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Cyber Love Story – Robyn and Richard

0320 Robyn Richard L BEST POSE SHOT 10241 150x150Meet Robyn and Richard who met on Match.com. Their cyber love story is an inspiration to all that if you stick with the online dating process, you can eventually find the love of your life.

Robyn’s Cyber Love Story:

I was divorced and living in Los Angeles for nine years and dating in LA wasn’t easy. I was dating on and off for a few years online. I really wasn’t sure that I was going to meet someone. Like many, I got frustrated with the process, but I had met a woman in Los Angeles who went on 300 online dates!  On date 300 she met ‘the one’ and they’ve been together for ten years. That gave me a lot of hope, but still the thought of 300 dates terrified me.

What really kept me going is a man I met on match and dated briefly. Although we didn’t go the distance we became the best of friends. Within a year, he met his life partner on Match. That gave me even more hope.

So I joined Match in January and had been searching within 12 miles of where I lived. I know that’s not very far, but with the traffic in Los Angeles, it seemed realistic to me. When my male friend, whose girlfriend lived in the Valley suggested that I expand my search to a town in the Valley called Woodland Hills, (I live near the beach), I found the zip code and typed it into the search to view men I would have never considered before. I didn’t even know where that town was.

Then I saw Richard’s photo and profile in July. I was brave and decided to write to him first. Ladies listen up. Guys really like it when you write to them. I sent a simple email, which said, “Hey I read your profile. Sounds like we might have a few things in common. Check out my profile and let me know what you think.”

He emailed me back right away. We set up a phone date for the next day and it went to voicemail.

We met three days later and I remember getting out of the car and taking a deep breath and saying to myself,  ‘Ok. Here we go. I hope he looks remotely like his picture.”

Richard was waiting for me in the restaurant wearing a suit and a tie. He looked rather dashing. I thought, hmm. I might have just met my future husband, and it turned out that it did!

I never thought someone of this guy’s caliber would be waiting for me at the end of the journey. I cannot even say how lucky I feel! If someone had invented the perfect someone for me, Richard would be it.

Richard’s Cyber Love Story:

I had been a member of Match for about four years and dated lots of people. Most were the typical one-and-done dates.

I saw Robyn’s profile in my daily matches and read her bio. I was attracted to her, but I was intimidated by her experience as a newscaster and reporter. She had been living in New York and had traveled around the world. She appeared to be sophisticated and I thought I wouldn’t live up to her expectations, so I didn’t write to her.

I was very thrilled when I received her email. In our first conversation, we had a lot to say to each other. I felt very comfortable with her when we met for a drink. She looked like her photos and like every guy, I was happy about that. We spent four hours talking and I knew I wanted to ask her out again. From our second date, we became exclusive and I actually knew after about 3-4 months of dating that I wanted to marry her.

We talked about marriage and our future, but Robyn had it in her head that a couple needed to be together for a year or two, so she said she’d think about it.

We moved in together and got a new apartment after 9 months of dating and then on our one-year anniversary of our first date, we were married on the beach in Malibu and are set for a Europe honeymoon.

Congratulations to Robyn and Richard who prove that you can find love online.

Do you have an online dating story to share? Send us your story and you might get featured in our Cyber Love Story series.

Do you have an online dating story to share?

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Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter for dating advice.

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of online dating and is the founder of CyberDatingExpert.com.  Julie creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. Sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter and share your story at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.

Online Dating: Should I Ask a Woman Her True Age

onlinedatingage 300x225Dear Julie,

I have an online dating question and would love your opinion on this recent emailed dating exchange of mine, on OK Cupid…

Me: How old are you really? icon smile (Does anyone here tell the truth about his/her age? I mean, besides me.)

Her: How old am I really? I won’t read into this, I’ll just go with it: I’m really not whatever it was I said I was, ha! My photos are recent; age is not something by which I live my life; and I often get mistaken for my daughters’ sister when we’re out together. I don’t look 26 but I don’t look or live like I’m the 50-something I copped to in my profile.

(How’s that for evading the answer? icon smile Her profile says she’s 51, but she obviously is not comfortable revealing her exact age to me. Should I drop it or press it? Is it too sensitive a topic to expect the truth, even if I myself am truthful? I’ve met women before who’ve revealed they’re as much as 15 years older than the ages they’ve indicated on their dating profiles. And I’m not comfortable or sufficiently evolved enough to date someone who’s 66, even if she is mistaken for her daughter. Thoughts?)

Here’s my take on his dating dilemma.

Women are often very sensitive and about their age and will lie about their age to fit into a search on their Internet dating profiles. Call it a double-standard, but they expect the man to be honest about his age.

Most women won’t even engage in conversation when questioned and will evade the subject. They’ll get offended if you ask what her age is, so I’d say it’s an off-limits subject early on.

When a man used to ask me about my age, I would smile and be coy and say, “It’s not polite to ask a lady her age.”  This practice goes back to early etiquette days,  long before online dating became part of everyday life for singles. Even my grandmother wouldn’t reveal her true age when asked.

Know that physical attraction and chemistry are important. Either a guy will be attracted to someone’s actual photos or to the woman when he meets her in person, or he won’t. I say you should never judge someone by their age and respect her desire to be private about her age until she is comfortable in sharing it. Many women past the age of 40 believe they need to lie about their age to attract a man. They realize that men are interested in dating younger, at least while searching online.

I think your potential date was being polite and sweet by saying, “I’ll just go with it.” If her photos are recent it should be enough. She obviously wants to continue to communicate with you and tried to set a boundary where it comes to age.

Think about how disappointed you would be if you were really attracted to someone, thought you both had a lot in common, had a friendly banter via email, and a phone call or two. It looked promising until…. you asked her if her age was accurate. She gets upset, cancels the date and you never meet.

Often if you meet someone out at a party or gathering and strike up a conversation, you won’t ask her what her age is, because it doesn’t matter. I’m not promoting lying whatsoever, as I encourage everyone to be honest about their age. If they fudge, I recommend they post something in their profile or at least tell someone on the first date the truth.

My best advice is to drop the age question. You don’t know that she’s 66 and you don’t know that she’s 55.  You just know that you might be interested in her and are curious about her real age. If you meet and connect, eventually she’ll tell you the truth about her age. If you’re smitten with her, you won’t mind if it’s 5 years more than you had originally thought. Give her a chance and if you think she’s pretty, let her know. Women love to be flattered and don’t like to feel like their being interviewed or in a deposition.

Julie

Do you have a dating and relationship question for Julie Spira? Submit your questions here:

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of the Internet and creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter and like at on Facebook.

Photo credit: Fotolia

Online Dating – 7 Ways to Fill Your Date Card

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If you’re busy sending emails to potential dates online and are frustrated with the lack of response, our friends at online dating site Zoosk have come up with some simple suggestions on how to move the process along in their “7-Step Guide to Landing a Date.”

Here’s a recap, along with a cool infographic to help ramp up your Internet dating life so you can meet that special someone offline.

1. Add a date activity to show someone you really do want to go on a date.

In a recent survey of 3000 of their members, Zoosk found that mentioning movies as a favorite activity in you profile and even suggesting a movie date increases your response rate to your email messages by 91%. Yes that’s a big number and one worth viewing film trailers for. Other keywords included the beach (59%) and a park (39%).

2. Send emails in the morning if you’re a man; in the evening if you’re a woman.

Guys will increase their chances of a response by 10% if they send emails between 9am and 10am, while the best time for women to send email messages is between 10pm and 11pm. So ladies, send that flirty email and go to sleep with a smile on your face and avoid sending an email from 2pm – 3pm.

3. Respond within 24 hours.

As for when you should respond to an email, 94% of those surveyed said within 24 hours. I have to agree with this one. Remember when someone is emailing you, they’re sending emails to many others at the same time. Often the squeaky wheel gets the love deal, so playing too hard to get will likely backfire.

4. Focus on what makes you unique.

If you want to stand out in a crowded digital playground, talk about your date’s hair, their gorgeous eyes, fun or geeky glasses, and even their tattoo. Remember to be fun and flirty. Stay away from the sexual comments, which received a digital thumbs down from Zooskers.

One of the biggest challenges I see singles struggling with is what to write in their first email. First impressions do really matter and your email should be more than, “hey.” Here are a few interesting tidbits.

5. Character count matters.

Guys didn’t seem to care how long the first message was from a woman, but 40% of the women did indeed want to see a message that was longer than a full-length tweet of 140 characters.

6. Expect to send 5 emails.

Finally, how long will it take to get to the first date? About half of the singles polled said they send 5 email exchanges before putting his or her name on their date card.

7. Schedule your first date.

If you follow this plan, you should be filling up your date card and taking your relationship offline.

Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam. xo

Are you using any of these tips while looking for love online?

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of online dating and creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt Newsletter

7 step guide to landing a date

Match Experts Talk about 1st Date Dos and Don’ts

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It was an honor and joy to be invited to Match.com’s headquarters in Dallas with the top relationship experts in the country.

After a full day of meeting with their executives, we finished the day with an interview on our top dating tips for a first great date.

From what to wear to where to go, we hope you enjoy our video below.

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Questions we answered included:

1. First date: Coffee Drinks or Dinner?

2. Should you dress up or down?

3. Is it a group date or a real date?

4. Do you leave early if there are no sparks on a date?

5. Who pays for the first date?

6. Mamas boys: runs or cuddle?

7. One question you should always ask on a first date?

Enjoy our video and post your comments as well.

What are your first date tips and deal breakers?

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of the Internet and creates Irresistible Online Dating Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

Online Dating: 5 Signs You Are Talking to a Great Guy

This week, we’re excited to share a post for women daters from our guest blogger, Joshua Pompey.

Finding a quality man on the Internet isn’t always easy.  Sure, they’re out there in large quantities, but trying to distinguish between the good ones and bad ones can be daunting.  One false move and you could wind up on a date with yet another serial dater.

I’m here to tell you not to worry.  Know that finding a quality man online isn’t as tough as you might think.

Let’s take a look at the five signs you are talking to a great guy online.

1.  His photo gallery tells the right visual story. Some men will write profiles and emails that seem to good to be true.  These men are interesting, charming, and fun to talk to, but do his photos match the image he’s portraying, or are they filled with four similar pictures by himself in his room? Men with a lot to offer usually have a vast amount of life experiences and will show them off in many ways throughout their photo gallery. The more pictures you see of a man with friends, co-workers, family members, and on random adventures, the more likely this man is someone interesting and worth pursuing.

2.  His first email is unique, fun, and engaging. 

You may be attracted to his photos and you may even like this unique profile. However it appears that he copied and pasted the same message to twenty other women that day. Spammed emails are a huge sign that you are dealing with a potential serial dater, a man who is just not that interesting, or is just lazy. If his email is personalized, he just might be a great guy.

3His profile is positive. 

A man worth engaging with online is a man who is happy with his life.  Any profile that is filled with negativity or qualities of what a man doesn’t want in a woman, is a red flag that the man might be jaded, not all that happy, or a negative person in general.  If you avoid the negative profiles, you’ll find someone who appears to be happy with his life.

4He won’t say,“I’ll tell you later” in his profile. Any man that takes online dating seriously is going to put a lot of effort into the creation of his profile and fill it out completely.  This is because he will actually want to find someone to be in a serious relationship with.  A man with a half-blank profile may be sending a message that he has something to hide.

5.  He doesn’t log on all day long.
Do you want to know why some men log in every five seconds?  Because they are talking to tons of women online. Chances are he might be a serial dater. Quality men don’t have time to log on dating sites all day long. They’re busy with work or their active lives.

What quality traits do you find in a man while looking for love online?

Joshua Pompey has been helping online daters to succeed through his products and services at a success rate of over 99% since 2009. For more information visit http://jpompey.com/ladies/online-dating-advice/ for free dating advice.

Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the Cyber-Dating Expert Weekly Flirt newsletter.

Online Dating Safety Tips from an Expert

datingsafety 240x300Online dating safety is something that everyone needs to be concerned with. At Cyber-Dating Expert, we take safety seriously and are always sharing ways for you to feel safe and enjoy the Internet dating experience.

In Louisiana, three stories occurred this month involving people who met online dating, social networking sites that resulting in hijacking and other crimes such as a robbery in a car.

In one case, a man went to his car to meet a potential date, and instead of finding the woman, ten men were there, which resulted in a carjacking.

I spent the morning on the radio on WWL AM/FM in New Orleans to provide dating safety tips to help prevent such occurrences.

While these occurrences are rare, it’s still important to point out the following, whether dating online or offline.

1. Meet in a public place and don’t pick up your date.

2. Don’t give out your last name or information where you work

3. Let a friend know where you are meeting and call in or text to let them know you’re fine

4. Don’t suggest a late night date

5. Never go back to someone’s home on a first date

6. Avoid drinking a lot of alcohol, which will impair your judgment

7. Carry pepper spray on your key chain for when you’re walking to your car at night

8. Conduct a Google search for your date’s name, phone number, and email addresss

9. View your date’s profile photos in a Google reverse image search by uploading it to Google.com/images

10. Do a background or people search for your date on sites such as Radaris or Spokeo

11. Set up a free Google voice account with a number exclusively for dating

12. If you’re uncomfortable for any reason, leave

13. If your date makes you feel unsafe online or offline, report their profile to the dating site

14. Take your time getting to know someone on the phone and through emails before meeting

15. Trust your intuition

Realize that while maybe 10% of your dates might not be truthful or may have ulterior motives, about 90% of the dates are truly great people looking to connect. There are millions of singles finding love online. Keep these safety tips in mind as you schedule your dates, but still enjoy the time getting to know someone.

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.

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