Following a divorce, many women report feeling alone and afraid, unable to navigate the landscape of a dating scene now new to them. Many women describe feeling intimidated and worried that they are be going about dating all wrong. After all, it may have been a long time since they were last single. To gain a more in-depth insight into women’s mindsets while dating post-divorce, Worthy recently conducted a dating survey that included an analysis of how divorced women approach dating, including what they are looking for in the men they date. The questions included in the study and the results follow.
The format of this question in the survey allows women to choose all the options that apply to them, not just one. This format in of itself is telling of women’s approach to dating, indicating that women tend to employ more than one way to meet men. The results themselves are also telling. Nearly 60% of the women who took the survey revealed that online dating is one of the most important means they use to meet men. It makes sense. We live in a digital age, and the digital age has infiltrated and transformed the dating scene, just as it has other aspects of our lives.
This statistic speaks to me, as well. Although I have met dates through other means, such as through friends or by chance, online dating has been the most prominent way for me to find dates. When you are in the dating field, you want to maximize your ability to meet somebody. With the opportunity to view endless profiles, as well as refine your search parameters, online dating accomplishes just that.
In the digital age, dating sites and apps have begun to function like bars. Depending on who you ask, some bars are better than others.
Nearly 33% of the women who responded to this question revealed they date more than one person at a time. That one in three divorced women date multiple people at once may seem significant. But the number could be explained by the nature of online dating itself, which over half of the survey-takers use. It’s relatively easy to find a date online, and what can happen is that women may schedule dates with several people before becoming more deeply involved with one. How the women define the term “dating” may also be relevant when analyzing this specific dating habit. Women, for example, may consider merely talking to men as a form of dating. The survey, however, does not require respondents to make this distinction.
I am not afraid to admit that I, too, have dated more than one person at a time. By that, I mean I may go on a first date with one person one night, go on a first date with someone else another night, and then maybe go on a second date with the first person. But I do eventually narrow down the number of people I am dating to only one. And once I am in an exclusive relationship, I only date that person. I believe that could explain why one in three women who answered this survey responded that they date multiple people. With the popularization of online dating, this approach has become quite common.
The responses to this question varied. The most used dating site for divorced women, according to the survey, is Match.com, at nearly one-third of the survey-takers. Also, roughly half of the women surveyed responded “other,” implying the respondents are taking advantage of the vast number of other online dating websites and apps available to them, which far exceed the limited choices presented in the study. It’s likewise worth noting that many of the women who responded “other” in the survey also specified they do not use online dating at all. Though online dating is a viable option, it’s not necessary to date after divorce.
Over the years I bounced around between dating sites. I have tried Match, JDate, Tinder, Bumble, and even, weirdly enough, LinkedIn. In the digital age, dating sites and apps have begun to function like bars. Depending on who you ask, some bars are better than others. So it’s only natural that women will try different sites over time just as they would different bars until finding the ones that work best for them.
The vast majority of women (91.62%) who took to this survey reported that they are honest about being divorced in their online profiles. A mere 3.72% said they are sometimes honest about being divorced, while 4.65% claim not to be honest about being divorced at all. The survey does not reveal the reasons why some women lie about their divorced status online. However, the most important conclusion to draw from the responses to this question is that most women are embracing singledom.
I was always honest on my dating profile about my “divorced” status. I was also honest about having three children. My marriage and subsequent divorce will always be a part of who I am, and my logic has always been that if I intend to meet someone and potentially have a long-term, meaningful relationship, I need to be honest from the get-go.
The survey presented respondents with the ability to choose the top three qualities of a man’s dating profile that would make them cringe most. Spelling and grammar errors ranked among the most cringe-worthy, according to nearly 80% of the survey-takers. The runner up cringe-inducing qualities of a man’s profile included pictures of him in workout clothes showing off his biceps and pictures of his car, according to about 55% and 41% of survey-takers respectively. These responses go to show that women are not alone in their dating preferences and can take some comfort if they have been wondering whether or not they are too picky. These responses also underscore that men may want to consider revamping their dating profiles. But that’s a whole other discussion.
As a stickler for grammar, I cringe right alongside the survey-takers when I see grammatical and spelling errors in a dating profile. After all, if you don’t care enough to proofread what will amount to your first impression on me, why should I have any reason to think you are going to be serious about dating me? A few other pet peeves of mine include men posting pictures of themselves with other women, shirtless bathroom selfies, and political slurs. But that’s just me. As the saying goes, “There’s a lid for every pot.” Even that lid who’s standing in front of a shiny red sports car he doesn’t own.