THE BLOG

Etiquette for Dummies

08/05/2013 02:08 pm ET | Updated Oct 05, 2013

It is so difficult to date online. I have only tried it for a short time, after divorcing my cheating ex-husband, but I find it to be rife with unsolvable mysteries. Here are some of my conundrums:

1. How much should I reveal in my profile?
Part of me believes that I should tell a detailed story so that the men who decide to contact me do so for all of the right reasons. Then they already know how many times I have been married, the details of my extensive education and work history, my dedication to my son, etc. But another part of me believes that there should be an unfolding of my life in conversation and within my control. One thing that I know for certain: I will not lie about anything. Who wants to attract a man based upon falsehoods? There can be no foundation for a relationship of any kind if it is based upon lies. And this includes the photograph and date of birth.

2. When do I ask him to just call me?
Perhaps this is a generational issue, but I get tired very quickly of corresponding via the dating site and just want to hear his voice. Is there some sort of unwritten protocol as to how many e- mails should be exchanged prior to asking to get out of the burdensome site without seeming t forward?

3. Should I suggest that we meet?
In the olden days of dating (pre-internet), a woman only made the first move on Sadie Hawkins Day. (I still do not know who she is and why she was such a pioneer in changing the order of things, but it was great fun). We waited to be asked out, never accepting a Saturday night date any later than Wednesday. I am not about to support this as a cultural touchstone, but at least it was a standard dating ritual on which we could rely. Are there any similar rules in the internet dating world so that women do not seem too forward or emasculating in the dating process?

4. Should the "meet" be coffee, lunch, drink or dinner?
How do you evaluate being invited for coffee only? Does that mean that the man does not want to spend much time and/or money before he "inspects the goods"? Or is it an indication that he is cheap?

These are a few of the unanswered questions that confront a woman who has re-entered the dating world late in life.