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Dating in a Facebook World

facebookheart2This week Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg was named “Person of the Year” by TIME magazine. It doesn’t come as a surprise to many after his recent appearance on 60 Minutes as well as the success at the box office for The Social Network.

Whether you like or dislike Zuckerberg as the selection this year is not the issue. If you’re single and dating, you need to give Facebook a shot as you cast a wider romance net. If you’re already logging onto Facebook to post your recent photos and you have an online dating profile, there’s no reason not to combine your efforts.

On the day that TIME crowned Zuckerberg, I was asked by YourTango about how Facebook has changed the way we date. There are obvious pluses and minuses for Facebook daters.

Let’s start with the bad news first.

1. When you rely solely on email, texting, and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, often your communication is unilateral. The object of your affection might not be checking their updates, so just like you shouldn’t sit by your phone waiting for his call, don’t stare at your personal computer or PDA waiting for a response. He or she just might be busy.

2. Breaking up has become too easy to do online. If you’re ending your relationship, do so in person, pick up the phone and have a conversation, or set up a SKYPE date to hear their voice. Otherwise you run the risk of being misunderstood if you send a text canceling your plans. Maybe you’re not feeling well. Maybe he thinks it’s over. Think before you press the send button.

3. Changing your Facebook relationship status to “Single” without discussing it with your significant other is a netiquette no-no. Nothing is worse than waking up to see comments on your Facebook wall about his latest rendezvous without you while you’re still looking forward to Saturday’s date with him. It really doesn’t have to be that complicated after all.

4. Falling in love on Facebook won’t work if you don’t take your relationship from online to offline. Don’t fall in love with someone from behind his or her keyboard. Its fun to flirt, use Facebook chat, text, and tweet, but you still need to meet.

Now for the good news.

1. People are indeed falling in love on Facebook. They are reconnecting with people from nursery school and summer camp, as well as forming relationships with people they meet in the real world. If your friends aren’t setting you up anymore, log on to Facebook and start chatting with some old friends.

2. Facebook is responsible for creating a fabulous social calendar. Receiving party invitations on Facebook is a great way to expand your social network. You should attend as many events that interest you that you can while you are single.

3. Facebook is the equivalent to the third largest country in the world, behind China and India. You have a large dating pool to pick from. It should go without saying, but make sure that someone is single before approaching them on Facebook. Don’t come on too strong or you might be looked at as a stalker.

4. Tired of old online dating profiles? On Facebook, singles are more likely to post a recent photo of a family reunion or party photos from the holidays. What you see can really mean what you get, and that’s good news for everyone on the world’s largest social network.

Have you started a romance on Facebook? If so, we’d love to hear your comments.

Julie Spira is a dating and relationship expert and the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online.

Like her at facebook.com/rulesofnetiquette and facebook.com/cyberdatingexpert

Follow Julie on Twitter @JulieSpira

Cyber Love Story of the Week – The 2 Kellys

kellyhildebrandt

Kelly and Kelly Hildebrandt

What’s more exciting than meeting the love of your life, becoming engaged, and getting married? This love story of two people with the same name who met on Facebook will warm your heart.

It all started 15 months ago when a girl named Kelly Hildebrandt did a Facebook search of her name and was surprised to find a guy with both the same first and last name. She thought it was funny and out of curiosity, she contacted him in an email that simply said, “Hi, saw we had the same name….thought that was cool, just wanted to say hi!”

The male Kelly saw her email, thought she was cute, and it was the first spark of a powerful flame that led to a beautiful online dating courtship.

After several weeks of correspondence, he flew to Florida to meet the woman with his name, and within months he moved there to be with his new love. After eight months of meeting on Facebook, the couple became engaged.

The Kellys have appeared on the Today show and in numerous articles world-wide about their new found love. In my conversation with the male Kelly, I asked him how confusing it was at home when the phone rang. He explained that they had separate cell phones and in order to avoid the obvious confusion they began referring to each other as “Guy Kelly” and “Kelly Girl.”

They will be married on October 11, 2009 and a television special featuring their wedding is in the works.

Congratulations to the two Kellys, our Cyber Love Story of the Week from your friends at CyberDatingExpert.com.

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