Dating app, Tinder.
Dating app, Tinder.

Dating has an entirely new set of rules

By Louisa Niehaus Time of article published Apr 16, 2018

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You find yourself in the maelstrom of the modern dating world with dating skills that feel somewhat dated..

Online dating, cyber sex, dating via WhatsApp. Where has the romance gone? Stepping out into the world of dating now, holds an entirely new set of rules and behaviours for those who have come out of a long term marriage or relationship and are looking to date again.

The most common way to meet new people seems to be online. For someone that is unused to this type of exposure, this can be daunting. How does one put together an online profile? How much detail is appropriate? A common fear is, how to discern if a potential date is genuine or safe? How easy is it to move from an online virtual chat into a real date?

Choose the medium that you feel most comfortable, if it’s not online dating, join an activity that is slightly out of your comfort zone, such as cooking classes, a movie club or a new sporting activity.  Look for ways of meeting new friends rather than hunting for a new partner.

Online dating is a novel way of meeting people outside your regular circle, I encourage clients not to indulge in lengthy virtual relationships, as these can be illusory. Meeting the partner in real life is important. Many people have been heartbroken to discover that they have fallen in love with an online illusion and are embarrassed to admit this.

Dating the second time around can be nerve wracking. If you start dating too soon after being widowed, divorced or separated, you are at risk of tainting a potentially good relationship, with your own issues that are unrecognised and haven’t been worked through by you. For example, you may see in a new partner, residue of your last relationship, such as trust issues, resulting in you becoming over controlling or needy, ultimately punishing your partner for the sins of your last significant relationship.

If, however, you choose to take the time out, to discover what happened in your last relationship, you will be better equipped to see where your own baggage lies and what your role was in the demise of your relationship. By doing so, this will allow you to start a new relationship in a wiser and richer way, making positive use of your previous relationships, instead of turning them into embittered experiences and wondering why you can’t find love.

Louisa is a psychotherapist with a specialisation in Trauma Therapy. She consults internationally and in South Africa, to a broad base of clients, pertaining to relationships, personal growth, trauma, conflict management and self- actualization. She has a particular interest in the psychology of love, midlife transition and awakening.  Unconscious motivators for behaviour, drives and relationships motivated Louisa to establish an academy for adult actualization, specializing in relationship insights and intrinsic growth using the principles of depth psychology. 

Louisa is a frequent contributor to Radio 702 and DSTV’S Real Health.

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