Every once in a while a story comes out in the news about a person who has had a bad dating experience with someone they’ve met online. Men are fearful that every woman will turn out to be crazy. Women on the other hand need to know that they will be safe with their date.
I’m here to tell you that the same people who date online also date offline, so when it comes to dating safety, these rules will apply for both.
Let’s start with the fact that about one-half of the single population in the United States are now dating online. This number is huge and should give you the comfort of knowing that you’re not alone in cyberspace.
Here are my rules for safe online dating.
1. Have a phone pre-date.
Not everyone gives good phone, but if the phone call is awful and you’re struggling to keep the conversation going, chances are you’ll have a bad experience on your date. After a few email or text exchanges, I recommend scheduling a phone date. Keep the phone call to 20 minutes or less, as you don’t want to reveal everything about yourself before you meet IRL. If you click on the phone, that’s terrific. Suggest putting a date on the calendar, sooner rather than later. If you feel like you’re sitting in the dentist’s chair or in a deposition, be kind and let the person know that you don’t think you have enough in common and wish them the best with their search. If someone is unwilling to take the time to call you, then move on to someone who values your desire to hear his or her voice.
2. Do a Google search.
I’m often asked if someone should search their date on Google and the answer of course is yes! Everyone does. However, just like you shouldn’t kiss-and-tell, you should not Google-and tell. By revealing and questioning your date about your findings on Google, you will come across as a stalker and just might get canceled on. Knowledge is power, up to a point.
3. Check their Facebook photos.
A picture tells a thousand words, or does it? Those posting old prom shots or photo-shopped pictures can get old when you go on a date and barely recognize him or her. My recommendation is to hop over to Facebook or Instagram and view real-life photos. If the photo from last night’s concert resembles his or her online dating profile shots, you’re in pretty good shape. Better yet, view some of their selfies, which are less than polished.
4. Listen more than talk.
If your date seems to be a drama queen or catastrophizes and plays the victim, they’ll let you know early on. This is a red flag that if the relationship goes south, it might not be an amicable departure. For this reason, I stress that you should wait before allowing someone to know where you live. You should continue to meet in a public place for your early dates. Let them talk about ex’s, bad dates, and all the reasons why they are still single and sit back and listen.
5. Trust your gut.
Trusting your intuition is the number one way to make a decision whether to go on a date with someone or not. Take your time in getting to know him or her and enjoy the courting process. If stories aren’t adding up or if you feel in your heart there’s something wrong, you just might save yourself from a future heartbreak.
Contact us for more information on how to create an Irresistible Profile to attract your dream date.
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s the founder of CybeDatingExpert.com and was an early adopter of Internet dating. Julie’s been helping singles find love online for 20 years. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter for dating advice and like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.
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.
3. His 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.
4. He 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.
Most 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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?
- 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.
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.
The Cyber-Dating Expert Weekly Flirt is now ready for your reading pleasure.
In this issue, we talk about everything mobile. From the girl who can’t get her boyfriend to take down his Tinder profile, to Match.com’s new Match 3.0 mobile app to Hinge mobile dating.
Find out why everyone is swiping right and swiping left these days to find a date, a friend, or even more.
Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter for more on dating, love, and romance in a Web 2.0 World.
Sign up here for future issues of our Weekly Flirt.
Today is Adele’s birthday, so it’s time to put the DJ hat on.
We’ve listened to all of our favorite love songs by Adele and our top pick is “Make You Feel My Love,” written by Bob Dylan.
Do you have a favorite Cyber Love Song?
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam. xo
Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter.
While it’s normal to log on and read your emails and search for others until you’re exclusive, it’s often painful when your new love interest hasn’t taken his or her profile down.
Just because they haven’t unplugged their profile, doesn’t mean they’re looking for someone else to put in rotation on the dating docket.
Trina wrote to me saying she knew she had met ‘the one.’ Her new guy told her on the second date that he was crazy about her and started talking about the future. He wanted to see her all the time and everything was moving in a normal direction except, his profile was still active. This caused Trina great stress and as a result, she started logging on under a different user name over-and-over again to see when the last time he had signed in. For Trina, it became a downward spiral that she couldn’t stop.
I told Trina, before she started sabotaging her relationship by becoming a cyber-sleuth, she needed to know that there are many reasons why his profile is still active.
1. He might be too busy with work to take it down
2. He might be curious as to who has written to him, but isn’t responding
3. He might be too busy juggling his children
4. He might realize her profile is still up
The bottom line is, a man often doesn’t see taking his profile down as a priority if he’s courting a woman and behaving like a boyfriend. It falls into the category of digital housekeeping. Instead, this guy was keeping his family and work commitments in order, while trying to court Trina. She receives daily text messages and phone calls from her new guy. From where I stand, he was showing her by his actions, that he wanted her to be his girlfriend.
If this story sounds familiar, I urge you to stop peeking at his profile. Stop obsessing what he’s doing when he’s not with you. When a man is juggling, work, joint-custody of children, and his career, he’s got a full and justifiable plate.
The best thing you can do during this in-between period is to stop logging on. Keep yourself busy and be the confident beautiful woman you are. In time, both of you will know when it’s time to have the profile unplugging conversation, but do you really think he’d like to know you’ve been spying on him?
If you have a burning dating question, send them to CyberDatingExpert.com/contact
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace or wherever you may roam.
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She 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.
Do you assume that once you push the send button, that the person on the other end will decide if you’ve made the cut or not?
In Diane’s words:
Steve was one of the first men I noticed and I was instantly attracted. He said he was too. What clinched it for me was his ability to write and express himself clearly and with proper spelling and grammar. Silly maybe, but since I?m a writer that’s important to me, plus it gave me real insight into his character.
Somehow, by mistake, we bypassed the controlled communication part of eHarmony and went straight to emailing each other through their website. He quickly explained he was going out of the country for a few weeks to work on a project so we would have to delay meeting. We sent a few emails back and forth before he left, but then there was nothing for about a month. Nada. I feared the worst (he’d found someone else or lost interest). Meanwhile Steve was thinking the same about me.
But what had actually happened was my last email to him had somehow timed out or gone astray so he thought I’d stopped communicating. I thought he hated what I’d written so had backed off.
Fortunately, he took a leap of faith and contacted me again when he returned. I was elated.
We met for the first time over coffee shortly after that, agreeing we’d also go out for dinner that night if all went well. And it did. The rest is history as they say. We more than hit it off. We began seeing each other all the time, going out to concerts, watching movies and cooking beautiful meals together. We shared our life stories, our triumphs and our heartbreaks, and began to blend our two worlds together.
The following spring we flew to Paris for a holiday and while securing our love lock to a Paris bridge alongside thousands of others, he pulled a diamond ring from his pocket, dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him. Somewhat shocked and more than a little embarrassed by the public display, I urged him to get up and awkwardly mumbled “ya sure?” in answer to the question. “Ya sure” has since become a loaded phrase for us. “Do you feel like going out for dinner?” “Ya sure.”
That fall Steve moved into my house in a nearby city and we began the process of merging and purging (we had 16 frying pans between us.)
Last summer we had a beautiful backyard wedding with 50 of our closest friends and family members. It was a magical day. Everyone danced, even the old folks in their 80s. Steve was 62, retired and a widower when I met him. I was 56 and divorced. We are deliriously happy in our new life together. Our story proves it’s never too late to find true love.
Congratulations to Steve and Diane who found an other chance at love.
Do you have an online dating story to share?
Are you an Internet dating success couple? Send us your story and you might get featured in our Cyber Love Story series.
Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. Julie was an early adopter of Internet dating and has been helping singles find love online for 20 years with her Irresistible Profiles and Online Dating BootCamp programs.
On an added note, there will be a full moon on Valentine’s this year, so if you’re thinking about leaning in for that first kiss, don’t be shy. A full moon can bring out the romance just about any time of the year.
We’ve been busy at Cyber-Dating Expert Headquarters helping singles find love online with our Irresistible Profiles and being interviewed in the media for the latest digital dating trends for 2014.
With out further digital ado, here are some of our articles to bring the love back in your life.
From riding the Ferris Wheel to a scavenger hunt, find out why in-room-dining at home can be one of the most romantic ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day, regardless of your relationship status.
Being single on Valentine’s isn’t the end of the world. Sure you go into stores and see nothing but boxes of red candy and roses throughout the grocery stores, but a new survey from U.K. online dating site Smooch.com shows that only 10% of the 2000 singles polled actually love Valentine’s Day. Are the other 90% pretending to go along with the program?
Researching dates can prevent a romance scam this Valentine’s Day. Nothing is more important than being safe and knowing who your date really is to protect your heart and your wallet. Read my seven tips on how to be safe this Valentine’s Day and find out who’s doing the searching.
From Twitter to Facebook, Pinterest to Instagram, find out what to post, or not to post on your favorite social networks.
DON’T: Tag your new boyfriend on Facebook. Chances are he hasn’t told his buddies and work pals about his Valentine’s plans.
DO: Post a photo if you’ve received flowers, a fun gift, or of the dessert at dinner. Everyone loves to view the photos and will cheer you on with ‘likes.’
DON’T: Post your Happy Valentine?s message on your date’s wall. Saying you can’t wait until the evening together should remain private. Remember, a simple post may be innocent. However your friends might wonder what kind of wild night the two of you will be having. Or worse yet, his ex-girlfriend might start posting inappropriate comments to ruin your evening.
DO: Send a digital gift, such as his or her favorite band on iTunes, an e-card, or a redeemable gift card to a store or restaurant.
DON’T: Send a musical montage of ‘I Love You’ songs if you haven’t said those three little words yet.
DO: Ask for permission before you post anything online. Remember you’re creating a permanent digital footprint and your status and photos can be shared, even by people you don’t know.
DON’T: Overshare. Remember, many of your friends are single and may not be enjoying the day.
DO: Make an exciting announcement. If you become engaged on Valentine’s Day, your friends will want to know.
DON’T: Change your Facebook relationship status to ‘In a Relationship’ until both of you have had the talk and agree to be on the same digital page.
Do you have any social media rules for Valentine’s Day?
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam this Valentine’s.
As we’re counting down to Super Bowl Sunday in New Jersey, whether you’re rooting for the Seattle Seahawks or the Denver Broncos, one thing is for sure, it’s going to be an emotional and exciting two weeks for both men and women alike.
Some questions I always hear from women are, “Do men hate Valentine’s?” Guys want to know, “Do women really love the Super Bowl halftime show, or do they act enthusiastically to keep their guys happy or to met men?
I’ve gone on record as saying the Valentine’s Day for Women is like the Super Bowl for Men. It’s a double-header this month, so enjoy the ride and guys, don’t wait until the last minute to invite the object of your affection or digital crush out for Valentine’s Day.
This weekend is sacred for most American men. It’s showtime as most guys count down the days, hours, and even minutes to their favorite television day of the year, Super Bowl Sunday.
Meanwhile, across the hall, women have their own favorite holiday to think about, Valentine?s Day. With these two major events less that two weeks apart, it’s become obvious that the Super Bowl for men is revered in the same way as Valentine’s Day is for women. Whether you’re a sports fan or a hopeless romantic, comparing the two will help you understand how important these days are for the opposite sex.
Why do I think the Super Bowl for men is like Valentine’s Day for women? Quite simply, both men and women put all of their emotional energies into these two bigger-than-life events. Often, a woman doesn’t understand why watching two teams trying to score is so important to her guy. He just can’t miss this game. Guys on the other hand, simply don’t understand that if you’re dating a woman and forget to plan something, just anything for Valentine’s Day, you probably won’t get a date with her on February 15th, or shortly thereafter.
Men wait all year for the Super Bowl, this big day in television. Women wait for Valentine’s Day with the hope that their special guy will either propose, offer to take his online dating profile down, or say ‘I love you’ for the first time. Women even secretly hope that the guy they are dating might want to change his Facebook status from ‘Single’ to ‘In a Relationship.’
Men are very prepared for the Super Bowl. They decide which venue and with whom they would like to spend watching the big game. In January, many women start giving little hints about their favorite romantic restaurants, hoping their guy will take the cue and book a reservation before the venue becomes full.
However in contrast, when a man’s favorite team loses the Super Bowl, he will be disappointed but will get over it. He’ll know there’s another chance next year and will spend the entire football season rooting for his team. If a woman’s favorite beau or someone she is dating doesn’t ask her out for Valentine?s Day, she won’t get over it. She’ll assume he’s romancing another woman and will know she’s not on the top of his list. Chances are, his shelf life as her number one guy will immediately expire. Unless he’s out of town on business or in a long-distance relationship, he won’t get another chance to romance her. No woman wants to be at the bottom of the totem pole, especially on Valentine’s Day. Expect to be unfriended, or don’t be surprised if she doesn’t return your phone calls or texts.
So whether you like football or not, love or hate Valentine’s Day, remember to talk to the person you are dating about what these days mean to you. If you’re single, use this opportunity to accept all invitations for both the Super Bowl and Valentine’s singles mixers. Even if your team loses and you?re dateless on the 14th, you’ll be casting a wider net and expanding your social circle.
So go ahead and accept that Super Bowl party invitation. If you’re single, you just might find a date in time for Valentine’s as well. It’s a win-win for everyone. If you need help with your profile or online dating advice, our special 15 Magic Minutes is going on through Valentine’s Day.
Which team will you be rooting for this Super Bowl?
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. For more dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, sign up for our Weekly Flirt and like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.
Dear Cyber Dating Expert,
I desperately need some online dating advice. I met a guy on OkCupid last week and we had the perfect date. The next day he reached out to hang out again and even introduced me to his engaged friends and we went on a double-date. That night we ended up sleeping together and I thought everything was going so well.
We continued to talk and he remained sweet and attentive. We made plans to meet up a few days later and I went to his place and we watched a movie. Again, he was very affectionate, held my hand, kissed me on the head/check, etc.
What threw me was when I saw his cell phone light up with text messages from random numbers he hadn’t saved to his phone. Immediately I knew these were probably other girls he was communicating with from OKC. My heart sank. I thought everything was great until I saw those texts! He seems SO into me, but now I feel like I have something to prove and other girls to beat out. I just don’t want to get involved and get my heart broken, but I like him and don’t want to lose out on getting to know him better.
Do I play it cool, let him take the reins for now? Or should I be proactive & initiate more dates with the chance of coming off aggressive/desperate?
Thanks for your email.
I understand why you’d be upset about seeing text messages you believe were from other women that your new guy might be chatting with.
Because you both met on an online dating site, unless you’ve had the conversation about being exclusive, assume that you’re not. After all, you were only dating for one week when you noticed these anonymous texts.
Sleeping together while you both have active online dating profiles isn’t something that I recommend, unless you don’t mind if he’s seeing other people.
Once a woman sleeps with a man, the hormones kick in and women get very attached and bonded, even if the guy isn’t really good for you. When the sex is good, it’s natural to hope and think that he won’t want to be with anyone else. Maybe he’s ignoring those text messages, after all you’ve only known him for a short while.
My advice is to keep it cool and date him if he asks you out on a proper date, but don’t sleep with him again. Sure you can hug, kiss, fool around, etc. Please don’t make a big deal out of the text messages, as men don’t like a high-drama, clingy or possessive woman in their lives. Just show him that you’re the confident great woman that you are. If he calls, return his calls. If he texts, return his texts. If he asks you out and you’re free, go out on a date with him, but let him know that you like him, but realize that you aren’t into casual sex if it comes up. Let him know how much you’re enjoying getting to know him. I know it’s hard to go backwards, but it’s worse to sleep with him and then wonder if he’s logging on to find someone to sleep with the next night. That’s the risk with online dating. If he tells you it’s not acceptable, then he doesn’t really want you as his girlfriend. He might just be looking for a booty call or friends with benefits relationship. Throwing yourself at him won’t help. It will kill the chances to have a relationship with this guy. Being great in the bedroom doesn’t mean he won’t look elsewhere. Being the confident girl he can’t be without will make him want you to be his girl. Let him take the lead and initiate dates with you.
If he really wants to make you his girlfriend, he’ll take down his profile and do whatever it takes. At this point, you haven’t set your boundaries so he doesn’t think it’s a requirement. Don’t be in competition with other women. Just be yourself and feel great about who you are. Please don’t get possessive or start to interrogate him about his text messages or cell phone. Insecurity will kill a relationship. Since he didn’t put those phone numbers in his phone to save them, nor is he hiding his phone, they probably don’t mean much to him anyway. Still, I know it hurts.
I hope this helps and please do keep me posted.