For those of you who watch the MTV series, ‘Catfish,’ you might be familiar with this scenario.
Imagine if you met your dream guy online or on a social media site. You spend hours and hours a day chatting online and through instant messenger, but you haven’t taken your relationship offline?
Is he or she stalling or is there someone else behind that photo and computer keyboard?
Here are some signs to look out for while dating online.
1. A Catfish is someone who creates a completely different persona online than who they are offline.
2. You may hear his or her voice, but you never have the chance to meet IRL.
3. You believe you’re in a relationship, but you may be in love with the possibilities of a future with him or her.
4. Your date sends photos that look too good to be true; almost too perfect like a stock image photo.
5. You ask your date to set up a video date on SKYPE or Facetime, but they come up with excuses why they can’t.
6. Your date schedules and cancels dates repeatedly with excuses of work, love, or medical problems.
Tips if You Think You’re Dating a Catfish
If you aren’t sure if your date is for real or not, use Google Image search and upload their profile photo to see if their photo appears anywhere else on the Internet.
At the end of the digital day, remember to trust your intuition, take your time and make sure you have the opportunity to meet the person in real life if you really want a relationship.
Are you dating someone online that you haven’t met offline? Share your story here.
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of the Internet and helps singles select the best dating sites, mobile apps, and creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.
There’s good news for daters to make it easier to find love from their mobile phones. Today Match.com released their long-awaited and very user-friendly Match 3.0 for iPhone users. The message is very clear. The success of finding love online is all in the hands of your mobile phone.
What’s New in Match 3.0?
The Match 3.0 mobile differs from their previous mobile app, as it no longer emulates the desktop version of the online dating site. The new app now includes a “Discover” page, where you’ll find two new features, “Stream” and “Mixer. The “Stream” feature allows you to scroll through many profiles with multiple photos of the daters based on location. You’ll see a familiar style as each profile has a cover photo, which reminds you of Facebook. You can easily send a message to the person who captures your eye as you scroll down through a stream of potential matches. There are also multiple places for you to upload photos directly on the app.
The new “Mixer” will look familiar to mobile dating users, as it may remind you of Tinder. Users can view a single profile and now swipe left to take a pass or swipe right to give your potential date the thumbs up to start communicating. The swipe-effect is now becoming a prominent feature for many mobile dating apps.
Match reports that over 55% of their members are using their mobile app to send emails, with 50% of their signups come from mobile. As a result, for the first time, they’re allowing users to sign up on the mobile phone, as compared to using the desktop version. They’ve now prominently displayed their membership fees along with the features for those ready to pull out their credit card to pay.
At the end of the digital day, we’re living in a swiping world when it comes to finding love on your mobile phone.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. She was an early adopter of the Internet and creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. Julie is the host of Mobile Dating BootCamp and Online Dating BootCamp.
This entry for The Peril of the Week comes from Amanda, a 27-year old native New Yorker who’s living with her parents in Long Island.
We’ve talked a lot about men and women who say they’re single, when in fact, their relationship status is, “Separated, divorce pending.” Amanda’s been dating online and thought she met a great guy with “Jerry.” Can you relate?
Read about Amanda’s dating dilemma and feel free to share yours as well.
My mother always told me I should try dating a man with children. They can commit and you like to cook…She said. (That’s the same logic behind dating a man in prison right? They can commit to hard time and I can bake them pies?) I decided to scope out the single daddy-scene and met ‘Jerry,’ a self described bachelor, father, financier and as I would learn later problem drinker. I arrived at the Jade hotel for dinner wearing leather Prada heels, (which I should have done a lap in beforehand) Paige denim jeans (that made my legs look like stilts), and a sheer blouse which my mother kindly says indicates ?an obvious padded bra.? I may not have Victoria Beckham?s body or budget but I promise you one thing, I am workin’ it.
Jerry was shockingly better looking in person. (Contrary to most dates where the photo sent online looks like George Clooney and you end up meeting his 3rd cousin, a Japanese sumo wrestler.) ‘Jerry’ and I were instantly attracted to one another and we immediately delved deep into conversation. He whipped out his iPhone, displaying a gallery of pictures, his heart melting each time he spoke of his gorgeous children. This quickly switched to talk of his ‘ex’ wife who I could have easily mistaken for Cruella Deville.
‘Jerry,’ a well-known financial executive, traveled often which made me realize a relationship would be impossible. (Why didn’t this occur to me beforehand? Well that would indicate a trace of commonsense yes? ) As our meal progressed, I noticed ‘Jerry’s’ story regarding his ‘situation’ began to crumble.
Although I don’t drink, I do prefer my dates to consume copious amounts of liquor. I find it acts as a form of Sodium Thiopental (Pentothal), commonly referred to as ‘truth serum.’ At the opening of the date, ‘Jerry’s’ story began with, ‘my ex wife and I are divorced and I live in the city.’ Two drinks later, I sleep in the basement of our home. (I asked if he would care for some dessert wine.)
‘Jerry’s divorce turned out to be in litigation and nowhere near final. I was afraid what I would find out if I offered him some SAKE! Was he really a woman? My friend ‘Demi’ told me something very smart once. “It’s very easy for a man to remove a ring. Who knows how many men say they are divorced that we have dated?” Seven glasses of wine later and it was time for the check. ‘Jerry’ pulled out his black card and handed it to the waitress. “I’m sorry sir, it’s declined!” she SHOUTED! I was actually under the impression that black cards had an unlimited spending limit but did someone not pay their bill? He looked as if he had seen a dead relative (shocked) and handed the server another card.
Here is a tip to all men: Call your credit card company before going to dinner and be sure to conjure up a convincing story. Even if it is a lie learn your lines.
Read more of Amanda’s shenanigans at theyoungandthefearless.com
Do you have a dating disaster story to share?
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and founder of Cyber-Dating Expert. She creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert
The Cyber-Dating Expert Weekly Flirt is now ready for your reading pleasure. We’re live from Las Vegas from the NAB Conference with 100,000 broadcasters.
In this edition of the Weekly Flirt, read about online dating tips for spring fever, meet a lovely couple who fell in love on eHarmony, and find out if you’re dating or in the friend zone. Enjoy!
Do you assume that once you push the send button, that the person on the other end will decide if you’ve made the cut or not?
In Diane’s words:
Steve was one of the first men I noticed and I was instantly attracted. He said he was too. What clinched it for me was his ability to write and express himself clearly and with proper spelling and grammar. Silly maybe, but since I?m a writer that’s important to me, plus it gave me real insight into his character.
Somehow, by mistake, we bypassed the controlled communication part of eHarmony and went straight to emailing each other through their website. He quickly explained he was going out of the country for a few weeks to work on a project so we would have to delay meeting. We sent a few emails back and forth before he left, but then there was nothing for about a month. Nada. I feared the worst (he’d found someone else or lost interest). Meanwhile Steve was thinking the same about me.
But what had actually happened was my last email to him had somehow timed out or gone astray so he thought I’d stopped communicating. I thought he hated what I’d written so had backed off.
Fortunately, he took a leap of faith and contacted me again when he returned. I was elated.
We met for the first time over coffee shortly after that, agreeing we’d also go out for dinner that night if all went well. And it did. The rest is history as they say. We more than hit it off. We began seeing each other all the time, going out to concerts, watching movies and cooking beautiful meals together. We shared our life stories, our triumphs and our heartbreaks, and began to blend our two worlds together.
The following spring we flew to Paris for a holiday and while securing our love lock to a Paris bridge alongside thousands of others, he pulled a diamond ring from his pocket, dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him. Somewhat shocked and more than a little embarrassed by the public display, I urged him to get up and awkwardly mumbled “ya sure?” in answer to the question. “Ya sure” has since become a loaded phrase for us. “Do you feel like going out for dinner?” “Ya sure.”
That fall Steve moved into my house in a nearby city and we began the process of merging and purging (we had 16 frying pans between us.)
Last summer we had a beautiful backyard wedding with 50 of our closest friends and family members. It was a magical day. Everyone danced, even the old folks in their 80s. Steve was 62, retired and a widower when I met him. I was 56 and divorced. We are deliriously happy in our new life together. Our story proves it’s never too late to find true love.
Congratulations to Steve and Diane who found an other chance at love.
Do you have an online dating story to share?
Are you an Internet dating success couple? Send us your story and you might get featured in our Cyber Love Story series.
Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. Julie was an early adopter of Internet dating and has been helping singles find love online for 20 years with her Irresistible Profiles and Online Dating BootCamp programs.
We’ve already changed the clocks to enjoy more sunset dates, so it’s time to start changing your wardrobe colors and get out and smell the digital roses. It?s springtime and we all know that Spring fever is in the air and singles are hoping to find love this season, or maybe even have a spring fling, depending on your dating goals.
With this in mind, here are some online dating tips and advice for a little digital facelift to help ramp up your cyberdating search for the new season.
It?s time to turn up the volume and download a few mobile dating apps and start flirting. By now most of you have either used the hot mobile app Tinder, where you swipe to the right to connect with a potential date, or swipe to the left to send them into Internet heaven. Tinder has announced they’ve reached 1 million matches. It’s time to join the digital party.
Don’t forget the mobile versions of the dating sites you already belong to. If you’re a member of eHarmony, JDate, Match, OkCupid, PlentyOfFish, make sure you turn on their locals features and be on a date in minutes.
Start using additional mobile apps such as AreYouInterested, CupidRadar, and Zoosk that we feature in our Mobile Dating BootCamp.
Check out Lulu
Want to see what others think of your potential date? Guys, register with the Lulu mobile app for the women to see how you rank on the dating totem pole. Your ego will get a lift when the ladies give you a high score and your profile views go up. Ladies, before you go on a date, check the rating of your potential hottie. Plus, they have fun and flirty dating advice as well sent to your mobile phone.
Log on Twice Daily
If you brush your teeth at least every morning and night, take one hour twice a day and log on to your favorite dating sites. Just by having your profile listed online often raises your visibility in a search.
Cast a Wider Net
Not getting much activity in your inbox? Expand your search from 15 miles to 60 or even 200 miles. If you find the one, it’s worth the commute, or even relocating for love. Are you limiting yourself to searching for a narrow age range? Revise your search parameters by 10 years. That’s right, 5 years lower and 5 years higher than what you’ve already been looking for.
Reorder your photos
If you have 3-5 of your favorite photos on your profile and can’t find time to grab a new one from your Facebook page, change the primary photo so your profile looks fresh. When you get the time, add a few more recent shots, wearing something colorful and retire those that are 5 years old.
View and hotlist profiles
If you’re a bit shy about initiating contact, view profiles of those you might be interested in. Chances are they’ll see that you’ve viewed them and will contact you if they’re interested in you. Take it one step further and rate them with 5 stars or put them on your hotlist. Often they’ll be notified, will be flattered, and you just might put a date on your calendar.
If you still need some help to make your profile stand out from the rest, contact us about our Irresistible Profiles to help you find your dream date.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.
Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. She was an early adopter of online dating and has been helping singles find love on the Internet for 20 years. For more dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, sign up for the free Weekly Flirt, and visit our Facebook page.
Photo credit: berezovskyi – Fotolia.com
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.