In this week’s Ask the Cyber Dating Expert column, we heard from Jennifer…or was it Valerie?
What’s in a name you might ask?
USA Today reported this week that the top baby names for girls were Sophia and Isabella.
So when Valerie contacted me to critique her online dating profile, I questioned why her user name was “MeetJennifer.”
According to Valerie, she believed that 47% of men liked the name Jennifer. She truly believed that she’d get more views of her online dating profile, with the result of meeting more men.
Apparently this trick didn’t work. In the top 20 list of most popular baby names for girls, Jennifer didn’t appear anywhere. It was all in her head.
You see, men don’t want to be tricked. They’ll view a large bouquet of profiles and decide which thumbnail photos appeal to them. Then, if intrigued by what they see, they’ll try to remember your screen name and will read a few sentences of your profile, which would hopefully lead to a short introduction email to get the digital ball rolling.
Although men are used to women lying about their weight and age, they would prefer that women would be honest about it. They’ll even go to great lengths and look at a potential date’s Facebook or Linkedin page to see if the photos match up. Once you start with a trick or a lie, they’ll always wonder what else you might be hiding.
While it might seem innocent to change your name on your profile, it isn’t wise. If you say your name is Jennifer, they’re hoping that Jennifer will answer the phone when they call. They’re happy to go on a date with Jennifer. But men are visual. It really doesn’t matter what your first name is, as long as you’re honest.
Valerie was going on coffee dates and explaining to guys that her real name wasn’t Valerie. This became confusing to men and took up a lot of time in the conversation. Many men wondered what else Valerie was making up if she’d change her first name to attract their attention. Valerie no longer became a top prospect to men, because of misleading advertising. She rarely went on second dates.
While you think I’m overreacting, I beg to differ. Valerie’s date card is empty and she’s still single.
The best advice I gave her was to change her profile name completely and not to include the first name of any woman, including herself. Have a catchy screen name that expresses what she’s passionate about. Let the real Valerie answer the phone, emails, and show up on a date.
A confident woman is what a man wants. It doesn’t matter what her name is. All that matters is that she’s real and he wants her to be his girlfriend.
My best advice is to toss out any insecurities or tricks to try to get the guy. If he’s interested, you’ll know it. When he’s lying in bed next to you at night, let him whisper your real name.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.
Julie Spira is an Online Dating Expert and was an early adopter of the Internet. She’s the author of the bestseller, 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 more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.
Many thanks to ABC TV in Los Angeles for interviewing me on the subject of online dating and mobile dating in a recent segment on the news. They were kind enough to come up with this cute graphic of some of my Top mistakes you must avoid with Internet dating. Ready to fill your date card? I thought so.
With the holiday surge of singles joining online dating sites, here are some expert dating tips to help you stand out in the crowded digital playing field. In 20 years of online dating coaching, there is definitely a method to the madness.
Here are some Online Dating Dos and Don’ts.
1. Don’t include a list of turnoffs in your profile. We know you don’t like a guy who smokes, so rather than insisting on it in your essay portion, leave it for the multiple choice questions where you say you prefer dating a non-smoker. Once you start listing your dating don’ts, your potential date will view you as difficult and not being able to measure up to everything on your list. Stay positive and talk about things you’d like to do together as a couple instead.
2. Don’t say you want a drama-free woman. Unless you hated studying acting in college, saying you want a drama-free woman sends the message that your ex must have been emotionally draining. No one goes through life without “life lessons.” It gives people character. Guys who write about “drama-free” women are the one’s who have expectations that are too high. Besides, it’s a cliche that needs to be tossed out.
3. Don’t mention sex in your profile. Everyone knows that guys undress women with their eyes, so saying you’d like to meet someone sexy or having a profile user name with a few X’s in it isn’t going to score points. It’s the ultimate turn-off for a woman to read that in a man’s profile. She’ll assume you’ll want to sleep with everyone and anyone. Get it?
4. Don’t start instant messaging right away. Sure the squeaky wheel can get the deal, but being an eager beaver will backfire online. We know your digital crush is hot and you think no one else will get you the way he or she will. Stay out of the fantasy of feeling like you’re in an instant relationship. Sending an IM immediately after viewing his or her profile will send the message that you’re online all the time and could be IM’ing just about everyone. Don’t be that available. Send an email instead and ask if the person is comfortable with chatting online. Not everyone moves at the same digital pace.
5. Don’t tell a woman she is hot. Sending an email to a woman saying she’s “hot” is the equivalent of asking her to go to bed with you immediately. Don’t be surprised if she deletes your email and blocks you. Yes, ouch it hurts, but women want to be appreciated and loved, not looked at as a physical object. Think it, but don’t say it. Find another way to compliment her. Say you like her hot pink dress and that it looks amazing on her. She’ll feel flattered.
6. Don’t wait to long to ask her out. Most people don’t join online dating sites looking for a digital pen pal. Writing back-and-forth for a few weeks will make his or her feelings fizzle, not sizzle. If you feel there’s a connection online, graduate to a phone call and see if there’s any chemistry. If so, make a date to meet IRL. If you don’t someone else will.
If you practice some of these Internet dating tips, you’ll be filling your date card for the holidays. Who knows? You must just be kissing under the mistletoe this year.
What are some of your dating dos and don’ts?
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam. xo.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and was an early adopter of Internet dating. She created her first dating profile 20 years ago and today, coaches singles on the dating scene who are looking for love online. For more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt.
When there’s mutual chemistry with someone you’ve met online and you start texting daily, are you in a relationship just yet? A young woman asks the Cyber-Dating Expert for help on what to do when she sees his active profile online.
I signed up for eHarmony as a one month experiment and wasn’t sure what to expect. I got lucky and the first guy I met I felt instant chemistry with and he felt the same way!
We went on a second date the following week and also had a great time. We both work a lot so it was hard to schedule our third date before I left for an out-of-town trip, but he has been texting me everyday since I’ve been gone and today even sent me a message that he is kind of missing me : ) I have been missing him, which seems so weird for someone I have only hung out with twice, and my reply was that : You just made me smile.
I’ve been busy traveling and was trying to be focused on one person rather than adding 2-3 more guys to the mix.
My membership renewed automatically for a second mont, but I hadn’t logged on since I met this wonderful guy. Today, I logged on after receiving a renewal notice only to see that he had been “active” today on the site. I’m not sure what that means, but my stomach dropped. We aren’t exclusive, he isn’t my boyfriend, but it bothers me. Is this normal? Do I just let the chips fall as they may?
He texted me again this morning and last night but I am totally freaked out now and want to protect myself from getting hurt.
Take a deep breath.
Your new guy who you had just two dates with is a member of a dating site and is receiving matches and emails from women who have written to him or would like to start the communication process. Out of curiosity, he’s probably reading them and may not be responding to them, especially since he’s now texting you at night and in the morning, and perhaps other times throughout the day.
You’ve had two dates with your dream guy. You have a major crush on each other. This is very exciting, but it was only your first online date. Enjoy staying in touch with your guy and respond to his text messages while you’re out of town. You’re definitely on his mind and men tend to miss women when they’re gone. I know of a man who logged onto his profile after six months of dating someone exclusively. He took one last peek and one week later, he proposed marriage.
Men are allowed to look at other women, online and offline. At some point, if you decide to become exclusive, you should talk about taking your profiles down together. Let’s get to the third date and see how it goes. This is a brand new dating experience for you, and as you said, he’s not your boyfriend yet.
Let him take the lead and yes, let’s see where the chips may fall. Don’t cancel your online dating membership just yet, but if in your heart you don’t want to log on, then just stay the busy happy person that you are.
Do you have a question for Cyber-Dating Expert Julie Spira? Send your questions to CyberDatingExpert.com/contact
One day, she decided to turn to online dating and joined Match.com.
“It was the summer of 2011 when I joined Match,” explains Becky.
“I tried Match because I guess….after so many years of not being in the dating world, I figured that would be the best way to meet people.”
Becky had a few dates, but they weren’t her cup of tea.
Then in October of 2011, she started communicating with Philip. Phil had been single for over 10 years before meeting Becky.
After talking via email and phone for a week or so, the two agreed to meet for a late lunch on October 13 at Pappy & Harriett’s.
“It was so much fun,” explains Becky. “We just kept talking and laughing, and talking and laughing, and he took me for a ride on his motorcycle. Five hours later we had a hard time parting ways, wanting to spend more time together. But we did say good-bye for the night.”
The next morning Philip emailed Becky and said…”You definitely have my attention”. We have been together ever since, splitting time
between both Becky and Philip’s homes.
When I saw Becky and Phil, they were celebrating their 2-year anniversary and couldn’t stop saying “I love you” to each other.
Congratulations to Becky and Philip, who prove you can start your life all over again while looking for love online.
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.
I know this seems like a lot of pressure, but to simplify the Internet dating process, we’ve come up with several expert tips on how to ace your cyberdating exam.
Coordinating a first date to make that great impression makes singles nervous. One person may love coffee, where another would rather go hiking. Trying to find a common balance for your first meet-and-greet, especially when geography gets in the way, means a single dater must go with the flow to fill up their date card.
This means you must be easy-going, have several options on where to meet, and not appear too high-maintenance.
Here are two examples of how one date progressed nicely and another went south, fast.
Dater #1. When *Randy decided to make the dinner plans before the theatre date, he came up with a well-executed strategy. It was his homework assignment to select the restaurant and figure out how to coordinate the details. Sure it would have been easy to tell him to park once and just dine at the restaurant in the theatre, but he came up with a more complicated plan and told his date the following:
Unfortunately the restaurant doesn’t have a shuttle to the theatre, but I’ve thought of a plan to minimize the parking issue and maximize our time at dinner.
Try this on…
You drive into downtown and park at the theatre (or wherever you like near there) for about 5:30 PM and call me when you arrive to say where you are. I’ll drive over to pick you up and bring you to my building to park my car; and then we walk just a few blocks to the restaurant. After dinner, we take a taxi to get to the theatre, unfettered with driving and parking while others are arriving, and just walk in. After the event, you take your car out, and drive us a few blocks back to my building; I’ll hop out at the front door on the street safe and sound :-) and you continue straight toward to the highway to get home – real simple. Does this work?
What do you think?
It sounds like an exhausting plan, right? There was nothing simple about it. However, he took great pride in coordinating timing and location and just wanted acknowledgement that his idea would be well-accepted.
The lesson here is the best solution isn’t always the smartest solution when it comes to dating. Sure some women think that they’re smarter and can drive the dating train, but a man wants to be the woman’s hero. He wants to know that she approves of his plans. His efforts to coordinate their dinner date were well thought out. Telling him to change them, especially early on in the dating stage, could possibly backfire. She responded with, “Great plan. I love it! I’ll see you around 5:30pm.”
Dater #3. When *Kathy invited her online date to an outdoor concert, she had tickets for the summertime music festival where they would be picnicking. Her date offered to pick up some wine and food items and they agreed to drive together to the concert. That was, until she called him up and asked him what he would be wearing. When he replied that he would be dressed casually in a Hawaiian shirt, shorts, and sandals, she got furious with him. She told him he wasn’t dressing appropriately for a date and that she hated Hawaiian shirts and shorts. Stunned, because this was a casual outdoor concert in the summer, he thought he’d be dressed perfectly for the occasion. She abruptly canceled the date because he didn’t conform to her perceived dress code and she went alone to the concert. Did he ever call her again? Not in a million years.
At the end of the digital day, when someone plays hard-to-get in the online dating game, the only word the potential date will remember is that you were “hard” to deal with. Don’t make dating difficult. Enjoy the process and go with the flow.
Julie Spira is an Online Dating Expert and was an early adopter of Internet dating. She’s been helping singles on the dating scene with her Irresistible Online Dating Profiles for 20 years and is the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. For more dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.
We all know that Halloween is a great time to dress up and flirt. Since it falls on a Thursday this year, the weekend before will be filled with lots of parties to go to, while still saving your costume to wear again on October 31st.
Our friends at Plenty of Fish researched the most popular Halloween costumes for 2013 to see what singles would be wearing this year.
Of the 2000 single men and women polled, POF found the vixen costume ranked high for the guys, where the girls were attracted to the Super hero, with Batman costumes high on the list. Almost 25% of the women polled would be happy to flirt with a Batman, so they’ll be in luck this year. POF’s poll found that 32% of the single men would be wearing a Batman costume.
Costume stores are finding Cyrus’s MTV Video Music Awards mouse outfit to be the big seller this year. While we expect many single ladies to dress up as Miley Cyrus this year, some guys still like the classic beauty look. POF found that 25% of single men would find it easy to approach a twerker, while 20.5% would be happy to approach a classic beauty dressed as Kate Middleton.
Just like online dating profiles, where women are looking for a man with a sense of humor, 51% of the women said they’d be attracted to a guy wearing a funny costume. The guys polled were not in favor of approaching a woman dressed in a pregnant Kim Kardashian costume.
Can you fall in love on Halloween or will singles just be looking to hook up? POF found that 53% of women gave a thumbs down to hooking up on Halloween and an overwhelming 87% said they’ve never had a one-night stand on Halloween.
We say it’s time to log on to your online dating site and update your profile to include the Halloween festivities you’ll be attending and what you’ll be wearing. You never know, you just might find an online date this weekend to celebrate Halloween with.
Photo credits: Miley Cyrus Costume: $189. at Bonanza.com. Batman Costume: $48.99 and Orange jumpsuit $19,99 at HalloweenCostumes.com.
Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and let us know what you’ll be dressing up as this Halloween.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and was an early adopter of Internet dating. She’s the founder of CyberDatingExpert.com and creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For online dating advice, sign up for the Free Weekly Flirt newsletter.
A new study from Pew Research shows that online dating has risen in popularity. While most of us realize this from the everyday conversations we’re having with singles on the dating scene, we really need to credit the introduction and rise of mobile dating apps for the increase in acceptance to digital dating.
When Pew conducted their research study in 2005, more singles hid the fact that they were dating online. Eight years ago, 29% thought that dating on the Internet was just something those who were desperate had to do. Fortunately, the number has shrunk to 21% today.
So who’s dating the most online?
According to the study, single men and women from 25-34 are the most popular demographic for Internet daters.
Other important statistics from the survey include:
- 42% know someone who has used online dating
- 29% know someone who has been in a long-term relationships or marriage with someone they’ve met online
- 66% of online daters have gone out on a date with someone they met on a dating site
- 11% of adult American Internet users have used online dating sites
- 38% of those who are “single and looking” have used online dating sites and mobile dating apps.
While these numbers continue to rise from Pew’s survey in 2005, over half of those who have dated online have had a bad experience. From misrepresentation of age, weight, marital status and more, we wish there was more truth-in-advertising with Internet dating.
Along with looking for love online, the Pew survey showed that many still felt the need to research their past relationships online. It’s hard not to be curious about what your ex is up to when he or she continues to post photos on Facebook or update their status on Twitter publicly. Suddenly social media makes it easy to do an impromptu background search to see if you’re former flame is single or in a relationship. The study showed that 30% of social networking users were researching those they were interested in dating. This proves that singles really need to make sure they keep their Facebook pages and date-friendly.
On Facebook Love Stories, we teach singles how to keep their Facebook pages more dateable. Think about it, your Linkedin Profile needs to help you find your dream job by being professional. It would make sense then that your Facebook page needs to reflect your single status.
*Hint: It might be time to do some digital housekeeping to remove photos of you with your kissing cousin or ex BF or GF.
At the end of the digital day, we’re creating a permanent digital footprint whenever we post. If you’re single, make sure you’re reflecting the real you, not the idealized person you think your date is dreaming to meet.
Julie Spira is a top Online Dating Expert and was an early adopter of Internet dating. She’s been helping singles on the dating scene for 20 years with her Irresistible Profiles. For more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the Free Weekly Flirt newsletter.
Photo credit: © erinphoto10 – Fotolia.com
A new poll of 2046 people conducted by Harris Interactive for People Search site Spokeo shows over 3/4 of singles 18+ want to know more about their date before they even meet in person, early on in a relationship.
What are singles looking for when they’re sneaking a peek online?
The survey’s results showed the following:
- 58% were interested in finding out about their date’s past
- 45% wanted to feel more confident about their date
- 31% wanted to see if they had friends in common
- 26% wondered if they were cheating
With search engines still the most popular way to check out your date (68%), social networks are creeping up to a close second at 64%.
While many confront their date about suspicious activity if they think they’re cheating, some take the digital data at face value and actually end the relationship.
The infographic below highlights the details of this latest poll.
Are you checking our your dates? Does your digital dating include using social media site such as Facebook to find out more or using search engines when you’re a cyber-sleuth?
Your comments are welcome!
72% of Americans Search Before They Date – An infographic by the team at Spokeo People Search
Julie Spira is a top Online Dating Expert and author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. She creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more online dating advice, sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter and follow @JulieSpira on Twitter.
A reader is concerned that her date isn’t that into her due to how frequently he cancels his dates. Are you experiencing this? Here’s our expert advice for this online dater.
Dear Cyber-Dating Expert,
I met this great guy online and we’ve been emailing each other back-and-forth for three weeks now. He left to go on a business trip right after we connected, but managed to email me daily to stay in touch. When he returned, he had to cancel our first date due to a work conflict, so I understood. We rescheduled for later in the week, but the night before he canceled as he said he was getting ready to go out of town again and wanted to reschedule in a week or so.
If it’s this hard to put a first date on the calendar, is he just a busy guy or do you think he’s juggling me with several other women and is waiting to see if he likes someone better?
Confused in Atlanta
Online dating can be overwhelming, especially when you’re writing to multiple people and your hopes get high when you think you’ve connected with someone who could be “the one.”
Men are frequently defined by their business success and if he’s truly a busy executive, he might not have the time to put into a relationship and meeting right now. It’s easier to become a digital pen pal and write emails late at night when the work day is over than to schedule a date on the calendar which might conflict with a work obligation.
Also, remember that you’re both members of an Internet dating site with active profiles. Not everyone thinks they’re in an instant relationship, even if you’re texting each other daily and flirting digitally. If he’s dating multiple women, that’s fine. You should be dating multiple men and not putting all of your eggs into one digital basket. Play the field and talk to several men. He’s not your boyfriend and if he can’t find time to schedule a first date with you, you might get frustrated when he won’t be able to schedule follow up dates either.
One thing I know for sure is when a man wants you to be his girlfriend and doesn’t want other men pursuing you, he’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen and to show his level of interest. Without meeting you in person, you’re still a bunch of photos and someone he might connect with, when he has the time.
The best advice I can give you is to be busy and date others. If he asks you out and it fits in with your schedule, then go ahead and meet this man you’ve been excited about for almost a month. If he continues to cancel on you after you’ve met in person, then he’s just not an available guy.
Some people believe in a three-strike rule and if a date cancels three times, it’s just not worth your while. Give him the benefit of the doubt about his job, but realize that you will probably be lower on the totem pole than his career, should you get involved with him.
Do keep us posted if you meet this mystery man.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.
We’re jumping for joy at Cyber-Dating Expert headquarters as we’re celebrating the five-year anniversary of our online dating advice site, CyberDatingExpert.com. Although we’ve been helping singles find love online for almost 20 years, the launch of our site catapulted our services to the forefront in the Internet dating industry.
At this half-decade milestone, it’s time for us to take a moment or two and reflect on the past year and thank those who have made us proud to be in the digital love business and remain the go-to source for online dating expert advice.
Irresistible Coaching - Our signature online dating profiles and dating coaching has resulted in many love-birds who are riding into the digital sunset together. From eHarmony to JDate, Tinder to Facebook, we’ve held the hands of many singles before, during, and after their dates. It was a huge pleasure and joy to help several media personalities with their online dating journey, including Sirius-XM’s David Nelson on the Steve Malzberg Show and CBS Radio’s Kim, from the Jim and Kim Show who both took the plunge for the very first time on Match.com. You can listen to the segments by clicking on the links above.
It’s with great enthusiasm to share that we’re in the middle of shooting a feature film where online dating expert Julie Spira is the real-life dating coach of an MTV reality star as he looks for love online. We hope to watch this on the big screen next year. Can we say Red Carpet?
Irresistible Profiles – Our signature online dating profile services help you when you need some extra hand-holding. Our Going Steady and Totally in Love Programs, include creating an irresistible online dating profile to help you shorten the search and ride into the digital sunset together. A New Pew Research study revealed that 32% of women and 17% of men actually enlisted help with their profiles.
In the News – We were interviewed many times in the media, from holiday dating to the Manti Teo fake girlfriend story and of course non-stop with Valentine’s coverage. When Martha Stewart joined Match, we chimed in with advice on how to beef up her profile on the FOX News morning show, Good Day LA. Special thanks to the New York Post, Prevention magazine, Men’s Fitness, NBC News, AARP, Bottom Line Personal, Mercury News, Fashionista, Her Campus, WTOP Radio, Marsha Collier of the Computer & Technology Show, Detroit Free Press, USA Today, Boston Globe, Huffington Post, BBC, eHarmony, Healthy Living, Shape magazine, HLN-TV, Dr. Drew on HLN, CNN, NBC – St. Louis, FOX News – Las Vegas, Prevention magazine, WLW-Radio, Contra-Costa Times, Pro Football Central, Singular City, Kixi – Seattle, Citibank’s Women & Co., Huffington Post, Tonya Hall Radio, Voice of America, WCCO Radio, Ventura County Star, Tech Talk Radio, Hawaii Reporter, Larry Magid, CBS News, Glamour, My Fox Parents, Mashable, LA Weekly, CCTV, Metro News, FOX News magazine, Business Insider, ABC News, Pittsburgh Tribune News, Home & Family on the Hallmark Channel, TodayShow.com, WGN, Christian Science Monitor, iVillage, Look Better Online, Jennings Wire, She Knows, Mobile Dia, San Francisco Chronicle, The Daily Beast, Game n Guide, San Antonio Press News, Match.com’s Happen magazine, Hawaii Reporter, Sci-Fi Today, ABC News – Philadelphia, Babble, Your Tango’s Online Dating BootCamp, Betty Confidential, NY Daily News, Toledo News, Al Jazeera America, Washington Post, Daily Collegian, Take Part Live on PivotTV, and the list goes on. You can check out these stories in our Press Room.
On the Newsstand – Many thanks to Glamour magazine for including our online dating advice in their April issue – Stop Googling Your Dates, Elle magazine in the August issue – The Social Stigma of Online Dating, Men’s Health in the February Issue, Boston Globe, New York Post, and in USA Today twice, among others.
In-Real-Life – It was an honor to host and curate Online Dating BootCamp and Mobile Dating BootCamp at the Internet Dating Conference, iDate and to be a presenter at the iDate awards. Bloomingdales named Julie their dating expert for Makeup-101: Meet Your Beauty Match and Facebook called on Julie to become their dating expert. With the collaboration of Facebook, we launched Facebook Love Stories on Valentine’s Day to highlight those couples who met on Facebook. We hope you take a peek at FacebookLoveStories.com. A huge thank you to DatingAdvice.com who named Julie their Online Dating Expert. We hope you read some of the dating advice articles. It was a thrill to be a panelist at Digital LA’s Love Goes Digital, Social Media Club’s: Social Media and Dating Online: It’s Big Business, and at Social Media Week. We hosted the “Pimp Your Profile” seminar with Hurry Date in Los Angeles, and more.
As we look into the future, plan to see more of us featured on television and film, with several big surprise announcements in store in the coming months.
As always, we wish you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.
Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter for dating advice and special offers