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Dating in an Instagram World

instagramworld 150x150Most people seem to be obsessed with photo sharing sites these days.

If a picture tells a thousand words, how does this digital habit affect your dating and love life?

With over 200 million users and 20 million photos shared daily on Instagram, dating can bring authenticity for single daters who are looking for love online on their mobile phones. These days, it’s not unusual for singles to check out both Facebook and Instagram photos of potential dates so see their recent activity, favorite restaurants, what interests and passions they have, and to find out if they have friends in common.

Are you ready to hop onboard for a tutorial on photo love?

In a recent interview with the New York Post, I explained how to successfully date with the help of Instagram.

How to Find Love on Instagram

1. First find someone who interests you, and start following him or her.
2. Start liking a couple of his or her photos.
3. After a week or so, start commenting on the photos.
4. Finally, find your potential crush on Facebook and send him or her a private message.

New Mobile App Glimpse Helps Daters Find Love on Instagram

If you’d like to find a simple way to flirt and date on ‘Insta’ without approaching someone who isn’t single, there’s a new mobile dating app called Glimpse, which helps singles get to know each other with more than a swipe.

How it works, is you’ll sign up with your Instagram account and select a primary photo from your Instagram account or your Camera Roll on your mobile phone.

Then you can select nine of your favorite photos that describe your personality and you’re ready to go. Users can specify their age filters and sexual orientation to help find the best matches.

Once you’re signed up, they’ll send you profiles of people nearby first. Then you’ll start receiving profile matches from singles in other cities to expand your horizons. When you view a profile that interests you, swipe up to see their nine selected photos. Sure there are a lot of food shots, but if you’re a sushi lover, you just might find the perfect date based upon his or her photos. If you think you’ll click, tap on the smile button and your potential date will be notified and you can start chatting.

Elan Miller, co-founder and CEO of Glimpse says the reply rate to first contact is over 70%. I can tell you that number is huge as compared to most traditional online dating sites and many mobile dating apps. “Photos (of how we see the world) are really effective icebreakers. Instead of the generic “hi” or “pickup line” people have something natural to talk about. Early feedback has been the tone/environment of Glimpse is way different from anything else out there,” says Miller.

With over 200 billion photos now shared on Instagram, isn’t it time you gave it a shot for dating?

Would you use Instagram to check out a date or to actively pursue a relationship? Your comments are welcome.

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

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6 Online Dating Tips for Spring Fever

springfever 300x300It’s officially Spring!

We’ve already changed the clocks to enjoy more sunset dates, so it’s time to start changing your wardrobe colors and get out and smell the digital roses. It’s springtime and we all know that Spring fever is in the air and singles are hoping to find love this season, or maybe even have a spring fling, depending on your dating goals.

With this in mind, here are some online dating tips and advice for a little digital facelift to help ramp up your cyberdating search for the new season.

                 Going Mobile

It’s time to turn up the volume and download a few mobile dating apps and start flirting. By now most of you have either used the hot mobile app Tinder, where you swipe to the right to connect with a potential date, or swipe to the left to send them into Internet heaven. Tinder has announced they’ve reached 1 million matches. It’s time to join the digital party.

WATCH MOBILE APPS TO SPEED UP YOUR SEARCH

Don’t forget the mobile versions of the dating sites you already belong to. If you’re a member of eHarmony, JDate, Match, OkCupid, PlentyOfFish, make sure you turn on their locals features and be on a date in minutes.

Start using additional mobile apps such as AreYouInterested, CupidRadar, and Zoosk that we feature in our Mobile Dating BootCamp.

 READ: 12 MOBILE APPS IN 2013

Check out Lulu

Want to see what others think of your potential date? Guys, register with the Lulu mobile app for the women to see how you rank on the dating totem pole. Your ego will get a lift when the ladies give you a high score and your profile views go up. Ladies, before you go on a date, check the rating of your potential hottie. Plus, they have fun and flirty dating advice as well sent to your mobile phone.

Log on Twice Daily

If you brush your teeth at least every morning and night, take a ½ hour to 1 hour twice a day and log on to your favorite dating sites. Just by having your profile listed online often raises your visibility in a search.

Cast a Wider Net

Not getting much activity in your inbox? Expand your search from 15 miles to 60 or even 200 miles. If you find the one, it’s worth the commute, or even relocating for love. Are you limiting yourself to searching for a narrow age range? Revise your search parameters by 10 years. That’s right, 5 years lower and 5 years higher than what you’ve already been looking for.

Reorder your photos

If you have 3-5 of your favorite photos on your profile and can’t find time to grab a new one from your Facebook page, change the primary photo so your profile looks fresh. When you get the time, add a few more recent shots, wearing something colorful and retire those that are 5 years old.

READ: WHEN IN DOUBT, WEAR RED

View and hotlist profiles

If you’re a bit shy about initiating contact, view profiles of those you might be interested in. Chances are they’ll see that you’ve viewed them and will contact you if they’re interested in you. Take it one step further and rate them with 5 stars or put them on your hotlist. Often they’ll be notified, will be flattered, and you just might put a date on your calendar.

If you still need some help to make your profile stand out from the rest, contact us about our Irresistible Profiles to help you find your dream date.

Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.

Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. She was an early adopter of onlien dating and has been helping singles find love on the Internet for 20 years. For more dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, sign up for the free Weekly Flirt, and visit our Facebook page.

Photo credit: © berezovskyi – Fotolia.com

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Julie Spira on FOX Studio 11 – Online Dating Advice [video]

FOXVD1 300x180

Finding love on an dating website can be exciting. On FOX 11, I shared online dating tips with Christine DeVine and talked about how to do a background search.

Singles should be concerned about possible romance scams. Even the FTC, FBI and BBB are warning singles to be safe around Valentine’s.

Meeting singles online should be a fun and safe experience. Daters need to protect their hearts and their wallets and 71% of those polled by Harris Interactive on behalf of Spokeo said they would conduct a search on someone they’re dating or are considering dating.

Los Angeles Local News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

1. Meet someone in a public place and let a friend know who you’re planning on meeting. Text your friend to let them know you’re safe.

2. Ask a lot of questions to get to know someone. Where did they go to school? How long have you lived in in this city?

3. Do a search to feel safer that the person behind the keyboard is who they claim to be by going to Spokeo.com. (marital status, age, reverse email/phone number search)

4. Check to see if social media profile photos match their dating profile photos.

5. Be careful of communicating with people from another country. Often they are originally from the U.S. and are working abroad. They will feel like they’ve fallen in love with you instantly and ask for money after a few email exchanges.

6. Don’t accept a late night date for drinks.

7. Use recent photos and tell your accurate age.  Be honest and authentic.

Remember, there are 40 million singles dating online. You might just be that one in 40 million and find your digital sweetheart.

Julie Spira is an online dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. Julie is a paid Spokesperson for Spokeo and believes in practicing safe online dating. For dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

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Why Would the World’s Worst Dating Profile Still Attract Men?

Screen Shot 2014 01 08 at 6.59.49 PM 150x150It’s a story that’s gone viral on the Internet. A woman in Los Angeles created a fake OkCupid online dating profile to see if men would write back to her, no matter how horrible she was. She did and they did.

As a radio show guest on WLW in Cincinnati, I spoke with Eddie and Tracy about Alli Reed’s experiment. (You’ll need to fast forward 45 minutes to our segment).

For starters, I’m against experiments which entail misrepresentation of people, especially when it includes matters of the heart.

To add to it, anything that would harm another, put down people and be downright rude is at the bottom of the totem pole, even if it ever gets to the dating totem pole.

Still, one has to ask, why would such a horrific profile named AaronCarterFan attract slews of men? Did they even know who Aaron Carter was? Why were these men writing to this angry woman who fakes pregnancies for money, is actively looking just to hook up, and is filled with typos and more?

Let’s start with the fact that both men and women are visual. Alli posted, with permission, a photo of a friend instead of herself. Her friend was a model. Sure, it’s ‘Catfishing’ at its best.  Guys like hot chicks who have a sultry face. They don’t even need to read the profile. While not gender specific, I have to point out that women also like handsome men and bad boys.

Second, she appeared to be easy in the bedroom, yet difficult to score with, meaning she was a challenge. Guys love the chase and love a challenge. Guys knew that there was an “auction” going on and the highest bidder of the hundreds of emails that she was receiving would win the prize, or would it? Her experiment yielded 150 emails in 24 hours. That’s a pretty active response.

After responding to these men to keep the experiment alive, Alli posted the details of her experiment on Cracked.com, where she shared the four lessons learned.

In her blog, she says, “So I made the OkCupid profile of the Worst Woman on Earth, hoping to prove that there exists an online dating profile so loathsome that no man would message it. I did not accomplish my goal.”

She engaged in over 500 emails and made National TV, which could help her writing career.

Does this mean that nice guys and good girls finish last? I don’t think so. At the end of the digital day, I’ll defer to the Fleetwood Mac song which says “Players on love you when they’re playing.” I’ll take the nice guy any day.

Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.

Julie Spira is an online dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. She was an early adopter of the Internet and creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

 

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New Year’s Online Dating Resolutions

2014heart 300x198New Year’s resolutions. Who needs them?

The first week of January is known for being one of the busiest days for new online dating sites, with over 50% of new members joining the day after New Year’s, I thought it would be appropriate to think about a realistic resolutions list when it comes to matters of the heart.

From joining the gym to the latest diet craze, we come up with lists that are so unrealistic that even Wonder Woman couldn’t achieve half of the items on the checklist.

Match.com reports that during the first week of 2014, they’ll expect to have over 2 million singles logging on over 30 million times! This Sunday, January 5th at 8:57pm/ET, Match expects it to be the busiest time of the year for online dating. Are you ready to take the digital plunge?

With that in mind, when it comes to matters of the heart, singles need to become reflective and take a good look at their dating patterns. Did you date the same type of people over-and-over again? Did your relationships sizzle at the three-six month mark? Was it rate to make it to a second date or past a third date? Is your list of the traits of your perfect mate too big or too small?

Here are my suggestions and a list of questions for you to answer to start fresh in the New Year.

  1. Take a moment to jot down a list of those you dated in 2013.
  2. Write down a list of the personality types to see where your patterns are.
  3. Did they ever seem too good to be true?
  4. Did you jump in too fast or were you overcautious and took it too slow?
  5. Were you hung up on physical qualities?
  6. Were these people you could be friends with first?
  7. Would you be proud to introduce your dates to your friends and family?
  8. Are you backgrounds, religion, and values similar?
  9. How did your dates treat the servers at restaurants?
  10. What was the relationship your dates had with his or her parents and family?

Answering these questions will help guide you better to determine who you should be adding to your date card.

With online dating in peak season from Christmas through Valentine’s Day, finding a date isn’t a difficult task.

Remember your time is precious and more isn’t always better. It’s not the race to the finish line that matters. Every relationship serves a purpose and helps you get closer to knowing truly what you want. While falling in “like” or “lust” at first sight is common, it takes multiples seasons to determine if you’re truly in love with someone; a person who will be with you when there’s the inevitable bump on the road.

If you meet someone that you truly connect with, I encourage you to open your heart, be open to the possibilities, give someone a second chance in case they were nervous on a first date. Love yourself first so you are able to love others.

Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam in 2014.

Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and was an early adopter of the Internet. She’s been helping singles find love online for 20 years with her Irresistible Profiles. For more online dating advice, sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter and follow @JulieSpira on Twitter.

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Holiday Dating Online: Does It Make You Anxious?

periloftheweekperri 300x300It happens to the best of us. You go home for Thanksgiving to see friends and family, only to be questioned about your relationship status.  From “Are you seeing anyone special?” to “How’s your love life?” These are common questions that cause many singles to pull the covers over their heads. Others are being smart about it. They’re logging on for love to find someone to keep them warm during the holidays, or perhaps even attend a holiday party with.

Still, I know how tough it is at the holidays being single. I’ve been there. I’ve watched the posts from others on Facebook who are shared their coupledom with everyone, from kissing under the mistletoe to the eight gifts on Hanukkah, which just magnifies how tough it is being single at the holidays.

Here’s a survival guide to help you through the holidays, online and IRL.

Anxiety over your relationship status during the holidays is common. Add a digital element to it of being connected via email, Facebook, or Twitter and it’s magnified big time. Online Dating Anxiety Disorder (ODAD) is overwhelming. While it isn’t a clinical condition, most singles are now members of more than one dating site. Those who suffer from ODAD know that horrible feeling they get when they push the send button too fast to reply to his or her email and then wait by their computer or mobile phone for the reply to come in. When you have ODAD, you’re a member of so many sites, you can’t remember where you met the date you’re about to have dinner with. Text messages become a part of your dating regime and if the time in between the texts is over four hours, you start to feel anxious and catastrophize.

It can be confusing to hear someone say, “It’s Doug from PlentyOfFish, um, no I mean Match; actually, it was eHarmony right?” This is not how you viewed your first conversation with your soul mate would be, right?

When you suffer from online dating anxiety disorder, you typically log on after a great date to see who else has written to you instead of going to sleep with a smile on your face from a fabulous date.  It’s a condition that many suffer from and don’t know how to get out of the downward spiral, other than to unplug and deactivate for a day or two.

If you’ve recently ended a relationship with someone you’ve met online, it’s more likely than not that you’ll be taking a peek at his or her profile to see their online activity. It’s natural to be curious, but it’s a habit that I urge you to break.

It’s also breakup season

Since the famous Facebook breakup chart was released a few years ago, the trend of breaking up during holiday season became a known fact. Digital snooping is also on the rise, especially during the holidays.  It brings out the worst in us. At Plenty of Fish, they surveyed over 9000 of their users between the ages of 20 -40 to find out what their holiday dating habits were. POF found that 82% of the women were actually checking the Facebook statuses of guys they were dating to see what they were doing when they weren’t around. Their survey also found that 26% of singles slept with an ex over the holidays, because they just didn’t want to be alone and single.

A few years ago, I wrote a post called, Recycling an Ex at the Holidays about my own personal experience of being invited to my former Match.com boyfriend’s holiday party after having had no contact for six months. While I did attend his company party with him, I made sure there were ground rules put in place; specifically, that we weren’t getting back together and were going as friends.

While recycling an ex over the holidays is common, the feelings after the holiday parties have worn off will leave you in a worse place emotionally than if you put your energies into spending time with friends or trying to cultivate a new relationship.

It’s Peak Season for Online Daters

The good news is that more singles are signing up for dating sites between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. Match reports they see a jump of about 25-30% in new members signing up between Christmas and Valentine’s Day and at Cyber-Dating Expert, it’s the busiest holiday season ever with new singles joining online dating sites and brand new dating profiles being created.

It’s peak season in the Internet dating business, which typically coincides with holiday breakup season.  It’s the perfect time to start filling your date card, but how do you coordinate holiday dating without feeling overwhelmed and a bit anxious? My biggest recommendation is to look at online dating and flirting on Facebook as ways to expand your social circle. Think of it as meeting new friends at the holidays and enjoying the company of someone you like, not necessarily someone you’re about to fall in love with.

Online Love is a year-round event

People meet online and fall in love all year long. I know a couple that met online on Christmas Eve on Facebook who are now engaged. I know of another couple that met online on eHarmony on Valentine’s Day who are now happily married. Just yesterday I learned of a couple fell in love at first sight that met on Match. She hadn’t had a serious relationship in over 10 years and now they’re smitten. Yes online dating is a numbers game. You’ll be juggling dates, canceling dates, rescheduling dates, it’s exhausting, but it can be so very rewarding as it has been for millions of others.

Stop Stalking Your Ex

I’m here to tell you that being single on the holidays is fine. We get over it. Stalking an ex online or on Facebook isn’t fine. You’ll feel anxious if you see him or her logging on looking for your replacement. You’ll feel anxious if you don’t see him or her logging on assuming you’ve been replaced. Your heart will fall to the floor when they delete their profile, assuming they’ve ridden off into the sunset with someone else. You’ll be burning up the phone lines if you see a Facebook relationship status change or a photo posted with someone else.

You really don’t know what’s going on in your ex’s mind and it doesn’t matter. All you can control is how you feel about it and what you’d like to do to add more positive people in your life. He or she is an ex for a reason, so please knock them off their pedestal.

Fall in love with you

At the holidays, please take a deep breath; log on to fill your date card if and when it feels good to you, not because you’re feeling lonely. If you need to take a break from dating, that’s fine. There are no rules, other than to fall in love with yourself first. It’s the best place to be to start any new relationship.

Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace this holiday season, or wherever you may roam.

Julie Spira is an online dating expert and was a very early adopter of Internet dating. She’s the CEO of CyberDatingExpert.com, author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online, and creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For online dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

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Text Regret: Text Messages You Should Never Send

textregret 167x300When our friends at YourTango asked me to chime in on the latest Brigham Young University survey, which shows that texting can harm romantic relationships, it was an honor to share the reasons that texting can both enhance your love life, as well as send you to the digital doghouse in a New York minute.

It’s true that I’ve never seen an argument via text have a happy ending. When the anger brews and escalates, usually a long-winded text message won’t resolve relationship conflicts.  This reactionary behavior puts you in a digital war-zone. When you send text messages back and forth, you don’t hear the sound of someone’s voice. Therefore, you can’t know how upset they really are.

Here are 5 Text Messages that you should think about, before pushing the send button.

“We need to talk.” Men dread hearing those four words. Don’t be surprised if your guy or significant other disappears for a few days. Don’t start a conversation with this one-liner, as your relationship might go south fast.  You’ll either receive a negative response, or none at all.

“I’m sorry.”
Should you apologize over text? When someone says ‘I’m sorry’ over a text message, the recipient isn’t really sure how sorry they are.  It can be taken as a way to end the uncomfortable text exchange, but how sincere is the apology? You really aren’t sure and they aren’t as valued as an in-person or on-the-phone apology where it can be a two-way dialog.

“It’s over.” Who breaks up in a text message? Apparently many do so. If you’re not feeling it for him or her anymore, don’t disappear and don’t send a text. who wants to go on record as the one who dumped their significant other in a text message? Pick up the phone if you think there’s trouble in paradise. Chances are you’ll be able to salvage your relationship.

Texts To Definitely Send

The Brigham Young University research team found that affectionate loving texts can result in a happier message. I tend to agree.

“Thinking of you … have a great day!” Who wouldn’t want to wake up to this good morning text? It starts both of your days off right: with love.

“Can’t wait to see you tonight. XO.” Receiving a text like this lets your sweetheart know that he or she is loved. It’s also great digital foreplay on date night to get both of you in the mood.

Remember, once you push the send button, you can’t take it back. You’re creating a permanent digital footprint and your temporary moment of digital insantiy might be shared with his or her friends to confirm that you are indeed crazy. If you must vent, send yourself an email describing exactly how angry you’re feeling, but do not, I repeat, do not send it. Try sleeping on it and revisiting it in the morning.

Relationships can be complicated and sometimes we catastrophize about our love lives. If your boyfriend or girlfriend misses calling you one night, he or she may have just fallen asleep on the sofa…..alone, and not in the arms of another.

Have you ever sent a text that you’ve regretted?

Julie Spira is an online dating expert and founder of Cyber Dating Expert. Julie was an early adopter of the Internet and writes about the marriage of love and technology. She’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating. Follow @JulieSpira for dating advice and sign up for our free Weekly Flirt and find out how our Irresistible Profiles will help you find your dream date.

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Saying Goodbye to Your Summer Romance

summerlove 300x225Memorial Day to Labor Day relationships. They’re rampant, but with the change of seasons, many couples re-evaluate their relationship status.

If you’re questioning whether your summer romance has an expiration date on it and are wondering what to do next, these dating tips should help you on your romantic journey.

As summer is nearing its end, many students are now returning to school and single parents will now have a much different schedule to adhere to.

So with the change of seasons, how do you know if you can handle a long distance relationship this fall? If your guy is still in town, how do you know if your passionate summer love was just a fling or the real thing?

If you notice your relationship is tapering off as we lead into Labor Day, should you part ways as friends now that summer is over and wish each other well, or sign up for another season of love?

I’ve always said that long-term relationships should go through multiple seasons to determine if you’re compatible with your significant other or not. Yes, winter, spring, summer and fall. All of them, each with their unique beauty and differences can help you pass the test of time.

As cliché as it sounds, we know there is some validity to the three-month honeymoon phase. At first, everything about the other person is exciting. From giggles and hiccups to their exercise regime, you just suck it all in like a sponge that won’t dry out.

When these relationships peak in the summer, it’s often hard to tell whether it’s lust or love with all of the outdoor heat, but oddly, as the summer ends, it’s not unusual to start receiving less text messages from your beau. The days in between getting together seem to be getting longer while the days start to become shorter.  The routine of your love life just isn’t as exciting as it used to be.

During months 3-6, the “imperfect stage,” don’t be surprised if your single girlfriend sees your guy’s profile online, where he’s just fishing to see who might write to him, even if he isn’t setting up any dates.

After that, you may find out about a few Facebook chats that were incorporated into the routine to create distance between the two of you. Someone notices a Facebook check in, he’s busted and there’s a major explosion.

If you can relate to this feeling or sequence of events, the problem may not be with the calendar, but more often-than-not be related to serious commitment issues that one of you may be struggling with.

The next think you know, someone isn’t sure if they’re feeling it anymore. Rather than being honest about the relationship, they’re cultivating conversations on Facebook with high school or college pals to create distance, and the trust dissipates. It’s the beginning of the end.

Why do so many of these relationships end when the summer is over?

Weather changes, months change, routines change, and even those relationships with the best of intentions run their course. At the end of the summer, it’s like the end of the calendar year. People reevaluate their relationship statuses and decide whether to renew for another three months.

If you feel this is happening to you, have the conversation first with your partner sooner, rather than later. Don’t toss away the relationship so quickly. Acknowledge all of the amazing things you’ve done together as a couple and honor the memories you’ve shared. Ask the other person if there’s anything they can do to keep the relationship alive. Remember, bumps on the road are an opportunity for personal growth within a relationship, not always necessarily the beginning of the end.

If at the end of your conversation, you feel you aren’t compatible or someone has already strayed, wish each other well, before you start logging on for love looking for their replacement.

It’s important to mourn the loss of your relationship, because your friendship, bond, and the daily connectivity will abruptly end. Trying to get together immediately as friends during this emotional time is not a good idea.  It will backfire. There’s no such thing as a mutual breakup where everyone is happy. One person might think it will lesson their guilt. It won’t. You fell in love with someone for a reason, not a season.

If you find that your summer love has ended, don’t reactivate your online dating profile for at least a week. Sure it’s great for your ego to get people lining up to meet you for dates, but it isn’t fair for someone new not to get the best shot at you. Dating while you’re still pining away for your ex can increase your sadness.  You’re a walking-wounded person and it’s healthy to take a break.

After enough time has gone by and you both have moved on with other relationships, it’s possible to be friends with your summer romance in another season, but in my experience, you truly need at least six months to segue a romantic relationship into a friendship. But then again, do you really want to be friends with someone who broke your heart?

Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and the founder of Cyber-Dating Expert. For more dating advice, sign up for the free Weekly Flirt.

Photo credit: sandra zuerlein – Fotolia.com

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3 Changes to Instantly Improve Your Online Dating Profile

Fotolia 18812125 XS 150x150At Cyber-Dating Expert Headquarters, we hear complaints from both men and women about how every profile seems to look the same after a while. Singles get frustrated too easily, because there are too many choices. As a result, the searching process becomes so blurry, that they often just turn off the computer and go out to hang out with their friends.

Think about it and let’s compare it to selecting the perfect scoop of ice cream to sweeten your palate. If the choices were all vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry, it might not be that inviting as compared to Pineapple Passion Fruit, Cinnamon Buns, or Karamel Sutra, just a few flavors I can’t wait to try when I’m at Ben and Jerry’s.

So without further digital ado and minus the calories, here are a few steps you can do to immediately have a more unique profile, without resorting to posting skydiving photos.

1. Dump the Cliché’s.  Every girl dreams of taking a romantic beach walk or staring at the sunset for a dream date. Let’s take a reality check and ask yourself, just how many beach walks are you going on? Maybe you’ll do so with a date at some point, but it’s oh so boring for them to read this over-and-over again. It goes hand-in-hand with saying you can dress from jeans to black-tie and want a man with a sense of humor.  So if you’re asking for a guy who works hard and plays hard, you’re not one in a million. You’re among the multi-million profiles with those same overused words.

Solution: Nix these clichés now and replace them with photos and actions and about what makes you the girl he wants to know more about. If you’re stumped, ask a friend what makes you different and unique. He or she may remind you how you’re the first one out at 6am to clean the bay or love the fact that you volunteer to feed the homeless in soup kitchens on Thanksgiving. Replace the blue jeans to black tie cliché with photos of you dressed in a variety of outfits. He’ll get the picture and will want to see more.

2. Ask a Question.  This is something that I believe is an absolute must on every profile. Remember that your profile shouldn’t be a monologue or all about you. You need to start a two-way dialog with your profile as a brief introduction about yourself.  Your dream date must be able to imagine his or her life with you, not just watching you from afar wondering if he’ll fit it or not.

Solution: Name a few of your favorite vacation spots and ask if you’re date has ever been there before. List a local mountain you’d like to hike and ask if he’s ever done that before. Mention a rock band that you’ve always wanted to see and ask if you’re the only one who hasn’t seen Lady Gaga in concert. Mention you’d like to take golf lessons and have clubs collecting dust in the garage and ask if anyone would like to go with you to the driving range. This makes it easier for someone to write to you with a specific solution and answer to your question. It will instantly increase the amount of emails that you’ll be receiving.

3. Reduce the word count. Yes, describing your life story should be written in your personal journal and not be on your dating profile. Statistics show that writing a shorter profile will get more responses. Not everyone reads your entire profile and you’ll be lucky if they read the first few sentences. If they scroll down and notice a long-winded profile, it’s likely that they’ll say, “Next!”

Solution: Leave the novel at home. Drop the long drawn out description and reduce your profile by at least a paragraph, if not more.  Remember, dating is about getting to know you over time. Details of your relationship and family history and listing every vacation you’ve gone on won’t leave room for imagination. It’s a digital dance, so make it a sneak peek into your life.

Make some of these changes to your profile now and cyber love will just be a click away. Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.

Julie Spira is an online dating expert and author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene.  For more online dating advice, sign up for the free Weekly Flirt and follow @JulieSpira on Twitter.

Photo credit: Maxim_Kazmin – Fotolia.com

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Ramp it Up: August is National Romance Awareness Month

Fotolia 54434279 XS 150x150Although romance is a 24-hour a day 7-day a week topic, in August, it’s time for romance to get an extra boost.

In honor of this hot summer month, Zoosk conducted their 2nd annual Romance Awareness Month Survey of about 1500 single members of their online dating site to find out just who is more romantic and how satisfied singles are with their romantic lives.

While it shouldn’t come as a surprise that 81% of women and 69% of men surveyed agreed that women are more romantic, their findings showed that Valentine’s Day ranked lower on the romance totem pole at 19% than an anniversary at 57% or even a first date at 24%.

What’s even more surprising is the overwhelming amount of singles who are not satisfied with the amount of romance in their lives, with 80 % of the men and 73% of women, not happy in the romance department.

How can you add more romance to your life and be happier? As a hopeful romantic and one who makes love a daily part of my life, it all starts with loving yourself and creating rituals, with or without a partner. Romance isn’t only measured by the quality of quantity of sex in your life, but it begins with adding random kind gestures into your activity list.

Here are five tips to ramp up romance in your life, with or without a romantic partner.

Cyber Love
As one who spends a lot of time helping singles with their online dating profiles, I can’t help but stress that it’s one of the simplest ways to think about romance and relationships. When you log in daily to your online dating site, take extra time to compliment someone on his or her outfit. Let them know you think they have an incredible smile. You’ll be surprised how quickly the boomerang effect will take place. You’ll feel like romance is just a click away.

Digital Foreplay

I’m a huge fan of sending romantic text messages leading up to your date. Sending a fun and flirty morning text message letting your date or significant other know that you’re excited about your date with a few xoxo’s will definitely add some romance to your love life.

Smile and be Confident

Believe it or not, you actually feel happier and more confident even when you’re smiling while on the telephone. Nobody can imagine romance with a Debbie or Donnie Downer, so smile at the grocery store, while in line at the bank, or in an exercise class. You’ll come across as happier and don’t be surprised if a few heads turn.

First Date Rules – Be Proactive for Romance

Being passive on a date doesn’t help you in the romance department. Sure you don’t want to be too aggressive, but the Zoosk survey showed the squeaky wheel gets the romance deal with 34% of singles finding it most romantic when their date plans a surprise activity for their first date, with 27% liking to hold hands on the first date and 25% actually enjoying it when their date leans in for that first memorable kiss.

Schedule Date Nights

If you already have a steady loved one, you know how often relationships can end up in a rut after the first three months. When the honeymoon period starts to wane, if you’re not dating your mate and creating romantic memories, it’s easy for the relationship to fizzle out. Pick the same day each week and take turns selecting your date spot. You don’t have to break the bank, especially during Romance Awareness Month, as there are plenty of free concerts, where you can bring a picnic basket to or take the beach walk that so many swear they can’t wait to do.

National Romance Awareness Month gives you the opportunity and excuse to jump out of your rut and your comfort zone and think about how you can add more romance to your life.

What romantic rituals help you in your relationship?

Julie Spira is an online dating expert and founder of Cyber-Dating Expert. She’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online 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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