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What Gift Should I Get My New Girlfriend for Her Birthday

giftbox 150x150Gift giving when you’re in a new relationship can easily move your status to “It’s Complicated” if you aren’t sure what to do.

Overwhelm her with 5-dozen roses on a third date will send her running for the hills. Giving her a card and a box of pharmacy candies may put you in the dog house. What should one do?

A recent gentleman wrote to me needing help on selecting a birthday gift for his new girlfriend of two months.

He met her on OKCupid and she actually sent me him an email first, which was rare for her and somewhat out of character because she admits to being shy.  The funny thing is, if he came across her profile he would have considered her “out of his league” and probably wouldn’t have contacted her .

Read on.

Hi Julie,

I’m 2 months into a relationship with a great woman (seeing each other now 1-2 times a week). My birthday was last week and I mentioned that I don’t usually make a big deal about it. I was sick, but she brought me soup and two cupcakes because “she wasn’t sure what my favorite flavor was”, I loved the sentiment.

My question is; Her birthday is next week and I’ve found a reasonably priced necklace ($80.00) very similar to one on her pinterest board and from a store she’s mentioned regularly. I’d love to get her the necklace along with the obligatory nice dinner, but I’m worried about making her feel awkward about the expense. Any thoughts?

The New Guy

Hi New Guy!

Thanks for your email and congratulations on your new relationship.

Birthdays can be stressful and confusing early on in a relationship.  If someone shows up with a card and candy, it might not be viewed as very romantic or thoughtful. If someone goes over-the-top and buys something extravagant, it can cause an unneeded pressure on the woman.

I think your suggestion of dinner and a necklace that looks like one you’ve viewed on her Pinterest board shows her that you are paying attention to things she likes (not many guys take the time to look at their date’s Pinterest boards) and adds a personal touch, since it shows that you listen to her when she mentions stores she likes. Because the gift is under $100 and within your budget, it isn’t over-the-top and I’m sure she would appreciate it, along with a romantic dinner to celebrate her special day.

I don’t think she’d feel awkward at all, but she’ll realize that you’re someone worth having in her life because you made the gift about her and not about yourself.

On a personal note, when I was at the 2-month mark with my boyfriend, he had the same dilemma. He didn’t know what to get me as a gift, but knew he wanted to do something special for me. Excited about our new relationship,  he selected a necklace with a mutual friend whom I had mentioned I really liked. The best part is that he picked it out on his own and loved it too!

It was a silver key on a chain, which is a popular look now. He selected a very simple one, not one filled with diamonds and I still cherish it today as something personal and intimate.

I think you’re right on track and your new girlfriend will be happy with the way you celebrate her birthday together. I know you think you’re a lucky guy to have found her, but she’s a lucky girl as well.

Keep me posted.

Wishing you much love and joy,

Julie

Do you have a dating question for Julie Spira? Send your questions to CyberDatingExpert.com/contact, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter for dating advice and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.com. Want to stay in touch? Sign up for the Free Cyber Dating Expert Weekly Flirt Newsletter.

Online Dating: Should I Ask a Woman Her True Age

onlinedatingage 300x225Dear Julie,

I have an online dating question and would love your opinion on this recent emailed dating exchange of mine, on OK Cupid…

Me: How old are you really? icon smile (Does anyone here tell the truth about his/her age? I mean, besides me.)

Her: How old am I really? I won’t read into this, I’ll just go with it: I’m really not whatever it was I said I was, ha! My photos are recent; age is not something by which I live my life; and I often get mistaken for my daughters’ sister when we’re out together. I don’t look 26 but I don’t look or live like I’m the 50-something I copped to in my profile.

(How’s that for evading the answer? icon smile Her profile says she’s 51, but she obviously is not comfortable revealing her exact age to me. Should I drop it or press it? Is it too sensitive a topic to expect the truth, even if I myself am truthful? I’ve met women before who’ve revealed they’re as much as 15 years older than the ages they’ve indicated on their dating profiles. And I’m not comfortable or sufficiently evolved enough to date someone who’s 66, even if she is mistaken for her daughter. Thoughts?)

Here’s my take on his dating dilemma.

Women are often very sensitive and about their age and will lie about their age to fit into a search on their Internet dating profiles. Call it a double-standard, but they expect the man to be honest about his age.

Most women won’t even engage in conversation when questioned and will evade the subject. They’ll get offended if you ask what her age is, so I’d say it’s an off-limits subject early on.

When a man used to ask me about my age, I would smile and be coy and say, “It’s not polite to ask a lady her age.”  This practice goes back to early etiquette days,  long before online dating became part of everyday life for singles. Even my grandmother wouldn’t reveal her true age when asked.

Know that physical attraction and chemistry are important. Either a guy will be attracted to someone’s actual photos or to the woman when he meets her in person, or he won’t. I say you should never judge someone by their age and respect her desire to be private about her age until she is comfortable in sharing it. Many women past the age of 40 believe they need to lie about their age to attract a man. They realize that men are interested in dating younger, at least while searching online.

I think your potential date was being polite and sweet by saying, “I’ll just go with it.” If her photos are recent it should be enough. She obviously wants to continue to communicate with you and tried to set a boundary where it comes to age.

Think about how disappointed you would be if you were really attracted to someone, thought you both had a lot in common, had a friendly banter via email, and a phone call or two. It looked promising until…. you asked her if her age was accurate. She gets upset, cancels the date and you never meet.

Often if you meet someone out at a party or gathering and strike up a conversation, you won’t ask her what her age is, because it doesn’t matter. I’m not promoting lying whatsoever, as I encourage everyone to be honest about their age. If they fudge, I recommend they post something in their profile or at least tell someone on the first date the truth.

My best advice is to drop the age question. You don’t know that she’s 66 and you don’t know that she’s 55.  You just know that you might be interested in her and are curious about her real age. If you meet and connect, eventually she’ll tell you the truth about her age. If you’re smitten with her, you won’t mind if it’s 5 years more than you had originally thought. Give her a chance and if you think she’s pretty, let her know. Women love to be flattered and don’t like to feel like their being interviewed or in a deposition.

Julie

Do you have a dating and relationship question for Julie Spira? Submit your questions here:

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of the Internet and creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter and like at on Facebook.

Photo credit: Fotolia

Help! I Found my Boyfriend on Tinder

Dear Julie,

I met my boyfriend on Tinder and we started dating three months ago.

We both agreed to take down our Tinder profiles. Actually it was his idea to do it first and I thought it was a great idea.

We’ve connected on a deep level and are even talking about living together, so I thought everything was great.

Last week, my girlfriend saw his profile on Tinder and it appears he went back on without telling me. He’s been secretive about things lately, complaining that he’s stressed out at work. I’m afraid I’m losing him. What should I do?

GF of Tinder Addict.

Dear GF of TA,

You’re not alone. Tinder is a fun game that singles play on their mobile phones. While it’s a great way to meet someone close by, it’s still a game. I know several couples who have left their Tinder profiles up and just enjoy chatting with others, without the intention of taking it any further.

Let’s start by saying your boyfriend did do something wrong. He rejoined Tinder without telling you. Most likely he knew there would be an eruption like a volcano if he suggested it. He would assume you’d think he was cheating on you, when he was just having fun swiping right and left on Tinder.

Do I know if your relationship is on the way out or not? Of course not. But you’re at a relationship milestone — the three month mark. The honeymoon phase of the newness in your relationship when everything is perfect is changing. The good news is, that you’re still together as a couple and are moving into the next phase. Three months is the time where couples decide do they want to go to the next step, which is beyond the casual stage.

My suggestion is to have a convo with your BF and ask him if he just likes looking at pretty faces. Believe it or not, he might just be viewing girls digitally the way that some guys stare at cute girls at a restaurant. If he says he’d like to see others, then believe him and reactive your profile as well and start dating. If he says he only has eyes for you, let him know how uncomfortable this is making you. Ask him if he can state his relationship status to “in a relationship” and that he’s looking for friends to chat with or take it down completely.  If he’s willing to do this, then understand he looks at Tinder the same way as he would look at a video game.

I’m not saying it’s right and I’d be very unhappy if my boyfriend had an active dating or Tinder profile up while he was spending nights with me. If he refuses to state his relationship status, then you need to decide if you’d like to continue dating him and date others as well.

If he really doesn’t want to lose you, he won’t let his cell phone games get in the way of love. It’s time for some digital housekeeping.

Keep me posted.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam. xo

Do you have a question for Julie Spira? Click here to submit your dating questions.

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of online dating and helps singles find love online and IRL. For more dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

15 New Facts About Singles for National Singles Week

Singlesweek 300x191It’s National Singles week and it’s official. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that over half of the adult population in America is single. Suddenly being single puts you in the 50.2% majority.

This information, provided by our friends at Match.com also shows that singles aren’t putting looks first, while seeking out a partner.

Match.com has provided some new facts about singles that you might be surprised about, from their most recent ‘Singles in America’ study.

1. Singles want to be with someone who treats them with respect (100% W; 98% M).

2. Singles want to be with someone they can trust and confide in (100% W; 97% M).

3. Singles want a partner they are comfortable in communicating their wants and needs (98% W; 95% M).

4. Singles want to be with someone who has a sense of humor and that can make them laugh (98% W; 91% M).

5. Singles love to exercise, with 65% saying they work out at least once a week.

6. Singles love pets, with 64% saying they own a pet.

7. Singles date online, with 39% say they are using online dating sites.

8. Singles are educated, with 60% having an associates degree or higher.

9. Singles like thinking about sex, with 52% thinking about it at least once a day.

10. Singles are confident about marriage, with 89% thinking they can stay married to one person forever.

11. Singles believe that words of affection in a relationship will bring them closer, with 95% believing words of affection and/or love to be intimate.

12. Single men aren’t scared of an educated and intellectual career woman, with 90% willing to date a woman who made more money than they did and 87% would date someone more intellectual than they are.

13. Racism and religion takes a back seat to self-fulfillment, with 74% willing to date someone with a different ethnic background and 70% willing to date someone with a different religious background.

14. Singles find traveling together more intimate than public displays of affection, with 94% believing that travel is the most intimate experience.

15. Singles want to get married because they want a committed partner to share their lives with, with 86% saying this is the number one reason.

If you’re single, embrace your status and know that finding someone to share your life with goes hand-in-hand with the confidence you own.

For a 20% discount on Match, click here

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 online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

Online Dating – 7 Ways to Fill Your Date Card

Screen Shot 2014 08 19 at 5.25.42 PM e1408494386300

If you’re busy sending emails to potential dates online and are frustrated with the lack of response, our friends at online dating site Zoosk have come up with some simple suggestions on how to move the process along in their “7-Step Guide to Landing a Date.”

Here’s a recap, along with a cool infographic to help ramp up your Internet dating life so you can meet that special someone offline.

1. Add a date activity to show someone you really do want to go on a date.

In a recent survey of 3000 of their members, Zoosk found that mentioning movies as a favorite activity in you profile and even suggesting a movie date increases your response rate to your email messages by 91%. Yes that’s a big number and one worth viewing film trailers for. Other keywords included the beach (59%) and a park (39%).

2. Send emails in the morning if you’re a man; in the evening if you’re a woman.

Guys will increase their chances of a response by 10% if they send emails between 9am and 10am, while the best time for women to send email messages is between 10pm and 11pm. So ladies, send that flirty email and go to sleep with a smile on your face and avoid sending an email from 2pm – 3pm.

3. Respond within 24 hours.

As for when you should respond to an email, 94% of those surveyed said within 24 hours. I have to agree with this one. Remember when someone is emailing you, they’re sending emails to many others at the same time. Often the squeaky wheel gets the love deal, so playing too hard to get will likely backfire.

4. Focus on what makes you unique.

If you want to stand out in a crowded digital playground, talk about your date’s hair, their gorgeous eyes, fun or geeky glasses, and even their tattoo. Remember to be fun and flirty. Stay away from the sexual comments, which received a digital thumbs down from Zooskers.

One of the biggest challenges I see singles struggling with is what to write in their first email. First impressions do really matter and your email should be more than, “hey.” Here are a few interesting tidbits.

5. Character count matters.

Guys didn’t seem to care how long the first message was from a woman, but 40% of the women did indeed want to see a message that was longer than a full-length tweet of 140 characters.

6. Expect to send 5 emails.

Finally, how long will it take to get to the first date? About half of the singles polled said they send 5 email exchanges before putting his or her name on their date card.

7. Schedule your first date.

If you follow this plan, you should be filling up your date card and taking your relationship offline.

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

Are you using any of these tips while looking for love online?

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

7 step guide to landing a date

Match Experts Talk about 1st Date Dos and Don’ts

matchexpertvideo1 300x160

 

It was an honor and joy to be invited to Match.com’s headquarters in Dallas with the top relationship experts in the country.

After a full day of meeting with their executives, we finished the day with an interview on our top dating tips for a first great date.

From what to wear to where to go, we hope you enjoy our video below.

matchexpertjulie e1407951278379

Questions we answered included:

1. First date: Coffee Drinks or Dinner?

2. Should you dress up or down?

3. Is it a group date or a real date?

4. Do you leave early if there are no sparks on a date?

5. Who pays for the first date?

6. Mamas boys: runs or cuddle?

7. One question you should always ask on a first date?

Enjoy our video and post your comments as well.

What are your first date tips and deal breakers?

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of the Internet and creates Irresistible Online Dating Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

What to Do if He Only Wants to Text Me

In this video on Your Tango’s Quickie Series, we tackle the subject of the guy who only wants to text you for a date, or in between.

The problem many women have with this is they don’t want to fall into the category of booty call or be uncertain about their relationship status.

While I believe texting can be fun in a relationship, when your guy says, “Thinking of u” or you say “Can’t wait for your delicious kisses,” too many women complain that their boyfriends won’t pick up the phone and call.

Here’s the truth ladies: Most guys don’t really like to talk on the phone. They’ll call to make you happy, if you let them know it means a lot to you. Otherwise, get ready for showing up on a date after being sent a text with the date and time of your next rendezvous. Watch our video to help him go from casual to crazy about you, online and IRL.

But if you tell him the sound of his sexy voice helps you fall asleep with a smile on your face, you just might get this text-happy guy to pick up the phone.

Are you in a text only relationship?

Watch our other Videos.

Your comments are welcome.

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.

Online Dating Rules for Dating a Single Dad

singledad 300x300No one can be a true expert in the art of dating as a single parent, as each situation and the family dynamics are so very different.

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.

Signs of a Pick Up Artist – Dating Advice

YTPUA 300x160How do you know if your date is genuine or smooth operator?

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.

Is Your Date a Catfish? [Video]

YTScreenshotcatfishing 300x165In this episode of YourTango’s Quickies, the question was asked, “What is ‘Catfishing’ and how do you know if your online date is for real or is a digital pen pal?”

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.

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