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It’s Complicated – Dating in a Web 2.0 World

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Just in time for Valentine?s, Harlequin publishing has released their 2012 Romance Report card with the resulting grade of, ?It?s Complicated.?

Marrying both love and technology has both helped speed up relationships and connect through ?Missed Connections,? as well as resulted in hurting someone?s digital feelings. I experienced this first-hand, as my ex-fianc? dumped me in an email during the time when a post-it was pass? and Facebook was still an infant. Although it?s very old news in my digital book, I?m hoping that others will think twice before they push the send button or consider having their mobile phones rank higher on the totem pole than their sweetheart this Valentine?s Day.

The romance publisher looked at how Twitter, Facebook, Smartphone and technology has changed the way that men and women communicate with one another in matters of the heart. By polling single women 18-40, they found that the majority (58%) thought technology was a positive force in the dating world. Those who skewed younger (21-24 year olds) preferred texting to calling.

Although 91% of those surveyed said that dating rules had become more flexible, their findings showed that more than half of the women still had traditional values as it relates to romance. Women still want men to as them out, hold the door open for them, and pay for the first date. 82% of those surveyed said they preferred dating a guy with a sense of humor. With, or without technology, not much has changed in these areas.

However, Harlequin added in some dating ?deal-breakers,? and they found that three out of five were technology-related. Having a too-needy guy was on the top of the list (32%),? followed closely behind with a dependence on a BlackBerry or iPhone (31%), too many Facebook photos with an ex-girlfriend (29%), and those who were grammatically challenged (24%). Oh how simple it really is to untag an ex when you breakup and use spell-check during the digital courtship process. If men knew how easy it was to fix these little things, perhaps more relationships would flourish.

As for those deal-breakers, relationship expert Dr. Wendy Walsh says, ?Men who are addicted to their smart phones may be too disconnected from real world relationships or may have a tech-induced attention-deficit-disorder that could impair kindness and intelligence.? Walsh added, ?Men who display too many photos of themselves with their ex?s on Facebook may be showcasing their prior conquests to indicate that they are a player and out for sex rather than love.?

So what do women think is romantic? It?s not the price tag of a gift as much as remembering the small details and showing that you care. At the end of the digital day, romance is alive and well and all you really need is love.

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Julie Spira is an online dating expert and founder of Cyber-Dating Expert. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene and writes about the marriage of love and technology on Huffington Post. Julie is the author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating and The Rules of Netiquette.? Follow her @JulieSpira on Twitter and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert

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