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Valentine’s Survival Guide

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This Valentine’s Day falls on a long holiday weekend and comes complete with a full moon, so if you’re thinking about leaning in for that first kiss, don’t be shy. A full moon can bring out the romance just about any time of the year.

We’re back with our Valentine’s Survival guide, complete with social media etiquette, fun date ideas, and are proud to share out latest interview in the New York Times about Tinder and mobile dating apps to ramp up your search to find that perfect Valentine.

Read: Led by Tinder, the Mobile Dating Game Surges in the New York Times

With out further digital ado, here are some of our articles and dating tips to bring the love back in your life, or at least make sure that you’re not hiding under the covers on a holiday weekend.

 

Fotolia 48108645 XSTen Fun Valentine’s Date Ideas

From riding the Ferris Wheel to a scavenger hunt, find out why in-room-dining at home can be one of the most romantic ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day, regardless of your relationship status.

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Would You Text an Ex on Valentine’s Day? 20% Said Yes!

Being single on Valentine’s isn’t the end of the world. Sure you go into stores and see nothing but boxes of red candy and roses throughout the grocery stores, but a new survey from U.K. online dating site Smooch.com shows that only 10% of the 2000 singles polled actually love Valentine’s Day. Are the other 90% pretending to go along with the program?

Social Media Rules for a Happy Valentine’s Day

From Twitter to Facebook, Pinterest to Instagram, find out what to post, or not to post on your favorite social networks.

DON’T: Tag your new boyfriend on Facebook. Chances are he hasn’t told his buddies and work pals about his Valentine’s plans.

DO: Post a photo if you’ve received flowers, a fun gift, or of the dessert at dinner. Everyone loves to view the photos and will cheer you on with ‘likes.’

DON’T: Post your Happy Valentine’s message on your date’s wall. Saying you can’t wait until the evening together should remain private. Remember, a simple post may be innocent. However your friends might wonder what kind of wild night the two of you will be having. Or worse yet, his ex-girlfriend might start posting inappropriate comments to ruin your evening.

DO: Send a digital gift, such as his or her favorite band on iTunes, an e-card, or a redeemable gift card to a store or restaurant.

DON’T: Send a musical montage of ‘I Love You’ songs if you haven’t said those three little words yet.

DO: Ask for permission before you post anything online. Remember you’re creating a permanent digital footprint and your status and photos can be shared, even by people you don’t know.

DON’T: Overshare. Remember, many of your friends are single and may not be enjoying the day.

DO: Make an exciting announcement. If you become engaged on Valentine’s Day, your friends will want to know.

DON’T: Change your Facebook relationship status to ‘In a Relationship’ until both of you have had the talk and agree to be on the same digital page.

Do you have any social media rules for Valentine’s Day?

Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam this Valentine’s.

Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and join us for #DateChat on Thursdays at 5pm/PT on Twitter.

 

Why Mobile Dating Apps and Tinder are Hot

Fotolia 51346773 XSThis Valentine’s Day, the media is all a buzz about rise in popularity of mobile dating apps.

Recently at the iDate Conference, I presented Tinder with the award of Best Mobile Dating App of 2015.

This award was well-deserved, considering two years ago, Tinder wasn’t a household word like Match and eHarmony has been for years for online daters.

In an interview with The New York Times, I told reporter Molly Wood  that the increase in smartphone usage directly relates to the increase in dating app usage.

“People are dating on the fly, they’re dating in real time, they’re hooking up or meeting for dates, they’re doing both. Same day, same hour.”

Read: Lead by Tinder, a Surge in Mobile Dating Apps in the New York Times

So how did a perceived hook-up app become the hottest trend for singles looking for love online?

1. They penetrated the college marketplace.

These early adopters paved the way for others to jump on the bandwagon. In time, the demographics started to rise and millions of users were playing the Tinder game.

2. They made it easy to create a profile.

With no long questions to answer and no profile approval process, all one has to is download the app, connect to Facebook where it pulls your age and photos on Facebook, and add a short bio if you desire, however many ignore filling out the profile.

3. Set your preferences for distance and age parameters

Since Tinder is location-based, once you log on, it searches for potential matches close by. If you travel out of town, you’ll receive a whole new set of matches to make sure you’re not lonely at night.

4. Let the swiping and matching begin

Quite simply, you swipe right if you’re attracted to someone and swipe left if you’re not. If both of you swipe right, then you’re notified that you’re a match and can start communicating in their private chat feature.

Online dating and mobile dating are a numbers game. The more often you swipe, the more often you’ll have the opportunity to be matched.

5. State Your Intentions

We are living in a world of swiping left and right and the habit has become the norm for other popular mobile dating apps. In order to be successful on Tinder, you must start swiping and become proactive about communicating with your matches. If you’re looking to find a relationship instead of a casual fling, you must fill out the information bio page and clearly state your dating intentions. Women find it refreshing when a man says, “Not looking for FWB or a hookup.”

At the iDate conference, it was pointed out by Mark Brooks from Courtland Brooks that only 8% of women were swiping right while viewing profiles of men. Men on the other hand were swiping right as often as possible, with the hopes that they can be matched.

Tinder reports over 1 billion swipes a day and matches over 12 million people a day. But are they actually meeting IRL?

An interesting trend that we are noticing is that a lot of men are posting their age on Tinder as 100 years old. The trend of not honestly stating your age in online dating has been around for years, but to become a centurion on Tinder means you’ll have to change your age on your Facebook profile. There’s no way to change your age on Tinder. Facebook makes it difficult to change your age and discourages this process by limiting the amount of times you can do so. Still, I encourage truth-in-advertising.

Related: How to Change Your Age on Tinder

As I told The New York Times, people who are using Tinder are also using other dating sites, sometimes paying for memberships. Having easy access to lots of different dates actually increases your odds of eventually finding a match. It’s making dates happen a lot more quickly and the more dates you go on, the better daters you become. Let mobile dating apps become your new best friend.

Are you swiping right on multiple mobile dating apps?

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of online dating and mobile dating. Julie’s the founder of CyberDatingExpert.com, where they create Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene and host of #DateChat on Twitter on Thursdays at 5pm/PT. Follow @JulieSpira for dating advice and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

Photo credit: Fotolia

Peril of the Week – The Concert Date

PerilConcert 300x147Sometimes it’s great to be impulsive and go on a last minute date, but in the case of this female dater, she would have been better off if she had gone with a friend or knew her date better before their first concert date.

Wondering what happened? Read the latest entry to the Peril of the Week and find out why this date went south.

This past week, I had an amazing opportunity to see one of the world’s most iconic musicians, Stevie Wonder in concert. But I needed someone to go with. On a whim, I mentioned this to someone I was chatting with on OK Cupid.  He jumped at the chance to go.

I did have hesitations on whether or not to go to a concert on a first date but given the superstar playing, I simply assumed there would be enough going on to make even the most awkward date, ok.

I was wrong.

After arriving an hour late, my date suggested I drive to the venue, and could we stop for beers in advance.  While I don’t drink, I do understand the importance of the pre-party so I obliged.

Unfortunately, my date decided this would be a great time to down several 20 oz. beers, and this was all before he pulled out the 5th of generic whiskey to wash it down.  At this point, he shared with me that he had just started drinking again this year and we hadn’t even gone into the concert yet.

Once inside the venue, my date was determined to get us backstage.

If you know me, you know how much I love this. All you have to do is figure out where the easiest way is to get on the floor and head that way.  Right?

No. Not for my date. Perhaps it was the alcohol at this point, but let’s just label this endeavor a mistake.

We did find better seats though, maybe not the floor, but certainly better than our last row tickets.  But this was not enough for my date and the mood was set for the concert and the mood was not fun.

Imagine being seated next to someone exceptionally hyper, very buzzed and wanting more than what we have.  It was not fun…so not fun that half way through the show, I suggested we leave.

I still can’t believe that a 47-year old man chugged three 20 oz. beers and then pulled out a flask of Old Grandad before walking into a concert for a first date.

Do you have a story for the Peril of the Week?

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Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and founder of Cyber-Dating Expert. She was an early adopter of the Internet and online dating. Julie and her team create Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, sign up for the FREE Weekly Flirt newsletter, and like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert

Photo credit: Fotolia

The Buzz About Catfishing

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What’s all the buzz about ‘Catfishing?’

Ever since the MTV show came out, singles and couples are glued to the television to find out the dirt on who’s being ‘Catfished.’

From women pretending to be men and vice versa, people are falling in love online, but are they really?
In reality, many are just digital pen-pals.

To learn more, listen to the morning show on WDBR in Springfield, where Julie Spira was a recent guest with Dylan, Julie & Co.

 

Related: Video: Is Your Date a Catfish?

From dating safety to how to find a date for Valentine’s Day, you won’t want to miss this audio recording.

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

Related: Online Dating and Catfishing – Safety First

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of the Internet and online dating. Julie and her team create Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene.

Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the FREE Weekly Flirt newsletter.

 

Join Me at iDate in Las Vegas

Come one, come all to the Internet Dating Conference, the largest conference about online dating!

The 40th iDate Conference will be held at the Tropicana Hotel on January 20-22, 2015 and I’ll be on hand on three panels and will be presenting the Best Mobile Dating App at the iDate Awards on the evening of January 21st.

Here’s the rundown of events for Online Dating Expert Julie Spira

  • Wednesday, January 21: CNN Panel: Focus on Content Marketing and Industry Trends – 3:30pm Cohiba 6 & 7
  • Wednesday, January 21: iDate Awards – 7pm, Tropicana, Cohiba Ballroom 1
  • Thursday, January 22: Essence Panel – How Date Experts on How to Use PR and Build Their Brand – 1:30pm
  • Thursday, January 22: Final Debate: 4pm

For a $50 discount and to purchase tickets and register for iDate, click here.

View our video below for details on the panels.

I’ll see you in Las Vegas!

Follow @JulieSpira for online dating advice.

Online Dating: January is the Busiest Time of the Year

heart2015 300x144It’s here! The first Sunday of the New Year, which brings more activity to online dating sites than any other day of the year. (Read below for some interesting statistics).

From New Year’s resolutions including joining a gym, to joining an online dating site to find love in 2015 tops the list for many singles. Are you ready to join the world’s largest digital dating party?

Think about it. Some relationships ran their course and couples broke up before the holidays. Others hung in there until New Year’s and realized they were in a relationship that wouldn’t go the distance. Some singles made the decision after having another holiday alone that they’d make a better effort to find their soul mate.

While Sunday is known to be a busy day for logins on Internet dating sites, the first Sunday of the year is the busiest day for new members to take action with their love lives.

  • According to PlentyofFish, 5pm, EST will break all the records with the most number of singles online at one time on the first Sunday of the year.
  • POF adds that singles that sign up in January are 15% more likely to meet a significant other and that it will take single men approximately 10 weeks to meet a significant other and it will take single women approximately 8 weeks to couple up.
  • The folks at Match.com agree that January 4th is the busiest day of the year for their site. Match reports a 38% increase in membership from December 26th through February 14th.

So whether you’re swiping right on Tinder or your mobile app or logging on to see your daily matches and who has viewed your profile, one thing is for sure. If you’re single and want to connect, you must have a digital dating strategy to help you stand out in the crowded playground.

Here are five tips for online dating in the New Year

  1. Change your Photos. I’m a big believer that a picture tells 1000 words. If you have the budget to hire a photographer, have him or her take photos of you in your natural environment. It’s an expense that might help you find your dream date.
  2. Create a New Catchy Screen Name. If you’re on a site which allows you to have a screen name or user name other than your first name, come up with something unique that describes your personality. Using your name and zip code isn’t very original or catchy. Some great names include anything athletic such as LovestoSki or YogaLover to anything artistic such as MusicLover or Drummer4U.
  3. Ask questions! Writing an online dating profile can be as bland as writing your resume while you’re job hunting. The difference is, you need to create an opportunity to open a dialog with your potential date. Describe things that you’d like to do together with someone as a couple and ask a question such as, I enjoy hiking in the Santa Monica Canyon. Have you ever been?
  4. Be proactive. They say the squeaky wheel gets the deal in business, but what about online? Too many women are afraid to contact a man because they think they will appear needy or desperate. I say, toss out those old rules. Men are flattered when they receive an email from a woman, so don’t wait, initiate.
  5. Be engaged. Whether you’re looking for a ring on your finger or just a date for Friday night, the more active that you are online, the more likely your profile will be raised to the top. Many sites give you tools to search for dates, opportunities to “like” photos, and send you emails with potential matches. The more you use these tools, the greater chance you have to fill up your date card.

If you need some help, our signature Irresistible Profiles and personalized dating coaching programs just might be exactly what you’re looking for in the New Year. We’ve helped singles around the world find love and look forward to helping you while looking for love online.

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

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of Internet dating, having created her first profiles over 20 years ago. For more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

Cyber Monday – Free Irresistible Dating Profile Critique

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Welcome to our Cyber Monday special at Cyber-Dating Expert.

This year, we’re making Cyber Monday so irresistible, that we’re providing 15 Magic Minutes of critiquing your dating profile, LIVE for FREE!.

That’s right. There’s no road rage, trampling on people in parking lots or getting out your credit card. We know the holidays are tough, so on Monday, December 1st and Tuesday, December 2nd, sign up for our 15 Magic Minutes and schedule your free session to review your profile.

If you’re new to online dating, take that time to talk about your dating dilemmas for free. If you need some extra hand holding, we’re offering 25% off our popular Internet dating packages including The Flirt, Going Steady, and Totally in Love.

To schedule your free session via phone or Skype, sign up below. This is limited to those who sign up on December 1st and 2nd, 2014 and sessions will take place during the month of December, 2014. Offer available to new clients only.

Thank you for signing up for our Cyber Monday special offer of a FREE online dating profile critique! We offer this irresistible special only once a year, so hurry before this offer expires on December 2, 2014 at midnight!

To schedule us, please fill out the contact form below. We’re also offering 25% off our Irresistible Coaching programs.

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What are you waiting for? Sometimes the best things in life are free.

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

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

Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter

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

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