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Holiday Dating Survival Guide

holidaysurvival 300x283It’s safe to say that emotions are flying high during the holidays for singles, new couples not sure how to define themselves, those who have had a recent breakup, and those who are tired of hearing from their relatives about their relationship status.

The holiday period from Thanksgiving to New Year’s brings up a lot of emotions. In the words of Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks from the song Dreams, it’s natural to think of memories of what you had and what you lost. The band also sings about how “You make loving fun” so don’t turn down the volume just yet.  Listening to music this time of year can give you both strength and send you down memory lane.

One thing I know for sure, is my phone is ringing with singles wanting to connect and meet someone new to share the holidays with, so there are plenty of singles looking for love online now.

Still, I know how tough it is at the holidays being single. I’ve been there. I’ve been watching the abundance of posts on Facebook of couples who are changing their relationship status to “In a Relationship.” If your status isn’t that in that category, it can be a digital stab to your heart.

I’m here to tell you that this is actually the best time of year to meet someone wonderful to date. Filling your date card with quality people is quite possible, so take away that frown and look at my tips in our holiday survival guide.

The Cyber-Dating Expert Survival Guide to Help you Through the Holidays, Online and IRL.

1. Don’t rely on Social Media to go down memory lane

Sure I know it’s natural to take a peek to see what your ex is up to, but if they’re jetting off to Paris, heading for sunshine in Hawaii and kissing under the mistletoe, you’re hurting yourself big time. Instead, try to create your own new memories. Walk down a festively decorated street and snap a few photos of trees, store windows, and cheerful pictures and post them on your Facebook wall. So what if you’re alone or with your BFF. You’re out of the house and not living in the past. Digital snooping is also on the rise, especially during the holidays. It brings out the worst in many. At PlentyofFish, they surveyed over 9000 of their users between the ages of 20 -40 to find out what their holiday dating habits were. POF found that 82% of the women were actually checking the Facebook statuses of guys they were dating to see what they were doing when they weren’t around. Wouldn’t you be better off out, than attached to your phone?

2. Fill that date card and stay organized

Anxiety can be at an all time high, but joining a few dating sites and using mobile dating apps will be a great ego boost. It will also give you the chance to meet a lot of people. However, don’t embarrass yourself by calling Don, Doug or introduce yourself as Jackie from PlentyOfFish if you met him on eHarmony. The easiest way to do this is by creating an excel spreadsheet and logging your conversations. You would do this for a job, right? Well this is a job with a possibility of a lifetime of love. It’s worth the effort.

3. Block your ex’s profile

If you’ve recently ended a relationship with someone you met online and it wasn’t on good terms, chances are you’ve both rejoined the site to meet others. Make sure you block his or her profile so they don’t appear in a search and to avoid the obsessiveness that results when you check to see when they last logged on or if they’ve deactivated their profile. Don’t assume if their profile is gone that they’ve ridden off into the sunset with someone else. Sometimes people just take a break or they may have blocked you.

4. Don’t jump into a rebound relationship

They say the easiest way to get over someone is by replacing them in a New York minute with someone new, but is it right? Sure the initial infatuation stage is a lot of fun and it’s nice to have a warm body around, but finding someone new when you aren’t ready to date isn’t always the answer. Spend time with friends, hang out with an ex that you’re still on good terms with and can be yourself with, and spend time alone reading, writing, or taking a cooking class or French lesson.

5. Discuss holiday gift giving

Before you run off to Tiffany to get him sterling silver cufflinks engraved with his initials after three weeks of dating, ask yourself how overwhelming it would feel if he showed up with an engagement ring one month in. It could be over the top, right? Come up with a reasonable budget. Perhaps you can get him a cashmere scarf or sweater, tickets to a concert or sporting event, and make home made cookies. You could get her a gift certificate to a spa, gourmet chocolates, a fun accessory for her mobile phone, tickets to a show or a museum exhibition, or a piece of costume jewelry in her favorite color. Avoid giving her just lingerie, unless it’s something she picks out for herself.

6. It’s Peak Season for Online Daters

The good news is that more singles are signing up for dating sites between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. Match reports they see a jump of about 25-30% in new members signing up between Christmas and Valentine’s Day and at Cyber-Dating Expert, it’s the busiest holiday season ever with new singles joining online dating sites and brand new dating profiles being created.

7. Accept ALL holiday invitations

If your inbox is filled with invitations for holiday mixers, fill your calendar and put on your party dress. Remember to smile at everyone. Business networking events are in abundance now, so you won’t have to feel that you’re the only single person there. Walk in with confidence and you’ll be turning heads and filling your date card.

8. Online Love is a year-round event

People meet online and fall in love all year long. I know a couple that met online on Christmas Eve on Facebook who are now engaged. I know of another couple that met online on eHarmony on Valentine’s Day who are now happily married. One couple fell in love at first sight that met on Match. She hadn’t had a serious relationship in over 10 years and now they’re married. Yes online dating is a numbers game. You’ll be juggling dates, canceling dates, rescheduling dates, it’s exhausting, but it can be so very rewarding as it has been for millions of others.

9. Fall in love with you

At the holidays, please take a deep breath; log on to fill your date card if and when it feels good to you, not because you’re feeling lonely. If you need to take a break from dating, that’s fine. There are no rules, other than to fall in love with yourself first. It’s the best place to be to start any new relationship.

Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace this holiday season, or wherever you may roam.

Julie Spira is an online dating expert and was a very early adopter of Internet dating. She’s the CEO of CyberDatingExpert.com, author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online, and creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For online dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free 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

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.

Breaking Up: 12 Signs You May Be Getting Dumped

Fotolia 36590412 XS 300x240Most 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. 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?
  12. 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.

Read: What to Do When He Pulls Back

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.

Dating Labels: Why Won’t He Call Me His Girlfriend?

girlfriend 300x187
Dating labels for relationships mean more to a woman than they do to a man. It can be awkward when the guy you’re dating goes to introduce you to friends or business associates and doesn’t know whether to call you’re his girlfriend or not. Instead he’ll call you his friend in public, or will tell his friends that he’s been “hanging out with you,” even when he knows and shows you that his feelings are deeper for you.

To a guy, the label of girlfriend makes him think of additional responsibilities, which may include financial, legal, or even taking the walk down the aisle, which he isn’t just ready for yet. To make matters worse, to a guy, once the label is inked, he’s thinking his options are no longer open to find someone else, or even look back to the one who got away.

So the question is, if he acts like your boyfriend, takes down his dating profile, calls you daily, texts you daily, spends almost every night with you, says you’re exclusive, and is affectionate in public, why won’t he call you his girlfriend? It’s obvious that you’re an important part of his life, or otherwise he’d be out with his drinking buddies instead of holding you in his arms every night.

Do Dating Labels Matter?

First of all, don’t get overemotional about it yet. You might wonder if you should give him the big ultimatum about your relationship status, let it slide, or have a conversation about mutual respect and expectations in a relationship. These are questions that you need to ask yourself. Before you go having the relationship talk and cause an explosion or breakup prematurely, look at these signs to determine where you fit on his relationship totem pole.

There are many reasons why he’s afraid to attach the label of “girlfriend.”

  1. He looks at you as temporary.
  2. He likes the friends-with-benefits arrangement and regular sleepovers.
  3. He isn’t over his ex.
  4. He thinks he’s falling in love with you, but hasn’t said, “I love you” yet.
  5. He’s quite comfortable with the way things are and casual works fine for him.
  6. He’s looking for other options.
  7. He’s not sure if you’re “the one.”
  8. He’s not sure about your feelings for him and doesn’t want to jump the gun.
  9. He likes moving at a slower pace than you do.
  10. His feelings for you are fluctuating and he might be in conflict between being in a relationship and being single guy.
  11. He’s just not that into you and doesn’t see you in his future.
  12. Labels just don’t matter to him.

My suggestion is, after a reasonable amount of time together,  have a calm conversation with your guy. Ask him if it’s a good time to talk about something that’s on your mind. If he cares about you, he’ll know there’s something wrong and will want to fix it.

Acknowledge both your feelings about the label and his. Chances are, he won’t even realize there’s anything wrong with your relationship. He might have work pressures or other issues on his mind and be completely happy with the way your relationship is heading. Express why it’s important to you to acknowledge your status as a girlfriend in public and how you value the relationship. Take a moment and listen to what he says instead of getting overemotional and rambling on with nervousness.

Be prepared to leave the relationship if the answer isn’t what you want to hear. If he says you mean the world to him but still doesn’t assign a label to your relationship, believe him at his word. He might not be ready to change his Facebook relationship status or go ring shopping, but you might be on the track to falling in love.

Read: Are We Dating or Just Hanging Out

Know that if a man wants you to be his girlfriend and doesn’t want anyone else dating you or sleeping with you, he’ll do whatever it takes to make sure you’re his girlfriend and will be happy and proud to let the world know. He’ll show you from his actions how important you are to him.  He’ll make sure his friends and family know that you’re his girl. If he downplays the relationship as just casual and doesn’t talk about his long-term relationship goals, he just might not be the one for you. It may be time to start dating others and ditch the sleepovers to maintain your dignity.

One thing I know for sure,  a man will move mountains for the woman he wants to be with and there won’t be any uncertainty about your relationship status. Remember, King Edward VIII gave up the British throne when he fell in love with Wallis Simpson.

As soon as he realizes what a prize you are, he won’t want to let you go.

Do relationship labels matter to you? Your comments are welcome.

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She coaches singles on the dating scene and helps them find love online and IRL. For more dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

 

Men Prefer Online Daters Wearing Makeup; Celebs Natural

Ladies: Are you wondering how to shine online to attract more men? Are you spending time at the makeup counter before going on a date? Do you want to look like a celebrity on the Red Carpet or go with the natural look on a date?

Before you grab that lip plumper, know that online and offline attraction does vary according to the men.

In a recent survey by online dating site Zoosk, 1850 male daters were asked to compare photos of Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, Jessica Simpson, and Jennifer Lawrence, with and without makeup. Then they were asked how they felt about the women they date, with or without the glam. The results and disconnect between their online and offline behaviors will surprise you.

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Kim Kardashian and Jessica Alba

Surprisingly so, the majority of the guys stated that they preferred Jessica Alba, makeup free (77%) as compared to giving the thumbs up for Kim Kardashian, all glammed up. (23%).

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Jennifer Lawrence

While viewing photos of Jennifer Lawrence made up in “American Hustle” as compared to a natural look, Zooskers voted in favor of the natural look (54%) as compared to the American Hustle photo with bright red lipstick (46%).

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Jessica Simpson

When asked if Jessica Simpson looked better with or without makeup on, 57% of the men preferred her natural look.

So how does this relate to real life dating and mens thoughts on hair and makeup?

The survey shows that men prefer a natural look with the women they are dating. Fifty-seven percent of men gave the thumbs down to red lipstick and 67% weren’t fond of dark eye shadow.

When it comes to hairstyle, 81% voted for a relaxed and natural look, with only 9% preferring pin-straight hair. Does this mean it’s time to toss out the flat iron?

Now let’s take a digital look at how men select women while viewing thousands of online dating profiles.

Zoosk’s data shows the complete opposite viewpoint to hair and makeup, where men were dramatically selecting women wearing more makeup, more eye shadow, and more lipstick in their photos.

Here are some numbers worth blinking a digital eye to:

  • Women who wear eye makeup receive 139% more first messages than women who don’t.
  • Men are 65% more likely to want to meet a woman if she wears eye makeup in her profile picture.
  • Women who wear lipstick in their profile photo get 119% more first messages than those who don’t.
  • Men are 38% more likely to want to meet a woman if she’s wearing lipstick in her profile photo.
  • Woman wearing blush receive 24% more first messages than those who don’t.
  • Men are 19% more likely to want to meet a woman if she’s wearing blush than if she’s not.

All in all, women who wore some form of makeup received more than three times as many messages as those who didn’t.

It may not be time to dig out your prom or glamour shots, but taking the extra time to look your best in your photos instead of posting the ‘selfie’ from last night’s party might be a wise idea.

After all, you’re auditioning for the job of a lifetime; possible girlfriend or wife.

Ladies, do you prefer a more natural look sans makeup? Do you need help to look your best on a date? I’m here to help you. Find out more here.

Your thoughts and comments are welcome.

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of Internet dating and coaches singles on the dating scene to help them find love online and IRL. For more dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt Newsletter.

Want to Date a Smarty Pants? Match Will Help You Find a Mensa Genius

mensamatch 300x300Looking to date a genius? It will no longer be lonely at the top as Match.com has now paired with American Mensa to help singles in the top 2% in U.S. date someone with the same brainy credentials.

Together, they’ve launched a new online dating site called MensaMatch.

Singles are always saying that being with someone smart is sexy. The Match Singles in America study found that 80% of singles say they “must have” or find it “very important” to be with someone of the same intelligence level.

On the Match blog, Dr. Helen Fisher, Match’s Chief Scientific Advisor says, “Why do we want a smart partner? Because intelligence is correlated with many benefits, including:  higher income; sense of humor; creativity; social skills; coordination; and problem solving. These are sexy. People everywhere gravitate to smart lovers, because an intelligent partner comes with a host of sexy perks.”

Before you jump to take the Mensa test, now through July 6, 2014, you can take the Mensa home practice test for only $1 to see if you might have the chance to qualify to become a member of Mensa. Visit https://www.us.mensa.org/join/mht/ and Use Promo Code MATCHSUMMER14.

If you’re already a member of Mensa, as a Match member, you can now add an elite badge to your profile to express your interest in the High IQ organization. It’s quite possible you’ve already taken the Mensa test while in school, so if you have your scores handy, they can be used to join the MensaMatch. Otherwise, take two hours and after a good night’s sleep try the test on your own.

If you’re a tad shy from becoming a member of Mensa, don’t fret. Keep using key words such as intelligent, smart, and educated in your profiles and make sure to list your advanced degrees, should have a diploma to prove it.

If you’re in the 98% of those who crave intelligence without being a Mensa member, to look for smart singles, check out the profiles in these top 20 cities of the smartest singles in the U.S. with the highest percentage of Ivy League graduates.

  1. Durham, NC
  2. North Alamos, NM
  3. Ithaca, NY
  4. Washington, DC
  5. Ann Arbor, MI
  6. Charlottesville, VA
  7. Santa Fe, NM
  8. Boulder, CO
  9. Starkville, MS
  10. Vernon, TX
  11. New York, NY
  12. Oxford, MS
  13. Boston, MA
  14. Gainesville, FL
  15. Las Vegas, NV
  16. Bridgeport, CT
  17. Trenton, NJ
  18. San Jose, CA
  19. San Francisco, CA
  20. Taos, NM

Photo credit: Fotolia.com
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s been helping singles find love on the Internet for two decades. For online dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Cyber Dating Expert Weekly Flirt.

Need help with your online dating profile or decoding those cryptic text messages? Find out how our Irresistible Profiles will help you find your dream date.

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.

Los Angeles Singles – Win Tickets to #Coherence Movie and Pre-Party

 

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What’s more fun that finding love and going to a fun Hollywood party when you’re single?

Our friends at Cupid.com are hosting a screening for singles to the film Coherence in Los Angeles for some of their lucky members the night before it opens and they’ve asked us to spread the word for them!

In their Set Love Free promotion, Cyber-Dating Expert readers will get to attend this event for one of the best sci-fi films of the year.

If you sign up now and for tickets to the pre-screening of the Coherence movie, you also get invited to their private pre-party, with some cast members and free food and drinks.

About Coherence the movie:

On the night of an astrological anomaly, eight friends at a dinner party experience a troubling chain of reality bending events. Part cerebral sci-fi and part relationship drama, this film is a tightly focused, intimately shot film that quickly ratchets up with tension and mystery.

Watch the Trailer

Here are the details:

coherence 150x150What: Coherence Movie Screening and Pre-Party

Where: Pre-Party: Good Luck Bar, 1514 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026; Screening: Vista Theatre, 4473 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA

When: Thursday, June 19, 2014; Party at 5:30pm, Screening at 7:30pm

Why: Because Cupid.com is launching in Los Angeles!

RSVPhttp://www.evite.com/event/0355VMUVMIAQ6I7C6EPD3GX2XP5VBI before it fills up!

Follow: @JulieSpira on Twitter and like us at Facebookcom/CyberDatingExpert for more details

Cyber-Dating Expert is working with Cupid.com as a paid spokesperson for their #SetLoveFree program.

Online Dating: Why does it take so long to find a date?

radioshowlogo3 150x150The reasons why online dating works so well is that that 50% of the 111 million singles in the United States are dating online and that it’s available 24 hours a day. Add in the fact that dating sites have mobile apps, finding love from your cell phone means you can date on the fly. The reason that online dating fails for many is that they aren’t taking a proactive approach to the process. If you just post a few photos, a bio, and who your perfect date should be and wait for someone to find you, your date card won’t be filling up fast.

Singles are obsessed about how people date and how to find decent dates, no matter what city they live in. However, most singles struggling to find love think their city is the worst to find a compatible mate.

A beautiful woman in her 40s who I’ve been coaching thinks online dating takes too long to find a good guy. She was frustrated that she only had two dates in one week and that men weren’t writing to her. Her first date didn’t work out, as he told her before even meeting her that she should take her profile down so they could date exclusively. It was too much too fast, so she realized he wasn’t her guy and they never met. While she liked her second date, he never called her again. Finding two dates in one week, whether they advance to a second date or not is not a bad statistic for online dating. This is actually the normal dating process.

The reason it’s taking her too long to find dates is because she believes it’s improper for a woman to contact a man. She wasn’t using the tools to benefit from the algorithms that the site provided. After one month of online dating, she wondered what she was doing wrong and why it wasn’t working. While she “liked” and “favorited” a few guys she saw on Match, she waited for them to write back to her so she could be pursued in an old-fashioned traditional way.

What she didn’t understand is that everyone’s digital dating behaviors and patterns vary. Some men will only read emails from women and don’t use all of the features of the sites. Others only look at photos. They may not look to see who has viewed them, hot listed them, winked, flirted, or liked their photos. Dating is a two-way street. Men are trained to be the pursuers, but when they get frustrated when they don’t receive responses online from women, they slack off a bit. When women take a passive approach to online dating it simply just doesn’t work.\

Ossa Fisher, Match.com’s SVP of Strategy & Analytics defines this dating type as a “Cherry Picker,” or one who has a hard time finding a date because they put a beautiful profile out there and sit and wait. Even though finding love is a priority, a cherry picker doesn’t take matters into their own hands.
Many dating sites have sophisticated algorithms. When I visited Match.com’s headquarters recently, we talked about their dating algorithms. The only way these algorithms work to help you find a compatible date is to make sure you are an active user of the dating site. Simply put, the more often you log on, the more data the site receives on your likes, dislikes, and communications.

Fisher states the only way to maximize your experience on dating sites is to be truly engaged in the process. She says that compared to Match users who haven’t met someone, those who have met someone sent 30% more likes, favorited 26% more users, and responded to 3-7% more messages. They were clearly engaged in the process.

If the “Cherry Picker” starts writing short emails to five to ten men a day, the results will be dramatic. Men will be flattered to receive her email and many will most likely pursue her. You see guys get frustrated too with the process since they write to so many women who don’t respond. By initiating an email to a guy, you’re not losing your femininity, you’re just showing that you’re confident enough to reach out to a guy.

Modern day dating must include a proactive approach and it’s time to toss the old dating rules out the window. This is no different than looking for your dream job. The digital playground is crowded, but the possibilities are huge and have never been better for singles looking for love online.

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

Julie Spira is a top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of Internet dating and is the founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. Julie creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

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