Suzie A. is an accomplished writer/blogger from Ottawa, Canada. She is the founder of Single Dating Diva™, an award winning blog about being single where she shares her stories about her own dating life as well the dating lives of others. On her blog she has a feature called “Ask Single Dating Diva,” where she uses her extensive dating knowledge to answer daily questions from people who are struggling with dating and relationships.
Single Dating Diva™ also offers a number of dating services to help her readers/clients improve their dating skills, including; dating consultations, seminars, help creating your online dating profile and mock (fake) dating.
Suzie got candid with us about monogamy, what it's like to date after a divorce, how social media has changed the dating game and why you shouldn't look someone up on Facebook, Twitter (etc.) before going on a date with them.
1. Has social media changed dating for the better or worse?
Suzie: Social Media has certainly changed the dating landscape and has forced us to make adjustments to the way we date. Our online reputation means more than professional image, it’s also our personal image. Social Media gives people the opportunity to live out loud and touch the world in a way they couldn’t before. This means that they can meet people they might not have otherwise met because physical barriers aren’t present. Whether it’s for the better or worse depends on how people use it. There are many risks associated with Social Media with catfishing or being a venue for infidelity, however, it’s a choice people make and if you date smart then Social Media can enhance your dating life by allowing you to engage with others.
2. Is it okay to look someone up on social media (Facebook, Twitter) before going on a date with them?
S: Researching your dates online before going on a date with them is not usually a good idea. Why? Because it’s not necessary. The whole point of going on a date is getting to know someone, why take that away? Why ruin the process? Besides, when creeping someone online you’re never getting the whole picture, what’s public is what they’ve chosen to be public. Essentially, it really depends on your motivation behind your research. If it’s for “nosey” purposes, then don’t do it, but some people use it for “fact checking” before meeting the person and that’s okay but still unnecessary. Before researching someone, ask yourself why you’re doing it and what you hope to accomplish. Also, ask yourself if you’d like someone to do the same to you. You might just find that it’s really not worth it.
3. Where is the best place to meet someone?
S: The best place to meet someone is by doing your everyday activities. This is great because you are in your element and your guard is down. It’s a more natural way of meeting someone new. Sometimes it’s a matter of just opening your eyes, putting away your telephone and smiling. We have more opportunities than we think we do, we just have to be open to it. I’m of the opinion that we need to get back to basics and take dating offline … real people in real environments make for real dating.
4. Do you have any dating rules?
S: I prefer not to live by any rules in general, but I do have personal guidelines and best practices that I follow. I learn from my mistakes and try not to repeat them. I like to go with the flow and let things happen naturally when dating someone new, however, I do know from experience what I like and don’t like and what works for me and what doesn’t, so I use those as guidelines and best practices. I encourage people to do the same. No one knows you better than yourself and there is no “one size fits all” dating advice, this is why you need to be true to yourself and not overthink or analyze any dating situation. It’s good to see what others advise but then take your own decision based on your own experience and what “feels right”.
5. What topics should be avoided on a first date?
S: I really don’t think any topics should be avoided per se, but you don’t want to show your baggage or overshare in general on a first date. I always say that a first date is not a date. What this means is that you should just let go of the pressure and just enjoy getting to know someone. Don’t ask the typical boring questions and think outside the box to find out what really makes them tick. Who cares where they’ve travelled, what I care about is why they travelled there and what they got out of it. Grab a coffee and go for a walk and talk, trust me, it will make it a great date that you won’t forget.
6. Do you think it is appropriate to date someone who is significantly older or younger than you?
S: I think it’s really up to you and what your preference is. If you find someone who you click with, who’s on the same page as you and you have mad chemistry, then absolutely age doesn’t matter. However, remember that if you’re dating to seek a life partner you need to take into consideration the limitations of dating someone significantly older or younger than you such as health, aging and social life.
7. Do you believe in monogamy?
S: I certainly believe in monogamy but I also think that it’s not for everyone. You should know yourself and be true to yourself and not waste other people’s time if you’re not on the same page with your intentions. Monogamy is a choice and that is why partner selection is so important. When you are with the right person, things just work and you naturally fit. Relationships take work and you need to keep things interesting and moving forward in a positive direction and then monogamy isn’t so hard.
8. How do you know when it’s time to get out of a relationship or marriage?
S: This is a very personal type of thing. You know your limits. When things get to a point where the relationship just isn’t viable anymore and you feel that you are losing yourself, then you have to choose your next steps. Some relationships just won’t work while others can be salvaged, but that’s up to both people to make it happen.
9. What’s is it like to re-enter the dating world after a divorce?
S: Dating after divorce should be about finally finding the right partner after being with the wrong one. Dating after divorce is a tricky business which is why I advise people to take it slow and enjoy the ride. You also need to take care of all your baggage before entering any new arrangements because of the risk of being on the rebound. You are vulnerable and needy which puts you at risk, what I advise is to take care of your emotional state and do things only when you’re ready. Also appreciate that the dating world you are entering is most likely different than the one you left so learn the landscape and have fun with it.
10. What advice would you give to someone going through a break-up or divorce?
S: When you’re going through a big transition in life you should always take it slow. What’s important is that you allow yourself to heal at your own pace. Keep looking forward and use this opportunity to grow and learn about yourself. People make the mistake of wanting to replace what they lost too quickly and end up getting hurt again or making bad choices. I advise to take things one step at a time and do things when you feel you’re completely ready. Also, don’t be afraid to take a chance even if you were hurt, just make better choices and don’t look back.