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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.

Cyber Dating Love Story – Diane and Steve

DianeSteve 300x225While dating online, have you you ever wondered if the email you sent to a potential date was actually read?

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?

Meet Diane and Steve, our featured cyber love story couple who met on eHarmony and have quite a romantic story to share with a magical happy ending, or is it a new beginning?

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?

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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.

Follow @JulieSpira for dating advice and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt.

Dating Advice – Are We Dating or Just Hanging Out

radioshowlogo4 150x150In this week’s “Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert” post, we’re going to tackle the issue of the relationship status.

It’s getting very blurry these days to determine whether you’re actually dating someone, or just hanging out as friends.

A 25-year old college student told me that she’s never been more confused about dating in her life.

After chatting and texting with a guy she met online for several weeks, he sent her a text to say, “Hey, let’s hang out tonight.”

So, what does hanging out mean?

Hanging out could be several things.

1. He might have a party to go with and they’d be hanging out with a group of friends.

2. It’s his way of saying I’d like to have a date with you tonight.

3. He’d like to hook up for a casual fling.

4. He’s testing the waters, so keeping it cool to see if he likes you or not.

Whatever the intention means when someone says, let’s hang out, one thing is for sure, singles are confused about their relationship status with members of the opposite sex. Whether they’ve met while cyberdating or out-and-about, dating in groups has added to the confusion for many singles.

When I digged a bit more into her “relationship” with her texting beau, I found out he her took her out to dinner. He paid for dinner. He gave her a short kiss after dinner. He went back to texting with her for several weeks and then asked her to hang out again.

The Digital Dating Process

The digital dating process does include flirting via text to stay in touch, emails back-and-forth, and putting actual dates on the calendar.

The rise in popularity of group dating, where singles who like each other hang out in a group and go to an event together, makes most women unsure of where they stand in the relationship, or if they’re even in a relationship at all.

My response to her was, “Yes, you did go on a date.” She wasn’t sure if he was just being chivalrous and kind by paying for her dinner, but they didn’t go “Dutch” treat and he did ask her out again.

Is he her boyfriend? No. Just because he sends texts daily, doesn’t mean you’re status has been elevated to boyfriend or girlfriend. Chances are he’s playing the field, having fun, and doesn’t really want a steady girlfriend. More than likely, it’s a flirtationship, which is a common place in between friends and being in a relationship. He has an active online dating profile and she has an active online dating profile.

Read: How Do You Know if You’re in Flirtationship Mode?

If a man really wants to make you his girlfriend, he’ll let you know. He won’t want anyone to claim you as his and will make his intentions known.

Are you confused about your relationship status?

Julie Spira is an online dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the Weekly Flirt newsletter.

Need help with your dating life? Find out how our Irresistible Coaching programs can help you date better and find love online.

 

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

How to Create the Best Online Dating Profile

onlinedatingprofile 250x300As Valentine’s Day is practically around the corner, one of the most popular questions I receive as an online dating expert is how to have the best online dating profile to find a date in time for Valentine’s. Match now reports that online dating is the #1 way for singles to find a date, with 31% of singles finding love online.

Since Internet dating is available 24-hours a day, it’s time to grab your mobile phone and give your Internet dating profile a simple digital facelift.

Here are 8 tips to help your profile stand out.

1. Create a catchy screen name. Some sites just provide you with a number or variation of a screen name if your chosen name isn’t selected. Using your first name and a handful of digits isn’t catchy. Try to find a name that is unique to you and describes your personality. An example would be MusicLoverNYC if you live in New York and love music. Others would be YogaGirlLA or NurseLori.

2. Leave the novel at home. The best profiles are short and will pique the interest of a potential date. I always recommend 100-125 words in your essay. If it’s shorter, it shows that you’re not taking online dating seriously. If it’s too long, there will be nothing left to talk about on the date. Plus, men don’t like to read long-winded profiles. It seems overwhelming and leaves the perception that you could be a high drama person.

3. Post 3-5 photos. Both men and women are visual. Every profile must have 3-5 photos in it, with the primary photo being a close-up shot with a smile. I always recommend that a woman wear red in her profile, as men see too many little black dresses, so you won’t blend into the thousands of thumbnail shots. Red is also the color of love and passion. Statistics show that women wearing red do receive more views and emails. Remember to include a full-length body shot, so it doesn’t appear that you’re hiding anything and don’t wear sunglasses in your photos.

4. Ditch the selfies. Although the word ‘Selfie’ made it into the Oxford dictionary, a selfie isn’t the most flattering photo, so keep it off of your profile. Remember, this is your love life resume and if you’re hoping to attract the man of your dreams, make sure you look like his dream girl.

5. Ask a question. The goal of online dating is to make your profile come alive and be approachable. If you ask a question in your profile, it makes it easier for your potential date to engage in a conversation with you. After all, you’re trying to develop a rapport with someone, not just be a stagnant billboard.

6. It’s not All About You. A man would like to imagine what a life with you could be like, so make it easier for him to know. Talk about what date night with you would be like and say, on a weekend, it would be great to go hiking with you on a Saturday morning and maybe take in a film matinee in the afternoon. When you talk about your life’s passions, end the sentence with, “what about you?” If you name some of your favorite travel spots, include a question to ask him where his dream trip would be.

7. Be specific. Profiles that are more specific help start the conversation. From a man’s point of view, profiles all look about the same. So say you like to travel, and list some of your favorite travel spots. Talk about how you like music and how the Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of your favorite bands and that you enjoyed watching them in the Super Bowl half time show.

8. Dump the cliches. Men know that women love going on beach walks, but if your profile says I like beach walks, sunset dinners, and love to laugh, your online dating profile is filled with cliches. Leave those conversations for your first few dates and laugh when you’re together, not on your profile.

At the end of the digital day, online dating is a numbers game. You need to play to win.

Here’s more information on how you can get an Irresistible Online Dating Profile.

For more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

Photo credit: © JiSIGN – Fotolia.com

Cyber Love Story – Elizabeth and Michael

CLSElizabethandMichael 273x300Meet Elizabeth and Michael who found love online on PlentyofFish.

Here’s what Michael has to say about his online dating journey.

For our first date, Elizabeth and I met at a wine bar on a Thursday evening. We had been communicating for a couple of weeks before hand. Mainly by text. We exchanged messages on POF for a day or so and then exchanged phone numbers.

She ordered a white and I a red and we split a plate of various cheeses and cold cuts. We had planned on playing trivia; a weekly thing that bar does, but we skipped it because the conversation was going so well, well enough to warrant a second glass of wine. 8:00 turned into 9:00 which turned into almost 10:00.

There was some lip locking at the bar. We didn’t much care for who was around us. We called it a night and she gave me a ride to my car. It was quite cold that evening. We agreed to get together again on the weekend, which we did on Saturday.
 
Date number two was fantastic. After getting somewhat lost, I picked her up and we headed for downtown. I had offered to take her ice skating, which I hadn’t done since I was about 11 years old. (I’m 41 now). So we went in circles around the rink, me gripping the rail in one hand and hers in the other. Maybe I was just being sneaky. There were a few falls, but that was okay, it was good for a laugh. After, we had hot cocoa and walked a bit. Then it was off to the airport to look at the stars, which we didn’t really see due to the clouds. I don’t think we would have noticed them even if the night were perfectly clear.

What the date was meant to do was to live out some of the things we had been talking about when we were texting. We spent the rest of the night together.
 
Fast forward to now. We’ve been seeing each other regularly, about three days a week. I’m writing this email from her living room. We have future plans for time together and things to do.

Congratulations to Elizabeth and Michael who met on POF.com and became Facebook official a little over a month later.

Do you have an online dating story to share? Send us your story and you might get featured in our Cyber Love Story series.

Do you have an online dating story to share?

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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.

Follow @JulieSpira for dating advice and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt.

ABC News – Mobile Apps to Speed Up Your Search

BZ ej5vIcAAMJVM 150x150It was an honor and joy to be interviewed by Elex Michaelson of ABC-7 television in Los Angeles about the popularity of mobile dating apps.

As Tinder continues to take the world by storm, the feature included an interview with Tinder’s co-founder, Justin Mateen, as well as featured other mobile dating apps including eHarmony, JDate, Match, OkCupid, Grouper, Grindr, and Coffee Meets Bagel.

Mobile dating is now over a $200 million dollar industry. Are you wondering how it all works?

Watch the video below for highlights.

Julie Spira is an online dating expert and mobile dating expert who was an early adopter of Internet dating. She created her first profile almost 20 years ago and coaches singles on the dating scene with her Irresistible Profiles programs and her Mobile Dating BootCamps. For more dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the Free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

Online Dating Advice – Are We in a Relationship?

radioshowlogo5 150x150

Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert

When there’s mutual chemistry with someone you’ve met online and you start texting daily, are you in a relationship just yet? A young woman asks the Cyber-Dating Expert for help on what to do when she sees his active profile online.

Dear Julie,

I signed up for eHarmony as a one month experiment and wasn’t sure what to expect. I got lucky and the first guy I met I felt instant chemistry with and he felt the same way!

We went on a second date the following week and also had a great time. We both work a lot so it was hard to schedule our third date before I left for an out-of-town trip,  but he has been texting me everyday since I’ve been gone and today even sent me a message that he is kind of missing me : ) I have been missing him, which seems so weird for someone I have only hung out with twice, and my reply was that : You just made me smile.

I’ve been busy traveling and was trying to be focused on one person rather than adding 2-3 more guys to the mix.

My membership renewed automatically for a second mont, but I hadn’t logged on since I met this wonderful guy. Today, I logged on after receiving a renewal notice only to see that he had been “active” today on the site. I’m not sure what that means, but my stomach dropped. We aren’t exclusive, he isn’t my boyfriend, but it bothers me. Is this normal? Do I just let the chips fall as they may?

He texted me again this morning and last night but I am totally freaked out now and want to protect myself from getting hurt.

Janet

Dear Janet,

Take a deep breath.

Your new guy who you had just two dates with is a member of a dating site and is receiving matches and emails from women who have written to him or would like to start the communication process. Out of curiosity, he’s probably reading them and may not be responding to them, especially since he’s now texting you at night and in the morning, and perhaps other times throughout the day.

You’ve had two dates with your dream guy. You have a major crush on each other. This is very exciting, but it was only your first online date. Enjoy staying in touch with your guy and respond to his text messages while you’re out of town. You’re definitely on his mind and men tend to miss women when they’re gone. I know of a man who logged onto his profile after six months of dating someone exclusively. He took one last peek and one week later, he proposed marriage.

Men are allowed to look at other women, online and offline.  At some point, if you decide to become exclusive, you should talk about taking your profiles down together. Let’s get to the third date and see how it goes. This is a brand new dating experience for you, and as you said, he’s not your boyfriend yet.

Let him take the lead and yes, let’s see where the chips may fall. Don’t cancel your online dating membership just yet, but if in your heart you don’t want to log on, then just stay the busy happy person that you are.

Julie

Do you have a question for Cyber-Dating Expert Julie Spira? Send your questions to CyberDatingExpert.com/contact

10 Songs to Rock Your Halloween Party

Getting ready to dress up for Halloween?

womens prison jumpsuitNothing gets you more in the mood for this fun holiday than putting on some great music as you put your Halloween costume together.

Here are 10 Classic Halloween songs to hum to all day long.

1. Ghostbusters – Ray Parker Jr. – The title theme from the soundtrack film will fill you with laughter on Halloween

2. Spooky – Classics IV – One of my favorites, because it’s about love and romance.

3. Frankenstein – The Edgar Winter Group - No vocals, but the title alone merits its inclusion on the list this Halloween.

4.Monster Mash – Bobby “Boris” Pickett - You might not know who the artist is, but you’ll certainly recognize the song. No Halloween party would be complete without this seasonal favorite.

5. Witchy Woman – The Eagles – The mystery of the woman in this song made it a hit for the Eagles. Enjoy this live version.

6. Witch Queen of New Orleans – Redbone - Another personal favorite that I enjoyed playing on the radio. You’ll be humming Marie, Marie, da voodoo veau, she’ll put a spell on you.

7. Black Magic Woman – Santana – This song by Carlos Santana will always will be an incredibly sexy and classic tune that will never go out of style.

8. I put a Spell on You – Credence Clearwater Revival (CCR) – This bluesy song is one of my favorites.

9. Wherewolves of London – Warren Zevon – Although he is resting in peace, the Wherewolves will always be around to help us howl during Halloween and Warren continues to make us laugh.

10. Thriller – Michael Jackson - No Halloween would be complete without the excitement of this thrilling b bestselling song from the late King of Pop.

Honorable mention: Time Warp from Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Do you have any other favorites to add to this list? Best wishes for a happy, spooky, fun and flirty Halloween from your friends at CyberDatingExpert.com

Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter

Online Dating Advice – How to Schedule Great Dates

clockheart 150x150There are several steps in the online dating process where you’ll either shine and move to the next level, or will say or write something that could blow your chances with your dream date.

I know this seems like a lot of pressure, but to simplify the Internet dating process, we’ve come up with several expert tips on how to ace your cyberdating exam.

Coordinating a first date to make that great impression makes singles nervous. One person may love coffee, where another would rather go hiking. Trying to find a common balance for your first meet-and-greet, especially when geography gets in the way, means a single dater must go with the flow to fill up their date card.

This means you must be easy-going, have several options on where to meet, and not appear too high-maintenance.

Here are two examples of how one date progressed nicely and another went south, fast.

Dater #1. When *Randy decided to make the dinner plans before the theatre date, he came up with a well-executed strategy. It was his homework assignment to select the restaurant and figure out how to coordinate the details. Sure it would have been easy to tell him to park once and just dine at the restaurant in the theatre, but he came up with a more complicated plan and told his date the following:

Unfortunately the restaurant doesn’t have a shuttle to the theatre, but I’ve thought of a plan to minimize the parking issue and maximize our time at dinner.

Try this on…

You drive into downtown and park at the theatre (or wherever you like near there) for about 5:30 PM and call me when you arrive to say where you are.  I’ll drive over to pick you up and bring you to my building to park my car; and then we walk just a few blocks to the restaurant.  After dinner, we take a taxi to get to the theatre, unfettered with driving and parking while others are arriving, and just walk in.  After the event, you take your car out, and drive us a few blocks back to my building; I’ll hop out at the front door on the street safe and sound  :-)  and you continue straight toward to the highway to get home – real simple.  Does this work?

What do you think?

It sounds like an exhausting plan, right?  There was nothing simple about it. However, he took great pride in coordinating timing and location and just wanted acknowledgement that his idea would be well-accepted.

The lesson here is the best solution isn’t always the smartest solution when it comes to dating. Sure some women think that they’re smarter and can drive the dating train, but a man wants to be the woman’s hero. He wants to know that she approves of his plans. His efforts to coordinate their dinner date were well thought out. Telling him to change them, especially early on in the dating stage, could possibly backfire. She responded with, “Great plan. I love it! I’ll see you around 5:30pm.”

Dater #3. When *Kathy invited her online date to an outdoor concert, she had tickets for the summertime music festival where they would be picnicking. Her date offered to pick up some wine and food items and they agreed to drive together to the concert. That was, until she called him up and asked him what he would be wearing. When he replied that he would be dressed casually in a Hawaiian shirt, shorts, and sandals, she got furious with him. She told him he wasn’t dressing appropriately for a date and that she hated Hawaiian shirts and shorts. Stunned, because this was a casual outdoor concert in the summer, he thought he’d be dressed perfectly for the occasion. She abruptly canceled the date because he didn’t conform to her perceived dress code and she went alone to the concert. Did he ever call her again? Not in a million years.

At the end of the digital day, when someone plays hard-to-get in the online dating game, the only word the potential date will remember is that you were “hard” to deal with. Don’t make dating difficult. Enjoy the process and go with the flow.

Julie Spira is an Online Dating Expert and was an early adopter of Internet dating. She’s been helping singles on the dating scene with her Irresistible Online Dating Profiles for 20 years and is the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. For more dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

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