In the News

Tinderella Syndrome – Is it Real?

Aug 12th

Screen Shot 2014 08 12 at 1.26.20 PM 300x165As online daters and those downloading the Tinder mobile dating app continue to watch Tinder explode, it’s no wonder that researchers, psychologists, and dating experts all have opinions on whether Tinder is helping singles or is just a game for people to play on their cell phones as they swipe left or right at the millions of profiles nearby.

On WCCO in Minneapolis, I spoke with radio show host John Hines about the pros and cons of Tinder, using mobile dating apps, and why I think Tinder can help women who are shy to connect with a potential date online and meet them offline.

Listen to our radio broadcast from August 14, 2014 at 11:00am on WCCO.

Now let’s talk about the ‘Tinderella syndrome’ and if it really exists or not. Are women really suffering from spending too much time on Tinder? Is it affecting their ability to meet offline (IRL?)

The Daily Mail ran a story claiming that ‘Tinderella syndrome’ was ruining the love lives of women to the point that they wer unable to approach men in person offline. They went as far as saying that flirting techniques have been diminished due to the frequent use of the Tinder mobile dating app.

While psychologist Emma Kenny believes that online dating breeds impatience and insecurity since women are inundated with an abundance of potential dates that they become overwhelmed and stop investing the same effort into meeting dates offline.

Sure online dating is a numbers game and Tinder is responsible for over 10 million matches a day as well as 850 million swipes a day. Those are big numbers and it’s easy to fill your date card.  Remember, not everyone on Tinder is looking for a love connection. Tinder’s founders believe that they are a social discovery app and that using the site an help make new friends with similar interests.

Some will use Tinder as a game and keep playing after a swipe or two. Others will take the time to read the profiles of potential matches before starting a private online chat that will hopefully lead to an offline meeting. Otherwise, you’ll just end up with a digital pen-pal, if that’s what you want.

Here are the reasons I don’t believe in the Tinderella Syndrome.

1. Mobile apps make it easier to connect with people close by. Those who are interested in meeting someone close by can easily log onto Tinder and view a profile instead of just swiping left or right to give a thumbs up on a profile. If the profile indicates they’re really looking to meet someone for a relationship, they can start chatting instantly if it’s a mutual match.

2. Almost 35% of married couples met online. A study from the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that about 1/3 of marriages were as a result of online.

3. Pew Research states that 59% of Americans think that online dating is a good way to meet people. With over half of Americans thinking online dating is the way to go, remember that most singles are using mobile dating apps, which speed up the process.

4. Mobile dating apps and online dating sites help those who are shy communicate with potential dates. It’s my opinion that using dating apps and dating sites only helps those who are too shy to approach someone in a bar to say hello. By chatting online, I think self-esteem can be improved and communicating skills with potential dates will also become easier. The key is to take your relationship from online to offline and meet IRL.

5. Online dating stigma is pretty much gone. It’s a matter of time that the stigma for Tinder or mobile dating apps for hookups will also diminish. Already we are seeing many relationships of couples who’ve found love on Tinder.

6. If your mutual match isn’t communicating with you or interested in meeting, just move on. Tinder reports they are seeing 10 million matches a day and 850 million swipes per day. With all of that activity, it’s pretty easy to figure out who’s playing the game and who will want to meet. If their profile is rather empty and they only say, “hey,” it’s probably not going to become a meaningful relationship.

In my conversation with John Hines from WCCO – CBS Radio, I told him that Tinder is known to have a membership base of mostly 18-34 year olds. Many aren’t looking for a serious relationship and are hooking up. But some are truly looking for a new digital outlet to find a date or love.

Yes Tinder is like a game and it asks you to keep playing instead of suggesting that you meet in person. There will always be those who love the digital ego boost of flirting online, with or without Tinder. However, there will always be those who truly are looking for a connection. Tinder makes it easy to connect. It’s up to you to decide if the relationship is ready to move offline.

As time goes on, more-and-more singles in their 40s and up will also be using Tinder, due to the ease of creating a profile and the flexibility of connecting on the fly with singles in their geographic area.

Do you believe in the ‘Tinderella Syndrome?’

College Humor came out with a cute parody about Tinderella – a Modern Fairytale worth sharing.

Photo credit: College Humor

Julie Spira is an online and mobile dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. She was an early adopter of online dating and mobile dating and helps singles find love on the Internet with her Irresistible Profiles programs. For more dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

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Online Dating: 5 Signs You Are Talking to a Great Guy

Aug 11th

This week, we’re excited to share a post for women daters from our guest blogger, Joshua Pompey.

Finding a quality man on the Internet isn’t always easy.  Sure, they’re out there in large quantities, but trying to distinguish between the good ones and bad ones can be daunting.  One false move and you could wind up on a date with yet another serial dater.

I’m here to tell you not to worry.  Know that finding a quality man online isn’t as tough as you might think.

Let’s take a look at the five signs you are talking to a great guy online.

1.  His photo gallery tells the right visual story. Some men will write profiles and emails that seem to good to be true.  These men are interesting, charming, and fun to talk to, but do his photos match the image he’s portraying, or are they filled with four similar pictures by himself in his room? Men with a lot to offer usually have a vast amount of life experiences and will show them off in many ways throughout their photo gallery. The more pictures you see of a man with friends, co-workers, family members, and on random adventures, the more likely this man is someone interesting and worth pursuing.

2.  His first email is unique, fun, and engaging. 

You may be attracted to his photos and you may even like this unique profile. However it appears that he copied and pasted the same message to twenty other women that day. Spammed emails are a huge sign that you are dealing with a potential serial dater, a man who is just not that interesting, or is just lazy. If his email is personalized, he just might be a great guy.

3His profile is positive. 

A man worth engaging with online is a man who is happy with his life.  Any profile that is filled with negativity or qualities of what a man doesn’t want in a woman, is a red flag that the man might be jaded, not all that happy, or a negative person in general.  If you avoid the negative profiles, you’ll find someone who appears to be happy with his life.

4He won’t say,“I’ll tell you later” in his profile. Any man that takes online dating seriously is going to put a lot of effort into the creation of his profile and fill it out completely.  This is because he will actually want to find someone to be in a serious relationship with.  A man with a half-blank profile may be sending a message that he has something to hide.

5.  He doesn’t log on all day long.
Do you want to know why some men log in every five seconds?  Because they are talking to tons of women online. Chances are he might be a serial dater. Quality men don’t have time to log on dating sites all day long. They’re busy with work or their active lives.

What quality traits do you find in a man while looking for love online?

Joshua Pompey has been helping online daters to succeed through his products and services at a success rate of over 99% since 2009. For more information visit http://jpompey.com/ladies/online-dating-advice/ for free dating advice.

Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the Cyber-Dating Expert Weekly Flirt newsletter.

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Breaking Up: 12 Signs You May Be Getting Dumped

Aug 4th

Fotolia 36590412 XS 300x240Most of us go into relationships with the best of intentions. We put our best feet forward in the first few weeks or month with the anticipation that the relationship will continue to grow and go the distance.

We introduce our partner to our friends and family hoping to get the vote of approval. Often we share our dreams for the future, plan holidays and vacations together, and learn the fine art of compromising in a relationship, because we know it’s worth it.

Sometimes outside influences can attack our relationship resulting in the inevitable bumps on the road. It’s at these times that we look at our partner and either deal favorably with conflict resolution, or sadly our ego sometimes gets in the way and we end up heading for a fall.

From financial issues to family stress, the romantic gestures from an outsider at work to juggling the schedules of children, or even job pressures can affect the best of relationships.

Here are a few tips to know if you’re relationship is on its way out, or if it’s just a pull back or bump on the road that hopefully will become a distant memory.

  1. They stop sending regular text messages. If your significant other used to start his or her day with a good morning text and good night text, but those have disappeared, chances are the relationship could be fizzling out.
  2. Phone calls are reduced. If your significant other usually calls you routinely on his or her lunch break, while driving home from work, or before bedtime when you’re not together, and the calls have been reduced to once a day or a few times a week, your sweetheart may be disengaging from the relationship.
  3. Pet names disappear. He or she goes from affectionately saying, “It’s me” to leaving messages with their first or full name, assume the familiarity and romance are on their way out. Affectionate pet names are part of a relationship. It’s what makes you unique as a couple and puts a smile on your face.
  4. Plans are made without you in mind. If your normal routine is to see each other a few times a week and on weekends and suddenly your significant other would rather go out for drinks with friends and go home alone instead of into your arms, assume they are creating more distance and are open to the possibilities of meeting someone else.
  5. Future talks are put on hold. If you had been discussing living together or even planning a vacation six months out and now you’re not sure when you’ll be getting together in the next few days, your relationship suddenly might become a short-term affair, and not with someone who wants to go the distance anymore.
  6. Sex dissipates. Having a healthy sex life creates bonding in a relationship. If your boo is having doubts about the relationship, often sex is the first thing to go. When your sex life goes from “hot” to “not,” there’s a possibility your partner is detaching from the relationship.
  7. PDA disappears. If you’re the kind of affectionate couple who holds hands in public and loves cuddling at night and suddenly you find yourself sleeping on your side of the bed, there could be trouble in paradise. If the welcome home kisses are no longer part of your regime, it’s a sign that your relationship might be falling out of the love zone.
  8. Grooming habits change. From getting a Brazilian bikini wax to sporting a new hairstyle, joining a gym, or starting a new diet, when your significant other starts to change their looks and takes more time to focus on their appearance, they might have someone in mind other than you.
  9. They become attached to their phone. If suddenly your sweetheart is staring at his or her text messages, keeping their phone uber-handy, and staring at Facebook instead of focusing on you, you’ve just become lower on the totem pole than his or her smart phone. If they go into another room to secretly respond to a text or a phone call or turn their phone upside down so you won’t see who’s texting or calling, there’s probably trouble in paradise.
  10. Titles disappear. While titles are usually more important to a woman than to a man, if you’ve been introduced as the girlfriend, boyfriend, or partner and suddenly you’re being introduced as, “This is Janie,” there could be trouble on the horizon or you might be moving into the friend zone.  Read: Why Won’t He Call Me His Girlfriend
  11. Reactivates their online dating profile. If you’ve met online, but unplugged your profiles to be exclusive, don’t be surprised when one of you starts fishing to look for Plan B. Typically before a breakup, someone may like to view their options before making a clean break. Read: Gone Fishing, or is it Over?
  12. You’re thinking of breaking up. If the thought of breaking up is on your mind (if you’re reading this, that’s probably the case), you’ve put together your pros and cons list about your relationship or are think you might need some space, chances are your sweetie may be thinking the same as well.

What should you do if you can relate to most of these items on this list? Before you toss your relationship away, understand that feelings can fluctuate, but if the flow has been disrupted by most of these relationship issues on this list, you might be headed for splitsville.

Read: What to Do When He Pulls Back

Before you pull out the tissue box and think it’s over, take the time to talk to your partner about how important they are in your life. Acknowledge there’s been a shift in the relationship and ask them if there are any outside stressors that could be affecting the two of you. One of you might still be brewing about something that happened over a month ago and perhaps an apology needs to be made if your partner is feeling resentful about something or misunderstood.

Acknowledge how affectionate you used to be and let your partner know that you miss those warm and fuzzy happy times and would love to get back on track. Take the time to listen to your partner’s concerns. If you truly think this is a relationship worth fighting for, let your partner know that you don’t want to make an impulsive and abrupt decision that you might regret. Ask how you can help bring back the romance in your life.

If your partner just isn’t feeling it for you anymore, don’t fight it. Thank them for the memories and start the healing process. I know it hurts to have another failed relationship, but I also know that there is someone special out there waiting for you. You just haven’t met him or her yet.

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of online dating and creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

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Online Dating Safety Tips from an Expert

Jul 30th

datingsafety 240x300Online dating safety is something that everyone needs to be concerned with. At Cyber-Dating Expert, we take safety seriously and are always sharing ways for you to feel safe and enjoy the Internet dating experience.

In Louisiana, three stories occurred this month involving people who met online dating, social networking sites that resulting in hijacking and other crimes such as a robbery in a car.

In one case, a man went to his car to meet a potential date, and instead of finding the woman, ten men were there, which resulted in a carjacking.

I spent the morning on the radio on WWL AM/FM in New Orleans to provide dating safety tips to help prevent such occurrences.

While these occurrences are rare, it’s still important to point out the following, whether dating online or offline.

1. Meet in a public place and don’t pick up your date.

2. Don’t give out your last name or information where you work

3. Let a friend know where you are meeting and call in or text to let them know you’re fine

4. Don’t suggest a late night date

5. Never go back to someone’s home on a first date

6. Avoid drinking a lot of alcohol, which will impair your judgment

7. Carry pepper spray on your key chain for when you’re walking to your car at night

8. Conduct a Google search for your date’s name, phone number, and email addresss

9. View your date’s profile photos in a Google reverse image search by uploading it to Google.com/images

10. Do a background or people search for your date on sites such as Radaris or Spokeo

11. Set up a free Google voice account with a number exclusively for dating

12. If you’re uncomfortable for any reason, leave

13. If your date makes you feel unsafe online or offline, report their profile to the dating site

14. Take your time getting to know someone on the phone and through emails before meeting

15. Trust your intuition

Realize that while maybe 10% of your dates might not be truthful or may have ulterior motives, about 90% of the dates are truly great people looking to connect. There are millions of singles finding love online. Keep these safety tips in mind as you schedule your dates, but still enjoy the time getting to know someone.

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OkCupid Relaunches OkTrends Blog – Reveals if Looks Matter

Jul 28th

OkTrends 300x200One of my favorite parts of OkCupid had been the fabulous data curated into blog posts by co-founder Christian Rudder on OkTrends.

For the past three years, OkTrends has gone into silence mode. Today, Rudder revealed data from their Internet dating user base showing that looks aren’t always what counts when it comes to communicating in an online dating site. Rudder announced, “We Experiment On Human Beings” as the title of the long-awaited post.

From OkCupid’s day of hiding photos, to suggestions of a higher percentage for a potential match, one thing we know for sure, the algorithms do have an impact while looking for love online.

Full blogpost here

Let’s take a look at the three different experiments.

1. Love is Blind, Or Should Be

On the 10th anniversary of OkCupid, they launched Crazy Blind Date, a mobile app. The basis of this was that you’d meet someone who’s face had been “mashed up” like a puzzle, so you didn’t know what they looked like. In celebration, OkCupid spent one day mashing up all of their members in an experiment, only to find that 44% of those wrote 1st messages to people, of which they had no idea what they looked like.

2. So What’s a Picture Worth?

OkCupid previously let users rate profiles based on looks and personality. Eventually, they changed it to rating based on looks only. What they found is that only 10% of people rated a profile based on it’s text. Does that mean that 90% of people rate profiles based on looks only? Understandably so. This is why all of the mobile dating apps have been so popular and game-like.

3. The Power of Suggestion

As a Digital Matchmaker, I spend hours-and-hours every day analyzing profiles to find the perfect match for my clients. They have to go by my word and recommendation to write to or respond to a flurry of potential dates because I strongly advised them to do so. This has resulted in singles dating outside their social circles and meeting men or women that they didn’t think was their type.

OkCupid seems to agree. By changing the suggested recommendations from one with a low match percentage to a higher match percentage, their users started to communicate with people that weren’t necessarily a match, based on the algorithms. Were they playing with your digital mind? Just a bit.

Time reports that Rudder will be back to business posting on the OkTrends blog every four weeks while waiting for his book Dataclysm: Who We Are to be released in September.

Are you rating profiles based on looks alone? Do percentages matter to you? Your comments are welcome.

Photo credit: Fotolia

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of the Internet and creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter for dating advice and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

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