The good news is summer officially starts on Saturday, so you can celebrate the Summer Solstice all weekend long.
Here are ten of the best summertime first date ideas that won’t break the bank, nor will it put too much pressure on a date with someone new.
Happy dating and enjoy the sunshine!
1. Ride the Ferris Wheel.
Go to an amusement park and ride the Ferris Wheel or even the roller coaster, if you dare.
2. Find a free outdoor concert.
Bring a picnic meal and a blanket and take in the sounds of local artists. Some museums and parks actually have well-known musicians.
3. Watch an outdoor movie.
While drive-in theaters have become obsolete, the trend of watching movies on a big screen at a shopping center or local park has become all the rage.
Make sure to go grocery shopping together to spice up the date. Cooking together can be filled with laughter. Don’t forget to pick up chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers to make s’mores for dessert.
5. Go on a bike ride.
Make it more memorable by renting a bicycle built for two! Remember to take photos and of course, ask for permission before posting to Instagram.
6. Take a Beach Yoga Class.
Yoga is sexy on a date. Remember to bring your sunscreen. If you don’t live near a beach, check out the many outdoor classes in a park.
7. Take a cooking Class.
Stores such as Sur le Table nationwide have cooking classes on their calendar. If you can’t find one near you, check out the local universities and colleges or a MeetUp group for foodies.
8. Snack at the Food Trucks.
Many neighborhoods have a food truck day. Find out which day or night they’ll be parked in your neighborhood. From the healthy green truck to a spicy Mexican cuisine, there’s a favorite truck for every type of palate.
9. Go to a baseball game.
It’s the season for America’s favorite past time. Nibble on peanuts and Cracker Jack and enjoy the 7th inning stretch. Check the MLB.com website for dates and times. Not in a baseball city, find a minor league game near you.
10. Go to a zoo.
It’s fun to feed the animals at the zoo Take it a step further and walk into the petting zoo and spend time with the llamas and sheep.
Don’t forget to memorialize your fun outdoor date by snapping photos. Who knows, you just might end up with a nice kiss at the end of the date to add to your digital memory book.
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She coaches singles on the dating scene with her Irresistible Profiles programs to help them find love offline.
Even though Father’s Day is a recent memory, it’s good to point out that single and divorced dads are quite active on online dating sites.
As a matter of fact, Match reports that 30% of their male subscribers are indeed single dads. PlentyofFish tells us that almost 45% of single men in the United States on their site who are between the ages of 30 and 50 are single dads!
So what’s the secret to blending your dating life and dating a single dad?
1. Communication. Talking about your relationship with your children is the most important part of dating a single or divorced parent. Some single dads have split schedules with their children and others are full-time dads. Some have children in college and some even have grandchildren. Talking about your schedules, when to introduce them to someone you’re dating and your long-term goals about staying single or blending a family should happen in the early stages of dating.
2. Tell, don’t post. While your kids are a priority, posting photos of them in your primary dating photo is not recommended. Instead, mention in the body of your profile the ages of your children and how important they are in your life.
3. Respect the calendar. Be understanding of his schedule. Remember, a single dad is juggling kids activities, carpooling the children back to their mother’s home, and possibly a demanding work schedule, while still trying to find time to date. When it comes to to big holiday events, you just might need to celebrate with him on a different date.
4. Love, but don’t parent. There should be an endless amount of love for all children, but when they aren’t your own, resist the urge to discipline and become a parent. Show them love and kindness and make sure it’s not your goal to steal his heart away from his children. It’s not a competition to see who ranks higher on the totem pole. It’s about adding joy to their lives, when the time is right.
The good news is that single dads are 46% more likely to meet someone on their dating site as compared to men without children, according to Match.
When are the guys most often searching for love online?
Match reports that single dads log on most often between 6:00am and 9:00am in the morning before their workday begins.
The good news is that more than half of single dads will email single moms than men without children. Single dads spend time in the trenches with their kids, so they will tend to be more empathetic to your family schedule as well.
Are you a single dad looking for love online?
Find out how our Irresistible Profiles can help you find your dream date.
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of Internet dating and helps singles who are looking for love online and IRL. For more dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.
Did you know there are actual courses guys take to become a pick up artist?
The acronym is PUA and it’s more widespread than you think.
In this episode of YourTango Quickie series, I talk about the signs of a pick up artist.
Do you recognize any of these traits with the men you are dating?
1. He’s a smooth operator.
2. He’s a sexy and elusive guy.
3. He’s not always available.
4. He may rub the lower part of your back at the movies, but not take it further.
5. He’ll whisper sweet nothings in your ear in a low seductive voice.
6. He’ll wear something goofy like a hat to be the center of attention.
7. He’ll exclude you from the conversation with your girlfriends.
8. He’ll mirror everything in your online dating profile to share your dreams and passions.
9. He’s good and strategic and knows how to take a woman to bed.
10. He’ll become your instant dream man, but will disappear once the chase is over.
Have you ever dated a PUA? Your comments are welcome.
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of the Internet and online dating and is the founder of Cyber-Dating Expert. Julie and her team create Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene and help them date in the digital age. For more dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.
The reasons why online dating works so well is that that 50% of the 111 million singles in the United States are dating online and that it’s available 24 hours a day. Add in the fact that dating sites have mobile apps, finding love from your cell phone means you can date on the fly. The reason that online dating fails for many is that they aren’t taking a proactive approach to the process. If you just post a few photos, a bio, and who your perfect date should be and wait for someone to find you, your date card won’t be filling up fast.
Singles are obsessed about how people date and how to find decent dates, no matter what city they live in. However, most singles struggling to find love think their city is the worst to find a compatible mate.
A beautiful woman in her 40s who I’ve been coaching thinks online dating takes too long to find a good guy. She was frustrated that she only had two dates in one week and that men weren’t writing to her. Her first date didn’t work out, as he told her before even meeting her that she should take her profile down so they could date exclusively. It was too much too fast, so she realized he wasn’t her guy and they never met. While she liked her second date, he never called her again. Finding two dates in one week, whether they advance to a second date or not is not a bad statistic for online dating. This is actually the normal dating process.
The reason it’s taking her too long to find dates is because she believes it’s improper for a woman to contact a man. She wasn’t using the tools to benefit from the algorithms that the site provided. After one month of online dating, she wondered what she was doing wrong and why it wasn’t working. While she “liked” and “favorited” a few guys she saw on Match, she waited for them to write back to her so she could be pursued in an old-fashioned traditional way.
What she didn’t understand is that everyone’s digital dating behaviors and patterns vary. Some men will only read emails from women and don’t use all of the features of the sites. Others only look at photos. They may not look to see who has viewed them, hot listed them, winked, flirted, or liked their photos. Dating is a two-way street. Men are trained to be the pursuers, but when they get frustrated when they don’t receive responses online from women, they slack off a bit. When women take a passive approach to online dating it simply just doesn’t work.\
Ossa Fisher, Match.com’s SVP of Strategy & Analytics defines this dating type as a “Cherry Picker,” or one who has a hard time finding a date because they put a beautiful profile out there and sit and wait. Even though finding love is a priority, a cherry picker doesn’t take matters into their own hands.
Many dating sites have sophisticated algorithms. When I visited Match.com’s headquarters recently, we talked about their dating algorithms. The only way these algorithms work to help you find a compatible date is to make sure you are an active user of the dating site. Simply put, the more often you log on, the more data the site receives on your likes, dislikes, and communications.
Fisher states the only way to maximize your experience on dating sites is to be truly engaged in the process. She says that compared to Match users who haven’t met someone, those who have met someone sent 30% more likes, favorited 26% more users, and responded to 3-7% more messages. They were clearly engaged in the process.
If the “Cherry Picker” starts writing short emails to five to ten men a day, the results will be dramatic. Men will be flattered to receive her email and many will most likely pursue her. You see guys get frustrated too with the process since they write to so many women who don’t respond. By initiating an email to a guy, you’re not losing your femininity, you’re just showing that you’re confident enough to reach out to a guy.
Modern day dating must include a proactive approach and it’s time to toss the old dating rules out the window. This is no different than looking for your dream job. The digital playground is crowded, but the possibilities are huge and have never been better for singles looking for love online.
At the end of the digital day, online dating is a numbers game. You need to play to win.
Julie Spira is a top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of Internet dating and is the founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. Julie creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.
For those of you who watch the MTV series, ‘Catfish,’ you might be familiar with this scenario.
Imagine if you met your dream guy online or on a social media site. You spend hours and hours a day chatting online and through instant messenger, but you haven’t taken your relationship offline?
Is he or she stalling or is there someone else behind that photo and computer keyboard?
Here are some signs to look out for while dating online.
1. A Catfish is someone who creates a completely different persona online than who they are offline.
2. You may hear his or her voice, but you never have the chance to meet IRL.
3. You believe you’re in a relationship, but you may be in love with the possibilities of a future with him or her.
4. Your date sends photos that look too good to be true; almost too perfect like a stock image photo.
5. You ask your date to set up a video date on SKYPE or Facetime, but they come up with excuses why they can’t.
6. Your date schedules and cancels dates repeatedly with excuses of work, love, or medical problems.
Tips if You Think You’re Dating a Catfish
If you aren’t sure if your date is for real or not, use Google Image search and upload their profile photo to see if their photo appears anywhere else on the Internet.
At the end of the digital day, remember to trust your intuition, take your time and make sure you have the opportunity to meet the person in real life if you really want a relationship.
Are you dating someone online that you haven’t met offline? Share your story here.
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of the Internet and helps singles select the best dating sites, mobile apps, and creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.
Tinder-mania is everywhere it seems.
Tinder’s mobile app launched in Los Angeles less than two years ago, and it’s quickly becoming a household name.
Even Bravo’s Andy Cohen recently taught Larry King how to use Tinder!
At the recent Digital Hollywood gathering in Los Angeles, Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen was on a panel called, “The Coveted Captive audience – Engaging And Monetizing Through Mobile.”
Afterwards, I had the chance to catch up with Justin again to talk about the latest trends for Tinder.
The Future of Tinder
Tinder, as we know, has become the hottest mobile dating app, now experiencing over ten million matches a day and 800 million swipes per day.
“I think the misconception is that Tinder is a dating app,” said Justin Mateen – Tinder’s Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer during the session. “We consider ourselves a social discovery app, more of a competitor to social platforms,” Mateen added.
Tinder is now optimizing to connect new people. Mateen feels the value proposition is tremendous, which is why they’ve been able to grow so quickly. People are using Tinder for dating for the most part, but as time goes on, Tinder won’t be optimized only for dating.
“We are our own social platform and leverage other social platforms to the sense that it makes sense,” said Mateen. He boasted about Tinder’s 2000% growth last year. The average Tinder user spends ½ hour on the mobile app and they are growing by 10 times every day.
As of now, Tinder is not charging for their app or providing advertising. Their monetization strategy includes focusing on the user experience and growing the user base both domestically and Internationally. Their future plan will include in app purchases to enhance the user experience when it comes time to monetize. Mateen explained that their plans are to begin to test different forms or advertising on Tinder. “We want to make sure that it’s an organic ad and that our users can benefit from it.”
Not a day goes by when someone doesn’t come up to me to ask me about my thoughts on Tinder.
Several men I know of have actually felt distressed when they’ve swiped left instead of right and felt that they lost the match. Fortunately, Tinder has come up with a solution for that dilemma as the app provides a pop-up asking you if you’re sure you want to swipe left.
Others are in relationships and still won’t retire their Tinder profile. Is it a game?
Are you using Tinder?
Julie Spira is an online dating and mobile dating expert. She was an early adopter of the Internet and online dating, having created her first profile over 20 years ago. Julie’s the founder of Cyber-Dating Expert and coaches singles on the dating scene. For more online dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.
When I received an email from the Daily Mail letting me know that a San Francisco man posed as a 26-year old dog named “Hero” on Tinder, I had to chuckle. After all, a dog is man’s best friend and every girl is looking for her hero.
Still since Justin Mateen, co-founder of Tinder believes that their mobile app is a social discovery app and not a mobile dating app, I wasn’t surprised that this social experiment was received as a breath of fresh barking air. The responses flooded in from both women and men within a 100-mile radius.
It’s a social networking experience, and people love pets, so it was certainly a way for the profile to stand out among the millions of other profiles that users are swiping right and left to. “Hero” a golden retriever, replied to curious swipers with a “woof woof” and “bark bark” with an occasional wagging of his tail.
After seven days as a male dog, Joe Veix posted that had 206 matches—154 guys and 52 girls. All of his responses were “woof woof” and occasional digital barking. When he switched to a female dog, the comments became a bit riskier.
Tinder is known to be fun and flirty. Like a game, so many people who have downloaded the Tinder mobile app spend hours-and-hours a day swiping right just to strike up a conversation with so many that they may or may not meet IRL.”
Rather than saying, ‘hey’ or ‘what’s up’ the “Hero” puppy profile allowed users of the app to have a bit of fun and laughter while responding to the barks from the dog profile.
Tinder now claims 10 million matches a day and over 800 million swipes a day. Users are logging on for more than 1.5 hours a day. Will the future of Tinder fall into the hands of your four-legged pets?
I think it’s just a matter of time, before we’ll see a viral cat video on Tinder.
Are you dating on Tinder? Your comments are welcome.
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s the host of Mobile Dating BootCamp and helps singles find love on the Internet and IRL. For more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.
So you've got a few profiles up on various online dating sites, but you're noticing that your inbox is on the empty side. What's a single dater to do? We know that most people weren't born to be copyrighters and writing about yourself is often uncomfortable. You just can't express that witty and unique personality while typing on your mobile phone or computer and are pulling your hair out, while your date card isn't filling up. If you feel this way, you're not alone.
When a lovely attractive single woman reached out to me on Twitter needing help with her profile, it didn't take long to see why she wasn't meeting quality men online. She was smart and adorable, but the men couldn't notice that while swiping and scrolling the site. Here are the ways we've improved her profile.
1. Word Count – While this dating profile was fun and flirty, it was way too long. I always say, "leave the novel at home." With 5 paragraphs and 423 words in the About Me, section, it was more than her potential dates would ever read. Plus, it's always good to leave your date wanting more.
Suggestion: Reduce the word count to 125-150 words.
2. Post 3-5 photos. This profile had an adorable primary photo shot wearing hot pink. It was close to perfect, except there were no additional photos. Daters’ are accustomed to scrolling through a series of photos to get a digital snapshot of who they might be interested in. While this dater had a very active lifestyle, was in great shape and loved to run, there were no full-length body shots or activity shots included on the profile. Men jump to the default position of thinking that a woman without a full-length body shot is out-of-shape.
Suggestion: Add 2 more photos. One while running a triathalon and the other with a full length shot to show off her figure.
3. Ditch the negative comments. Profiles should be upbeat and positive. Think as if you're having a perfect hair day, only it's a perfect profile day. When you're advertising about your flaws, your potential date will believe that you are indeed flawed and will look elsewhere. In this profile, it read as follows:
I’m always singing in the car, but I don’t know any of the words to the songs I always listen to.
I once waited in line with a bunch of four year olds just to get a picture of Winnie the Pooh because he’s my favorite – and felt awkward the entire time.
I am actually capable of being serious when needed. But only if I really have to.
Descriptions such as these needed to go. After all, how can you be singing in a car, but not know any words? Why would anyone want to date someone who might be awkward?
Suggestion: Keep it to positive and alluring descriptions. After all, don't you want to be the girl he or she just has to meet?
4. Express YOUR voice. Dating profile should be all about you! Potential dates don't want to hear how your friends or family members describe you. They aren't interested going out on a date yet with your extended family or girlfriend network.
Suggestion: Dump the cliche and let your dates know about you from the first-person. Think about how you might describe yourself on a phone call with a date and make it fun and conversational.
At the end of the digital day, your profile should be a unique snapshot with the goal of starting a conversation online and moving your relationship offline IRL.
Do you need some hand holding with your online dating life? Find out how our Irresistible Profiles will help you find your dream date.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam. xo
Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter for more online dating advice.
Julie Spira is America's Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of the Internet and online dating who coaches singles on the dating scene. Sign up for the Free Weekly Flirt Newsletter and like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.
Photo credit: Fotolia
In the past week, three women have come to me with the same dating dilemma. They’ve met terrific guys online. One on OkCupid, another on Tinder, and one on JDate. All three men are super-successful and are very driven in their careers. They’re the guys who are too busy to be players and truly want to be in a monogamous relationship.
In all three scenarios, the men have asked the woman for exclusivity. Sounds great, right? Well, not exactly.
One woman has been dating a terrific guy, whom she met on Tinder. After six weeks they had the conversation about becoming exclusive. They both projected to the future. The problem is, she’s lower on the totem pole, as his work is a priority. The more she tried to spend time with him and fill his calendar with fun events, the more he pulled away. Eventually, he started spending weekends without her, even though there was no one else he was interested in.
The second woman met a great guy on OkCupid, whom she thinks is her soul mate. They’ve both said they’re in love with each other, but after six months of dating, he still focuses on his work and children on the weekends. The more frustrated she gets with the situation, the more distant he becomes. She sees a future with him, someday. But today, she’s walking on eggshells. What should she do?
The third woman met a fabulous guy on JDate. He told her on the second date that he thought he was falling in love with her and saw her in his future. He wanted to see her every night, until one day when he stopped returning her calls and texts. She’s devastated. She thought he was ‘the one.’
If you can relate to any of these situations, you’re not alone.
All three of these guys were building their castles and were defining their success as a man based upon their career success. While juggling children from a prior marriage, a busy career, and girlfriend, the girlfriend ended up in last place. It wasn’t that these guys weren’t crazy about the women they adored. They would do anything for them… if it was on their schedule. They were doing the pull back and these women were hurting at the sudden change of heart.
Between rebuilding from a divorce, keeping a family together, maintaining a career path to provide for financial success for the women, they couldn’t juggle it all. The more the women pushed to be with them, the more they pulled away. It’s the ever-so-common pull back and it’s gut-wrenchingly painful when it’s happens to you.
Ladies: When guys are in work mode, you’ll probably hear from them less.
There’s no need to stress and think it’s over.
My suggestion to all three of them, and to you if this is happening in your life, was to let them build their castle. Be at their side when it’s convenient for you. Don’t send text messages asking what’s wrong, or you’ll run the risk of pushing him away, period. No guy wants to feel like he’s dating his nagging ex-wife. Also, when a guy starts to fall in love with you, he gets scared. There are a lot of reasons for this. Before they make that commitment that seems to be permanent, they might want to view other profiles of singles on a dating site, even if they have no desire to go out on a date. They may fear never having sex with another woman again. A lot of thoughts go through their minds. As they’re processing all of these emotions, they often pull away.
I know it doesn’t seem right. If he’s crazy about you, he should want to be with you, right? Women are built to multitask. It’s in their DNA. Men are most often single focused, and when they’re in career mode, they’re thinking about work and closing the next deal or hoping to get a raise. When they’re with their kids, they’re in parent mode. When they’re with you, they’ll adore every moment of being with you.
Understand that you’re not playing a game. You’re just letting the man lead, which is in their DNA. If you ever feel that your needs aren’t being met at all, then by all means, have a conversation about it, but don’t beat it to death or give ultimatums. It’s your decision to stay in any relationship. Men will come and go as rubber bands and often they’ll just need the space to be in their caves from time-to-time. It’s really OK, if they come back to you. In time, your relationship will develop into a groove and you won’t have to worry if he forgets to send you a good morning text. Perhaps he’s just busy. It doesn’t mean you’re not on his mind. Give him his space and if you truly are ‘the one,’ he’ll return without even realizing he’s been gone.
Have you experienced the pull-back in a relationship? Your comments are welcome.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam. xo
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and the founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. She was an early adopter of online dating and has been helping singles find love online for 20 years. For more dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.
Photo credit: Fotolia
As mobile dating apps continue to be the hot new way for singles to find love online, daters are swiping right to connect on a variety of mobile dating apps. The message is very clear. The success of finding love online is all in the hands of your mobile phone
In a recent interview, I spoke with ABC News in Los Angels about the landscape of mobile dating [see video below].
Enter Hinge, a free mobile dating app which helps you find dates based upon which Facebook friends you have in common. The best way that I can describe Hinge is Tinder MEETS Linkedin.
The concept makes sense as singles have become accustomed to swiping on Tinder, the mobile app now responsible for over 10 million matches a day and 800 million swipes per day.
Where Tinder gives you unlimited matches based upon your location, Hinge selects 10 matches served to you at noon each day. If you refer your friends to join Hinge, the number of matches will increase.
How Hinge Works
Hinge takes your Facebook profile photos, age, work information, and other data that you’ve provided, so other singles will see exactly who you are, without having to do an extensive Google search or background search.
Hinge users are 99% college educated, and most popular industries include banking, consulting, media and fashion. The average user has 36 friends on Hinge and 90% are between 23-36. Hinge has made over 2 million matches and just celebrated the first engagement.
Hinge just launched in Los Angeles with a party in West Hollywood at Greystone Manor with 500 of their 7000 Los Angeles singles who were on the wait-list. ABC 7′s Elex Michaelson reported on the event, along with my analysis below.
It should be no surprise, that online daters are now spending more time on dating apps than they do on the sites themselves. IBISWorld reports that by 2018, more than 80 percent of the population will own a smartphone (up from 46 percent in 2012). A recent Pew Research study reported that 29% of cell owners describe their cell phone as ?something they can?t imagine living without.?
eHarmony reports that some users log on over 15-20 times a day using their mobile dating app with over 50% registering from their mobile phones. Their mobile app has been downloaded over 9 million times, with 57% of their app users who are male and 43% who are female.
Match just released Match 3.0, a completely redesigned mobile app for iOs. They report that half of their users are joining Match through a mobile device and more than 50% of the emails exchanged on Match.com are sent from a mobile device.
POF founder Markus Frind tells me that they have tens of millions of users on their mobile dating app. “Between the apps and just mobile web use we are at 90% mobile,” said Frind. “When it comes to online dating using a website isn’t something that most people do anymore. It’s all about the phone,” Frind added.
Hinge is now available in 9 cities in the United States including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington, DC.
At the end of the digital day, finding love from the convenience of your mobile phone has become a part of everyday life for most single who are looking for love online.
Are you using mobile dating apps?
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s the founder of Cyber-Dating Expert and host of Mobile Dating BootCamp. Julie was an early adopter of the Internet and has been helping singles find love online for 20 years. For more dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.