As a newly-divorced mom, being both back on the dating scene and trying to establish a new career, my life has been anything but dull.

Because I was married at such a young age, I missed out on a lot dating and the drama that goes along with it. I also missed out growing a career because I was home raising babies.  So here I am now trying to balance a family, career, and social life and have found, thankfully, two of these have a lot in common.  Yes, I have recently had an a-ha moment.  Several, actually.  I am finding that making social media connections is just like dating.

They play by the same rules and your chances are pretty much the same: You’ll win some, you’ll lose some.

Rule #1 Get Noticed!

In the dating world when you have your sights set on a special someone, what do you do?  You try to get them to know you are alive and do a little flirting.  It’s the same with social media connections, maybe there is someone you are anxious to connect with on Twitter, begin a dialogue with them.  Say hi.  Introduce yourself.  But, whatever you do…(see Rule #2)

Rule #2  Don’t come on too strong

You want to get their attention, but in a positive way.

Reply to a Tweet they have made, find some common ground and keep it simple and light.  Once you get their attention, do a little woo-ing, a little romancing.  Please don’t try to hit it out of the park on the first encounter.  It won’t be pretty.  I am not inviting you in after one date, not into my physical or virtual (blog) home either.

Make thoughtful, appropriate comments, notice their Tweets, re-Tweet if they are interesting to you. Be kind. Do your homework; try to stand out with your comments by becoming one of the first to leave a comment.  You can sign up to be notified via email when they have published a new post.  This will show your interest in their work.

Rule#3  Reciprocity: Is she/he just not that into you?

Ask yourself if your efforts are being reciprocated.  In the dating world, does she “like” your comments back?  Has she responded to your texts?  Because this is how we let you know we aren’t interested without having to come out and say it. Period.

In the social media arena, are your comments getting a response or a “like”?  Have they started following you on Twitter yet?   If they haven’t started a follow yet, it may be okay, they probably have a pretty big following.  But if your comments are flat out ignored, and you have made more than one, you may have someone who is not interested.  I was trying to build up a connection with a blogger whose work I enjoyed, but he just wouldn’t warm up to me.  No comment I made even registered on his radar.  It was frustrating, but I got over it, and moved on.

Rule #4 Easy There, Killer!

It’s kind of like Rule #2, because yes, it is important enough to bear repeating.

So the first date was great, you may be in love.   Whatever you do, don’t tell this person after one date that you want to marry them and have them be the mother of your children.  Please.  Don’t.  This only creeps girls out, believe me, I know.  Slow down; don’t reveal everything there is to know about you in the beginning.  Keep it interesting, keep her guessing.  The chase is fun.

Relationships don’t happen overnight IRL or online.  You have to be patient and give it time.  There is no definitive timetable because every relationship is unique.  So, you have your bogie in the social media world.  You know you are dying to write a guest post for them, just don’t come on too strong or you will scare them away.  Apply steps 1-5, repeat.  When you have grown and nurtured a reciprocal relationship then take the plunge!

However, if you do make some mistakes, all might not be lost!  First of all, regain your composure; pull yourself together and back off a bit.  Just like in dating, don’t completely go away but dial it down a few notches and see if something can still grow.  I know firsthand this can work.

Everybody makes mistakes, don’t beat yourself up.  Take what you have learned and apply it to future endeavors.

Rule #5 Keep your house (blog) clean

Advice my mom would like.  Keep your physical house and virtual house neat and tidy, you never know who is going to show up for a surprise visit.

Does any of this ring true for you?

Krysia Hepatica is a mother, rock climber, blogger and all-around outdoor adventure seeker. She is currently working as an intern for KarmaCRM.   You can read more about her adventures at venturesome krysia or follow her on Twitter.