The first week of January is known for being one of the busiest days for new online dating sites, with over 50% of new members joining the day after New Year’s, I thought it would be appropriate to think about a realistic resolutions list when it comes to matters of the heart.
From joining the gym to the latest diet craze, we come up with lists that are so unrealistic that even Wonder Woman couldn’t achieve half of the items on the checklist.
Match.com reports that during the first week of 2014, they’ll expect to have over 2 million singles logging on over 30 million times! This Sunday, January 5th at 8:57pm/ET, Match expects it to be the busiest time of the year for online dating. Are you ready to take the digital plunge?
With that in mind, when it comes to matters of the heart, singles need to become reflective and take a good look at their dating patterns. Did you date the same type of people over-and-over again? Did your relationships sizzle at the three-six month mark? Was it rate to make it to a second date or past a third date? Is your list of the traits of your perfect mate too big or too small?
Here are my suggestions and a list of questions for you to answer to start fresh in the New Year.
- Take a moment to jot down a list of those you dated in 2013.
- Write down a list of the personality types to see where your patterns are.
- Did they ever seem too good to be true?
- Did you jump in too fast or were you overcautious and took it too slow?
- Were you hung up on physical qualities?
- Were these people you could be friends with first?
- Would you be proud to introduce your dates to your friends and family?
- Are you backgrounds, religion, and values similar?
- How did your dates treat the servers at restaurants?
- What was the relationship your dates had with his or her parents and family?
Answering these questions will help guide you better to determine who you should be adding to your date card.
With online dating in peak season from Christmas through Valentine’s Day, finding a date isn’t a difficult task.
Remember your time is precious and more isn’t always better. It’s not the race to the finish line that matters. Every relationship serves a purpose and helps you get closer to knowing truly what you want. While falling in “like” or “lust” at first sight is common, it takes multiples seasons to determine if you’re truly in love with someone; a person who will be with you when there’s the inevitable bump on the road.
If you meet someone that you truly connect with, I encourage you to open your heart, be open to the possibilities, give someone a second chance in case they were nervous on a first date. Love yourself first so you are able to love others.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam in 2014.
Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and was an early adopter of the Internet. She’s been helping singles find love online for 20 years with her Irresistible Profiles. For more online dating advice, sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter and follow @JulieSpira on Twitter.
In this week’s Ask the Cyber Dating Expert column, we heard from Jennifer…or was it Valerie?
What’s in a name you might ask?
USA Today reported this week that the top baby names for girls were Sophia and Isabella.
So when Valerie contacted me to critique her online dating profile, I questioned why her user name was “MeetJennifer.”
According to Valerie, she believed that 47% of men liked the name Jennifer. She truly believed that she’d get more views of her online dating profile, with the result of meeting more men.
Apparently this trick didn’t work. In the top 20 list of most popular baby names for girls, Jennifer didn’t appear anywhere. It was all in her head.
You see, men don’t want to be tricked. They’ll view a large bouquet of profiles and decide which thumbnail photos appeal to them. Then, if intrigued by what they see, they’ll try to remember your screen name and will read a few sentences of your profile, which would hopefully lead to a short introduction email to get the digital ball rolling.
Although men are used to women lying about their weight and age, they would prefer that women would be honest about it. They’ll even go to great lengths and look at a potential date’s Facebook or Linkedin page to see if the photos match up. Once you start with a trick or a lie, they’ll always wonder what else you might be hiding.
While it might seem innocent to change your name on your profile, it isn’t wise. If you say your name is Jennifer, they’re hoping that Jennifer will answer the phone when they call. They’re happy to go on a date with Jennifer. But men are visual. It really doesn’t matter what your first name is, as long as you’re honest.
Valerie was going on coffee dates and explaining to guys that her real name wasn’t Valerie. This became confusing to men and took up a lot of time in the conversation. Many men wondered what else Valerie was making up if she’d change her first name to attract their attention. Valerie no longer became a top prospect to men, because of misleading advertising. She rarely went on second dates.
While you think I’m overreacting, I beg to differ. Valerie’s date card is empty and she’s still single.
The best advice I gave her was to change her profile name completely and not to include the first name of any woman, including herself. Have a catchy screen name that expresses what she’s passionate about. Let the real Valerie answer the phone, emails, and show up on a date.
A confident woman is what a man wants. It doesn’t matter what her name is. All that matters is that she’s real and he wants her to be his girlfriend.
My best advice is to toss out any insecurities or tricks to try to get the guy. If he’s interested, you’ll know it. When he’s lying in bed next to you at night, let him whisper your real name.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.
Julie Spira is an Online Dating Expert and was an early adopter of the Internet. She’s the author of the bestseller, 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 more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.
I know this seems like a lot of pressure, but to simplify the Internet dating process, we’ve come up with several expert tips on how to ace your cyberdating exam.
Coordinating a first date to make that great impression makes singles nervous. One person may love coffee, where another would rather go hiking. Trying to find a common balance for your first meet-and-greet, especially when geography gets in the way, means a single dater must go with the flow to fill up their date card.
This means you must be easy-going, have several options on where to meet, and not appear too high-maintenance.
Here are two examples of how one date progressed nicely and another went south, fast.
Dater #1. When *Randy decided to make the dinner plans before the theatre date, he came up with a well-executed strategy. It was his homework assignment to select the restaurant and figure out how to coordinate the details. Sure it would have been easy to tell him to park once and just dine at the restaurant in the theatre, but he came up with a more complicated plan and told his date the following:
Unfortunately the restaurant doesn’t have a shuttle to the theatre, but I’ve thought of a plan to minimize the parking issue and maximize our time at dinner.
Try this on…
You drive into downtown and park at the theatre (or wherever you like near there) for about 5:30 PM and call me when you arrive to say where you are. I’ll drive over to pick you up and bring you to my building to park my car; and then we walk just a few blocks to the restaurant. After dinner, we take a taxi to get to the theatre, unfettered with driving and parking while others are arriving, and just walk in. After the event, you take your car out, and drive us a few blocks back to my building; I’ll hop out at the front door on the street safe and sound :-) and you continue straight toward to the highway to get home – real simple. Does this work?
What do you think?
It sounds like an exhausting plan, right? There was nothing simple about it. However, he took great pride in coordinating timing and location and just wanted acknowledgement that his idea would be well-accepted.
The lesson here is the best solution isn’t always the smartest solution when it comes to dating. Sure some women think that they’re smarter and can drive the dating train, but a man wants to be the woman’s hero. He wants to know that she approves of his plans. His efforts to coordinate their dinner date were well thought out. Telling him to change them, especially early on in the dating stage, could possibly backfire. She responded with, “Great plan. I love it! I’ll see you around 5:30pm.”
Dater #3. When *Kathy invited her online date to an outdoor concert, she had tickets for the summertime music festival where they would be picnicking. Her date offered to pick up some wine and food items and they agreed to drive together to the concert. That was, until she called him up and asked him what he would be wearing. When he replied that he would be dressed casually in a Hawaiian shirt, shorts, and sandals, she got furious with him. She told him he wasn’t dressing appropriately for a date and that she hated Hawaiian shirts and shorts. Stunned, because this was a casual outdoor concert in the summer, he thought he’d be dressed perfectly for the occasion. She abruptly canceled the date because he didn’t conform to her perceived dress code and she went alone to the concert. Did he ever call her again? Not in a million years.
At the end of the digital day, when someone plays hard-to-get in the online dating game, the only word the potential date will remember is that you were “hard” to deal with. Don’t make dating difficult. Enjoy the process and go with the flow.
Julie Spira is an Online Dating Expert and was an early adopter of Internet dating. She’s been helping singles on the dating scene with her Irresistible Online Dating Profiles for 20 years and is the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. For more dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.
Internet dating, social dating, Facebook dating, meeting offline or at work, what’s a single dater to do?
A question I get asked often about online dating versus meeting someone offline is, which method is better for me to find the perfect date or mate?
While experts might not agree on this topic, even offline Matchmakers are incorporating digital dating into their business. I believe the answer is clear. There is no one-size fits all formula and everyone’s relationship goals may differ. From hook-ups to marriage proposals, there’s a site and way for everyone.
In my dating coaching practice, I work with singles who are truly looking for a meaningful relationship and send those looking to hookup to a variety of mobile dating apps. Whether it leads you to marriage or not, finding love online needs to be part of your dating regime, just like finding a job online from a message board or Linkedin will help you find your dream job. Being able to grow and maintain your relationship offline is critical as you go through the different phases of a relationship.
As one who believes in casting a wide net, I tell singles that you really need to do both. It’s not one way or the other. In reality, online dating, if done correctly, is just a method or service that will get you out there in the real world to meet someone offline IRL (In-Real-Life).
However, some really think the process of finding someone to love is an either-or proposition. I beg to differ. If you’re truly not comfortable with the computer and don’t think your iPhone or Android is truly a SmartPhone, you’re leaving opportunities behind that could change your relationship status to “In a Relationship,” “Engaged” or “Married” while your friends cheer you on.
Here are some pros and cons on finding love both online and offline.
Pro: Over 40 million singles in the U.S have tried online dating.
Con: It’s a crowded digital marketplace and can be an exhausting experience.
Pro: One out of five relationships start online. Whether it’s on Social media, Facebook, Twitter, a mobile app, or traditional online dating site, there are a lot of success stories.
Con: People lie about their age, weight, height, income, and marital status. Singles get frustrated after a few bad dates.
Pro: You can meet people outside of your geographic area and social circle with similar interests. You’ll meet more people, so you can learn what you’re truly looking for in a date, mate, or relationship.
Con: It can become addicting to some, who never meet offline or are looking for the next pretty face. Beware of the Digital Pen-Pal Syndrome.
Pro: It’s efficient and available 24-hours a day.
Con: It’s like a full-time job for many and you must be organized.
Pro: You may have friends in common which will make you more comfortable.
Con: You’re not really sure of their relationship status.
Pro: You can determine if there’s chemistry in person.
Con: You’re limited to your existing social circles or regular activities and will meet less people.
Pro: It’s pre-dating, without the pressure of wondering if you’re date is who they say they are.
Con: People decide too quickly that they aren’t interested or have no chemistry.
Pro: You can develop new friendships with people with similar interests, even if it doesn’t turn into a romantic relationship.
Con: You’re limiting yourself to a certain geographic area.
At the end of the digital day, if you’re serious about meeting someone special, you must include a combination of both online and offline dating in your routine. Remember the goal of online dating is to take your relationship offline. Riding into the digital sunset together is now a way of everyday life.
If you need a little hand holding, contact us about our Irresistible Profiles and dating coaching to help you find your dream date.
Julie Spira is an Online Dating Expert who was a very early adopter of the Internet. She created her first dating profile almost 20 years ago and has been helping singles on the dating scene. Julie’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the Free Weekly Flirt.
Let’s start with what is a ‘Selfie?’ It’s one of the most popular hashtags on Twitter when someone snaps their own photo with their mobile phone. Usually it’s goofy, a bathroom shot in the mirror, or in the case of Rhianna, a bikini shot or two.
I love technology and there’s no doubt that the iPhone has made cyberdating a whole lot easier and so much more fun.
As the cameras continue to improve on the Samsung Galaxy, iPhones, and other mobile devices, while Instagram remains the favorite social networking photo site du jour, the prevalence of ‘Selfies’ photos are appearing more often on Internet dating profiles.
So who’s posting ‘Selfies’ and are they narcissistic, funny, expected, or a turn-off? Just because celebrities are jumping on the ‘Selfie’ bandwagon, should you?
In a recent Glamour magazine article, a list of 11 turn-offs to men who viewed women’s online dating profiles listed ‘Selfies” twice.
Men felt that posting over ¾ of your profile photos as ‘Selfies’ was a turn-off.
“Just makes me wonder how long you spent in your room taking shots that didn’t make the cut,” one guy claimed.
In addition, the bathroom ‘Selfie’ is an online dating no-no.
“Unless it’s done ironically, in which case, are you free on Thursday?” was another response.
Taking it a step further, research from the University of Birmingham in the UK found that too many ‘Selfies’ posted on Facebook could actually damage your relationship.
David Houghton, the lead researcher said, “‘Selfies,’ or self-portraits, seem to be some of the most irksome images.”
In a recent interview with the New York Daily News, I provided several tips for those who have no self-control when posting ‘Selfies.’ Including:
Ladies: No Bikini Photos. Just because Rhianna does it, doesn’t mean your potential online date will appreciate yours. A bikini shot is just lingerie with different material. A man will undress you with his eyes. There’s no need to say take me to the bedroom with your bikini ‘Selfie.’
Guys: Ditch the Mirror Photos. Posting a photo of yourself without wearing a shirt in the bathroom mirror has become as cliché as the woman who says she wants to go on beach walks in her Internet dating profile.
While authenticity is appreciated in posting recent photos, we know that the selfies shots aren’t usually your best. I say save them for Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Put your best digital foot forward and post the best photos you can of yourself. Add the dates they were taken, so your online date will know how recent they are.
Are you posting ‘Selfies’ on your dating profile? What has the response been?
Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter to join in the conversation.
Photo credit: © berc – Fotolia.com
Whether you’ve gone through a recent breakup or you’ve gotten divorced after 20 years of marriage, even if the wounds are still raw, know that your decision to create an online dating profile is a step in the right direction.
Here are 6 simple tips to get you started.
1. Have a Profile Party. It’s time to take the plunge and join an online dating site. This is a digital statement telling the world that you’re not going to sit home and feel sorry for yourself. I recommend that you grab a girlfriend or two and let them participate in a Profile Party. After all, your BFF’s will want to hear the juicy details of your dates and they truly want to see you move forward with your life. Find a few outfits with bright colors such as red or bright pink and let your friends snap the photos for you. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, you can sign up for our Pimp Your Profile Seminar on May 22nd , where I’ll be working with singles how to ramp up their profile in person! If you’re anxious to get started now, here are some of our favorite dating sites. Some offer special discounts to Cyber-Dating Expert readers.
2. It’s a Bio, not a novel. Not sure what to write about yourself? When creating your Internet dating bio and on your first dates, less is more. Don’t focus on what went wrong in your relationship. Talking about your ex is an instant buzz-kill. You’ll come across as someone who just hasn’t gotten over him or her yet.
3. Talk about the kids. If you’re a parent, do mention how important your children are and list their ages in your profile, but don’t post photos of them. A man would like to know that you have time for him in your life, while you juggle work, parenting, and a new relationship. A woman will project to the future to decide whether she wants to be a part of an extended family. Hiding the kids isn’t going to attract your dream date. An understanding partner will appreciate your devotion to your family.
4. Ask and answer questions. Keep your introduction emails short and simple and mention something in his profile that caught your eye. I recommend only a few sentences. It’s also good to ask a question, which will provoke an answer. Mention one of your favorite rock bands and ask if they’ve ever seen them perform live. List some of your dream vacation spots and ask if they’ve ever traveled there. Your goal is to create a conversation based upon your passions.
5. Head over to Facebook and change your relationship status to “Single.” Yes, it may come to a shock to some of your friends, but others might be ready to introduce you to one of their friends. Some of the couples on Facebook Love Stories actually fell in love on Facebook, reconnected with crushes from high school and college, and tied the knot after seeing that someone they knew was suddenly single again.
6. Give good phone. As a parent, your time is very precious. Do make sure you have a phone date before you set up time to meet in person. If you don’t feel any chemistry on the phone, don’t waste your time on setting up a date that probably won’t go well. Avoid becoming a digital pen pal with your new online crush and take your relationship from online to offline within the first few weeks.
Getting divorced is traumatic for everyone. This isn’t the time to compare war-room stories with potential dates. With these online dating tools at your digital finger tips, you’ll be able to start the next chapter of your life sooner, rather than later. Remember, the person that you’ll be meeting may have also gone through a divorce or loss of a loved one. He or she might be just as nervous as you are about starting over again.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.
Julie Spira is a top online dating expert who’s been helping singles find love online since 1994. She’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. For more dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for our free Weekly Flirt newsletter.
Photo credit: © ijdema – Fotolia.com
She initially joined both Match.com and JDate. “They say you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince and I did just that,” said Andrea. Having one bad date after another, she kept going offline only to go back online again.
When she met Dan, she thought he was very different than any of her other dates. They chatted online only a few very brief times and sent a few texts to put a date on the calendar.
On the way to their first date, Andrea decided to call Dan. She told him that this was the only time she had never talked on the phone prior to meeting a date. He said it was his first time as well. When they met, she realized they had so much in common. They talked for hours and didn’t even realize anyone else was in the restaurant. After many rounds of our “all you can eat” soup and salad, they said their goodbyes and Dan walked Andrea to her car. Andrea tells said, “He gave me a huge kiss and I was kind of surprised by it, but pleasantly!”
Then their Cyber Love Story got tricky.
Three weeks went by before their scheduled second date, so Andrea didn’t think that Dan was very interested in her. She then canceled their date and starting dating someone else.
When that relationship ran its course, she rejoined Match for a second time. Dan noticed Andrea’s reactivated profile and “winked” at her. Andrea responded and wondered if he had recognized her, which he did. They made plans to get together almost immediately and finally went on their second date.
The two have been inseparable ever since and Andrea knows for sure, that Dan is the love of her life. Andrea and Dan plan on moving in together and look forward to celebrating their one-year anniversary together in September.
Congratulations to Andrea and Dan who gave online dating a chance.
Do you have an online dating story to share?
Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. Julie’s the bestselling author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating and creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, sign up for the Weekly Flirt newsletter and like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.
In the April issue of Glamour magazine, I’m quoted along with Chemistry.com’s Dr. Helen Fisher in an article, Stop Googling Your Dates!
Becoming a Cyber-sleuth in your pre-dating phase I believe is detrimental to getting to know someone.
The digital pre-date can last for several hours in front of your computer. From Facebook to Linkedin, Google, and Twitter, you may find yourself excited at one article where your date won a prestigious award, and then in the next moment, cringing when you see his party photos.
“….pre-dating makes you feel like you already “know”each other by the first date. You get this false, euphoric sense of security that you’re in a relationship. Pre-dating accelerates your entire courtship. Just remember, that you really don’t know him; you just think you do…”
As technology continues to develop, a Google search may become as passé as the fax machine. With Google Image Search, one can now find your photo on the Internet or on an online dating site, upload it to Google Image Search and possibly find out your date’s first and last name. Once that piece of the puzzle is solved, the digital door is wide-open.
Take for example a phone call that I recently received from a man whom I did not know. I shared this story on Huffington Post in an article, Google Image Search – Can it Replace Online Dating Sites?
In this scenario, a man I never met uploaded one of my photos he found online. It led him to my media page, YouTube channel, book page, and provided him with details of where I lived and the restaurants I was a regular patron of. Was this creepy? You better believe it. Whether he meant it when he said he wanted to sweep me off my feet or not, I decided against meeting him. Did I miss out on meeting the one? Perhaps next time, he’ll think twice about Googling and telling.
Do you Google your dates before you meet them? Have you checked Facebook to see if you have friends in common or what pages they’ve “liked?” Would you use Google Image Search to widen the opportunities to meet other singles?
At the end of the digital day, you can run, but you can’t hide.
Your comments are welcome.
Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene and is the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. For more dating advice, sign up for the free Weekly Flirt, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.
Dear Cyber-Dating Expert,
My new profile is starting to get more attention and I’m excited about it, but I’m confused about phone etiquette.
What should I do when a guy I meet online asks me for my phone number?
I’m a bit squeamish about giving my number out to someone I haven’t met. One guy, who seems nice, has asked for it so we can talk this weekend.
Another guy just gave me his number. Do I have to reciprocate and give him mine as well, or should I just let him know that I’ll call.
As a woman, I can understand why you’d like to keep your phone number private from someone you haven’t met.
There’s no reason to give out your phone number so quickly. I always recommend signing up for a free Google Voice phone number for dating. It’s simple to do. Just go to Google.com/voice. You will be assigned a phone number that isn’t associated to your name in any phone directory. You can have the calls forwarded to your cell phone.
This way if anyone who bothers you keeps calling, you can block their number or have the option to change it to another Google Voice number for dating.
Having a Google Voice number protects your identity and should solve the problem.
Phone number exchanges are really very personal. Some women prefer to give out their number so the men can call them. Others like to take control and do the dialing.
My suggestion is to ask the man for his number and what times are convenient for him to talk. If he doesn’t answer when you call, leave a message and say you’ll call back later.
As far as reciprocating, you don’t have to give out your phone number when a man provides his. See how the conversation goes and if you’re comfortable, then yes, give him your CELL number. He doesn’t have to know it’s really a Google voice number. It’s your secret for now.
If someone asks for your number, let them know you’d be happy to call him and ask for his number.
If all goes well on your date, you’ll be happy to exchange numbers with the man who you’d like to add to your date calendar.
Do you have a question for Julie Spira?
Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more online dating advice, sign up for the Free Weekly Flirt, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.
It was a joy and honor to be a guest with Marc Cohen and Marsha Collier on Computer & Technology Radio Show to talk about the latest trends in online dating.
From niche sites such as Farmer’s Only and Stache Passions to household names of eHarmony, OkCupid, and Match.com, find out which singles are really logging into Internet dating sites. We also talked about the huge trend of mobile dating, which is becoming more-and-more popular every day.
If you’re looking for a date for the holidays, find out the best ways to create an irresistible profile worth catching his or her eye.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace this holiday, or wherever you may roam.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert, bestselling author, and founder of Cyber-Dating Expert. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene and is the host of Online Dating BootCamp. For more dating advice, sign up for the Weekly Flirt, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.