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5 Red Flags and Tips for Online Dating

ODheart 150x150Every 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.

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

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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

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.

10 Summer First Date Ideas

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!

 

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1. Ride the Ferris Wheel.

Go to an amusement park and ride the Ferris Wheel or even the roller coaster, if you dare.

 

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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.

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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.

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4. Barbecue.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Follow @JulieSpira for online dating advice and sign up for the Free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

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.  

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.

Cyber Love Song – Blue Sky, Allman Brothers

Fotolia 22081778 XS 150x150Happy Music Monday.

It’s time to put the digital DJ hat on and select a romantic love song for the week.

Today the Allman Brothers announced that they will be retiring. This band from Macon Georgia has been playing music for over four decades.

We’re pleased to share one of our favorites, just in time for the warm weather.

So grab your loved ones and turn up the volume to Blue Sky and smack a kiss on the lips and say, “You’re my Blue Sky, You’re My Sunny Day.”

What’s your favorite summer romance song? Listen to our other Cyber Love Songs.

Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter for dating advice.

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of the Internet and is the founder of Cyber- Dating Expert. Julie creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene and helps singles find their one in 4o million.

Weekly Flirt – Mobile Dating and Love Edition

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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.

 

How to Improve Your Online Dating Profile

ProfileCritique 150x150So 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.

Read: How to Create the Best Online Dating 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

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