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OkCupid Relaunches OkTrends Blog – Reveals if Looks Matter

OkTrends 300x200One of my favorite parts of OkCupid had been the fabulous data curated into blog posts by co-founder Christian Rudder on OkTrends.

For the past three years, OkTrends has gone into silence mode. Today, Rudder revealed data from their Internet dating user base showing that looks aren’t always what counts when it comes to communicating in an online dating site. Rudder announced, “We Experiment On Human Beings” as the title of the long-awaited post.

From OkCupid’s day of hiding photos, to suggestions of a higher percentage for a potential match, one thing we know for sure, the algorithms do have an impact while looking for love online.

Full blogpost here

Let’s take a look at the three different experiments.

1. Love is Blind, Or Should Be

On the 10th anniversary of OkCupid, they launched Crazy Blind Date, a mobile app. The basis of this was that you’d meet someone who’s face had been “mashed up” like a puzzle, so you didn’t know what they looked like. In celebration, OkCupid spent one day mashing up all of their members in an experiment, only to find that 44% of those wrote 1st messages to people, of which they had no idea what they looked like.

2. So What’s a Picture Worth?

OkCupid previously let users rate profiles based on looks and personality. Eventually, they changed it to rating based on looks only. What they found is that only 10% of people rated a profile based on it’s text. Does that mean that 90% of people rate profiles based on looks only? Understandably so. This is why all of the mobile dating apps have been so popular and game-like.

3. The Power of Suggestion

As a Digital Matchmaker, I spend hours-and-hours every day analyzing profiles to find the perfect match for my clients. They have to go by my word and recommendation to write to or respond to a flurry of potential dates because I strongly advised them to do so. This has resulted in singles dating outside their social circles and meeting men or women that they didn’t think was their type.

OkCupid seems to agree. By changing the suggested recommendations from one with a low match percentage to a higher match percentage, their users started to communicate with people that weren’t necessarily a match, based on the algorithms. Were they playing with your digital mind? Just a bit.

Time reports that Rudder will be back to business posting on the OkTrends blog every four weeks while waiting for his book Dataclysm: Who We Are to be released in September.

Are you rating profiles based on looks alone? Do percentages matter to you? Your comments are welcome.

Photo credit: Fotolia

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. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter for dating advice 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.

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.

Is Your Date a Catfish? [Video]

YTScreenshotcatfishing 300x165In this episode of YourTango’s Quickies, the question was asked, “What is ‘Catfishing’ and how do you know if your online date is for real or is a digital pen pal?”

For those of you who watch the MTV series, ‘Catfish,’ you might be familiar with this scenario.

Imagine if you met your dream guy online or on a social media site. You spend hours and hours a day chatting online and through instant messenger, but you haven’t taken your relationship offline?

Is he or she stalling or is there someone else behind that photo and computer keyboard?

Here are some signs to look out for while dating online.

1. A Catfish is someone who creates a completely different persona online than who they are offline.
2. You may hear his or her voice, but you never have the chance to meet IRL.
3. You believe you’re in a relationship, but you may be in love with the possibilities of a future with him or her.
4. Your date sends photos that look too good to be true; almost too perfect like a stock image photo.
5. You ask your date to set up a video date on SKYPE or Facetime, but they come up with excuses why they can’t.
6. Your date schedules and cancels dates repeatedly with excuses of work, love, or medical problems.

Tips if You Think You’re Dating a Catfish

If you aren’t sure if your date is for real or not, use Google Image search and upload their profile photo to see if their photo appears anywhere else on the Internet.

At the end of the digital day, remember to trust your intuition, take your time and make sure you have the opportunity to meet the person in real life if you really want a relationship.

Are you dating someone online that you haven’t met offline? Share your story here.

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of the Internet and helps singles select the best dating sites, mobile apps, 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.

Mobile Dating: Match.com Gets Digital Facelift with Match 3.0

There’s good news for daters to make it easier to find love from their mobile phones. Today Match.com released their long-awaited and very user-friendly Match 3.0 for iPhone users. The message is very clear. The success of finding love online is all in the hands of your mobile phone.

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What’s New in Match 3.0?

The Match 3.0 mobile differs from their previous mobile app, as it no longer emulates the desktop version of the online dating site. The new app now includes a “Discover” page, where you’ll find two new features, “Stream” and “Mixer. The “Stream” feature allows you to scroll through many profiles with multiple photos of the daters based on location. You’ll see a familiar style as each profile has a cover photo, which reminds you of Facebook. You can easily send a message to the person who captures your eye as you scroll down through a stream of potential matches. There are also multiple places for you to upload photos directly on the app.

The new “Mixer” will look familiar to mobile dating users, as it may remind you of Tinder. Users can view a single profile and now swipe left to take a pass or swipe right to give your potential date the thumbs up to start communicating. The swipe-effect is now becoming a prominent feature for many mobile dating apps.

Match reports that over 55% of their members are using their mobile app to send emails, with 50% of their signups come from mobile. As a result, for the first time, they’re allowing users to sign up on the mobile phone, as compared to using the desktop version. They’ve now prominently displayed their membership fees along with the features for those ready to pull out their credit card to pay.

At the end of the digital day, we’re living in a swiping world when it comes to finding love on your mobile phone.

Julie Spira is an online dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. She was an early adopter of the Internet and creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. Julie is the host of Mobile Dating BootCamp and Online Dating BootCamp.

Peril of the Week – Black Card Denied

blackcardThis entry for The Peril of the Week comes from Amanda, a 27-year old native New Yorker who’s living with her parents in Long Island.

We’ve talked a lot about men and women who say they’re single, when in fact, their relationship status is, “Separated, divorce pending.” Amanda’s been dating online and thought she met a great guy with “Jerry.” Can you relate?

Read about Amanda’s dating dilemma and feel free to share yours as well.

My mother always told me I should try dating a man with children. They can commit and you like to cook…She said. (That’s the same logic behind dating a man in prison right? They can commit to hard time and I can bake them pies?) I decided to scope out the single daddy-scene and met ‘Jerry,’ a self described bachelor, father, financier and as I would learn later problem drinker. I arrived at the Jade hotel for dinner wearing leather Prada heels, (which I should have done a lap in beforehand) Paige denim jeans (that made my legs look like stilts), and a sheer blouse which my mother kindly says indicates ?an obvious padded bra.? I may not have Victoria Beckham?s body or budget but I promise you one thing, I am workin’ it.

Jerry was shockingly better looking in person. (Contrary to most dates where the photo sent online looks like George Clooney and you end up meeting his 3rd cousin, a Japanese sumo wrestler.) ‘Jerry’ and I were instantly attracted to one another and we immediately delved deep into conversation. He whipped out his iPhone, displaying a gallery of pictures, his heart melting each time he spoke of his gorgeous children. This quickly switched to talk of his ‘ex’ wife who I could have easily mistaken for Cruella Deville.

‘Jerry,’ a well-known financial executive, traveled often which made me realize a relationship would be impossible. (Why didn’t this occur to me beforehand? Well that would indicate a trace of commonsense yes? ) As our meal progressed, I noticed ‘Jerry’s’ story regarding his ‘situation’ began to crumble.

Although I don’t drink, I do prefer my dates to consume copious amounts of liquor. I find it acts as a form of Sodium Thiopental (Pentothal), commonly referred to as ‘truth serum.’ At the opening of the date, ‘Jerry’s’ story began with, ‘my ex wife and I are divorced and I live in the city.’ Two drinks later, I sleep in the basement of our home. (I asked if he would care for some dessert wine.)

‘Jerry’s divorce turned out to be in litigation and nowhere near final. I was afraid what I would find out if I offered him some SAKE! Was he really a woman? My friend ‘Demi’ told me something very smart once. “It’s very easy for a man to remove a ring. Who knows how many men say they are divorced that we have dated?” Seven glasses of wine later and it was time for the check. ‘Jerry’ pulled out his black card and handed it to the waitress. “I’m sorry sir, it’s declined!” she SHOUTED! I was actually under the impression that black cards had an unlimited spending limit but did someone not pay their bill? He looked as if he had seen a dead relative (shocked) and handed the server another card.

Here is a tip to all men: Call your credit card company before going to dinner and be sure to conjure up a convincing story. Even if it is a lie learn your lines.

Read more of Amanda’s shenanigans at theyoungandthefearless.com

Do you have a dating disaster story to share?

 

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Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and founder of Cyber-Dating Expert. She creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert

Weekly Flirt – Live From Las Vegas

 

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The Cyber-Dating Expert Weekly Flirt is now ready for your reading pleasure. We’re live from Las Vegas from the NAB Conference with 100,000 broadcasters.

In this edition of the Weekly Flirt, read about online dating tips for spring fever, meet a lovely couple who fell in love on eHarmony, and find out if you’re dating or in the friend zone. Enjoy!

Not a Flirt subscriber, sign up here to be on our mailing list and follow @JulieSpira on Twitter for relationship and dating advice.

 

 

 

 

Cyber Dating Love Story – Diane and Steve

DianeSteve 300x225While dating online, have you you ever wondered if the email you sent to a potential date was actually read?

Do you assume that once you push the send button, that the person on the other end will decide if you’ve made the cut or not?

Meet Diane and Steve, our featured cyber love story couple who met on eHarmony and have quite a romantic story to share with a magical happy ending, or is it a new beginning?

In Diane’s words:

Steve was one of the first men I noticed and I was instantly attracted. He said he was too. What clinched it for me was his ability to write and express himself clearly and with proper spelling and grammar. Silly maybe, but since I?m a writer that’s important to me, plus it gave me real insight into his character.

Somehow, by mistake, we bypassed the controlled communication part of eHarmony and went straight to emailing each other through their website. He quickly explained he was going out of the country for a few weeks to work on a project so we would have to delay meeting. We sent a few emails back and forth before he left, but then there was nothing for about a month. Nada. I feared the worst (he’d found someone else or lost interest). Meanwhile Steve was thinking the same about me.

But what had actually happened was my last email to him had somehow timed out or gone astray so he thought I’d stopped communicating. I thought he hated what I’d written so had backed off.

Fortunately, he took a leap of faith and contacted me again when he returned. I was elated.

We met for the first time over coffee shortly after that, agreeing we’d also go out for dinner that night if all went well. And it did. The rest is history as they say. We more than hit it off. We began seeing each other all the time, going out to concerts, watching movies and cooking beautiful meals together. We shared our life stories, our triumphs and our heartbreaks, and began to blend our two worlds together.

The following spring we flew to Paris for a holiday and while securing our love lock to a Paris bridge alongside thousands of others, he pulled a diamond ring from his pocket, dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him. Somewhat shocked and more than a little embarrassed by the public display, I urged him to get up and awkwardly mumbled “ya sure?” in answer to the question. “Ya sure” has since become a loaded phrase for us. “Do you feel like going out for dinner?” “Ya sure.”

That fall Steve moved into my house in a nearby city and we began the process of merging and purging (we had 16 frying pans between us.)

Last summer we had a beautiful backyard wedding with 50 of our closest friends and family members. It was a magical day. Everyone danced, even the old folks in their 80s. Steve was 62, retired and a widower when I met him. I was 56 and divorced. We are deliriously happy in our new life together. Our story proves it’s never too late to find true love.

Congratulations to Steve and Diane who found an other chance at love.

Do you have an online dating story to share?

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Are you an Internet dating success couple? Send us your story and you might get featured in our Cyber Love Story series.

Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. Julie was an early adopter of Internet dating and has been helping singles find love online for 20 years with her Irresistible Profiles and Online Dating BootCamp programs.

Follow @JulieSpira for dating advice and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt.

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