If you are not overtly focused on finding your next long-term relationship, by all means, play around in the online dating pool. Learn some skills. Kiss some frogs. But when you get serious about finding a partner, well, set your intentions and your standards a lot higher.
Let's both decide where to go in our future. Let's both listen to what the other person wants, rather than assuming we know. And let's get away from the swiping frenzy and into the process of building a lasting relationship. Swiping is not the enemy, but don't forget your long-term goals.
The good news is there are a lot of potential people out there looking for relationships. And the apps and sites help you connect with a huge variety and range of people. Finding the needle in that haystack is your challenge, but if you go about it methodically and efficiently you can and will find a life partner.
Get real about your online dating plan: So, dating again really takes a new mindset. Define what is perfect for you, then dial it back by 80% and let the 20% of the unknown be a surprise left for you to discover.
As you look to build the long term relationship with a spouse, remember your kids are important, and in some ways, they are priority number one, but that will change over time. As you become less of a priority in their lives, as they move on to college and their own lives, you will be left with what's next.
I'm not all that good at dating yet. I mean, I don't really know how to BE. I try to be "myself" of course, but I'm too involved, too hyper, too talkative. I don't listen as well as I should. But the part of the problem, that I'm just beginning to understand, is my habit of projecting any "potential" relationship off into some imaginary future. What I mean is, I sometimes have a problem staying present.
If you want to move your relationship along, stop texting so much. If your partner likes talking on the phone, call them. A phone call is a fairly intimate communication technique, especially compared to dead texting.