applying for a new one in only your name. Some states accept a copy of the divorce decree to do so.

Getting your ex-wife’s name removed from your auto loan usually requires that you refinance the loan. If you’re lucky, interest rates have dropped and you might actually save a few bucks.

8. Remove your ex-wife’s name from your Bank Accounts

The reality is that you should have severed joint bank accounts very early in the separation process. I did this in just the nick of time in my own divorce, as another month of shared finances might have meant the mortgage couldn’t be paid.

But if for some strange reason you haven’t done so already, you absolutely need to remove your ex-spouse’s name from all shared bank accounts. If you fail to do so, they may still be able to access funds. Even if both of your names are not on the accounts, ensure that your spouse is not considered an authorized user.

9. Gather, analyze, and address all Credit Card Agreements

Joint credit cards do not dissolve after divorce. The credit card companies have no interest in your divorce decree. To them you and some woman owe them a debt and have agreed to repay it.

Similar to bank accounts, you’ll need to ensure your wife isn’t an authorized user on any of your current cards. If she is, cancel the card and work out a way to split any outstanding balances. Furthermore, if she still has cards in your name, it’s imperative that these accounts are closed.

But how can you be certain that she doesn’t have any cards in your name?

You may want to request a free credit report to ensure that you are completely aware of all credit cards acquired with your name. You’ll want to leave no stone unturned as you sever your financial ties to an ex, especially one with expensive tastes and little self-control.

10. Transfer any applicable Property Titles to your ex-wife

When one spouse receives marital property in a divorce decree, it does not automatically mean the house is now theirs. The decree gives the spouse the right to own it, but there are extra steps required to transfer the title into the appropriate name. Find out through your local laws what steps must be taken to make this transfer as smooth as possible.

In some cases, making your changes official will require a certified copy of your divorce decree. Extra copies can be obtained at the county clerk’s office.

While it may seem like a chore to get all of this done, the consequences of neglecting these details can be significant. Right after the divorce, prepare the documents you will need to make these critical changes. Working through these matters may not be easy, but it is essential for you to secure your financial future.

How Technology has Forever Changed How Men Date

Couple using technology to date

So I never had to trudge through the snow in order to land a date with a woman. But from what I can remember of dating throughout the 90’s, it was just as exhausting.

My fellow Gen-Xers probably remember what it was like to find dates back when grunge ruled the airwaves. It usually involved some combination of bar hopping, searching for a cute girl, consuming enough alcohol to approach her, hoping she’d give you her phone number, then calling a day or two later and hoping for the best.

That was a lot of work. And expensive too!

Well, as a recently divorced man in my early 40’s, I am happy to report that the logistics of dating have changed dramatically- and for the better. Almost all of the improvements to our dating culture can be traced back to advances in technology.

For men who find themselves newly single in the technological age of dating, success can be elusive. But just as new channels for finding single women have emerged, social norms governing how we evaluate, meet, and court prospective women have morphed.

If you haven’t embraced the latest technological tools to maximize your dating prospects, you’re already way behind the curb. But have no fear. Once you adopt and master the various sites, services, and apps your disposal, you too will conclude that finding dates is much easier than it used to be.

This article is a comprehensive analysis of how technology has changed the dating landscape over the last couple of decades. I’ll break down the most important advances in dating tech and provide pointers on how you can ride this technological wave toward a more productive and fulfilling love life.

Technology has made finding dates much easier

Dating Technology

During the latter part of my separation in late 2015, I remember thinking that my dating prospects were grim. If I struggled at approaching women in college (and in my prime) how was picking up women even an option now? Landing a single, promising date seemed like an insurmountable task.

How could I, a man in his late 30’s with two children at home, possibly juggle family life with going to bars in search of women? I didn’t even have a local, single friend who could be my wingman.

Although it took some time to figure out, advances in technology meant being a pickup artist was no longer a prerequisite for landing dates with incredible women. The only requirement was embracing, learning, and leveraging the latest technological tools for finding prospective dates.

Being a software engineer by trade, I was up for the task.

Internet dating completely changed the game

Online DatingThe biggest technological advance of the last few decades was unquestionably the Internet. And from this revolutionary communication medium online dating naturally (but slowly) emerged.

Although online dating in some form existed as far back as the early 90’s, it has only recently become mainstream and socially accepted. As technology continued to help us automate and streamline many aspects of our lives, the same principals eventually found their way and acceptance in the modern dating arena.

In the year or so after my divorce was finalized, I have experimented with countless dating apps and went on more than my fair share of dates. When compared against combing the clubs for prospective women, online dating is the undisputed champion in each and every category.

The online dating services and mobile dating apps available today are invaluable. This is especially true for men my age who are time conscious and looking to streamline the process of finding dates.

Online dating works by increasing your dating prospects exponentially

Graph of dating options

To truly grasp the benefits of online dating, you simply have to examine it from a number perspective.Without online dating, your potential dating pool is essentially limited to women you encounter in your day-to-day life. If you’re lucky, you might also gain a few prospects by meeting women through people already in your social circle.

Online dating circumvents this limitation by immediately exposing you to hundreds or even thousands of single, dateable women within your local area. Best of all, by definition, the women using these services are single and actively looking to date. No more guessing if a woman is single or looking for a wedding ring before you make a move.

As online dating has become more mainstream, the number of women who use these services has exploded. The growing popularity of mobile dating apps only further proves that these tools are indispensable for modern day bachelors.

Leveraging dating tech can actually save you loads of cash

Money Saved with Online DatingI cringe when I think of all the money I wasted going out and searching for dates. I had to keep an expensive and extensive wardrobe, pay endless cover charges, and buy lots and lots of drinks, etc. There was very little return on investment.

I spent so much money going out and searching for dates that by the time I actually landed a date, I could be barely afford it. Now, a cheap subscription to an online dating service is all that is needed to find awesome dates.

The money I used to spend going out and looking for date is now used where it counts: on actual dates.

Online dating also increases your dating success rate

Avoid Incompatible WomenThe money you save by conducting your dating search from the comfort of your couch is great by itself. But the best dating services help you save cash in another important way: by avoiding dead-end dates with incompatible women.

Sites like Match.com encourage users to complete detailed personal profiles for this specific purpose. A thorough profile allows you to easily identify potential deal-breakers before you even send a first message to a woman!

Finally, men can cheaply and efficiently vet women early in the process and only approach those with the highest degree of compatibility.

Not into women with children? Simply filter them out. Want a women with a 6-figure salary? Add that option. The world is yours.

Read my comprehensive and unbiased review of Match.com here.

The stigma around online dating is gone

When I was in high school, the Yahoo! Personals were great fun. But not for finding dates. My friends and I would comb the primitive dating site looking for profile of people we knew, then we’d have a good laugh at their expense.

Looking back, it was very childish and judgmental to making fun of these people. Little did we know, they were the early adopters that would facilitate the transformation of these primitive dating services into the behemoths they are today. We owe these innovators a debt of gratitude!

But even when I got out of college in the early 2000’s, people were wary of relationships that began on a dating site. Not privy to their growing acceptance, I spent much of my twenties approaching dating the same way that I did throughout the 90’s: bar hopping.

It took another decade or so for smart phones to become commonplace, and with them an unending number of apps that streamline and simplify our lives. All of a sudden, using an app to find love wasn’t much different than using one to set business appointments or split a dinner bill.

I’m no longer embarrassed to tell anyone that I met a woman on a dating app. Anyone who thinks there is still a stigma associated with online dating is completely out of the loop.

Increased connectivity gave singles more and better dating options

Internet ConnectednessAnother huge technological shift of the last decade has been our increased connectedness. The Internet was a monumental break-through that formed the backbone of our communications.

But the ability to continuously access the Internet outside our traditional home networks meant we could connect with others almost at will.

Smarter phones with higher bandwidth facilitated a tech revolution

Modern SmartphoneThe proliferation of smartphones around 2007 gave us the power of the Internet in our hands, at all times. Being connected to the web at all times presented more opportunities to connect with others, whether through texting apps, mobile-friendly websites, or the many native dating apps to come.

Almost overnight, the purpose of the cell phone was turned squarely on its head. Once a tool used primarily for talking to people and performing the infrequent, clunky Internet search, these new smartphones became Internet-enabled communication platforms occasionally used to make phone calls.

The stage was set for all industries to leverage this technological leap to expand and improve their business.

Hyper-availability put dating apps in overdrive

Mobile Dating AppWith the release of the first iPhone in June of 2007, the mobile application industry was born. Online dating services were quick to jump on the bandwagon and release native mobile apps for their user bases.

Now, being constantly connected meant men could pursue love interests during the more mundane moments throughout their day. Time previously wasted while waiting in lines or stuck in traffic could be used to find or communicate with potential matches.

Geolocation services expanded dating options even further

Geolocation on MapAnother bonus of smartphones which didn’t become apparent until a bit later was their ability to determine your location in real-time, a GPS feature known as geolocation. Dating apps began using your location to find even more potential matches.

So instead of pursuing women based solely on attractiveness or compatibility, men could also consider available women based on their relative proximity.

Men who travel no longer had to update their online dating profiles to reflect their current city. Using geolocation services, apps simply refreshed their dating options regardless of their location.

Advanced communication platforms made long distance relationships more viable

Global CommunicationsLong distance relationships have historically been viewed with empathy and suspicion. How could you possible maintain a meaningful relationship with a woman that you rarely see and only talk to sporadically?

Thanks to the rise of free voice and video communication platforms, such as Skype, distance isn’t necessarily the insurmountable obstacle it once was when considering a long distance relationship. This is because the concept of paying more for long distance communication has slowly been phased-out.

Skype allows users utilizing an Internet connection to communicate for free, regardless of distance. As long as you use their net-based platform to connect, you don’t pay a dime. The only time you’re charged is when you communicate directly to a landline or mobile phone number.

So, whether your girlfriend is the next city over, or the next continent over, staying in touch is easier than it has ever been.

Technological shifts have transformed communication norms

While communication platforms were improving and gaining in popularity, the rules governing human interaction were undergoing a revolution of their own. Free communication mediums increased the overall volume of person to person interplay, but they also had the side-effect of decreasing the intimacy of those interactions.

Was this a change for the better?

Text surpassed voice as the primary form of communication

Girl Texting

I can distinctly remember the days when interacting with a woman meant calling an actual building. Not a person, a building.If you were able to get someone at this building to answer your call, you would then hope the woman you were trying to contact happened to be near that structure. Sometimes, you’d end up not talking to her, but her father, mother, or brother. Life was hard back then.

Point being, in the not to distance past you had to actually talk to a woman from the very start. There was no warming up via text to see if there was chemistry. There was no gentle let-down as you texted a number and never got a response. You jumped right in and either swam or sank.

Boy how times have changed.

In the age of texting, phone calls are earned
Man Talking on Cell Phone

In today’s dating landscape, voice communication is considered an intimate interaction. For many, it’s a significant relationship progression that should only happen after you’ve established a good rapport. Phone conversation is sacred, something you have to earn after you’ve texted your way to and bumbled your way through a successful face-to-face encounter.This means if you want to be successful in the modern dating arena, you better be good at texting.

Why?

Because if you don’t generate some chemistry in those first few text exchanges, you might not even make it to the first date.

For modern daters convenience trumps intimacy

Dating convenience

Mobile intelligence firm Informate conducted a study in 2015 which showed that smartphone users utilize texting over voice communications by a factor of roughly 5-1.This shift from voice communications to texting is another example of modern singles choosing convenience over intimacy. Who wants to call someone and potentially get stuck in a meaningless, time-sucking conversation? Instead, you can just fire off texts to 3-4 various women and reply to whichever one you want, whenever you want.

In a way, this makes sense in a dating culture that is moving away from monogamous relationships and more toward numerous, casual partners. After all, it’s much easier to juggle multiple women when you’re communicating via text.

For busy men looking to maintain casual relationships, texting seems to be the holy grail of communications.

Or is it?

The one big problem that plagued texting

Confusing textHistorically, the major downside to texting has been it’s gross lack of context. With only textual characters to communicate a thought, it was easy to misinterpret a sarcastic message as being serious, or vice versa. This confusion often lead to misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and missed opportunities.

To remedy this problem, users developed work-arounds to introduce emotion into boring, text based exchanges. Best of all, these little tricks allowed texting aficionados to add context while continuing avoiding the intimacy of an actual voice conversation!

Emoticons attempt to fill the texting intimacy void

Emoticon Smiley FaceAs texting became more commonplace, people learned that the lack of context and conversational depth caused undue confusion. A seemingly simple sentence could take multiple meanings based on how the recipient interpreted the message.

In the early days of texting, pioneering men would sometime try to convey feeling by using an emoticon (a typographical representation of an emotion, i.e. ;-)). Emoticons appears as early as 1982 and were popularized in communication apps of the 90’s such as MSN, Yahoo, and AOL Instant Messenger.

Although emoticons may have occasionally served their purpose, they carried with them a stigma. Women frequently interpreted these textual representations of emotion as childish or feminine. Men might have got the point across, but shot themselves in the foot at the same time.

Emojis go mainstream and become acceptable

Sample EmojisAs mobile applications advanced and data throughput increased, texting apps ironically began supporting non-textual content. This next advancement in texting tech was credited to a new software concept: emojis.Whereas an emoticon is purely text-based, an emoji is a visual representation of an emotion, object, or any other symbol. Unlike emoticons which are simply clever placement of textual characters, emojis are actual images.

As if the progression from text to emoticons to emojis isn’t confusing enough, some emojis are also emoticons. Perplexed yet?

Apps such as Facebook and Snapchat have begun making heavy use of emoticons. Facebook even expanded on their patented Like button to include a new emoji set:

  • Happiness
  • Laughter
  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Love

Expressing emotion over text will no longer get you dumped

Rejected ManThe key takeaway is that conveying emotion via text using emoticons or emojis is no longer taboo. According to Swyft Media, 74% of people in the U.S. regularly use emoticons or emojis in their online communications. These people send an average of 96 emojis per day!

Although I have been reluctant to embrace the new emoji culture, I admit that they’re an indispensable tool in your smooth-texting arsenal. Still, I try to keep it simple and to a minimum. An occasional 🙂 or a shrewdly-placed 😉 is usually more than enough for me to get my point across.

I advise you to do the same. Use emojis sparingly and only when absolutely required.

Google and Facebook made blind dates extinct

I can remember going on dates in high school when I literally had no idea what the girl looked like. Today, the concept of a blind date no longer exists in the civilized world.

The only places where blind dates could still exist are in countries where people are forbidden from seeing potential dates due to customs or religious reasons. As long as you’re not dating in India or Pakistan, chances are good you can learn much about a woman before scheduling a date.

Researching potential dates online is normal and expected

Online Dating InvestigatorFor most men today, researching a woman is a routine step before you agree to meet in person. It’s a sort of sanity-check (checking their sanity, not yours) to ensure the woman you might meet is both real and not a criminal or psychopath.

And it works both ways. Nearly half of single women research men as part of their due diligence when vetting suitors. Why take an unnecessary risk when a quick Google search could reveal that a guy is a threat?

It’s no longer creepy to conduct research on your dates. In the age of big data, knowledge is power.

Why it’s so easy to find information on potential dates

Due to the expansion of the Internet, and the subsequent embracing of a social sharing culture, it’s almost impossible to remain faceless online. An online presence is now an extension of our normal, everyday lives. As such, there is normally a wealth of information about young people online.

For young professionals, not having an online presence can sometimes be a liability. When interviewing for coveted job opportunities, some companies now insist on seeing your LinkedIn profile. If you don’t have one, you might not be perceived as tech-savvy enough for the job.

Google is routinely the first stop in online dating research

Google Dating ResearchI personally find that Google is best for performing a quick sanity check when first researching a woman. You typically won’t find a wealth of pictures or personal information through Google, but you can usually validate a woman’s identity.Being the great aggregator that it is, Google has traditionally been the first stop for men when researching dates online. Whether it be social media profiles, professional bios, or arrest records, Google has a little bit of everything.

In a typical research scenario, I might validate that a woman has some online presence and no obvious red flags (mug shots, pending legal actions, etc). If I’m lucky, I might uncover some useful background information that I can use as conversation fodder later on an actual date.

How Google may have saved my life

Oncoming HeadlightsBut I dug a little deeper.Once upon a time, I fell in love with the profile of a woman I matched with on Tinder. Everything seemed right. She was obviously not a bot, listed a verifiable job at a local accounting office, even had those freaky-looking Snapchat photos. On the surface, everything checked out.

Using her name, city, and job title I was able to issue some Google queries to dredge-up additional info. On the first page of search results I came across a public court document naming her as the defendant in an assault case.

In this report, she is said to have entered into an intimate relationship with her divorce attorney. One fine summer evening, she found her new attorney boyfriend at a restaurant on a date with another woman. She allegedly proceeded to ram her car into the attorney’s and then allegedly attempted to run him over in the restaurant parking lot!

In this particular instance, as hot as this girl was, the evidence was enough for me to take a hard pass. The quick Google search was free and quite possibly saved me a significant amount of heartache (and doctor bills).

Facebook is boom or bust when it comes to researching dates

Facebook Dating ResearchThis is because when it comes to looking up women on Facebook, you have to hit the Facebook research trifecta. Specifically, the following three conditions must be met for you to gain useful information through Facebook:Whereas Google can provide small snapshots into a woman’s life, Facebook can potentially divulge the motherload of useful dating info. But it’s feast or famine.

  1. You must successfully find her Facebook profile, using Facebook search or some other search engine
  2. Her profile privacy settings must be configured to make it accessible to non-friends
  3. Her profile must have enough information to be useful

Sometimes you simply can’t find a woman’s Facebook profile. Other times she has a profile, but it’s locked-down. Studies have shown that Facebook users are becoming much more private.

Other times you get all the way in, only to find out she’s made two posts since she created her account in 2013. It’s an inexact science.

Making sense of the information you find through Facebook

If you hit the trifecta and manage to get a significant glimpse into a woman’s world, you’ve now got a plethora of information on which to make some judgements. For me, a Facebook profile is invaluable in determining whether a woman is date-worthy. I routinely nope-out on some matches based simply on their pattern of over-sharing on Facebook.

In my opinion, if you find that a woman has locked-down her account or isn’t very active on Facebook, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sure, you might not be able to access many bikini pics of her, but it also means she has some common sense boundaries and values her privacy. That’s always a plus in my book.

Why “Facebook stalking” has become so commonplace

Man StalkingWith multiple data points on which to search (name, employer, and college, for instance), it’s rare that I can’t find the Facebook profile of a woman from Tinder or Bumble. It takes a little bit of practice, but the amount of information you gain from Facebook is definitely worth the effort.Because popular mobile dating apps like Tinder and Bumble require you to register with a Facebook account, you can be certain that the women on these apps are on Facebook. Best of all, these apps display key details (sometimes word-for-word) of a woman’s Facebook profile.

Although “Facebook stalking” once had a negative connotation, that is no longer the case. Women now expect that you at least did some rudimentary research on their profiles in Facebook (especially if you matched on Tinder or Bumble).

Facebook is a much more personal research tool than Google. If you can master the art of finding profiles with minimal source data, Facebook easily surpasses Google in its depth and usefulness in evaluating potential dates.

The very real risks of researching a potential date online

How great is it that we can find out so many things about a woman we haven’t even met yet? Modern technology has provided us with carefully curated pictures to pour over, past relationship statuses to analyze, and music tastes to compare and contrast.

The Internet is such a treasure trove of useful dating information that it’s almost too good to be true. Could there possibly be any downsides to this overindulgence of data?

Being too informed could blow your investigative cover

Busted for Online Dating ResearchMaybe these women are newly single or oblivious to the latest dating trends. Maybe they’re extraordinarily private. Regardless of the reason, it’s wise to always assume the worst and avoid [explicitly] mentioning anything you discovered about her during your sleuthing session.The vast majority of women today expect that you will search for them online before going on a date. Still, there are a small percentage of women (mainly older women with a more-traditional values) who might interpret an innocent, pre-date audit a violation.

The more information you know, the easier it becomes to start confusing what you’ve discovered during chats and what you uncovered during your investigative research. By filling your head with digital data you run the risk of crossing the wires and revealing your pre-date research during a date.

Snap-judgements can be misleading and result in lost opportunities

Dating RejectionToo many group pictures in your profile? You’re a goner.With the abundance of online dating options, it’s natural to reject women for the most mundane reasons. When it comes apps based primarily on physical attraction (like Tinder), men swipe-left with blazing efficiency and your pictures had better be good- otherwise you don’t have a chance.

  • Fake mustache in any pics? It wasn’t meant to be.
  • Inspirational memes mixed-in with other pictures? Buh-bye
  • Duck face in more than one pic? It’s over.

The same can be said for what you discover when researching a potential date online. Maybe her profile summary comes off as elitist or shallow? That can easily be reason enough for a man to choose not to send a first message.

But sometimes the superficial issues we detest in cyberspace are much more palatable, or non-existent, in person. Something that seems extraordinarily douchey online can occasionally turn out to be pretty cute in person.

The fact of the matter is that snap-judgements about what you see online you may be depriving you of promising dates. Time and time again I read stories of happy couples that initially cringed at each other’s online dating profiles, only to instantly click once they met in real life.

Misrepresentation is rampant on social media

Social Media MisrepresentationAccording to a recent study, 75% of people try to make their lives seem more interesting on social media. Does that mean that your date is likely a complete fraud? Probably not. But it does mean you should take her profile with a grain of salt.Even if you come across a treat trove of information about a potential date online, there is no guarantee the woman you meet in person will match her digital persona. In many cases, the woman portrayed online is a representation of what she wants to be, not who she is.

Mystery and intrigue are lost if you know too much

Mystery GirlA growing number of people claim that refraining from researching a date online is now the new abstinence. Proponents of this theory equate choosing not researching a date early in the relationship to refraining from sex during the same initial stages of the relationship.

I

In a way I can understand this argument. If you know too much about a date before you even meet, some of the intrigue and intimacy is lost in getting to know that person- just as some of the sexual mystery or curiosity can be lost if you immediately jump into the sack.

Ultimately, it’s a delicate a balancing act. Knowing too much takes away from the thrill of getting to know someone. On the other hand, not knowing enough could result in dead-end dates with incompatible women.

A basic rule of thumb when considering date research

If you have plenty of cash and the patience to go on countless dates, it might be more fun to limit your dating research and learn about a woman the old-fashioned way. Even if you frequently strike-out, you have plenty of scratch to stay in the game. You can afford to be adventurous and fail quickly.

However, someone on a budget who wants to be selective in their dating would probably benefit more from knowledge gleaned online. This way you’re not wasting your money on dead-end dates and you can be as efficient as possible in your love pursuits.

Conclusion

There’s zero doubt that technology has made dating easier for both men and women. The sites and apps that help us connect with women are powerful and becoming more efficient each and every day.

If you’re a single man looking to date in today’s crowded and tech-savvy dating market, you must take advantage of the tools that are available to increase your dating success. If you choose to date the old-fashioned way, you’ll be at a huge disadvantage in a dating culture that is ultra-competitive and hyper-connected.

Let go of your horse and buggy dating mindset and jump aboard the new, technological dating bullet train The ride is much smoother
.

Avoiding the Rebound Relationship in your First Dates After Divorce

Rebound Relationship After Divorce

As a divorced man, you’re likely itching to pick up the pieces and get on with your life. You’ve just been through the hellish experience of a failed marriage and divorce. Still, you’re fairly certain that you’re ready to start dating and possibly meet a new partner.Your first date after divorce is an important milestone on the road to rebuilding your life. But when seeking out relationships, it’s important to do so for the right reasons.

If you’re not careful about how you approach dating post-divorce, you could find yourself in a rebound relationship.

Pursuing rebound relationships is one of the most common mistakes divorced men make when dating. But what is a rebound relationship and how do you avoid one?

This article will answer those questions and put you on the road to productive dating in this new phase of your life. If you’re a man looking to start dating after a divorce or long-term relationship, this article is for you.

What exactly is a rebound relationship?

A rebound relationship is one that you normally wouldn’t consider, but do so because of your compromised emotional state following a divorce or long-term relationship. In most cases, people enter these relationships in the pursuit of validation.

This validation is frequently used to mask the personal insecurities developed during a failed marriage or relationship.

For a man, it could be that he isn’t yet over his ex-wife. It might be that the emotional toll of a long divorce hasn’t subsided.

In any case, a man who immediately enters a serious relationship after his divorce is frequently trying to fill some void exposed during his failed marriage- even if it’s with the wrong woman.

Why are the first relationships after divorce rarely successful?

Hurt feelings after rebound relationship

The odds of finding a long-term partner immediately after a failed, long-term relationship are very poor. These odds plummet even further if you pursue a new relationship for the wrong reasons.You want your first relationship after divorce to be meaningful, and that means ensuring your post-divorce wounds have had a chance to heal.

Do any of the following scenarios sound familiar to you? If so, you might be seeking out relationships for the wrong reasons.

It’s not your partner’s job to resolve your insecurities

If your divorce left you with lingering insecurities, it’s your responsibility to spend time addressing these issues. A good partner will provide support and reassurance. But a constant demand for validation from your partner will eventually cause friction in a relationship.

Resolving personal insecurities takes time. If you feel you have work to do in this department, here are 7 tips to help you overcome insecurities. Get yourself squared away before you consider forming new relationships.

Relationships are not a cure for loss

Relationships should not be used to heal the wounds of divorce

If you are still processing grief from your divorce, you might try to convince yourself that you’re in love with a new woman. In all likeliness, this is a case of lust, not love.You’re probably deluding yourself because this new relationship is filling the void of your failed marriage. It’s also possible that you’re having trouble adjusting to being alone after divorce.

This mirage might hold-up for a little while, but sooner or later the emotional clouds of divorce will begin to clear. Once that happens, the relationship will be exposed for what it is, transitional.

A new woman is not a stand-in for your ex-wife

Don't seek-out a stand-in for your ex-wife

If you are not over your ex-wife, you might expect a new partner to assume the role she vacated after you separated. You could find yourself frequently comparing your new relationship to your marriage, highlighting what your ex-wife did that your new partner does not (or vice-versa).A new partner might tolerate these comparisons during the honeymoon phase of the relationship. But once the shininess wears off, and if the comparisons continue, it’s inevitable that a woman will reach her limit and end things.

Someone always ends up getting up hurt in a rebound relationship

These were just a few examples of the common dysfunction that characterizes rebound relationships after divorce. Each example follows a similar pattern:

  1. One or more people enter into a relationship because of their clouded emotional state.
  2. The relationship inevitably fails because they turn out to be incompatible.
  3. Someone gets hurt and both are exiled back into the dating pool.

Dating women on the rebound – when you’re on the rebound

Rebound relationship double

Because of women’s inherent distrust of men who are recently divorced, divorced men are sometimes relegated to dating women who are also recently divorced. This sets the stage for a common, but explosive, event in the dating universe: the double rebound.

Why the double rebound almost always goes horribly wrong

As you can probably guess, the pairing of two rebounding singles only compounds the complex problems facing recent divorcees. This type of relationship usually starts off with a bang, as two people looking to fill a void are able to achieve this through each other.

Could this possibly work out? Sure, but it’s very unlikely.

The most likely scenario is that the relationship ends just as spectacularly as it started. One partner comes to their senses and realizes it was a big mistake, ultimately ending the relationship.

Save yourself the heartache and avoid women on the rebound

Yes, it’s true that men sometimes seek out the weakest damsel in distress. A woman exiting the throws of divorce is also commonly looking for quick validation, making her easy prey for a man seeking NSA sex.

While there’s nothing wrong with having a fling if you’re both on the same page, it’s not exactly cool to take advantage of a woman in a compromised emotional state.

If you do move forward and enter into a double rebound relationship, assume that it’s a just a hook-up until proven otherwise. It’s very likely that you are incompatible.

Avoiding the dangers of a rebound relationship

Rebound relationship danger

The easiest way to stay out of rebound relationships is to avoid relationships altogether until you’ve had time to recover emotionally from your divorce or breakup. After all, the average divorced person remarries in just under 4 years after their previous marriage ends.So relax, you’ve got plenty of time. You can pack a lot of dating into four years. But how long should you wait to date after your divorce? I suggest waiting for at least six months after a divorce or long relationship before you consider anything more than casual dating.

I suggest waiting for at least six months after a divorce or long relationship before you consider anything more than casual dating. This is especially true if you are dating after divorce with kids.

There’s an exception to every rule

You may have heard the argument that in some cases marriages are over well before a divorce is finalized. This is absolutely true. In these cases, a man might actually be emotionally ready to consider a relationship soon after his divorce.

Each situation is unique, but it’s always better to err on the side of caution and take things slowly.

Signs a man is susceptible to a rebound relationship

If you’re unsure of where you stand, here are some things that a man might do when he hasn’t fully healed from his divorce. These should be clear indications that you aren’t yet ready for a relationship.

  1. He makes generalized, embittered comments about women
  2. He agrees to go on dates with women he normally wouldn’t consider
  3. He spends a lot of time talking about his ex-wife
  4. He considers cohabiting with a woman he’s only dated a few times (for any reason)
  5. He refuses to talk about his ex-wife because the feelings are still too raw

Especially after a divorce, maintain your standards

Coming out of a bad marriage has a way of throwing your standards out of whack. Very few marriages end amicably. Consequently, your expectations regarding relationships are at an all-time low right after your divorce.

When starting from such a low place, it’s natural to initially view any relationship as an improvement.

I frequently found myself dating for the sake of dating right after my divorce. At the time I told myself I was simply expanding my horizons. But deep down I knew these dates were never going to mature into a relationship.

There is nothing wrong with dating to regain your bearings and make new friends. I strongly encourage it. Just be sure not to lead anyone on and to be truthful with your intentions.

Determine your relationship deal-breakers and stick with them

It’s important after divorce take a step back and define your deal-breakers– factors that automatically eliminate women from dating consideration. It took some time for me to figure out my own deal breakers for women.Some of my personal deal-breakers include:

  • Ten or more years age difference
  • Any noticeable hint of anger or jealousy issues
  • An income considerably lower (50%) than mine

If you’ve never sat down and seriously considered deal-breakers before, it’s a great soul-searching exercise. This list of 34 potential deal-breakers will get you started. I have no doubt that some of those will look familiar. If you can expand on this list, tell me about it in the comments at the end of this article.

Deal-breakers increase dating efficiency

The great thing about discovering your deal-breakers (or, alternatively, must-haves) is that you can leverage online dating to specifically target women who meet these criteria. That means no more going on dates, only to discover that religion or some other factor means you’re incompatible.Dating sites like Match.com allow you to search for women based on potential deal-breakers such as age and income. You can learn about Match’s search capabilities and much more in my Match.com review for newly single men. It’s an unbiased evaluation of a site that I use personally to find great dates.

Remember, you’re not simply looking to improve your love life. You’re ultimately seeking a relationship with some substance that will last and be fulfilling. When it comes to post-divorce relationships, never lower your standards or sacrifice your must-haves.

You can find a great relationship after divorce

Your first dates after divorce should be nothing more than dating practice. You won’t regain your pre-marriage swagger overnight.

If your marriage lasted for any significant amount of time, dating norms have likely changed since you were single. Technology has changed how people date and you need some time to learn how to maximize the various online dating tools.

Even if you think you’ve hit it off with a great girl, take your time and let things develop slowly. Remember, it takes some time to really know someone well. Chris Rock famously taught us:

“When you meet somebody for the first time, you’re not meeting them, you’re meeting their representative.”

Rebound relationships can turn out extremely painful for everyone involved. There is no reason to rush things after a divorce or a long relationship. Remember the symptoms of a rebound relationship and watch for them in yourself and the women you date.

Unreasonable Ex-wife? Ten Tips Towards Tranquility

The divorce is final and you’re free at last!  Not so fast, my friend.  Note that the term describing her, your ex-wife, still contains the word “wife” (as opposed to, say, “that lady”).

There’s a reason for that.  She may not be quite ready to release the reigns and faded quietly into your past.

Women sometimes like to continue exercising their pre-divorce powers for months or even years after the courts said you were divorced.  Some present a minefield of manipulation, bitterness, anger, desire to dominate, and just plain nuttiness.

An unreasonable ex-wife can present a multitude of problems for you as you look to move on with your live.  This article will prepare you to recognize and competently deal with these issues should they arise.

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The Pros and Cons of Dating Other Divorced Parents

Divorced Parent

Are you a divorced and looking for love? Have you been trying to navigate the dating field as a single dad only to find that it is a lot harder than you expected? Are you considering going on dates with other divorced parents? Going out with other parents who are divorced can be a wonderful thing to add to your life. But there also are some cons. Read on to learn our top four tips for navigating this debate and to decide whether trying to date other divorced parents is for you!

Tip #1: PRO: Mutual Understanding

One of the most helpful attributes a mom can bring to a relationship is that she already has an understanding of what is required to run a household and care for a family. You don’t have to explain to her your duties as a dad because she already gets it. It can be quite frustrating to explain to a single person without kids why you aren’t available every night for happy hour. A mom is going to understand that and comply with your schedule. You’ll comply with her’s too, because you two will already understand each other and the duties you have to your respective families.

Tip #2: CON: Less Spontaneous Dates

With all that planning and the responsibilities you have to your family, you’ll probably notice fairly quickly that there is less spontaneity in your dates. You and your potential partner have busy lives filled with putting your children as your top priority day after day. But living without spontaneity and excitement doesn’t always have to be the case when you date. You’ll just have to look for opportunities to bring that excitement back into your life. Plan a surprise weekend getaway. Get home early to cook dinner for your mom date. Leave love notes around the house. Find ways to bring in love and laughter in the midst of the very routine lifestyle the two of you live, and you’ll have fun in the process.

Tip #3: PRO: Responsibility and Maturity

A mom very likely will be responsible and mature. That’s something that raising kids and running a home usually does to shape a person. If you’re looking for this in your life, then you’ll likely find stability and comfort in going on a dates with a mom. Now, you will need to be careful to vet the moms you are dating because obviously they’re not all responsible and mature. But, with a little practice in asking the right questions, you’ll be able to discover whether the woman you are considering being in a relationship with does have the maturity you need to sustain a partnership in the long term. Be open-minded. Listen. Ask good questions, and see if you are compatible. Chemistry and stability both matter in a successful relationship. Be wise in your decisions as you date these women.

Tip #4: CON: You May Need to Work Through Some Issues

There is no denying that anyone who has gone through a long-term relationship and had kids with their partner is going to feel pain when it doesn’t work out. Since you have gone through a parting of ways yourself, you know that this can bring some issues that you have had to work through. The same will likely be true of your date. So know this ahead of time to set your expectations. Having been married to someone in the past is going to bring up some issues that are not common for people who are single and dating around to have fun. As long as you are aware of these and can talk through them — including issues such as trust, infidelity, abuse and anger — then you will be able to forge a healthy relationship with the mom you are pursuing. Over time, this turns into a strong, nearly unbreakable relationship. And if that is what you want, you’ll be on the right track toward love with a woman who has children.
Ready to Date?

Parents are some of the greatest people to go out with because they understand family life and the time commitments you already have. This is something that is understood from the get-go and something you won’t have to explain to people who do not have kids. At the same time, you’ll need to remember that time will be limited and planning your dates ahead of time will be key. You can insert some spontaneity and keep things alive by being creative and sensitive to the schedules you and your date have. Good luck and have fun! You just may fall in love along the way.

The Ins and Outs of Dating Younger Women After Divorce

Younger Woman

After going through a difficult divorce, I found that I was now free to pursue any type of relationship that I desired.  Younger women have always been very fascinating to me, and I thought that now would be as good as a time as any to explore this new and intriguing avenue.

I quickly found that there are both pros and cons to dating younger women.

Pros of dating younger women

Obviously, there are many advantages to dating much younger women.

Younger women are simply more attractive

When it come to pure beauty, younger is almost always better.  You will be able to sense the feelings of envy from other men when you walk into a restaurant or theater with a much younger woman on your arm.

Not only are these women striking, they will make you feel even more handsome and virile than ever, just what you need after a trying divorce.

Dating a younger woman can make you more desirable

Dating such individuals will give you a much higher status among your friends.  That “you still have it” will be a main topic of conversation between you and your buddies for much of your dating days. Many will try to emulate you and find attractive companions of their own.

Younger girls have stamina and energy

Younger females have much more energy and stamina that can make foreplay and sex last forever. Very rarely will they say that they “have a headache” or that they are “too tired” for a frisky romp in bed. Actually, you are the one who is more likely to speak these words and phrases. If you can keep up with them and their boundless energy, more power to you.

Self-doubt can be erased with the validation that a young woman brings

A younger woman can make you realize that you still are young enough to go after your dreams and aspiration. They may motivate you to try harder and dig deeper to gain the drive and passion that you once possessed. Renewed vigor and a new perspective may help you on your road to success.

Cons of dating younger women

You may not think so at this point, but there are also some serious downsides to dating younger women after a divorce. For some, the novelty wears off after a few dates, and you may find yourself longing for a more mature relationship.

A wide age gap can mean few common interests

Face it, a younger woman would have vastly different hobbies and pastimes than you would. They may love to stay out dancing all night, while your idea of a good time might be staying home with a good bottle of scotch and some old-time music.

You may be much more serious about work and your career, while younger people feel that they will have time later in their lives to focus on this. After a time, this lack of commonality may become more and more apparent.

Dating a younger women could highlight your physical limitations

Yes, she may be limber and energetic, but what about you? Can you keep up with all of those late nights and wild partying? You may find yourself asleep in a corner if she is around other younger individuals at an all-night event. Sex may also be an issue. While she is up for two or three times a night, you have all you can do to maintain yourself for one round.

You likely have completely different goals

You may be striving to be president of your company while your new companion wants nothing more than to get a job at Starbucks. Different age groups have different aspirations, and sometimes these do not mesh well in a relationship. Often it is more comfortable to date someone who is at your own career level, so you have more to discuss and more common topics and issues to bounce ideas around.

A wide age gap could cause friction among family members

If you have grown children, or even small children, this may become a sore point in your relationships with them. This is especially true if your new love interest is close to the same age as your older youngsters. It may be uncomfortable for them to see you with your new companion and can put a major strain on your family relationships.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are two sides to this issue. You will have to decide for yourself what exactly you are seeking in a desirable woman. What it all boils down to is what you want from a relationship. Do you want a young firm body that makes you feel virile and young? Or do you wish to be involved with someone closer to your age who can relate to you and your interests? It is all up to you, so give it some serious thought before deciding who your next lady love is going to be.

Common Causes of Erectile Dysfunction After Divorce

There is a common stereotype that men who get a divorce immediately jump back into the dating game and start playing the field. I personally know many newly divorced men who feel pressured to live up to this stereotype, but they find it difficult to have physical relationships due to a sudden bout of erectile dysfunction.

Having libido issues leads to a lot of feelings of worry and doubt as men wonder whether their sexual dysfunction is an unconscious sign that they are not over the divorce. However, having difficulties with sex after a marriage ends is actually quite common, and it is typically caused by issues that are easily resolved.

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The Pros, Cons, and Pitfalls of Dating Single Mothers

Single Mother

Are you a divorced man looking for love?  Have you tried to navigate the dating scene as a single dad, only to find that it is a lot more difficult than you expected?  Maybe you should consider going on dates with single mothers?

Going out with single moms can add a wonderful element to your life.  In my experience, women who spend the majority of their time raising children are a riot when you get them out of the house. And as a divorced man yourself, you probably have a lot of common ground.

But as in most relationships, there are some potential drawbacks to dating a single mom.  In this article we’ll reveal some of the good and not so good aspects of dating single women with children.

Personally, I much prefer dating mothers because of the many positive characteristics that typically defines a woman with children.  To me, the pros discussed in this article far outweigh the cons. Read on to determine if dating a divorced mother is something you should pursue.

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Being Alone After Divorce – 7 Tips to Triumph Over Loneliness

Conquering Loneliness

One of the biggest emotional obstacles that many men must conquer after a divorce is loneliness.  The shock of adjusting to life alone can take even the toughest guys by surprise. There is no one to come home to, enjoy a meal with, or provide that ever-comforting silent company.

If you find yourself struggling with being alone after divorce, there are things you can do to break out of the funk.  You don’t have to let the solitude overwhelm you.  Instead, you can capitalize on your precious free time to take control of and improve your life.

Come with me as I lay out a plan to conquer your post-divorce, loneliness blues.  You just might wind up in a better place than where you started.

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Signs a Man Should Stop Playing the Field and Consider Commitment

Committed Man

I know the feeling all too well.  I wake up when I want, go to bed when I want, watch what TV I want.  At no point in my day or night do I have to compromise or discuss my plans.  As a divorcee, I’ve had the fun and freedom that comes with playing the field.  But after some time, feelings change.

The signals that I couldn’t live this lifestyle forever were both in my mind and surrounding my daily routine, and the bachelor mentality in me started to fade.  From both knowledge and personal experience, I give you the top signs that it might be time to stop playing the field and consider a committed relationship.

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