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Dating Advice: To Friend, or Not to Friend Your Date

FBbrokenheartIt was an honor to be called on by my friends at GalTime to chime in on the dos and don?ts for ?Dating in a Facebook World.?

One of the questions I hear most often from singles is, ?Should I send a Facebook friends request before our first date?? Sure, I know you?re excited about meeting him, but stop daydreaming about changing your relationship status.? You might have taken a digital peek to see how many friends you have in common on Facebook, but once someone accepts or rejects your request, it goes on the same place on the totem pole as having the ?talk? to be friends, or “more than friends” with someone. It just becomes uncomfortable and it’s hard to get back on the same digital page.

Suddenly your new beau might be worried that you?ll be spying on his wall. Or even worse, he may project that you?ll turn into a cyber stalker and question him about his female cousin’s arm around him from 6 months ago. The thought of his first date with you suddenly becomes uncomfortable, and he may just cancel with an excuse that it?s his turn to watch the kids, or there?s a work project he has to tend to.

If this sounds familiar, I urge you to take a big digital breath and log off of your Facebook account until your first or even second date is over. Facebook dating can be complicated. Balancing the traditional courtship with information-at-your-fingertips can be tricky. My advice to you, keep the information from that Google search results to yourself and just be the authentic you. You?ll have plenty of time to post things on your Timeline if the relationship goes in the right direction.

Here’s an excerpt on what I shared on GalTime:

No ?Friending? on the First Date

It may be terribly tempting to friend request the guy you met at the bar last night?especially if his Facebook page is locked up tight. After all, how else can you spy on those old photos of him and his ex that he hasn?t gotten around to taking down yet?

But Spira says: think before you friend. Chances are, you?re not on the same digital page yet. And a virtual friendship could ruin your chances of a real life relationship. ?It?s just too soon and you aren?t in a relationship, nor are you even really dating just yet,? she says. ?One of you may be dating several people at a time, while the other may be single-focused. If you become Facebook friends prematurely, your relationship may end quickly as well.?

Or it may never get off the ground at all.

?I?ve known women who have cancelled dates after receiving a Facebook friends request,? she says.

Kiss and Don?t Tell

Want to know every last nauseating detail of your second cousin?s first date? How about your boss?s cutesy pet name for his third wife? Not so much, right? Well, most likely your friends aren?t interested in the nitty gritty of your love life either! So keep it offline.

?Saying I love you on Valentine?s Day is appropriate on your sweetheart?s wall if you?re friends on Facebook,? says Spira. ?Saying I love you every day and talking about details of your first kiss on Facebook breaks the rules of netiquette. Your friends and you beau don?t always want you to “Kiss and Tell.??

That goes for your relationship status as well.

?While your Facebook friends will be happy for your new found love, they really don?t want to watch your status change from ?Single? to ?In a Relationship? to ?It?s Complicated? and back to ?Single? again,? says Spira.

What Happens on Facebook…

The date was fun, you had a few drinks, and it seemed like a good idea at the time. But before you post that funny status update or compromising photo?think twice. Remember what goes online stays there… forever.

?You can?t take it back,? Spira says. ?Often these updates are indexed by the search engine. Even if you remove a photo or update from your Timeline on Facebook, it may have already been shared by friends and friends-of-friends.?

Click? here for the full article on GalTime with my 12 Dos and Don?ts of Dating in a Facebook World.

Julie Spira is an online dating expert, bestselling author, and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, join our Weekly Flirt newsletter and visit us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert

Would You Creep an Ex on Facebook?

When you’re in love and happy and have a facebook status of “In a Relationship,” you’re letting the world view your romantic life and share your joy.

When the relationship ends, you know it’s best to cut your digital ties, but will you?

It’s hard to resist taking a peek, but it’s not healthy if you want to move forward with your life.

In a recent article in the Toronto Sun, I was asked my dating advice and opinions on the creeping an ex syndrome. So without further digital adieu, I hope this article helps you move on, both online and offline. As usual, your comments and suggestions are always appreciated.

“I?m against creeping exes,” says Julie Spira, online dating expert and author of?The Perils of Cyber-Dating. “There?s a reason he or she is your ex, so do what you can to move on. If you stare at their Facebook photos, it will be much harder to move on to a better and healthier relationship.”

Spira advises de-friending the ex on Facebook, untagging yourself from photos of the two of you together and unfollowing them on Twitter immediately.

“It’s just too tempting to take a digital peek,” Spira says.

But cutting your ex off from your social media circle doesn’t necessarily have to be a permanent measure.

Click here for the full article at the Toronto Sun

Julie Spira is an online dating expert and author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating and The Rules of Netiquette. Follow Julie on Twitter @JulieSpira and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert and Facebook.com/RulesofNetiquette

Should You Become Facebook Friends With Someone You Just Started Dating?

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To friend, or not to friend? This question comes up all too often from singles I?m coaching when they first start dating someone new.

My advice is always a firm no. Not just yet.

Although you may be enthusiastic about your phone conversations, have sent a few text messages back-and-forth, and enjoy spending 1-3 hours every day on Facebook,? it might seem like the next logical step to add your new date as a friend on Facebook. I call this trend “premature friending” and it might lead to a startling ending of a relationship that never had the full chance to move forward on a normal digital course.

Setting romantic boundaries on Facebook and other social networks can be quite tricky. However, it really doesn?t have to be so complicated after all.

So without further digital adieu, here are some of the most popular questions I?m asked, with answers to help your love life, both online and in real life.

Should you ignore a Facebook friend request before meeting your date?

If you regularly ignore other requests from strangers or friends-of-friends, then do the same with the man or woman you have not yet met. Think about it. Your new date might be secretly cyber stalking you to check on your where-abouts to see if it adds up to the way you described yourself. Sound creepy? Well, it is. So yes, ignore it. They aren?t a friend yet, nor are they your boyfriend or girlfriend.

You had a great first date. Is it safe to send a friend request?

No, not just yet. Unless you discussed a business deal or partnership and want to ease your way in with a Linkedin request, he or she is quite likely still on the market. They won?t want you gazing at their online activity, nor should you be staring at theirs. Avoid posting comments about your date or post the cute photo that you snapped on your iPhone after your first martini. It?s too soon to go spreading the news on the public Internet.

You had sex. Are you ready to be Facebook friends?

Just because you spent time together between the sheets, doesn?t mean it?s time to change your status to ?In a Relationship.? Make sure you have the talk first about your relationship. If you?re both on the same digital page, then go ahead and change the relationship status together. If you aren?t in a committed relationship, you?re likely to have your feelings hurt when you see his arm around another girl or her in an uncompromising photo with another guy. If either one of you is sitting on the digital fence, then stay friends offline before becoming friends online.

The relationship never took off. Can we just be friends?

If you know for certainty that there was no chemistry or a chance for romance, and no one feels jilted, go ahead and become friends if you truly like each other and know it will be platonic. If you find yourself staring at his or her wall wondering what they?re up to, then you?re not being honest with yourself. Politely unfriend them until you know you?re over it.

At the end of the digital day, don?t let your feelings be hurt if the other party ignores your friend request. Everyone has their own prerequisites for friending and unfriending each other on the world?s largest social network.

Julie Spira is a leading online dating and netiquette expert.? She’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating. Visit her at CyberDatingExpert.com for dating advice. Connect with Julie on Twitter @JulieSpira, Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert and Facebook.com/RulesofNetiquette

Digital Dating – Tips for Long-Distance Love

computerheart 150x121Thinking about expanding your zip code or dusting off your passport while looking for love online? I can tell you from first-hand experience that you need to cast a wide net and brush up on your technology skills.? Mobile phone use and high speed Internet makes it so much easier than in the pre-Internet days where you spent a fortune in long-distance bills and time buying Hallmark cards. Now, a cute e-card, Skype, twitter, and facebook along with your smartphone should keep you digitally connected and happily-in-love.

In a recent interview in the Times-Union, A Modern Twist on Long-Distance Love, I talked about the use of Skype and texting to keep you connected to your loved ones.

Julie Spira, author of ?The Perils of Cyber Dating,? says many people look at technology to enhance relationships. Whether you use Skype, iChat or text, technology makes it virtually impossible to be disconnected from the world.

Spira said people must still invest in the relationship, and that relationships held together over distance are big commitments.

Spira advises women to even put on that cute dress and lipstick, the same as they would do face to face.

But Spira cautions that relationships starting out as long distance have a longer honeymoon stage.??Sometimes long-distance relationships give the false illusion you are in a long-distance relationship, but it is a vacation relationship,? Spira said. ?Time is so concentrated you only know vacation mode; it is a romantic fantasy.?

Spira said in vacation relationships, you often only see each other for a short period of time, so you usually stay at nice hotels, eat at expensive restaurants and leave the real world behind.

?You don?t talk about issues real couples face, like talking about paying bills and mold in the house,? Spira said. ?Vacation couples often have trouble making the transition into real relationships when they move to the same city or household.?

If you feel you?re in a vacation relationship, Spira said to incorporate regular life into the relationship, find boundaries and how to manage them.

?Try and focus on reality and not just romance.?

Are you involved in a long-distance relationship? Are you using video chat on facebook or skype as part of your digital dating regime? Your comments are always welcome and if you get a moment, follow me for dating advice on Twitter @JulieSpira, on facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert and on Google+.

 

Cyber Love Story of the Week – Tammye and Scott

CLSTammyeandScottThis week’s Cyber Love Story of the Week is one where I’m proud to share, as I’ve known Tammye for over a year. Find out how an online flirt, initiated by Tammye, followed by her cancelling the date, eventually led to a marriage proposal. Here’s the story of Tammye and Scott.

He Said:

I had been dating online for about a year. If there was no connection, I just moved on. Most profiles and pictures were a lie and I was ready to give up on the entire process. I have never been one to go to bars, so dating online was my only real option. I had put a 25 mile limit on my search radius. Somehow Tammye came up within that search. She sent me a flirt. Tammye was 25.9 miles away, although she was just outside my criteria, I was impressed by her profile. She was articulate and I liked that. I answered the flirt. We set up plans to meet for coffee. Tammye cancelled [I still swear that she said due to a spider bite on her face]. That was my final straw ? I was done. I was frustrated with the whole online dating thing, but Tammye and I remained Facebook friends. I watched her posts and the events she attended, she captured my attention. In one of her posts, she mentioned Italian food, I told her about a great spot for real Sicilian lasagna, and Tammye said ?All you have to do is ask?. The date was set, June 15th at 6:30pm. She was late, one of my pet peeves. I ordered for her.? She texted me when she arrived in the parking lot and I went out to meet her. As I waited to greet her, in my mind I saw her float above the ground, wearing a long white dress [come to find out it was a short black & white polka dot one] it was as if I had known her all my life.

I knew the moment I saw her I had found the one, I proposed on December 30, 2010. She said ?Yes? ~ three times. I never want to be without her. We have everything in common. She is my life mate.

She Said:

In December of 2009, out of sheer frustration, I joined an online dating site. I had just set up my Facebook account and one of their sister sites was Zoosk. I was dutiful and filled out the questionnaire, trying to be thorough yet interesting. Just let me say, you have to go through a lot of frogs before you find you find your prince. Having deleted my way through a few dozen or so gentlemen, and I use that term loosely, there was only one man that stood out, Scott. I was very hesitant, but we made plans to meet for coffee. Call it a mid-life crisis, but at the time I was determined to experience all those things that I didn?t have time for or money for in the past. I had recently taken up Kick boxing lessons, and a few days prior to our meeting, I took a punch to the eye. A swollen, black-purple-and-blue eyeball never makes a good first impression, so I cancelled. Scott and I never rescheduled the coffee meet up, however we remained Facebook friends for 6 months. In May of 2010, having found out it was my birthday, Scott invited me to dinner. We made plans to meet once again. This time the date was kept. We have been inseparable ever since. He means absolutely everything to me.

Scott and I just celebrated our one year anniversary; we are engaged and will be wed in March 2012. You really can find love online!

Congratulations to Tammye and Scott, our Cyber Love Story of the Week.

Do you have an online dating story to share?

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Julie Spira is the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Visit CyberDatingExpert.com for online dating advice and to share your online dating stories. Follow Julie on twitter @JulieSpira and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert

Peril of the Week – Facebook Love Affair Ends with a Lawsuit

logo bookIn the category of Peril of the Week, this week’s news story of the Michigan woman who met her online boyfriend while playing Mafia Wars on Facebook makes it to the top of the list and on the court docket.

According to the Seattle Times, 50-year old Cheryl Gray, who initially claimed to be 42, claims Wylie Iwan from Washington state led her on, publicly humiliated her on Facebook, and cost her to spend money on an airplane ticket for a trip that was abruptly cancelled.

According to the Seattle Times, Gray was planning on visiting Iwan in Washington and had paid for an airline ticket that cost about $900. Just days before she was to fly to see him, he advised her that he had met someone else. It was a facebook breakup and she didn’t see it coming.

The Seattle Times reports:

Cheryl Gray says Wylie Iwan led her on, caused her to spend money on gifts and a trip to the Tri-Cities, then humiliated her when he posted vulgar comments on her Facebook wall.

They became Facebook friends in September and had about 300 friends in common, she said. During the next couple of months, they began talking through Facebook messages, and Gray said Iwan wanted to exchange personal information and get to know her.

Although they met on Mafia wars, they created their own Facebook war after the relationship ended with Gray setting up a hate group on Facebook. She accused Iwan of being an online predator. Iwan then allegedly posted bitter messages about her on Facebook, where Gray is now seeking damages in the amount of $8,368.88. Gray’s attorney is seeking damages for misrepresentation, promissory estoppel, defamation of character, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. So much for being social, on the world’s largest social network.

To you have an online dating story or dating disaster story to share?

Submit your story for consideration in the Peril of the Week

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Julie Spira is the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Visit CyberDatingExpert.com for online dating advice and to share your online dating stories. Follow Julie on twitter @JulieSpira?and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert

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

Breaking Up on Facebook

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The subject of breaking up on?Facebook is a hot topic these days. Earlier this month, David McCandless published his now-famous Facebook Breakup Chart which spread like wildfire on the Web. We now know what we already realized. Holiday heartbreak is heading into its busy season.

A month before the chart appeared online, I discussed my Rules of Netiquette for Facebook relationships and breakups with Michelle Yarn at GalTime.com

With over 500 million members on Facebook, relationship status changes have become the darling of the Internet. One can’t help but notice the red heart appear and disappear on the profiles of our ?friends and our new friends, better known as the friends-of-friends.

Read excerpts from It’s Complicated: Breaking Up in a Facebook World

Breakups used to be so simple. You get dumped. You cry about it. You get advice from close friends and family. They tell you how much better off you are without him. You cut all ties from your ex. Then, eventually you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back into the game.

Yep, those were the good ole days. Those were the days before social networking sites like Facebook splattered your love life across the web like a tabloid. Now, as the Facebook gods have so conveniently pointed out, ?It?s Complicated.?

I have a friend (a real life one) who was recently dumped by her boyfriend of three and a half years. When she came to me for advice it started out as your typical breakup pep talk.

While the situation will vary depending on the severity of the split, there are some basic guidelines to help you handle a breakup in the age of Facebook.

According to Julie Spira, social media/relationship expert and author of The Perils of Cyber Dating , one of the most important steps to consider is how to update your status. ?She says, ?I don’t believe singles should constantly change their status from “single” to “in a relationship” to “it’s complicated” and back to “single” for everyone to see. Unless both parties agree on changing their status to “in a relationship” and it’s a serious relationship, no one wants to see the drama. However, it’s the most commented on update you will see on Facebook. People are just curious and want to know the juicy details. If you’re hurt, just delete your status completely to avoid the comments.?

And while many couples will decide to remain friends in real life, the same decision in the world of Facebook can be hell. ??When most couples break up, it’s not usually a happy time. More often that not, one has moved on already.? Spira adds, ?If you’re still hurting from the split, I suggest de-friending him or her so you don’t have the opportunity to stare at their wall. We can’t help ourselves sometimes due to the curiosity, but it delays the healing process from the one left behind.?

Kelly Spann, a marketing and publicity manager in Virginia, learned this lesson the hard way.

?First off, right after we broke up I totally put him on blast in my status. I was angry, but that definitely wasn’t a classy move. Then I didn’t de-friend him and he didn’t de-friend me. Having to see his status updates, pictures and the various other girls writing things on his wall didn’t help me get over the break up at all.?

What if you?re the one that did the dumping? Have a heart! You may be ready to move on, but the rules of netiquette say there?s no need to rub your ex?s face in it. If you remain Facebook friends, Spira suggests at least changing your privacy settings to prevent your ex from seeing your activity with your new love interest. Otherwise, your ex may find some pretty creative ways to make your single life miserable.

Facebook user Josh Gilbert says his ex knew exactly how to use the social networking site to get back at him after their nasty breakup.

?I had made plans to attend Lollapalooza with a girlfriend, but then we broke up. She went anyway, and only posted pictures of two of my favorite bands – saying to ?no one in particular? – ?Live from Lollapalooza – jealous?? I can’t prove this was an intentional dig, but I’m convinced it was.?

Even if you delete your ex, there?s still the issue of mutual friends. This one?s hard enough to handle in your day to day life, but Facebook is a whole different beast.

Spira says, ?There’s no need to delete the entire world because your relationship has ended, but I do recommend changing your privacy settings in Facebook to ?friends only.? You can also select the privacy settings individually for each status update if you prefer, where you have the option to select ?everyone?, ??friends,? ?or ?friends of friends.?

Once the drama has subsided and you find yourself ready to get back into the dating scene, Spira says to proceed with caution.

?Unless you are actively ready to date again and would like to meet someone on Facebook, take a break from the status relationship change and just don’t post any relationship status at all. If you’re ready to date, go ahead and list yourself as “single” but be prepared to be hit on. It just happens.?

To read the entire post, click here>>>

Dating Without Drama

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If you missed Paige Parker on Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert Radio Show, she talked about her amazing book, Dating Without Drama.

I’m so very pleased to add Paige’s relationship book?to the Cyber-Dating Expert Reading Room this month as our featured book.

Paige has revised Dating Without Drama to include a section called “Facebook Without Drama,” with terrific insight on whether to “friend” your new beau on Facebook, ?as well as the dos and don’ts of text messaging your date.

I truly believe in Paige’s wisdom about how to regain your confidence, become a man magnet, and to attract your dream guy, all in a drama free world with or without cyberdating.

Click here to order your copy of?Dating Without Drama!

Dating Without Drama on Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert Radio Show

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Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert

If it’s time to leave the drama behind, you’ll want to listen to our radio show featuring Paige Parker and?Dating Without Drama. Learn how to move your relationship status from single and skeptical to confident and committed.

Find out about more about Facebook Without Drama including should you friend your new beau on Facebook and the dos and don’ts of text messaging your date.

You’ll hear about the red flags and deal breakers for online daters and Paige will share her personal story on how she became a very happily married woman by changing her personal strategies.

Listen to hear dating advice from myself as well as Paige on this special edition of Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert Radio Show.

Listen to internet radio with CyberXDating Expert on Blog Talk Radio

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