At least half of the singles in the United States are dating online.
On Fox News in Los Angeles, I spoke with Christine DeVine on how to find love online safely, this Valentine’s Day.
1. Make sure your photos are accurate, ditch the prom shots.
2. Practice truth-in-advertising, be honest about your age.
3. Be careful of romance scams and research your dates.
4. Do a search of their email address and names to see who your date really is
5. Meet someone in a public place and let a friend know who you are meeting and where you’re meeting.
6. Text your buddy from your date to let them know you’re safe.
7. Avoid late night dates, could be a booty call or a hookup.
8. Don’t give up hope, there are 40 million singles online, you just might find your one in 40 million.
Julie Spira is America’s Top online dating expert and Digital Matchmaker. She 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.
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?
Do you find this a bit shocking? According to Smooch, Valentine’s is a time for singles to feel even more single.
Smooch.com Marketing Manager, Lucy Clarke, said of the findings;
“Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate dating, whether you?re single or in a relationship. But with Valentine?s Day campaigns aimed at couples everywhere you turn at this time of year, it’s hardly surprising that the day makes singletons feel even more single.”
Their findings even included that 16% of singles actually lied about receiving a Valentine and 63% wish they did have a date on Valentine’s Day.
So let’s get to the subject of texting. It’s rare on any holiday to NOT hear from an ex. Whether it’s Thanksgiving, New Year’s, Christmas, or Valentine’s, some singles can’t help but reach for the phone to connect with an ex. It’s a non-threatening way of sending a little digital love.
How should you say “Happy Valentine’s Day” to an ex via text? Are you concerned that sending a text doesn’t mean you’re looking to rekindle a spark or end up in bed? Not necessarily. Often singles have fond memories of spending Valentine’s with someone from their past. Perhaps that romantic trip you took 5 years ago is still on his or her minds.
Although Smooch discourages singles from texting an ex, I disagree. Valentine’s can be a warm and fuzzy day or a day that can be filled with disappointments from the unrealistic expectations. I’m all for texting an ex, as long as it’s not to rekindle the spark within a few hours. Keep it friendly. Say, “Happy Valentine’s Day….Thinking of you and hope you’re doing great.”
The best times to send a text to an ex is in the morning. Keep it simple and friendly. Don’t ask your ex if he or she has a Valentine or is in a relationship. You broke up for a reason. If you do receive a text from an ex, don’t read more into it than just a simple friendly exchange. If you’re in a relationship, hold back from texting an ex. If your current sweetheart happens to see your text exchange on your phone on the most romantic day of the year, you might end up getting the cold shoulder or be sleeping alone that night.
Would you text an ex on Valentine’s Day? Your comments are welcome.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and celebrity dating coach. She’s the founder of CyberDatingExpert.com and author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating. Julie 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.
One of the most popular questions I receive as an online dating expert is how to have the best online dating profile to find a date in time for Valentine’s or a milestone birthday. Match now reports that online dating is the #1 way for singles to find a date, with 31% of singles finding love online.
Since Internet dating is available 24-hours a day, it’s time to grab your mobile phone and give your Internet dating profile a simple digital facelift.
Here are 8 tips to help your profile stand out.
1. Create a catchy screen name. Some sites just provide you with a number or variation of a screen name if your chosen name isn’t selected. Using your first name and a handful of digits isn’t catchy. Try to find a name that is unique to you and describes your personality. An example would be MusicLoverNYC if you live in New York and love music. Others would be YogaGirlLA or NurseLori.
2. Leave the novel at home. The best profiles are short and will pique the interest of a potential date. I always recommend 100-125 words in your essay. If it’s shorter, it shows that you’re not taking online dating seriously. If it’s too long, there will be nothing left to talk about on the date. Plus, men don’t like to read long-winded profiles. It seems overwhelming and leaves the perception that you could be a high drama person.
3. Post 3-5 photos. Both men and women are visual. Every profile must have 3-5 photos in it, with the primary photo being a close-up shot with a smile. I always recommend that a woman wear red in her profile, as men see too many little black dresses, so you won’t blend into the thousands of thumbnail shots. Red is also the color of love and passion. Statistics show that women wearing red do receive more views and emails. Remember to include a full-length body shot, so it doesn’t appear that you’re hiding anything and don’t wear sunglasses in your photos.
4. Ditch the selfies. Although the word ‘Selfie’ made it into the Oxford dictionary, a selfie isn’t the most flattering photo, so keep it off of your profile. Remember, this is your love life resume and if you’re hoping to attract the man of your dreams, make sure you look like his dream girl.
5. Ask a question. The goal of online dating is to make your profile come alive and be approachable. If you ask a question in your profile, it makes it easier for your potential date to engage in a conversation with you. After all, you’re trying to develop a rapport with someone, not just be a stagnant billboard.
6. It’s not All About You. A man would like to imagine what a life with you could be like, so make it easier for him to know. Talk about what date night with you would be like and say, on a weekend, it would be great to go hiking with you on a Saturday morning and maybe take in a film matinee in the afternoon. When you talk about your life’s passions, end the sentence with, “what about you?” If you name some of your favorite travel spots, include a question to ask him where his dream trip would be.
7. Be specific. Profiles that are more specific help start the conversation. From a man’s point of view, profiles all look about the same. So say you like to travel, and list some of your favorite travel spots. Talk about how you like music and how the Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of your favorite bands and that you enjoyed watching them in the Super Bowl half time show.
8. Dump the cliches. Men know that women love going on beach walks, but if your profile says I like beach walks, sunset dinners, and love to laugh, your online dating profile is filled with cliches. Leave those conversations for your first few dates and laugh when you’re together, not on your profile.
At the end of the digital day, online dating is a numbers game. You need to play to win.
Here’s more information on how you can get an Irresistible Online Dating Profile.
Photo credit: JiSIGN – Fotolia.com
Dear Cyber Dating Expert,
I desperately need some online dating advice. I met a guy on OkCupid last week and we had the perfect date. The next day he reached out to hang out again and even introduced me to his engaged friends and we went on a double-date. That night we ended up sleeping together and I thought everything was going so well.
We continued to talk and he remained sweet and attentive. We made plans to meet up a few days later and I went to his place and we watched a movie. Again, he was very affectionate, held my hand, kissed me on the head/check, etc.
What threw me was when I saw his cell phone light up with text messages from random numbers he hadn’t saved to his phone. Immediately I knew these were probably other girls he was communicating with from OKC. My heart sank. I thought everything was great until I saw those texts! He seems SO into me, but now I feel like I have something to prove and other girls to beat out. I just don’t want to get involved and get my heart broken, but I like him and don’t want to lose out on getting to know him better.
Do I play it cool, let him take the reins for now? Or should I be proactive & initiate more dates with the chance of coming off aggressive/desperate?
Thanks for your email.
I understand why you’d be upset about seeing text messages you believe were from other women that your new guy might be chatting with.
Because you both met on an online dating site, unless you’ve had the conversation about being exclusive, assume that you’re not. After all, you were only dating for one week when you noticed these anonymous texts.
Sleeping together while you both have active online dating profiles isn’t something that I recommend, unless you don’t mind if he’s seeing other people.
Once a woman sleeps with a man, the hormones kick in and women get very attached and bonded, even if the guy isn’t really good for you. When the sex is good, it’s natural to hope and think that he won’t want to be with anyone else. Maybe he’s ignoring those text messages, after all you’ve only known him for a short while.
My advice is to keep it cool and date him if he asks you out on a proper date, but don’t sleep with him again. Sure you can hug, kiss, fool around, etc. Please don’t make a big deal out of the text messages, as men don’t like a high-drama, clingy or possessive woman in their lives. Just show him that you’re the confident great woman that you are. If he calls, return his calls. If he texts, return his texts. If he asks you out and you’re free, go out on a date with him, but let him know that you like him, but realize that you aren’t into casual sex if it comes up. Let him know how much you’re enjoying getting to know him. I know it’s hard to go backwards, but it’s worse to sleep with him and then wonder if he’s logging on to find someone to sleep with the next night. That’s the risk with online dating. If he tells you it’s not acceptable, then he doesn’t really want you as his girlfriend. He might just be looking for a booty call or friends with benefits relationship. Throwing yourself at him won’t help. It will kill the chances to have a relationship with this guy. Being great in the bedroom doesn’t mean he won’t look elsewhere. Being the confident girl he can’t be without will make him want you to be his girl. Let him take the lead and initiate dates with you.
If he really wants to make you his girlfriend, he’ll take down his profile and do whatever it takes. At this point, you haven’t set your boundaries so he doesn’t think it’s a requirement. Don’t be in competition with other women. Just be yourself and feel great about who you are. Please don’t get possessive or start to interrogate him about his text messages or cell phone. Insecurity will kill a relationship. Since he didn’t put those phone numbers in his phone to save them, nor is he hiding his phone, they probably don’t mean much to him anyway. Still, I know it hurts.
I hope this helps and please do keep me posted.
Our friends at JDate and ChristianMingle just released their second annual State of Dating in America report, where they surveyed over 2,600 U.S. singles between the ages of 18 and 59 to find out how they felt about dating in the digital age.
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it’s not a surprise that the stigma of online dating is continuing to dissipate. The report showed that 85% now believe Internet dating is socially acceptable. The survey looked at the behaviors of the online dating cycle from first contact to moving in together and even marriage.
Let’s start with getting to the first online date. Are all online daters serial daters? While many have said that online dating comes complete with a ‘shopping cart’ mentality, and the large bouquet of singles on dating sites, one would think Internet daters’ date cards would be filled with a different date every day of the week.
According to the survey, while singles are writing to several people at once, in reality, they prefer to date one person at a time. Does this mean online daters are really serial monogamists instead of serial daters?
The question asked in the survey said:
Do you generally contact one person, communicate with them and go on a date OR are you communicating with multiple people during the same time frame?
More than half of the respondents admit they go out with one dater at time, with 63% of women and 53% of men saying they communicate with multiple people, but only go out with one person at a time.
By comparison, only 38% of men and 24% of women contact one person at a time, and the lowest response came from 9% of men and 14% of women who date multiple people at the same time.
Frankly, I’m surprised at these numbers, as it takes time to get to know someone. Going on a few dates with a few people simultaneously should help the process and help you become a better dater, right? Should one put all of their eggs into one digital basket?
Other findings included the Top 3 deal-breakers, with hygiene being at the top of the list for both men (35%) and women (35%). Hint: Take that extra shower and keep a toothbrush and breath mints in your car.
The good news is that the stigma about online dating is continuing to diminish. Two out of three singles in the survey knew people who met as a result of online dating, and an overwhelming 94% of singles believe that online dating expands their dating pool with 86% saying it speeds up their search as compared to being set up by friends.
Think about it. Online dating is available 24 hours a day, so the convenience factor is there. Still, finding love online can be like finding a needle in a digital haystack. You need to become the “1 in 40 million.” At the end of the digital day, it?s a numbers game worth playing.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and founder of Cyber-Dating Expert. She creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.
Meet Elizabeth and Michael who found love online on PlentyofFish.
Here’s what Michael has to say about his online dating journey.
For our first date, Elizabeth and I met at a wine bar on a Thursday evening. We had been communicating for a couple of weeks before hand. Mainly by text. We exchanged messages on POF for a day or so and then exchanged phone numbers.
She ordered a white and I a red and we split a plate of various cheeses and cold cuts. We had planned on playing trivia; a weekly thing that bar does, but we skipped it because the conversation was going so well, well enough to warrant a second glass of wine. 8:00 turned into 9:00 which turned into almost 10:00.
There was some lip locking at the bar. We didn’t much care for who was around us. We called it a night and she gave me a ride to my car. It was quite cold that evening. We agreed to get together again on the weekend, which we did on Saturday.
Date number two was fantastic. After getting somewhat lost, I picked her up and we headed for downtown. I had offered to take her ice skating, which I hadn’t done since I was about 11 years old. (I?m 41 now). So we went in circles around the rink, me gripping the rail in one hand and hers in the other. Maybe I was just being sneaky. There were a few falls, but that was okay, it was good for a laugh. After, we had hot cocoa and walked a bit. Then it was off to the airport to look at the stars, which we didn’t really see due to the clouds. I don’t think we would have noticed them even if the night were perfectly clear.
What the date was meant to do was to live out some of the things we had been talking about when we were texting. We spent the rest of the night together.
Fast forward to now. We’ve been seeing each other regularly, about three days a week. I’m writing this email from her living room. We have future plans for time together and things to do.
Congratulations to Elizabeth and Michael who met on POF.com and became Facebook official a little over a month later.
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?
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.
It’s a great honor and joy to let you know that I’ll be a guest on the Marilu Henner show on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 10:08am/PST to talk about my expert online dating tips for the New Year.
Marilu has been an inspiration to millions of women throughout the world and I adore her.
You may remember her from seeing her in over thirty films or six Broadway shows. Perhaps you remember Marilu from? and her hit TV shows, “Taxi” and “Evening Shade.” Marilu is also a New York Times Best Selling author of nine books on health, parenting, memory, and lifestyle improvement.? Her books have changed the lives of millions in her quest to make the world a healthier place.
As we enter a new year filled with many resolutions, if you’re single, finding love is probably on your list.
I’ll be sharing some of my best tips on how to create an Irresistible Profile to attract your dream date and will be letting you know which cliche’s to avoid in your online dating profile. You’ll learn the secrets on how to write an email to capture his or her attention.
I know that Valentine’s Day for women is like the Super Bowl for men. I know that life can be stressful for singles leading up to Valentine’s Day and it’s our goal to help you with the tools you need to speed up your search, avoid the pitfalls of online dating and date safely on the Internet.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.
The first Cyber-Dating Expert Weekly Flirt newsletter of 2014 is reading for your reading pleasure.
Tick, tick, tick…What will you be doing on Sunday night at 8:57pm?
As we embark on a New Year, I know many of you start putting together your lists of resolutions and think about how much better 2014 will be as compared to 2013.
If so, you’re not alone. Maybe you’ll date a different type this year. Perhaps you’ll encourage your children to look at love differently.
The good news is, that this is the number one busiest week for new singles to join online dating sites. As a matter of fact, Match reports that this Sunday is the busiest time of the year for singles looking for love online. Think about it. It’s the first weekend and relaxing day after two weeks of holiday fun and interruptions. Already the phone is ringing with singles hoping to ramp up the search.
Other sites such as JDate and ChristianMingle concur with these findings that show peak season starts on December 26th and lasts through February 14th.
Ready to jump in? Let us know how we can help you find love in 2014 and what relationship challenges you’re facing with our Irresistible Profiles or online dating profile critiques. Ready, set, go!
On January 14-17, 2013, I’ll be heading to Las Vegas for the Internet Dating Conference, where I’ll be presenting the award for the best mobile dating app. If you’ll be attending, do let us know!
Not single? Feel free to share the Weekly Flirt with your friends and loved ones.
~Julie Spira and the Cyber-Dating Expert Romance Team
Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter for online dating advice
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.
It happens to the best of us. You go home for Thanksgiving to see friends and family, only to be questioned about your relationship status.? From “Are you seeing anyone special?” to “How’s your love life?” These are common questions that cause many singles to pull the covers over their heads. Others are being smart about it. They’re logging on for love to find someone to keep them warm during the holidays, or perhaps even attend a holiday party with.
Still, I know how tough it is at the holidays being single. I’ve been there. I’ve watched the posts from others on Facebook who are shared their coupledom with everyone, from kissing under the mistletoe to the eight gifts on Hanukkah, which just magnifies how tough it is being single at the holidays.
Here’s a survival guide to help you through the holidays, online and IRL.
Anxiety over your relationship status during the holidays is common. Add a digital element to it of being connected via email, Facebook, or Twitter and it’s magnified big time. Online Dating Anxiety Disorder (ODAD) is overwhelming. While it isn’t a clinical condition, most singles are now members of more than one dating site. Those who suffer from ODAD know that horrible feeling they get when they push the send button too fast to reply to his or her email and then wait by their computer or mobile phone for the reply to come in. When you have ODAD, you’re a member of so many sites, you can’t remember where you met the date you’re about to have dinner with. Text messages become a part of your dating regime and if the time in between the texts is over four hours, you start to feel anxious and catastrophize.
It can be confusing to hear someone say, “It’s Doug from PlentyOfFish, um, no I mean Match; actually, it was eHarmony right?” This is not how you viewed your first conversation with your soul mate would be, right?
When you suffer from online dating anxiety disorder, you typically log on after a great date to see who else has written to you instead of going to sleep with a smile on your face from a fabulous date. It’s a condition that many suffer from and don’t know how to get out of the downward spiral, other than to unplug and deactivate for a day or two.
If you’ve recently ended a relationship with someone you’ve met online, it’s more likely than not that you’ll be taking a peek at his or her profile to see their online activity. It’s natural to be curious, but it’s a habit that I urge you to break.
It’s also breakup season
Since the famous Facebook breakup chart was released a few years ago, the trend of breaking up during holiday season became a known fact. Digital snooping is also on the rise, especially during the holidays. It brings out the worst in us. At Plenty of Fish, they surveyed over 9000 of their users between the ages of 20 -40 to find out what their holiday dating habits were. POF found that 82% of the women were actually checking the Facebook statuses of guys they were dating to see what they were doing when they weren’t around. Their survey also found that 26% of singles slept with an ex over the holidays, because they just didn’t want to be alone and single.
A few years ago, I wrote a post called, Recycling an Ex at the Holidays about my own personal experience of being invited to my former Match.com boyfriend’s holiday party after having had no contact for six months. While I did attend his company party with him, I made sure there were ground rules put in place; specifically, that we weren’t getting back together and were going as friends.
While recycling an ex over the holidays is common, the feelings after the holiday parties have worn off will leave you in a worse place emotionally than if you put your energies into spending time with friends or trying to cultivate a new relationship.
It’s Peak Season for Online Daters
The good news is that more singles are signing up for dating sites between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. Match reports they see a jump of about 25-30% in new members signing up between Christmas and Valentine’s Day and at Cyber-Dating Expert, it’s the busiest holiday season ever with new singles joining online dating sites and brand new dating profiles being created.
It’s peak season in the Internet dating business, which typically coincides with holiday breakup season. It’s the perfect time to start filling your date card, but how do you coordinate holiday dating without feeling overwhelmed and a bit anxious? My biggest recommendation is to look at online dating and flirting on Facebook as ways to expand your social circle. Think of it as meeting new friends at the holidays and enjoying the company of someone you like, not necessarily someone you?re about to fall in love with.
Online Love is a year-round event
People meet online and fall in love all year long. I know a couple that met online on Christmas Eve on Facebook who are now engaged. I know of another couple that met online on eHarmony on Valentine’s Day who are now happily married. Just yesterday I learned of a couple fell in love at first sight that met on Match. She hadn’t had a serious relationship in over 10 years and now they’re smitten. Yes online dating is a numbers game. You’ll be juggling dates, canceling dates, rescheduling dates, it’s exhausting, but it can be so very rewarding as it has been for millions of others.
Stop Stalking Your Ex
I’m here to tell you that being single on the holidays is fine. We get over it. Stalking an ex online or on Facebook isn’t fine. You’ll feel anxious if you see him or her logging on looking for your replacement. You’ll feel anxious if you don’t see him or her logging on assuming you’ve been replaced. Your heart will fall to the floor when they delete their profile, assuming they’ve ridden off into the sunset with someone else. You’ll be burning up the phone lines if you see a Facebook relationship status change or a photo posted with someone else.
You really don’t know what’s going on in your ex’s mind and it doesn’t matter. All you can control is how you feel about it and what you?d like to do to add more positive people in your life. He or she is an ex for a reason, so please knock them off their pedestal.
Fall in love with you
At the holidays, please take a deep breath; log on to fill your date card if and when it feels good to you, not because you’re feeling lonely. If you need to take a break from dating, that’s fine. There are no rules, other than to fall in love with yourself first. It’s the best place to be to start any new relationship.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace this holiday season, or wherever you may roam.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and was a very early adopter of Internet dating. She?s the CEO of CyberDatingExpert.com, author of 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 online dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.