Some 20 million Americans use dating websites, more than twice as many as five years ago, and the numbers are expected to grow.The spike is in part because of the convenience, the growing acceptance of the practice and the ability to tightly focus a search by ethnicity, religion, location or other factors.
Amy Sue Harwood, of Boca Raton, was on on and off for five years but never posted pictures of her sons on her profile.
"There are some people who put their children on there and talk about their kids all the time,'' said Harwood, 41, owner of flbsquared LLC, which designs Facebook pages for businesses.
"That was something I decided I wouldn't do for privacy reasons.
When you're a single mom dating, you just never know.'' She met her boyfriend, Adam Starr, 42, a real estate agent, on the site for Jewish singles. "How is it any different than taking your child into public with you?
Start by making sure whatever pictures you post show you smiling. A good picture will help you stand out from the rest of the pack, who usually post not-so-great photos of themselves, and it can get you noticed quicker by the people you want to date. Believe it or not, people will think you've posted a picture with an ex, even if he or she might be 30 years younger or older than you are. Before you tell your adult children that you are dating again (or make a big deal about someone specific), make sure that the two of you are a couple.
Men love a woman's smile and it's often the first thing they will notice about you. Don't post pictures with grown children, male or female friends or with your parents.
Ask yourself whether you feel serious about this person.
You don't want to get your adult children involved, attached, or concerned when it's not necessary.
The surge in single parents going online to find a date has led to a heated digital debate: should their profiles include photos of their kids?
With more than 13,700 dating and matchmaking sites on the Web, nobody can say for sure how many participants post pictures of their children.
Still, its prevalence has generated controversy among commenters in chat rooms, websites and blogs, as well as in single parents' groups.