Ten years later, Facebook boasts over 1.2 billion users. One has to ask, is Facebook now the world’s largest digital dating site?
Just how many couples are flirting, connecting, hooking up, and even finding love on Facebook?
When I launched Facebook Love Stories on Valentine’s Day last year, I was intrigued to see the variety of ways that people found love on the world’s largest social network.
Here are six couples whose love stories will warm your digital heart.
“Working in different departments meant that our professional paths didn’t cross much, but we often rode the Fifth Avenue bus home together, as our apartments were in the same neighborhood,” said Bonnie. The two married others and lost touch, until Bonnie’s son created a Facebook page for her a few years ago.
Bonnie decided to look for old friends and thought about Josh. “I sent him a message asking if he remembered me and he responded within hours, so excited to hear from me,” said Bonnie. Within three days they were talking on the phone for hours at a time, and within weeks made a date for dinner. Josh showed up with carrot cake and a dozen bagels and Bonnie was hooked. The two were engaged the following New Year’s Eve, and were married August of 2012.
The couple’s wedding cake was a delicious Fifth Avenue bus. “In my wildest dreams I’d never have imagined that Facebook would change my life, but it did. It reconnected me with Josh, and I consider it a miracle,” said Bonnie.
Sophie and Trevor were both members of a “Star Wars” Facebook group when they became friends in 2007. Sophie lived in Leeds, England and Trevor resided in Indiana where he was attending University. Neither were interested in developing a long-distance relationship. The two became fast friends as they shared their mutual love of fan fiction.
After three months, Sophie and Trevor decided to meet in person and selected Berlin as the city for their first date. Later that year, they realized they were falling in love.
Over the next several years, the two commuted between Indiana and England, as their relationship flourished.
Both Sophie and Trevor acknowledge that Facebook played a huge part in keeping them connected, during the time of their long-distance relationship.
In 2012, the two finally got married in New York City and are finally living on the same continent, in each others’ arms in the Big Apple.
For about four years, Meca and Anthony were digital friends on Facebook, but they never really had much contact with each other. The two shared a lot of mutual Facebook friends and even attended offline events at the same time twice, but they never actually met in person.
As a divorced woman, Meca started blogging about her dating experiences and posted her stories on Facebook. Anthony silently enjoyed reading about Meca’s latest dates and started sending her private messages on Facebook.
“I wanted to know why a girl like her was single,” said Anthony. Their romance developed on Facebook chat privately and finally one day they decided to exchange phone numbers.
Meca was very hesitant at first, especially as Anthony was an artist. As an accessory designer, Meca didn’t think she wanted to date an abstract painter. “I don’t date artists,” she proclaimed. Soon they discovered that they were indeed soul mates.
The two have decided to save the mushy stuff for the privacy of their inbox.
Patience had a secret crush on Sam in high school, but felt that he was out of her league. They never dated and barely acknowledged each other in the halls. During a formal high school dance, after her date had ditched her, Patience was shocked when Sam asked her to dance and pulled her into a random picture.
Fast forward twenty-six years later, where Sam was divorced and teaching college in Israel. Patience was busy with her publishing career in New York and had serial dated for two decades. When Sam noticed her familiar face in the “Suggested Friends” feature, he immediately sent Patience a “friends’ request.
For Patience, it was a no-brainer to be in contact with such a popular guy from high school. She started “liking” his status updates. Sam picked up the phone and called her. After several months of Skype and Facebook chats, the two fell in love.
Sam asked Patience if he could visit and possibly “marry and father her children.” All of her girlfriends thought she was crazy, but she knew there was a connection there. In fact, they had a deal. He would come visit and would leave if they thought it was weird. Fortunately, that was not the case. The two are now happily married and are living in New York. Sam still has the photo from their first dance in high school.
Alexa was hoping to find someone on an online dating site, but was frustrated with the process. Her friends said she’d find someone when she least expected it. That someone was Devin who she met on Facebook.
Devin thought Alexa was cute when he noticed her photo in the “People You Should Know” feature.
“One day I received a ‘friend’ request from someone I didn’t know named Devin,” said Alexa. “We had one mutual friend in common, so I thought I might have met him somewhere and just didn’t remember. He was the first person in my six years of being on Facebook that I added without knowing in real life,” she added.
The rest is history and the two have been inseparable since meeting on Facebook.
It all started twenty years ago when Taunia met Jake while in school. The two dated for 2.5 years and then went their separate ways to pursue their career aspirations. “We always knew we were each other’s ‘true love,’’ said Taunia.
Twenty years and a lot of life lessons went by. Taunia had gastric bypass surgery in 2008. She got married, established her musical career, and developed an online following, particularly on Facebook.
Tania reconnected with one of Jake’s sisters on Facebook. When Jake’s sister noticed Tania’s relationship status as “Divorced,” she told her brother. Jake immediately contacted Taunia to reconnect and their romance reignited. Jake proposed to Taunia in a romantic holiday trip in front of the Eifel Tower and the two were married in the summer of 2013.
Have you found love on Facebook?
Julie Spira is an online dating expert, dating coach, and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. She creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene and is Editor-in-Chief of FacebookLoveStories.com.
Let’s face it. You’re hanging your digital hat on Facebook and Twitter a bit more often than logging into your online dating account, and with good reason. You like to see what your friends are up to and cheer them on with an occasional like or two. Staring at ‘Selfies’ photos can be fun, and watching someone change their relationship status is a golden moment.
Most online dating sites are now entrenched with social media allowing you to upload your photos directly from Facebook and even using the like button for people to vote on their favorite photos of you. This is quite helpful as you can and should change your photos around a bit. If you notice that some are getting more attention, then they’re keepers.
Internet dating has evolved from the early days of chat rooms and dial up Internet to high-speed wireless Internet and now to a social dating experience. From getting dating advice on Twitter from @Match or @eHarmony to checking out your potential date’s Facebook page, while still chatting on the phone with him or her, digital dating has ramped it up a big notch.
When Facebook launched their Social Graph search in January, I spoke with USA Today. The article, Facebook Unleashed Cupid Potential came out while many of the Internet dating executives were at the Internet Dating Conference.
I was quoted as saying:
Dating norms, however, have already taken root on Facebook. People have long-perused the photos and postings of members in the game of attraction, says Julie Spira, a digital-dating maven who runs CyberDatingExpert.com.
“It’s the world’s largest social network, and they could be the world’s largest dating network if they want to go there,” Spira said.
No longer could online dating sites and singles ignore the big digital gorilla in the room. A few weeks later, we debuted Facebook Love Stories, featuring real world couples who met or reconnected on Facebook and fell madly in love.
Cyber-Dating Expert friend Cliff Lerner, the CEO of Are You Interested wrote an interesting piece in Huffington Post entitled, Why Facebook Graph Search Will Make Online Dating Cool.
I have to agree with Lerner. There are some that still think there’s a stigma with online dating, but have no problem contacting other singles on Facebook chat. This my friends is social dating at it’s best.
At the end of the digital day, you need to cast a very wide net. If you’re uncomfortable saying that you’re an online dater, tell people that you’re a social dater. Do whatever it takes to find love, online, offline, and on Facebook.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, on Facebook, or wherever you may roam.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com and FacebookLoveStories.com. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene and coaches them on finding love online and on Facebook. For more dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and like her at at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.
Our friends at YourTango just completed their Dating in a Digital Age survey and found that 63% of singles are using online dating sites to find a serious relationship.
Of those surveyed, 95% said they have used Facebook to find a date. This number is enormous and does give hope to singles that cyber love is truly a way of everyday life.
So how do you make sure you’re putting your best digital foot forward?
Let’s start with amping up your Facebook profile.
Putting the best primary photo you can possibly find is key to your success in finding love on Facebook. Posting a photo with your BFF is off-limits. One with your cousin is also off the list if you’re single. It can send confusing messages and you won’t know for sure that someone is single. Posting no photo at all is as obsolete as the fax machine or VHS player. Remember, your photo will appear in a search, even to non-friends who would like to connect with you.
The YourTango study confirmed this as they found that two-thirds would not go on a date with someone whose profile contains no photos.
Think you’re too shy to let someone know you’re single? Think again. Not posting you’re relationship status as “Single” or “Divorced” doesn’t mean you’re desperate. It means you’re stating your intention that you’re available for a relationship. On Facebook Love Stories, you’ll read the heartwarming story of Taunia and Jake. When Taunia changed her relationship status to “Divorced,” she became reunited with a former boyfriend from twenty years earlier. The two got engaged at the Eiffel Tower in Paris and will be getting married this summer. Is that worth the free advertising on Facebook if you want to find love? We think so.
BECOME A FACEBOOK FLIRT
If you have a digital crush on someone, spend time occasionally “liking” and commenting on his or her posts. Don’t overdo it, as you don’t want to come across as an obsessed cyber-stalking type. It’s digital foreplay and it’s amazing how it really works.
WATCH WHAT YOU POST
Posting photos and party shots over-and-over again might not send the message that you’re relationship material. Make sure your posts are varied and not all about you. Ask engaging questions in your posts and thank those who comment. Even if he or she won’t be the love of your life, think about their extended social network. Who doesn’t want to play digital matchmaker?
Are you flirting on Facebook? Do you think Facebook could be the world’s largest dating site? You’re comments are welcome.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and founder of Cyber-Dating Expert and Facebook Love Stories. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more digital dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and visit our Cyber-Dating Expert and Facebook Love Stories pages.
Over 25 years ago, Patience had a serious crush on Sam.
She knew him the class clown and the wildly popular senior who always found new ways to be in the spotlight.
By contrast, Patience was quiet and considered more of a wallflower. She thought that Sam was “out of her league.” They two never dated and barely acknowledged each other in the halls. During a formal dance, after her date had ditched her, Patience was shocked when Sam asked her to dance and pulled her into a random picture. They still have that picture.
Twenty-six years went by. Sam got married and then divorced. He lived in Israel, where he was teaching college and high school French. Meanwhile in New York, Patience had gone into publishing and had serial-dated for two decades. She was 41-yeats-old and thought she was completely over the New York dating scene, which she jokingly refers to as “buffet dating.”
In August 2009, in the “Suggested Friends” section on Facebook, Sam noticed “the little redhead” as one of his options and “friended” Patience immediately. For Patience, it was a no-brainer to be in contact with such a popular person from high school. She started flirting on Facebook by “liking” his morose status updates. Finally, Sam picked up the phone and called her. Their first phone conversation lasted for over two hours.
One Facebook friendship and three months of Skype dates later convinced them there was something there. He asked if he could visit and possibly “marry and father her children.” Patience said all of her girlfriends thought she was crazy, but she knew there was a connection between them.
On December 17, 2009, Sam uprooted himself to go west and saw Patience for the first time in twenty-six years. He ended up staying in New York. On their first visit to his father’s house in Miami, Sam dug out the original picture of them, which he’d kept all these years. They were married on January 16, 2011 and live in New York.
Congratulations to Patience and Sam, our featured couple in Facebook Love Stories.
Do you know someone who fell in love on Facebook?
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com and FacebookLoveStories.com. For online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert. For Facebook dating advice, follow @FBLoveStories on Twitter and their Facebook Page